Mktg 458: Sales Management

Mktg 458: Sales Management


Spring 2007

CLASS PERIOD:MW: 4:00 - 5:15 pm (Conner 111)

INSTRUCTOR:Dr. Douglas Vorhies, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marketing

North Holman 327


OFFICE HOURS:MW 3:00 – 4:00 pm. (An appointment is recommended). Other times by appointment.

WEB PAGES:Vorhies:


TEXT:Sales Management: Analysis and Decision Making, 6th edition
by Thomas N. Ingram, Raymond W. LaForge, Ramon A. Avila, Charles H. Schwepker Jr., and Michael R. Williams

CASES:Available from:


This course is designed for students interested in a career in professional selling and sales management. The course is concerned with how to manage a sales force with the objective of maximizing overall sales performance in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency. The emphasis is on business-to-business (rather than consumer) sales force management. The class uses a discussion based format and requires active participation from the student for each class.

Prerequisites: MKTG 354 (Professional Selling) is a pre-requisite for this class. If you have not had this class, you should drop the class until you have taken MKTG 354. MKTG 351 is also a prerequisite


The primary goal of this course is to train you in the methods of sales management. To do this, the course is structured to help students achieve the following objectives.

  1. To develop an in-depth understanding of the tools and techniques used in sales management today.
  2. To understand the basic functions of sales force management as well as theories and concepts about appropriately managing the sales function to attain firm marketing objectives.
  3. To improve student communication via in class discussion of assigned readings, cases and preparation of written assignments.
  4. To improve problem solving skills via the application of theories and concepts studied to practical business situations.
  5. To build the student’s ability to work in team-based management systems and to facilitate the team-skills necessary for success in the sales area.


Grades for the course will be determined based on your performance in the following areas:

Exam I / 100 points
Exam II / 100 points
Comprehensive Final Exam (Mods 3-10 and HBS Cases) / 200 points
Student Case Presentation / 100 points
Quizzes, In Class Activities and Participation / 100 points
Total Points Possible * / 600 points *

* The final number of points may change as assignments are added. See below.

Final letter grades will be given according to the following points schedule:

A= / 92%
B = / 82%
C = / 70%
D = / 60%
F = / Below 60%

Grades are based on your performance on the criteria listed above. Other concerns are not considered.

  1. Workload: A career in selling and sales management is very demanding. To be successful in sales management requires a high level of commitment. I expect everyone who takes this class to demonstrate their commitment every class period. In short, you are treated as professionals in this class and are expected to act in a professional, dedicated and ethical manner.
  2. Exams (2 exams, 100 pts each): Exams cover material from class discussion including the textbook modules, cases, videos, homework, and all other assignments. The exams are designed to evaluate your individual knowledge of sales management theory and application. Exams are worth 100 points each. Exam format is multiple choice and/or true-false.
    Missing a Test: Tests must be taken on the day they are scheduled. In the event of a major emergency (e.g., illness), contact me by phone or email immediately. Failure to notify me prior to the test can result in you receiving a zero on the test. If I determine a make up test is warranted, the test can include oral questioning for 1 hour, written essay questions, random questions pulled from the test bank, or some combination of these.
  3. Comprehensive Final Exam (200 pts): A comprehensive final exam is given in this class during finals week. All material from the class is covered including articles, cases, and text chapters.
  4. Case Presentation/Discussion (100 pts): Students will be assigned Harvard Business cases which they will present to the class. For each case the student group will prepare the case and each group will have 30 minutes to present their solution to the case. At the end of each group’s presentation, the class will ask detailed questions for the presenting group. Integration of the solutions along with other insights will then be presented by Dr. Vorhies. In addition, each student group will provide Dr. Vorhies with 5 potential test questions with answers in a multiple choice format. I will then select questions about the case for the final exam.
    Note for Non-Presenters: Each student is responsible for preparing a 1-2 page typed outline with your views on the solution to the case. You will need to prepare 2 copies of your outline. One copy will be turned in at the beginning of class and one copy will be retained to guide your discussion. During the team presentation, I will evaluate participation from non-presenters.
  5. Class Participation (up to 50 pts): I use a discussion format in this class (versus the straight lecture format). I place a premium on your being prepared for class and set the bar very high (this means that participation is not a give away and you don’t get credit for just showing up for class). My evaluation of your participation during discussions of assigned material is worth up to 100 points. Class participation is designed to improve your ability to verbally answer business questions, defend your ideas, and think on your feet. This is an important skill sales managers need and one that improves greatly with practice.
    Participation is more than just showing up for class! You must contribute successfully! This means you must demonstrate a mastery of the subject and answer questions correctly. Participation is competitively evaluated with only the top 5% or so of students typically getting 90% or better.
    How to prepare for class discussions: Before class - read the assigned module or article and print off a copy of the Powerpoint slides from the instructor’s web site. Many students also find it helpful to outline the chapters and take notes on the cases (these become useful study aids). You may also find it helpful to use the online quizzes.
    What to do in class: Take notes over what we discuss and answer the questions I ask. Raise your hand to contribute to the discussion. Avoid saying an answer out loud without raising your hand first. This is important so that everyone has a chance to contribute.
    Trust in the classroom: To make this class work, I will create an environment where you can take a chance to answer a question, even if you aren’t 100% sure of the answer. It’s OK to be wrong some of the time. In fact many times, giving a wrong answer to a discussion question helps us to uncover a point of confusion (it’s typically not just one student who don’t know the answer). You are much better off in this class trying to answer a question and failing, than sitting all class and never saying a thing because if you don’t answer questions you will get NO participation points. You will also notice that I seldom say to a student “No, that’s wrong.” I will typically say “that’s not where I was coming from” etc. Often an incorrect answer isn’t totally wrong – just a part of it is off base. Or, you may have one concept slightly confused with another. No big deal. You get credit in this class for trying! You don’t’ get credit for just showing up.
    What not to do in the classroom: Sitting there and not being involved in the discussion is a very bad idea. You can’t succeed in this class if you don’t participate. It is also important to not disrupt class by talking to the person sitting next to you, etc. Its ok to ask the person next to you a question, but I will ask you to leave class if you are disruptive.
  1. Unannounced Quizzes: Students must come to class prepared to discuss assigned material. Unannounced quizzes may be given whenever I feel your preparation for class is not adequate. Quizzes will be added into your class participation score. Quizzes may NOT be made up. If you miss a quiz, you will receive zero points.
  2. Attendance: Attendance is required for all students. If you must miss class, you do so at your own risk. Missed in-class assignments, quizzes and participation cannot be made up.
  3. Other Assignments: I reserve the right to give you other assignments throughout the course of the semester. If assignments are added, the total number of points for the class will be increased. Grading will still follow the grading format outlined above.
  4. School of Business Administration Statement of Academic Integrity: The School of Business Administration upholds honor and academic integrity in all of its teaching, research, and service activities. All business faculty, staff, and students are charged with the responsibility to behave with personal and professional integrity and to refrain from dishonorable conduct.
  5. Cell Phones and other Technology: Cell phones should be turned off before you enter class and may not be used in the classroom. Text messaging is not allowed. Laptops are permissible, however, you probably won’t need them for most classes.


