Business Marketing and Sales
Course Number 1929
Assistant Professor Doug J. Chung
Spring; Q3Q4; 3 credit
Project and Paper
Students should take this course if they expect to join or start a business that markets products or services to other businesses or organizations, or if you join a PE, VC or consulting firm that evaluates and seeks to improve the go-to-market activities of such businesses. The first half of the course is devoted to tactical issues related to sales force management (recruiting, motivation, evaluation, compensation) and thus students who plan to be in sales would benefit from taking the course. The course focuses on business-to-business (B2B) companies in a variety of settings. It builds on concepts introduced in RC Marketing.
Business markets differ from consumer markets in important ways. Typically, the buying process is more complex, the buying units and purchase criteria differ, and marketing decisions are more closely interrelated with firm-wide strategic choices. In addition, personal selling and sales management are often core parts of go-to-market activities in B2B contexts. The course focuses on both the strategic and field implementation aspects of managing these issues in business markets. An important theme in both case discussions and field projects (see below) is linking strategy with sales in B2B markets.
Rather than our standard case exam, a key element of the course is a field project--either sourced by the student(s) or linked to projects sponsored by our alumni or members in our executive programs-and a paper analyzing the situation and articulating the recommendations and learnings. Students will be organized in teams for the projects.
Course Content and Organization
The course is a combination of case-study discussions, lectures, and field-based project working sessions. After a brief introduction into B2B marketing, the first half of the course will focus on very tactical issues related to selling and sales force management. The second half of the course will focus more on wider product, service and strategic issues inherent in most B2B markets. Sessions are also set aside for project work and feedback. The core course modules are:
- Sales Force Management
- Channel Development and Management
- Analyzing Buying Behavior and Value Propositions: Product Line Management
- Aligning Strategy, Marketing, and Sales in B2B Markets: Organization and Pricing