Syllabus for MAR-310



Principles of Sales is a comprehensive introduction to the principles of selling and the role of the professional salesperson in the marketing process. The course covers the characteristics and skills necessary for success in sales; techniques for identifying sales prospects and quali­fying buyers; the importance of relationship building, product knowl­edge, and post sales service in long-term, consultative-style selling; territory and sales management; and selling in the global market.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the role of personal selling in the application of the marketing concept.
  2. Outline how personal selling skills can become assets in performing "knowledge work."
  3. Develop strategies for obtaining and sustaining relationships with customers, secondary decision makers, support staff, and relevant managers.
  4. Achieve versatility in selling through exhibiting flexibility in your communication style.
  5. Evaluate your sales behaviors in order to maintain high ethical standards.
  6. Analyze customer situations and problems in order to provide successful product or service-related solutions.
  7. Create value-added selling strategies that include dynamic product positioning and yield a competitive advantage.
  8. Differentiate among buyer attributes and behaviors that influence the consumer buying process.
  9. Develop prospecting and forecasting plans that provide a solid pool of current and potential customers.
  10. Design sales approaches that will result in convincing customers to buy.
  11. Diagnose specific customer concerns or problems and provide consultative selling.
  12. Select and customize tools and methods to create winning sales presentations.
  13. Apply negotiating skills in complex or challenging customer situations.
  14. Demonstrate successfully the sales closing.
  15. Create strategies for establishing mutually satisfactory long-term partnerships with customers.
  16. Demonstrate self-management practices that are essential in developing sales opportunities.
  17. Devise a set of guidelines for key approaches to successfully managing a sales force.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN: 978-0132109864


Principles of Sales is a three-credit, 12-week course divided into six modules.  For the chapters and pages you are to read in the textbook, please follow the "Course Calendar" in this syllabus. The "Course Calendar" will also give you the dates for submitting written assignments and scheduling your midterm examination. Modules include study materials and activities.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in five online discussion forums, complete ten written assignments, take a proctored online midterm examination and produce a final project in the form of a case analysis . The midterm exam contains multiple-choice questions, short essay questions, and full essay questions. It is closed-book and two hours long. See below for more details.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

In addition to posting an introduction to the class in Week 1, you are required to participate in five graded discussion forums, each focusing on a sales-related issue.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. Each assignment consists of two essay questions, some of which are multipart. Each response should be no more than four typed, double-spaced pages.

Answer each assignment question as completely as possible. These are critical thinking questions, but you must support your answers with facts from your reading and viewing materials. Do not merely copy your answers from your course materials. Formulate answers in your own words, paraphrasing or quoting the course materials as appropriate. Be sure to cite these references in an appropriate manner by using footnotes or endnotes. If you use outside sources to strengthen your answers, be sure to cite them also.

Before submitting your work, proofread it for correct spelling, grammar, complete sentences and paragraphs, and clarity of expression. Be sure to keep a copy of each assignment for yourself.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the Modules area of the course Web site, which is where the written assignments can be found. Read through the written assignment questions before you begin each lesson.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

When satisfied that your assignment represents your best work, submit it to your mentor.

Midterm Examination

Principles of Sales requires you to take a proctored online midterm examination which contains multiple-choice questions and short essay questions. The exam is closed-book and two hours long.  It covers all the material assigned in Modules 1–3.

For the midterm, you are required to use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS) (details at Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook at for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Final Project

You are required at the end of the semester to submit a case analysis that focuses on a challenging sales situation.  This case analysis will be a vehicle through which you demonstrate your ability to apply selling concepts in determining the role of such concepts in a realistic selling event.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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