Date / Day / Topic / Text/Cases / Assignments
1-15 / M / No Class MLK Day
1-17 / W / Introduction to Course / Hand Out Syllabus
1-22 / M / Intro. To Sales Mgmt/Prof. Selling / Mod 1, 2 / HBR* “How Right Should the Customer Be?”
1-24 / W / Org. Strategies and Sales Function / Mod 3
1-29 / M / Org. Strategies and Sales Function / Mod 3 / HBR* “Ending the War Between Sales & Mktg.”
1-31 / W / Sales Org. Structure/SF Deployment / Mod 4
2-5 / M / Sales Org. Structure/SF Deployment / Mod 4 / HBR* “Match Your SF Structure to Your Bus. Life Cycle.”
2-7 / W / Salesforce Recruiting and Selection / Mod 5
2-12 / M /

Sales Training


Mod 6

2-14 / W / Exam I /

Mods 3, 4, 5, 6

2-19 / M / Guest Speaker / Guest Speaker
2-21 / W / Sales Leadership / Mod 7
2-26 / M / Sales Leadership / Mod 7 / HBR* “Leading Today’s Sales Organization.”
2-28 / W / Motivation and Reward / Mod 8
3-5 / M / Motivation and Reward / Mod 8
3-7 / W / Evaluating Org Effectiveness / Mod 9
3-12 / M /

Spring Break

/ 3-14 / W /

Spring Break

/ 3-19 / M / Evaluating Salesperson Performance / Mod 10
3-21 / W / Evaluating Salesperson Performance / Mod 10
3-26 / M /

Exam II


Mods 7, 8, 9, 10

3-28 / W /

Case Presentation Example: FedEx

/ / FedEx (HBSP Case)
4-2 / M / Case 1 /


/ Available from HBSP
4-4 / W / Case 2 / TBA
4-9 / M / Case 3 / TBA
4-11 / W / Case 4 / TBA
4-16 / M / Case 5 / TBA
4-18 / W / Case 6 / TBA
4-23 / M / Case 7 / TBA
4-25 / W / Case 8 / TBA
4-30 / M / Case 9 /


5-2 / W / Case 10 / TBA
5-11 / M /

Comprehensive Final Exam


Mods 3-10.

Cases 1-10

* HBR Articles are all from the 2006 July-August Issue. Students are responsible for making their own copies or obtaining them online. HBSP Cases must be purchased from the HBSP website.