Paul & Elisabeth Merage Foundation | Andre & Katherine Merage Foundation


M Michael Swenson

M Michael Swenson

Ford Professor of Marketing

Marriott School, Brigham Young University

Class Overview

Strategic Account Management—Sales
Strategic account management (sales) is the process of finding, developing, and managing customer accounts for the firm. Strategic account management is often the most important promotion tool used in business-to-business markets. We will focus on the determinants of salesperson performance and on the sales force management skills that promote higher performance. To facilitate our learning, we will use readings, cases, and group discussions.

Monday, October 26


Why sales

  • Understanding the complexity of the buying center
  • Learning from your best customers
  • Determining the factors of salesperson performance
  • StepSmart Fitness (Case)
  • What are the problems in StepSmart’s New England district?
  • Which salespeople are not performing, as they should?
  • Is the sales force organized and deployed properly?
  • What should Cooper do, as he takes over the district, to address these problems?


Developing salesperson skill

Increasing performance by leveraging role and process
I’ve Got Rhythm: Selling Cardiac Rhythm Management Devices (Case)

  • Consider the four options Jim Clemens identified to make the sales force more productive. Which option do you recommend? Why?

Tuesday, October 27


Organizing the selling effort

Global Source Healthcare: Allocating Sales Resources (Case)

  • Has Global Source’s sales strategy been effective? Would you recommend any changes to the sales strategy?
  • Evaluate the options available to Global Source to allocate its sales resources.
  • What course of action would you recommend? How would you implement it?

Recruiting, selecting, training, and coaching the sales force
Motivating the sales force



  1. "Drivers of Sales Performance: A Contemporary Meta-Analysis," by Willem Verbeke, Bart Dietz, and Ernst Verwaal, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39:407-428.
  2. "What Entrepreneurs Get Wrong," Harvard Business Review, May 2013.
  3. "Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works," Harvard Business Review, July-August 2012
  4. "Ferguson's Formula," Harvard Business Review, October 2013.


  1. StepSmart Fitness, Harvard Business School Case 9-914-509.
  2. I’ve Got Rhythm: Selling Cardiac Rhythm Management Devices, Harvard Business School Case 9-304-012.
  3. Global Source Healthcare: Allocating Sales Resources, Ivey School of Business Case 805A21

Optional Readings

  1. Insight Selling, by Mike Schultz and John E. Doerr, Wiley.
  2. The Challenger Sale, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, Portfolio/Penguin