Unit 1 Activities

Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 12.25 hours:

  • Subunit 1.1: 7.5 hours
  • Subunit 1.2: 4.75 hours  
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  • compare and contrast transactional and relational sales;
  • explain the standard commonalities of relational sales positions;
  • explain the standard commonalities of transactional sales positions;
  • identify the defining characteristics of inside sales positions;
  • identify the defining characteristics of outside sales positions; and
  • recognize appropriate compensation levels for different sales positions.


1.1 Types of Sales Positions

1.1.1 Transactional Sales

Link: Principles of Marketing: "Section13.2: Customer Relationships and Selling Strategies” (PDF)

Instructions: This section gives an overview of the types of selling with highlights on transactional and relational sales. Ask yourself if you think you would be able to form these types of business relationships, as they will be important to your career.

Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

Terms of Use: This text was adapted by Saylor Academy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work's original creator or licensor.


1.1.2 Relational Sales

Reading: PLOS Medicine: Adriane Fugh-Berman and Shahram Ahari's "Following the Script: How Drug Reps Make Friends and Influence Doctors” (HTML)

Instructions: This article discusses how relational sales is used by those in the pharmaceutical sales industry. While this article deals with pharmaceutical sales, relational sales comes into play in many venues. The need to establish and maintain relationships with prospects and clients is often a key to a successful sales career.

Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Adriane Fugh-Berman and Shahram Ahari, and the original version can be found here.


Reading: The Power of Selling: "Chapter 3: The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work” (PDF)

Instructions: This chapter elaborates on the importance of relationship development in sales. Some of the items addressed in this chapter will be revisited later in this course. Also, make use of the very helpful links to additional readings and videos within the text.

Reading this chapter, exploring the links, and taking notes should take approximately 2 hours.

Terms of Use: This text was adapted by Saylor Academy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work's original creator or licensor.


1.1.3 Comparisons between Transactional and Relational Sales

Reading: The Power of Selling: "Chapter 2, Section 2.1: What Does It Take to Be in Sales?” (PDF) and "Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Sales Channels and Environments: Where You Can Put Your Selling Skills to Work” (PDF)

Instructions: These sections provide a comprehensive overview of skills needed in a sales profession and how to best utilize those skills. These readings will help you assess your own skills and what you need to develop to be successful in a sales career. The accompanying videos also offer useful insights from a wide range of experts, which you should find helpful.

Reading these sections, watching the accompanying videos, and taking notes should take approximately 2 hours.

Terms of Use: This text was adapted by Saylor Academy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work's original creator or licensor.


1.1.4 Inside and Outside Sales

Reading: Uber Articles: William Cook's "Inside Sales Vs Outside Sales - Which One Is for You?” (HTML)

Instructions: Real estate expert William Cook's commentary is designed for those in the real estate industry; however, it provides useful distinctions about general principles in inside and outside sales. This information will be helpful in determining which types of sales careers you will find most appealing.

Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to William Cook, and the original version can be found here.


Reading: "Advantages of Outside Jobs” (HTML)

Instructions: This article provides helpful and specific insight into the pragmatics of an outside sales career.

Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to designmywebsites44, and the original version can be found here.


1.2 Compensation in Sales Professions

1.2.1 Entry Sales Positions

Activity: Saylor Academy's "SALES103 Discussion Forum” (HTML)

Instructions: Read the instructions below and post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. If you have not done so already, you will need to create a free account at the link above to participate in these discussions.

To begin, go to any job search website or listing in a newspaper and view the range of "Sales” or "Entry Level Sales” positions available in the general area where you live. Identify three to five positions that most appeal to you.

    1. Post a listing of the positions and their descriptions in the discussion forum.
    2. Identify why the positions appeal to you (e.g., income, product or service, territory, etc.).
    3. Explain what you know or can infer regarding the sales positions in terms of being transactional versus relational and inside versus outside.
    4. Report what you know about sales positions others have posted in the discussion forum that you believe might be helpful to them.

Completing this discussion forum activity should take approximately 3 hours.


Reading: Boundless' "Motivating and Compensating Salespeople” (HTML)

Instructions: Read this webpage regarding compensation for sales professionals. Now that you have read about sales positions that would suit your interests and the salary that might be expected, it is useful to read about a wider range of issues involved in compensation.

Reading this webpage and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Boundless, and the original version can be found here.


Reading: Uber Articles: Paul M. Balzano's "Best Ways to Interview for Almost Any Job in Sales”(HTML)

Instructions: This article offers helpful advice for job interviews for sales positions. Balzano is a sales expert with several publications to his credit. He specializes in software sales.

Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Paul M. Balzano, and the original version can be found here.


1.2.2 Professional Sales Positions Salary Ranges and Averages

Reading: Paul Gumbinner's View from Madison Avenue Blog: "New Business or Sales People - Commission or Salary?” (HTML)

Instructions: In this blog post, Paul Gumbinner, President of Gumbinner Company, raises an essential question about sales professional compensation with commissions and salaries. Be sure to also read the responses to his post and query.

Reading this blog post should take approximately 30 minutes.

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Paul Gumbinner, and the original version can be found here.


1.2.3 Sales Management Salary Levels

Reading: "Sales Manager Job or Sales Management Job - Which Are Better?” (HTML)

Instructions: This brief article provides an argument for why you might consider a sales manager job over a sales management position. Basic but clear distinctions are offered in the article.

Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to designmywebsites44, and the original version can be found here.


1.3 Unit 1 Summary

We frequently hear people refer to the sales profession as a single employment opportunity, as if all sales jobs are the same. From Unit 1, however, you have seen that the sales profession includes a wide range of job opportunities with differing expectations and compensation levels. Compare your own strengths and weaknesses along with your personality to the material presented in Unit 1 to discover the best sales positions for you.

Last modified: Monday, 4 February 2019, 11:44 PM