SECS-P/08 - 9 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff

Office: Dipartimento Economia e Impresa - Palazzo delle Scienze - Corso Italia, 55 Catania
Phone: +39(0)957537636
Office Hours: Martedì, h.12,00-14,00; Mercoledì: h. 12,00-13,00 (su appuntamento)

Learning Objectives

1. knowledge and understanding:

This course aims to provide the student with the theoretical and operational knowledge for the sales force development and the trade management from the point of view of the industrial enterprise. Specifically, the course deals with issues related to the distribution channels development, experiential shopping and the value creation for the consumer, customer/channel portfolio management, the trade marketing mix and in-store communication, sales force organization and management, negotionation techniques, the store/channel performance indexes.
Trade marketing is increasingly demanded by wholesalers, retailers and distributors, as it offers them a lot of tangible and intangible benefits. Moreover, producers need to extend brand management strategies at channel level and to market their products directly to the retailers, in order to protect their brands from the competitors. In the world of retailing, sales in digital channels require particular attention, given their significant growth in size, diffusion and turnover. Finally, the alignment of sales and trade marketing to profitability is another relevant issue of this course.The alignment of sales and trade marketing to profitability is another relevant issue of this course.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding:

The Trade and Sales management course aims at developing the student’s ability to formulate sales plans, organize commercial networks or selling on digital platforms in order to achieve the sales targets. In particular, the course encourages students' to apply analytical tools, concepts, methodologies and sales techniques in order to define successful sales programs, manage sales force and develop effective commercial relations at various levels and with regard to a range of activities. The approach is inductive. Basis on an examination of experiences, case studies and testimonials from experts, marketing managers, retailers, sales managers and business trainers, the students will be able to reconstruct the conceptual categories and apply them correctly to different business contexts, through the presentation of individual and team project works.

3. Making judgements:

Students will be able to:

4. Communication skills:

Students will be able to communicate ideas effectively in written and oral form, to use an appropriate technical language and to critically evaluate iusses related to the trade and sales management. These abilities are stimulated both by the interaction and open debat that will take place in the classroom and by the activities carried out outside the classroom, such as presentation of individual and team project work and 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 decisions related to the sales activities planning and to the trade and sales management. Learning capacities are stimulated during lessons through an active and participatory involvement of the students. Learning is gradual and is favoured by the use of experiences and examples, case studies, applied activities, in-class presentations and discussions with experts, marketing managers, sales managers, retailers and business trainers, an in depth knowledge of the teaching materials. Reports, individual and group assignments and project works further support the learning process and the understanding of the main issues related to the trade and channel management. Students will present and discuss case studies and project works developed in small work groups.

Course Structure

Teaching organization/methods: Lectures, Applied Activities, Case Studies, In-Class Presentations and Discussions with experts, marketing managers, sales managers, retailers and business trainers, Individual and Group Assignments, Final Exam (written test with open and semi-open questions and a project work).

Lesson Attendance: Highly recommended.

Pre- requisites: There are no formal prerequisites for the course; although some basic knowledge of Strategy and Business Management is expected.The course is organized into three sections (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.


Regularly attending students: Evaluation of the project work (50% of the final grade) and written test (50% of the final grade) at the end of the course, based on the program and on the individual/team project work. The written test is divided into questions with true / false, multiple and semi-open answers. Estimated time: 20 minutes. Vote expressed out of thirty. To pass the final exam, the project work and the written text must both be passed with at least 18/30.

Non-attending students: Evaluation is based on a written test divided into questions with true / false, multiple, semi-open and open answers. Estimated time: 40 minutes. Vote expressed out of thirty. The written test is adopted for each session. Reservation is required for each exam session. The written test is based on the contents discussed during the lessons, the book chapters and the supplementary teaching materials, as reported in the syllabus.

Detailed Course Content

The course of Trade and Sales Management addresses the issues of the trade marketing, sales plans and sales forces management. Specifically, on one hand, it deals with commercial and marketing relations between manufacturing and distribution companies, the definition of sales programs and the management of sales networks, even in the case of multi-channel and omnichannel retailing. On the other hand, it examines the sales activity in retail companies and the customer management relationship aiming at maximizing their store loyalty.
The course is organized into three sections (3 CFU each).
The first section examines the roles of the Trade Marketing Division and the importance of the physical and virtual store for the experiential shopping and the cusumer value creation. The second section deals with the topic of sales forces organization and management in terms of sales forces selection, sales people motivation, incentives and training activities, sales techniques and sales performance. The third section focuses on the Pillars of Trade Marketing, which are: Trade Marketing Strategy to design and size Customers/Channels portfolio, the store/channel performance indexes; the Trade Marketing Operations, which includes trade program development, sales & operational planning, category management; and the Trade Marketing Implementation, which includes account, territory & in-store communication programs to successfully capture value on the markets.

Textbook Information

  1. Ennis S., Risso M., Sansone M., Scafarto F., (2021), Retail marketing, Mc Graw-Hill Education (Italy), Milano, Ch.: 1, 2, 5, par. 6.13-6.16, 7, 8, 9 10, 13, Case studies.
  2. Sisti M.A., Guenzi P., Caiozzo P. (2020), Gestire le vendite. L'eccellenza nel sales management, Egea, Milano.

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

Additional teaching materials, ppt presentations, readings edited and/or suggested by the instructors are posted on STUDIUM ( and/or in the Library of the Department of Economics and Business. The teaching materials and ppt presentations used during the lessons are an integral part of the program for all the students.

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