Executive Education

Strategic Sales Management - New!

The culture of sales is changing. One thing hasn't: For an organization that relies on its sales force to succeed, it is essential that leaders develop strategies to utilize this resource to attract and develop lasting relationships with customers. Strategic Sales Management helps those leaders master the concepts crucial to victory in the contemporary marketplace, including motivating the sales force, instituting best-practice selling behaviors, tracking performance and, ultimately, embracing the new sales model.

Program Overview

Strategic Sales Management is designed to help executives transform their sales organizations into strategic assets that provide sustainable, long-term growth. Participants will gain a clear understanding of how to align sales activities with the strategic goals of the firm, learn how to manage the tension that exists between marketing and sales, gain a greater appreciation of the need for an integrative approach to linking one's go-to-market strategy with the overall organizational strategy, and master the importance of developing comprehensive sales strategies.


The course is designed for sales leaders, executives who support the sales function, and executives who rely on the sales function to meet profit and revenue goals.

Sample Participant Titles:

  • General Manager
  • Vice President/Director of Sales
  • National Sales Manager
  • Vice President of Sales Operations
  • Vice President/Director of Marketing

Those managing sales processes for products or services will also find the course applicable and valuable, including:

  • Executives with the need to better understand alignment strategy in the context of their firms' channel and go-to-market strategies.
  • Those in critical roles who desire to further understand their organizations' sales functions and how they fit within the companies' overall strategies.
  • Presidents of smaller businesses.
  • Staff directly responsible for providing support and technical services for a firm's selling efforts.



Michael Ahearne

Bauer Professor of Marketing and Executive Director of the Sales Excellence Institute - University of Houston
Ahearne is a world-renowned authority in the area of B2B sales force research. He heads the Sales Excellence Institute, a leader in sales education and research. His book, Selling Today: Partnering to Create Customer Value, is the highest grossing professional selling text in the world, with copies distributed in more than 40 countries. He worked for Eli Lilly and Co. in sales operations/market research and pitched for the Montreal Expos in a previous life.

University of Houston Faculty Bio Page


Neil Rackham

Rackham has built a strong international reputation in the global business community as a speaker, writer and seminal thinker on sales force effectiveness. Three of his books have appeared on The New York Times best-seller list, and his works are translated into more than 50 languages. His classic book SPIN Selling is widely credited with starting the consultative selling movement. He has been chair and CEO of three international research and consulting firms, including Huthwaite, which he founded. He is visiting professor at three universities, and his present research looks at the integration of sales and marketing and at emerging issues in large complex sales.


Robert E. Spekman

Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration
An internationally recognized authority on B2B marketing, supply chain management and strategic alliances, Spekman has published extensively in these areas, including seven books and numerous articles and case studies. In addition to teaching for nearly 40 years, he has consulted for many businesses on marketing topics, with an express interest in "messy" problems that cross business functions.

Faculty Bio Page


Thomas J. Steenburgh

John L. Colley Research Associate Professor of Business Administration
An expert in B2B marketing and sales, Steenburgh came to Darden in 2012 from Harvard Business School, where he chaired the B2B Marketing Strategy executive education program. His cases are used in business schools worldwide, and his research addresses questions that help managers measure the effectiveness of their sales and marketing strategies. He previously worked in marketing and operations at the Xerox Corporation.

Faculty Bio Page


Key Takeaways

  • Become a more effective general manager/executive through an enhanced comprehension of the relationships among strategy, sales management systems, performance metrics, and selling behaviors.
  • Gain a deepened knowledge of sales management systems designed to support sales managers.
  • Integrate Customer Value Proposition (CVP) - as a central business skill and competitive advantage - into strategies.
  • Realize sales activities as one element in an integrated go-to-market strategy and a broader corporate strategy.
  • Recognize the challenges and opportunities inherent in building a responsive and customer-focused organization.
  • Enhance understanding of the effect that technology has on sales strategy.
  • Improve performance by clarifying the roles played by marketing and sales in implementing marketing strategies.


  • Aligning Sales Strategies With Corporate Revenue Targets
  • Developing Profitable Customer Relationships
  • Strategic Account Management
  • Designing Solutions for Enterprise Customers
  • Motivating the Sales Force
  • Understanding the Major Accounts Buying Process
  • Developing Metrics and Tracking Sales Performance
  • Pipeline Management
  • Integrating Sales and Marketing


Program activities include:

  • Case discussions
  • Simulations
  • Workshop activities and exercises
  • Opportunity for one-on-one interaction with and feedback from top-ranked faculty who are experts in the field
  • Time for individual reflection/development of a personal action plan - so that knowledge learned is immediately related to individual roles, functions and companies

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  • Course Information

    20-23 April 2015

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    $4,900 includes tuition and course materials.

    Leaders who support or rely on the sales function

    Gain one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization

    Washington, D.C.

    Additional Information:
    +1-434-924-3000 or contact the program director.