Anno accademico 2019/2020 - 3° anno
Docente: Sonia Caterina Giaccone
Crediti: 9
SSD: SECS-P/08 - Economia e Gestione delle Imprese
Organizzazione didattica: 225 ore d'impegno totale, 165 di studio individuale, 60 di lezione frontale

Obiettivi formativi

1. knowledge and understanding:

The student will acquire both theoretical and operational skills on firms’ strategic planning and management of business relationships. Specifically, the course deals with issues related to sales force management, salespeople motivation, incentives and training activities, trade marketing relations, sales management in retail firms, customer relationship management.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding:

The Trade and sales management course aims at developing the student’s ability to evaluate consciously and carefully the issues related to sales planning and management of commercial networks. It also leads students to master and use concepts, operational tools and methodologies learned in the classroom to identify winning strategic choices for the design and management of sales networks and for the development of commercial relations, at various levels, and with regard to a range of activities.

Specifically, the course aims to develop knowledge on the relationships in the distribution channel, on the issues of trade marketing, on competitive strategies and the marketing of commercial companies. In particular, how to formulate and manage sales programs and commercial relationships, how to size and manage the sales force in a local area, how to train and incentive the sales force, and how to evaluate sales performance. A focus is placed on retail firms, as to specifically examine their competitive strategies, store management choices, and customer relationship management strategies.

Case study analysis and the testimonies of local experts and entrepreneurs will complement the learning process in the classroom allowing a more effective learning of the issues addressed through the contact with concrete experiences of local actors

3. Making judgements:

Students will be able to assess and critically address the problems and implications related to the design and implementation of sales programs and the management of networks and sales staff.

4. Communication skills:

Students will be able to use an appropriate language and to transfer information and assessments related to the themes of the trade and sales management. This ability is stimulated both by the interaction that takes place in the classroom between the students and the teacher, through a critical and open debate on the issues addressed, and by the activities carried out in the classroom, such as presentation of individual work and group, also using multimedia tools.

5. Learning skills:

At the end of the cycle of lessons, the students will have learned specific knowledge and critical evaluation capacity that will allow them to update and increase their own skills in trade and sales management. They will also have acquired the ability to address critically the reading and understanding of both scientific articles and strategic business decisions related to the planning of sales activities and the management of networks and commercial relations. Learning capacities are stimulated during lessons through an active and participatory involvement of the students. Students will present and discuss case studies and project works developed in small work groups, but also through the interaction and a constructive dialogue with the local players invited to participate in the classroom to tell their experience and activities in the field of trade and sales management.

Modalità di svolgimento dell'insegnamento

The course of Trade and Sales Management deals with the main conceptual categories related to the topic of sales. Specifically, on the one hand, it explores the activity of sales in retail companies and the choices to manage the relationship with customers, aiming at their loyalty; on the other, it deals with commercial and marketing relations between manufacturing and distribution companies, the definition of sales programs and the management of sales networks.

The course is organized into three modules (3 CFU each) and aims to develop in students the necessary knowledge to manage, at a strategic and operational level, the issues related to the topics covered in the course.

The course bases on an active participation of the students and a constant interaction between students and teacher. The teaching includes lessons on the topics included in the program, but also testimonials by professionals operating in the territory within institutions or firms. Moreover, students may be asked to carry out in-depth study on some of the topics covered in class, through the analysis and discussion of case studies, as well as through group work.

Basic knowledge of Economics and business management is required.

Lesson attendance is highly recommended

Prerequisiti richiesti

Basic knowledge of management

Frequenza lezioni

Highly recommended

Contenuti del corso

The first module examines the evolution of the commercial sector and the distribution forms, but also the competitive strategies and marketing of retail businesses, emphasizing the importance of the store both as a sales context and as a place to build the relationship with customers.

The second module focuses in particular on the design and sizing of the commercial action on the territory, on the construction and management of sales networks, on the roles and key competences to successfully manage commercial relations and capture value on the markets.

