Anno accademico 2018/2019 - 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:

he 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 the management of relations with the trade, the formulation and implementation of sales management programs, training activities, motivation and incentives for salespeople, the management of sales activities in retail firms and the relationship with final customers.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding:

the Trade and sales management course aims at developing the student’s ability to critically evaluate the issues related to sales planning and management of commercial networks. It also leads him 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 economic sectors.

Specifically, the course aims to develop knowledge on the relationships in the distribution channel which lead to value creation, on the issues of trade marketing, on competitive strategies and the marketing of commercial companies. In particular, a focus is placed on retail firms, as to specifically examine 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.

The learning process in the classroom will be enriched by some case study analysis and by the testimonies of local experts and entrepreneurs that will allow 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 critically address 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. This learning capacity is stimulated, during the lessons, through an active and participatory involvement of the students, who will present and discuss case-studies and project work realized 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 is based on an active participation of the students and a constant interaction between students and teacher. it is structured through lectures on the topics included in the program, but it is enriched by classroom testimonials by professionals operating in the territory within institutions or firms. In-depth studies are also planned through the analysis and discussion in the classroom of case studies, as well as through group work.

Prerequisiti richiesti

Basic knowledge of Economics and business management.

Frequenza lezioni

Highly recommended

Contenuti del corso

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 divided into three modules (from 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 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 the customer .

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 the use of interactive methodologies, the importance of leadership is highlighted 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. 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, 7, 8, 9, 10 (from pag. 284 to pag. 295), 11 (from page 316 to pag. 331), 12, 16.
  2. Grandi S., Fornari E. (2012), Marketing channels trends, Egea, Milano, chapters: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  3. Handouts and teaching materials used during the course (slides, case studies, book chapters and other readings).

Programmazione del corso

 ArgomentiRiferimenti testi
1Introduction to the course of Trade and sales managementSlides 
2New factors in channel relationshipsGrandi, Fornari, chapter 1, slides  
3Evolution of distribution forms and services Slides 
4Distribution choices of new firmsSlides 
5Strategic positioning, target market and location of the storeSlides 
6Store design and innovation in retail process: immersive store designHandouts, chapters 1 and 2, slides 
7 Store design and atmosphere: some examples Slides 
8Visual merchandising and the changing face of retailHandouts, chapter 3, slides 
9Visual merchandising: window displayHandouts, chapter 4, slides 
10Interpersonal communication between seller and customer: a psychologic approachSlides 
11Vertical competition within the channel and the role of private labelsGrandi, Fornari, chapter 3, slides 
12The discontinuities of promotional policiesGrandi, Fornari, chapter 4, slides Slides 
13 The strategic role of loyalty programs and customer profilingGrandi, Fornari, chapter 5, slides  
14Organizational interface structures: evolution of buyer-seller relationshipHandouts, chapter 6, slides 
15Sales force managementSpiro et al., chapters 1 and 2, slides 
16The personal selling processSpiro et al., chapter 3, slides 
17Examples of successful relationships between sellers and customersSlides 
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  
21Developing, delivering, and reinforcing a sales training programSpiro et al., chapter 7, slides  
22Motivating sales peopleSpiro et al., chapter 8, slides 
23Sales force compesation and quotasSpiro et al., chapters 9 and 10, slides  
24Leadership of a sales forceSpiro et al., chapter 11, slides 
25The strategic role of sales people coachingSlides 
26The strategic role of sales people coachingSlides 
27Sales forecasting and development of budgetsSpiro et al., chapter 12, slides 
28Sales network building in a local areaSlides 
29Successful experiences of sales networks managementSlides 
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 a subsequent oral interview, for students who have sufficiently done the first test.


During the course, 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 work to be delivered at the end of the course. Verification tests and group work will contribute to the final assessment of the preparation, so students who wish to attend and participate in the final exam are strongly encouraged to study regularly during the lessons.



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 the design of sales networks

Sales force compensation and Incentive mechanisms