Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

    This course is designed to help you learn about the professional sales occupation. Not only will you be introduced to the wide range of sales positions that are available in the workforce, you will also be asked to develop your own sales presentation. Successful completion of this course should assist you in determining whether a career in sales is suited for you. If you believe you can become a successful sales professional, this course will also help you determine the type of sales position you should seek. Last, you will gain valuable insight into how sales professionals are typically managed in terms of compensation and motivational approaches.

  • Unit 1: Sales Positions

    Beginning a sales career can be very exciting and offers a wide range of professional possibilities. Diving head first into a list of want ads can be time consuming and may lead to applying for sales positions that do not fit your strengths and desires. When considering a sales career, it is helpful to look at the profession from a general perspective, exploring the types of sales positions available. Looking at the sales profession in this way does not mean studying the different varieties of products and services you could sell - although, that is important too. Instead, you want to look at broader considerations, such as whether a sales opportunity requires multiple and frequent sales like selling used cars or whether the position has more sporadic sales over a longer period of time like airplane sales. Another difference to examine is whether a position requires you to go find customers and clients or if your customers come to you.

    In this unit, you will learn the primary distinctions between different types of sales positions and how sales professionals are compensated.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 12 hours.

  • 1.1.1: Transactional Sales

  • 1.1.2: Relational Sales

  • 1.1.3: Comparisons between Transactional and Relational Sales

  • 1.1.4: Inside and Outside Sales

  • 1.2.1: Entry Sales Positions

  • 1.2.2: Professional Sales Positions Salary Ranges and Averages

  • 1.2.3: Sales Management Salary Levels

  • Unit 1 Summary

  • Unit 2: Ethics in Professional Sales

    Sales professions inherently involve the act of persuasion between the sales person and the potential customer. Communication between two or more individuals, especially when it focuses on a persuasive act, invites the opportunity for deception and unethical tactics. We all need to adhere to some level of ethical behavior to allow for sustained successful communication. To be a successful sales professional, it is paramount that you develop a relationship based on trust with your clients and potential clients. Trust is a crucial element to a successful sales career.

    As a sales professional, you should consider ethical standards of your own as well as those of the organization or industry for which you work. Whether the sales position involves quick transactions or prolonged negotiations, your credibility will go a long way in determining your success or failure as a sales professional.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

  • 2.1: Ethics and Trust in Communication

  • 2.2: Professional Sales Ethics

  • 2.3: Relationship Management

  • Unit 2 Summary

  • Unit 3: Sales Presentations

    At the heart of every sales position, there is a component of skill. Ultimately, successful sales persons must be able to develop a sales presentation, present it to prospects, and then ask for the order. Knowing when and where to find prospective clients is the start of the process. Once a potential client base is identified, the sales professional must then adapt a presentation for that target audience that presents their product or service in a persuasive manner. This unit will help you learn to prepare for and present an effective sales presentation. As part of this process, you will be asked to prepare a short sales presentation and record it. You will then post the video to the discussion forum and make it available for critique by your classmates. You will also be asked to reflect on your own sales video and evaluate your work.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 12 hours.

  • 3.1.1: Sales Territories

  • 3.1.2: Audience Analysis

  • 3.2.1: Persuasive Sales Strategies

  • 3.2.2: Overcoming Objections

  • 3.2.3: Feature vs. Benefit Distinctions

  • 3.3.1: Sales Speech Structure

  • 3.3.2: Presentation Considerations

  • 3.3.3: The Close

  • Unit 3 Summary

  • Unit 4: Sales Teams

    With an understanding of the range of sales professions out there and how to present a basic sales presentation, it is helpful to look at the career from the management perspective. When you accept a sales position, you will probably not be alone. You will be part of a team. As part of a team, you will likely experience the process of being recruited into the position and engaging in sales training. Over time, you also will be managed with a variety of motivational approaches. Before beginning your sales career, you should have some understanding of the forces that will guide your work efforts. This unit is designed to provide those insights.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

  • 4.1.1: Recruiting

  • 4.1.2: Training and Managing

  • 4.1.3: Motivation

  • 4.2: Evaluating Sales Professionals

  • Unit 4 Summary