Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI42X15: Effective Sales Force Leadership (ONLINE)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI42X15: Effective Sales Force Leadership (ONLINE)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • BUSI43L15: Effective Sales Force Leadership (Taught)


  • To engage in a critical analysis of sales force management strategies and their contribution to the customer-oriented organisation
  • To develop an understanding of, and ability to critically examine, strategies for building, managing and optimising returns from sales force resources
  • To equip students with the conceptual and practical skills needed to organise and lead a sales force to competitive success


  • The changing competitive environment
  • Theories of sales force management – structure, composition, resourcing, etc
  • Developing a customer orientation
  • Territory analysis and allocation models
  • Time-effort allocation models
  • Key account management
  • Characteristics of the effective sales representative
  • Characteristics of the effective sales force leader
  • Sales and negotiation skills
  • Performance management
  • Leading the sales force to competitive success

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • have a critical understanding of the nature, structure and operation of the sales function within a range of customer-oriented organisations;
  • have a grounded understanding of the key conceptual and practitioner perspectives on effective sales force leadership;
  • have a critical appreciation of the key drivers of sales success.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to examine and critically evaluate sales performance and trends;
  • be able to develop an appropriate sales force management plan;
  • be able to critically evaluate and reflect on personal sales, negotiation and leadership skills.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Planning, organising and time management skills
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • Advanced computer literacy skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered via online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflection through activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email and Skype).
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment, based on the development of a sales force management plan 4,000 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University