Sales

A Guide to Credit for Prior Learning

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Lower-Level Credit:

  • Work in a sales environment in which knowledge and practice of sales skills is critical to the business transaction.
  • Attend training courses in areas such as personal selling skills, moving from prospect to customer, steps of the sale, recognizing and distinguishing customers’ wants and needs, or product specific features and benefits.
  • Have experience in a variety of sales roles (e.g. direct sales, maintaining inventory, buying, sales management, order processing, customer relations and telemarketing).

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Upper-Level Credit:

  • Usually have at least six years or more experience in proactive personal selling.
  • Attend training courses in areas such as personal selling skills, managing the sales opportunity, developing a successful sales campaign, etc.
  • Can discuss in sophisticated detail one or more of the following factors of selling:
    • How and what to learn from an unsuccessful sale.
    • Methods of ensuring quality control in the selling process.
    • Various communication tools used in the selling process.
    • The compensation plan as related to goals of the organization and recognition of sales effort.
    • Utilizing the marketing information system.
    • Training other sales people, both in product knowledge and in sales technique.

Discussion Topics:

If students are familiar with some (but not necessarily all) of the following topics, they may be eligible for lower-level credit in the area of sales. If students are familiar with advanced questions, they may be eligible for upper-level credit. If knowledge of some of the topics is substantial, the students may consider requesting additional credit in more narrowly defined areas.

Consumer Behavior

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Demonstrate awareness of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and implication on the sales process.
  • Determine, and differentiate between, customers’ wants and needs.
  • Demonstrate ability to use information about customers’ preferences (as a member of a class or group.)

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Demonstrate ability to use a database of customer demographic information.
  • Make recommendations regarding use, upgrades and modifications to the marketing information system in support of the sales staff.

Product Knowledge and Channels of Distribution for a Product

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Demonstrate ability to differentiate between features and benefits of a product.
  • Demonstrate and understanding of how products flow through a distribution system. One example might be from manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to customer. Show familiarity with other systems of distribution, such as direct mail marketing, pyramid marketing, TV marketing, telemarketing, etc.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Demonstrate ability to match features and benefits to customers' wants and needs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of other systems of distribution. (For example, methods of targeting direct mail within geographic area to specific demographic segments.)

Personal Selling Skills

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Demonstrate understanding of the steps of the sale, from prospecting to qualification, to understanding customers’ wants and needs, to presentation of features and benefits, to trial close, to answering objections, to close, to processing the order, to ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Describe techniques for qualifying a customer from a larger group of prospects.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of the “trial close.”
  • Demonstrate successful ways in which to answer objections.
  • Describe the importance of customer service and satisfaction following the close of the sale.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Describe/discuss/demonstrate various methods for evaluating the process of personal selling, thereby ensuring quality control in the selling process.
  • Analyze a personal selling experience which was unsuccessful (did not result in a closed sale), and describe what could be learned from that seemingly unsuccessful experience.

Order Processing

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Demonstrate knowledge of correctly processing the order.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of correctly processing the order upon inventory control.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of mortgaging inventory, use of pick-lists in filling an order, the difference between FIFO and LIFO, and how each is employed in an order processing system.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the computerized management information system, and how it is affected by each step of the order process.

Sales Management

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Discuss the basic table of organization for an organization: who reports to whom, particularly how the salesperson reports in the organization.
  • Discuss the functional table of organization, marketing, manufacturing, finance, and how the sales effort is related to each of these major functions.
  • Discuss the merits of individual sales efforts vs. the efforts of the sales team.
  • Discuss the various methods of compensation for sale, salary, commission, some combination of each, the “draw” and the use of expense accounts.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of legal implications in the sale of products and services, including product liability.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of the several compensation plans, from the perspective of the customer, the salesperson and the corporation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the independent marketing representative, in contrast to a salesperson on the payroll.
  • Demonstrate successful experience in the training of sales personnel, in product knowledge, sales techniques and/or both.
  • Give examples of two ethical dilemmas related to sales, and discuss how you would resolve them.

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