The third module deals with the topic of human resources management, and specifically examines the selection, training and incentive processes of sales personnel. Moreover, through interactive methodologies, the importance of leadership is highlighted in order to lead the teams to success, highlighting the centrality of human relationships in the commercial network and with the final customer, to obtain satisfactory sales performances.

Testi di riferimento

  1. Levy M., Weitz B.A., Grewal D. (2019), Retailing management, Mc Graw-Hill Education, New York, chapters: 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16.

  2. Spiro R.L., Rich G.A., Stanton W.J. (2008), Management of sales force, McGraw-Hill International Edition, New York, chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16.

  3. Supplementary teaching materials used during the course (slides, case studies, book chapters, scientific articles and other readings).

The teaching materials used during the lessons, which are an integral part of the program for all students can be found in the library of the Department of Economics and Business.

The slides used during the lessons will also be available to students on STUDIUM.

Programmazione del corso

 ArgomentiRiferimenti testi
1Introduction to the course of Trade and sales managementslides 
2Evolution of retailing and types of retailersLevy et al., chapter 2, slides  
3Multichannel and omnichannel retailing Levy et al., chapter 3, slides  
4Distribution choices of new firmsSlides 
5Retail market strategyLevy et al., chapter 5, slides  
6Retail locationsLevy et al., chapter 7, slides  
7Buying merchandise and price choices Levy et al., chapter 12, slides  
8Store layout, design and visual merchandisingLevy et al., chapter 16, slides 
9Store layout, design and visual merchandisingLevy et al., chapter 16, slides 
10Interpersonal communication between seller and customer: a psychologic approachslides 
11Retail communication mixLevy et al., chapter 14, slides  
12New technologies in retailingSlides-teaching materials 
13Customer relationship management: the role of loyalty programs and customer profilingLevy et al., chapter 10, slides  
14Customer relationship management: the role of loyalty programs and customer profilingLevy et al., chapter 10, slides  
15Sales force managementSpiro et al., chapters 1 and 2, slides 
16The personal selling processSpiro et al., chapter 3, slides 
17Examples of successful sellers Slides 
18Sales force organizationSpiro et al., chapter 4, slides 
19Profiling and recruiting sales peopleSpiro et al., chapter 5, slides  
20Selecting and hiring sales peopleSpiro et al., chapter 6, slides  
21Motivating sales peopleSpiro et al., chapter 8, slides 
22Sales force compensation Spiro et al., chapters 9, slides 
23Leadership of a sales forceSpiro et al., chapter 11, slides 
24The strategic role of sales people coachingSlides 
25The strategic role of sales people coachingSlides 
26Sales territoriesSpiro et al., chapter 13, slides 
27Sales network building in a local areaSlides 
28Successful experiences of sales networks managementSlides 
29Evaluating a salesperson’s performanceSpiro et al., chapter 16, slides 
30Evaluating a salesperson’s performanceSpiro et al., chapter 16, slides 

Verifica dell'apprendimento

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento


In the ordinary sessions, the exam takes place through a written test, consisting of a short essay on one of the topics of the program and/or a multiple-choice test, and a subsequent oral exam, for students who have sufficiently done the first test.


During the lesson period, structured assessment tests can be carried out in the classroom as open questions or as a case study analysis. Students will also be asked to carry out group works to be delivered at the end of the course. Verification tests and group work will contribute to the final assessment of the preparation; thus, students who wish to attend and participate in the final learning check are strongly encouraged to study regularly during the lesson period.



Students who have regularly and actively attended the course, participating in the verification tests and carrying out the activities proposed by the teacher, are admitted to the final test that takes place at the end of the course, and which may consist of a multiple choice test and / or open questions.

Esempi di domande e/o esercizi frequenti

The strategic role of visual merchandising

Main issues in designing a sales network

Sales force compensation and ncentive mechanisms