[ 973ISICSSPS21 ] SE Key Sales Skills and Sales Psychology

Workload Education level Study areas Responsible person Hours per week Coordinating university
2 ECTS M1 - Master's programme 1. year Business Administration Christoph Teller 2 hpw Johannes Kepler University Linz
Detailed information
Pre-requisites Zulassung zum Masterstudium
Original study plan Master's programme Management 2023W
Objectives Objectives specification / Qualification / Competence area / Personality development

Introduce basic knowledge about the psychology behind selling and buying to students including a sales process in synchronization with the different buying stages of a buyer to students. / Sales psychology; Sales frameworks and theories; Sales process and Buying process / Theory Critical thinking; Self-awareness

Equip students with a profound understanding of the role of sales within profit organizations and the role emotions while selling and buying with the objective to identify seller and buyer types in the seller – buyer exchange process. / Influencing Psychology; Customer emotions profiling / Theory and Application / Mental agility

Enhance and strengthen the personality of students towards becoming a critically thinking, self-reflective, confident sales person by building up a skill set of basic and advanced sales techniques./ Basic and advanced sales skills / Application / Communication and presentation; Mental agility; Adaptability

Provide students with a theoretical and practical foundation about sales funnel management and effective motivational people management taking remote and multicultural perspectives into account. / Sales management; People management; Remote management / Theory; Application Methodology / Communication and presentation; Adaptability

Enable students to convert potential buyers into loyal customers integrating psychological concepts while applying sales techniques effectively in accordance with the identified emotional buyer type. / Basic and advanced sales skills / Application / Communication and presentation; Self-awareness; Mental agility; Adaptability

Learning outcomes

  • LO1: Recall basic international sales terminologies, define what sales psychology is including the sales process and recall the role of sales in a profit organization. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification | International Orientation – Practical skills]
  • LO2: Discuss the role of emotions in the sales process. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification – Practical skills – Social skills – Cognitive and Transferable Skills]
  • LO3: Identify seller and buyer types in the sales conversation and defend your judgement. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification – Practical skills – Social skills – Intellectual Skills]
  • LO4: Illustrate basic and advanced sales skills and examine which ones to apply within the different stages in the sales process. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification | International Orientation – Practical skills – Social skills]
  • LO5: Accurately make use of trust and relationship building, story telling and persuading techniques in a sales conversation. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification – Practical skills – Cognitive & Transferable Skills – Social skills]
  • LO6: Propose your own sales pitch and sales presentation and experiment with emotional selling, probing and evaluate the effectivity of your sales talk. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification – Practical skills – Social skills – Intellectual skills]
  • LO7: Critically analyze and evaluate which and how effective sales techniques are applied by sellers and provide feedback. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification | International Orientation – Practical skills – Social skills – Intellectual skills]
  • LO8: Utilize effectively barrier handling techniques to identify barriers, decide how to overcome them and creatively create a successful closing tool in order to close a sale. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification – Practical skills – Social skills – Intellectual skills]
  • LO9: Discuss sales management and people management strategies and evaluate the same on the grounds of effective remote and intercultural components. [Subject knowledge – Business Management Qualification | International Orientation – Cognitive & Transferable skills – Practical skills – Social skills]
Subject Mission statement:
Most graduates of business programs will start their careers in a sales or sales related roles or even in a sales organization. Therefore, acquiring sales skills is vital for everyone as selling products, services, ideas, and of course his/herself is important in every professional (and private) context.

General description:
Hence, this course aims at providing a profound theoretical basis of Sales Psychology including the effective application of basic and advanced sales techniques and Sales Management with a specific focus on relational sales approaches. The course will emphasize strongly on practical implications taking the role and view of sellers (employees), buyers and the management of sales into account. As part of sales and people management, a short overview about most important tasks and effective management tools on the basis of international, intercultural and remote settings will be provided.

Subject domains:
The course content is divided into five subject domains:

  1. Sales Psychology: The inner and outer world of selling; sales process and after sales processes
  2. Emotional Selling Approaches: The role of emotions while selling. Seller and buyer types.
  3. Basic Sales Techniques: Persuading techniques, relationship and trust building, crystalizing and story telling
  4. Advanced Sales Techniques: The sales talks and its specific stages; focus on pitch, COWMAN, 3 Level Probing, FAB, Barrier handling (TPV) and Closing
  5. Introduction into sales management, people management, remote management: Sales funnel; KPI management; leadership and coaching skills; multi – cultural dimensions (focus on international standards)

International and ethical context:
The selling approaches and techniques are linked to international standards and cover internationally recognized and used strategies in the field. Within all subject domains ethical considerations will be outlined and discussed. Selling is not about manipulation but rather helping a consumer to take the right and best suitable buying decision.

Criteria for evaluation Scoring system: The assessment strategy follows an adaptive learning design including motivational strategies.

A total of 100 points can be achieved in this course.

