Managing value-based selling
Most companies are in the middle of moving their business practices toward service-based exchange, proactive communication of customer business value, and networked value creation in close cooperation with other ecosystem participants. New skills are in great demand: Business management needs to update their mindset and capabilities to succeed in the transformation. Specifically, B2B selling and sales management need new capabilities, tools and processes to succeed in the new business environment.
The “Managing value-based selling” course focuses on contemporary B2B selling and sales management from an organizational perspective. The course views selling as a proactive business function that seeks to identify, communicate and agree on value creation opportunities by exploring and showing how suppliers could help their customers to reach their business goals.
The course content builds on a view that suppliers and customers integrate their capabilities and resources to create value. The task and goal of the sales function is to 1) identify value creation opportunities, 2) communicate the value creation opportunity to key stakeholders in the customer organisation, structure and agree on the roles, responsibilities and rules for the joint value creation, and finally agree on how the valued created is shared among the participants.
The influencing task of the sales function is described as an organised system of sales activities, which are supported by (digital) tools and sales skills. Central to the value-based selling is value proposition, which the sales function builds, communicates, and adapts during the buyer-seller interactions.
The proactive influencing by the sales function is organised into a framework of sales, key account management, sales opportunity management, and sales funnel management processes, which all link to the customer's buying and procurement processes.
The participants will learn how to plan, perform, and manage contemporary B2B sales. The course develops knowledge, skills, and tools to build an effective sales function, develop market-driven value propositions, and evaluate and coach sales quality. The course also teaches customer value (and value proposition), which lay the foundation for the business-to-business exchange. Further, the participants will learn about the changing role of sales as cross-disciplinary function in a networked (ecosystem-based) value creation.
The course teaching leveraged a versatile set of learning methods, outlined below:
- Online activities (Online pre-learning module, short introductory videos on the key concepts, quizzes to test learning)
- Article reviews (in-class activity, in groups of 3-4 students)
- Learning cases (visiting business guest speakers from sales consulting and professional services industries)
- Learning diary (1-page summary of a key topic in a pre-specified format)
- Course essay (group activity in groups of 2 - 4 students by reading and reviewing one the selected sales management business books)
- Online course exam in essay format.
For details & dates, see the the individual module descriptions. Please note that while the content and structure remain as described, there will some changes to module sequence and dates due to external case speakers. The course structure will be finalized by mid October.Scope 6 Cr
- Complete the activityThe course exam consists of 4 essay type of questions on the key themes: customer value, value proposition, the proactive sales process, the different processes included in the "big picture" of sales management, individual selling skills, and funnel and opportunity management,You answer 4 of the 6 questions by writing a short essay (half a page)You are allowed to have printed copies of the following articles in the exam:
1) "Value propositions in business markets", Harvard Business Review, Anderson et al (2006)
2) "Selling solutions by selling value" in book “Practices and Tools for Servitization” Töytäri (2018)
3) "Value-based selling: An organizational capability perspective", Industrial Marketing Management, Töytäri & Rajala (2015)
4) "Assessing value co-creation and value capture potential in services: a management framework", Benchmarking – An International Journal, Töytäri (2015)