This Specialization is intended for sales professionals who seek to improve their sales planning and management competencies and skills. Through five courses, you will cover Effective Sales overview, Sales Strategy, Models and Frameworks to Support Sales Planning, Sales & Marketing Alignment, and you will develop a Final Project. By the end of this specialization, you'll have improved your knowledge, competencies, and skills regarding the sales planning process. And you will be able to apply the concepts integrating the sales planning process to the strategy of the company, by bridging the gap between strategy and sales. The potential for value creation through the sales functions will be increased at the end of the Specialization.
Course 1: Effective Sales – An Overview
- Welcome to Strategic Sales Management specialization. This specialization course focus on providing conceptual and practical guidance on sales planning and management. The development of the specialization goes through the different phases of the sales planning process, keeping attention on the connection to the strategy of the company. Concepts discussed in this specialization aim to support the analyses on how to plan sales in alignment with the strategic guidelines of the company. The sales functions are discussed with models and frameworks that support the planning process, which includes assumptions regarding the strategic guidelines, such as aggregate revenue targets, company’s earnings, and expected cash flow from the company’s operations. These variables are all related to the strategy of the company. The target audience of this specialization include professionals with some experience in sales, they might have been promoted to a managing position recently, or they have plans to improve their expertise in the sales area to apply to more challenging positions in the future. Prerequisite for this specialization is general knowledge of business concepts, models, and tools. Professionals who have concluded undergraduate courses of business administration, and also of different areas of knowledge, such as engineering, economics, accounting, and social sciences. It’s also important to emphasize that sales involve a broad range of areas, there are products and services related to agriculture, petrochemical, automobile, aeronautics, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, insurance, education, retail, and consulting industries, just to mention some examples. That means sales professionals are from all sectors. Therefore, learners of different academic backgrounds may benefit from doing this specialization, which is structured to support sales planning and management from a methodological standpoint. And this approach applies to a diverse range of sectors. The primary learning outcome of this specialization is the improvement of the sales planning and management competencies and skills, by providing a set of concepts, models, tools, and techniques to support the development of the sales plan structure, which will support the sale plan development.
Course 2: Sales Strategy
- Welcome to Course 2 - Sales Strategy - This course is designed to discuss the application of intelligence analysis in the sales planning process. And this approach contributes to integrating the sales planning process into the corporate strategy of the company because, in the strategy analysis and formulation process, we apply models, frameworks, tools, and techniques that also apply to the sales planning and management process. Therefore, the expected outcomes of this course focus on the transition from traditional to strategic sales planning, by discussing and applying the concepts recommended to support the development of the strategic guidelines. The concepts, models, tools, and techniques discussed and practiced during the course focus on the improvement of value creation from the sales function empowered by intelligence analysis, a process which typically applies in the strategy analysis front. The discussions go through how intelligence analysis can support the sales function, by providing methods to connect strategy to marketing and sales planning processes. In this course, the primary learning outcome is the ability to apply intelligence analysis to support sales planning process, and by being able to do this, you’ll improve your competencies and skills to support sales planning with a strategic approach. You’ll develop a final assignment at the end of the course, and it is designed from an adapted real-life business case. The challenges of the case comprise the business context, through which you’ll apply the conceptual framework discussed during Course 2. The outcomes of your analysis on the assignment case will be evaluated through a peer-review process.
Course 3: Models & Frameworks to Support Sales Planning
- Welcome to Course 3 - Models & Frameworks to Support Sales Planning – In this course, you’ll go through a conceptual approach to selling models and frameworks. As a primary learning outcome of this course, we emphasize the improvement in the analytical competencies and skills to develop sales planning and management. And the learning process goes through the application of the models and frameworks that contribute to supporting these processes. This course is aimed at professionals who seek improvement in conceptual support to the sales planning process, especially with an emphasis on applying selling models and frameworks methodology. At this point of the Strategic Sales Management specialization, you have an excellent understanding of the integration of sales planning to the strategy of the company. You also have a vision of major prescriptions and recommendations to support this integration, and proceed to strategic sales planning by applying intelligence analysis. Now, in this course, selling models and frameworks will be discussed, from a conceptual standpoint to add methodological structure into the sales planning process. Therefore, throughout the modules of this course, the subjects discussed will include topics of sales management (module 1), the selling models and frameworks (module 2) that support sales planning, which relates to the hard skills that may be applied. In the third module of this course, soft skills are brought to the discussion, since they comprise an essential component because sales functions include many aspects of the human interactions. Please follow the steps of the course, and for academic objectives, we would recommend you to do it in the sequence of modules proposed, though you may take them in a different order. We look forward to having you during the course modules and lessons.
Course 4: Sales & Marketing Alignment
- Welcome to Course 4 – Sales & Marketing Alignment. This course focus on what is considered by most academics and practitioners as the biggest challenge that sales professionals have to face. As we discussed in Course 1 – Effective Sales, strategy, and sales must be integrated to support a high potential for value creation through the sales functions. We also mentioned that strategy and sales integration can be supported by marketing functions. The discussions then went through sales strategy supported by intelligence analysis (Course 2), sales models and frameworks to support sales planning (Course 3). By the consequence, at this point of this specialization, you are in a good position to go further in the sales planning and management functions. And this is the moment to tackle one of the biggest challenges that most sales professionals must address with diligence – Sales & Marketing Alignment. The primary learning outcome of this course is to prepare you to apply concepts to support this alignment, with prescriptions and recommendations that contribute to improving the alignment. The improvement in the knowledge, competencies, and skills regarding sales & marketing alignment will contribute to increasing the potential for value creation from a strategic sales planning approach.
Course 5: Strategic Sales Management Final Project
- Welcome to Course 5 – Strategic Sales Management Final Project. In this course, you’ll develop the final project of the specialization, which is an application of the whole set of concepts, models, frameworks, tools, and techniques discussed and practiced through the four previous courses. A business case provides the business context to serve as the reference to support your analyses regarding strategy, marketing, and sales integration. The case is adapted from a real-life experience. Having developed these analyses, you will follow the project instructions that lead you to the application of the concepts you have learned so far, and proceed to the sales planning processes to support the development of a sales guidelines, which will support the sales planning process in a later moment. The primary learning outcome of this course is to master concepts application to create sales guidelines, based on a structured analysis of a business case. The sales guidelines serve as the background of a sales plan structure, and they also connect the sales planning process to the strategy, at the same time that supports the development of a sales plan at a later moment. Whereas the sales plan structure may not be a detailed sales plan, it will provide all the aspects necessary to develop the sales plan later. The project will be peer-reviewed, and the instructions to develop it also bring the rubrics to develop the review.
Cesar Rodrigues, Edson Ito, Nelson Yoshida and Samantha Mazzero