Range of assessment methods:
The range of assessment methods for the points distribution consists of:

  1. Mandatory self-evaluation of group work and field task (not counted in points but amounts to field work assessment)
  2. Peer feedback (not counted as points but amounts to course participation assessment)
  3. Mandatory individual field work including reflection (max. 60 points)
  4. Individual assessment of course participation (max. 15 points - 3 for each class)
  5. Voluntary focus tasks after each session (max. 25 points - 5 for each class).

The assessment of each component follows a points system and the criteria for each task is specified: None of the tasks includes an exam and hence no multiple-choice questions. For the seminar paper students can choose between two field tasks related to sales skills or sales management including guiding questions.

Feedback culture:
Feedback for the assessed students' contributions include personal individual feedback in one – to – one conversation at the end of the course from the course leader to the students (voluntarily) as well as peer feedback after each group work in the course (mandatory). Guidelines for the peer feedback are provided in the course and follow ethical guidelines.

Voluntary and mandatory assessment:
After each session a focus task (out of class applied learning) will be presented including its evaluation criteria (in total 5 voluntary focus tasks). Students have one week to conduct the task. For each focus task a total of 10 extra motivation points can be achieved. In order to pass the course a minimum of one focus task is required in addition to the seminar paper (field work).

Synchronization of learning outcomes and assessments:

  • LO1: Group task / Course participation assessment
  • LO2: Group task / Course participation assessment
  • LO3: Group task + Role Play + Peer Feedback / Course participation assessment / Focus task
  • LO3: Group task + Role Play + Peer Feedback / Course participation assessment / Focus task
  • LO4: Individual task + Presentation + Peer Feedback / Course participation assessment
  • LO5: Individual task + Role Play + Peer Feedback / Course participation assessment / Focus task
  • LO5: Role Play + Peer Feedback / Course participation assessment / Field task / Mandatory self-evaluation
  • LO6: Individual task + Role Play + Peer Feedback / Course participation assessment / Focus task
  • LO7: Group task + Debate / Course participation assessment / Focus task

Ethical conduct:
The code of ethics for all tasks is outlined repeatedly in the course and consists of the so called “WALLD” principle:

  1. Work together
  2. Appreciate and respect each other (no phone in the course), no plagiatism
  3. Laugh together and Learn from each other
  4. Discuss together
Methods Pedagogical Approach

The course follows an application and problem based pedagogical approach:

  • Interactive
  • Adaptive, individualized
  • Group discussions
  • Analytical field work
  • Role-plays
  • Feedback

Didactical Approach

The course leader will use the latest technology and stretch on the usage of digital didactic tools. The content will be presented actively by the course leader as well as interactively as a team along with the students.
Aspects of

  • team teaching,
  • role-plays,
  • debates and
  • tools that enhance self-reflection and critical thinking will be used.

Motivation strategy:
Students will have a possibility to apply their knowledge after each course session in the field as motivational optional field tasks will be provided. Adaptive teaching approaches are applied by providing extra scoring opportunities for very ambitious students and by using emotional teaching approaches such as ARCS strategies (attention, relevance, confidence, satisfaction). Further, during asynchrony students will receive motivational quotes and additional reading material following the ABC approach: Always be in communication. Inclusion of students in decisions concerning the course difficulty level is secured through regular feedback collection.

Digital strategy:
Digital tools used include interactive computer supported group sessions such as the usage of digital presentations, the inclusion of an animated sales dashboard and the application of moodle along with digital platforms to ensure group interactions during asynchrony. Anonymous feedback from the students is regularly examined using short web-based surveys.

Language English
Study material Compulsory reading:
Kotler, Philip; Armstrong, Gary; Opresnik, Marc Oliver (2021): Principles of marketing. 18e, global edition. Harlow England: Pearson. (Chapter 16)
Kotler, Philip; Keller, Kevin Lane; Brady, Mairead; Goodman, Malcolm; Hansen, Torben (2019): Marketing management. 4th European edition. Harlow England: Pearson. (Chapter 11)

Supplementary Reading:
Cravens, David W.; Le Meunier‐FitzHugh, Kenneth; Piercy, Nigel F. (2011): The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales and Sales Management: Oxford University Press. (Chapter 15 and 18)
Goleman, Daniel (2011): HBR's 10 must reads on managing people. Featuring "Leadership that gets results" by Daniel Goleman. In: Harvard business review.

Academic articles:
Rejection Increases Aspiring Consumers' Desire for the Brand. In: J Consum Res 41 (3), S. 590–609. DOI: 10.1086/676980.
Flattery Actually Works: A Dual Attitudes Perspective. In: Journal of Marketing Research 47 (1), S. 122–133. DOI: 10.1509/jmkr.47.1.122.

Personal development:
Blanchard, Ken; Johnson, Spencer (2015): The new one-minute manager. First edition. New York: William Morrow.
Keller, Gary; Papasan, Jay (2019): The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.
Stephen, R. Covey (2004): The 7 habits of highly effective people. Powerful lessions in personal change. London: Simon & Schuster
Dale Carnegie (1998): How to win friends and influence people. New York: Pocket Books

Changing subject? No
Further information For quality assurance and improvement purposes, please participate in all JKU course evaluations and surveys!
On-site course
Maximum number of participants 25
Assignment procedure Assignment according to priority