New: Professional Sales Certificate executive education program

NIU Business is pleased to announce the launch of Executive Education classes, beginning with a professional sales certificate course. This certificate program will benefit individuals in a wide range of sales roles, from key account managers to sales leaders. (For more information visit, the academics page of the NIU College of Business website. To register, visit:

Course benefits range from small class sizes (10-15 participants), to learning proven techniques for being an effective salesperson, to understanding the latest sales metrics and data analysis tools to drive decision making in sales. The program includes eight modules, two hours each:

Module 1 – Contemporary Sales Methods and Methodologies
Participants are exposed to traditional philosophies of persuasion and contemporary models of selling. The importance of facts and power of stories (context) in moving others are discussed. Specific sales methodologies covered include SPIN Selling, the Challenger Sale and Conceptual Selling.

Module 2 – Selling More by Talking Less
The importance of communication with emphasis on active listening and effective questioning skills are discussed. Participants learn about advanced communication skills and strategies, how to lead through influence and how to navigate crucial conversations in the sales context. Participants role-play working to drive great sales conversations through the art of questioning.

Module 3 – Planning for Strategic Negotiations
In this module participants learn negotiation strategies including best practices of strategic negotiators. Participants learn how to prepare for difficult negotiations and how to organize and manage negotiation meetings with key internal and external partners.

Module 4 – Negotiating like a Pro
Participants apply negotiation strategies and tactics from pre-negotiation to an emphasis on collaborative and competitive styles of negotiating. Short negotiations take place allowing for practice and mastery.

Module 5 – Sales Metrics and Must-Haves
An introduction of sales metrics and the data analysis tools available to transform sales data into actionable sales-related decisions. Special focus on the latest technological tools available for sales representatives and sales managers are also discussed.

Module 6 – Making Data-driven Sales Decisions
Using a series of practical cases, we discuss and practice data analysis skills that a sales manager requires to optimize responsibilities such as performance management, sales force management and incentive compensation. The goal of this module is to enhance skill sets to build sales analytics capability in your sales department.

Module 7 – Managing your Time and Goals
Focus on creating personal brand statements with a special emphasis of personal ethics for sales managers. We also discuss the performance management process and establish SMART goals for class/application post class.

Module 8 – Leading to Maximize Performance
Learn the ins and outs of HR annual merit processes, how to evaluate sales representatives’ annual performance and how to develop rationale for annual salary increases on a limited budget. Experience delivering salary increase notification to sales representatives of varying performance levels.

posted by M. De Jean, Director of Marketing, NIU Business

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