EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Personal Selling and Sales Management


  1. Personal Selling and Sales Management (HBS materials)
  2. Siebel Systems: Anatomy of a Sale, Parts 1 & 2 (HBS materials) - Part 3 will be handed out in class

Case Summary

How does a $2 million software sale happen? This case traces efforts by Siebel Systems to sell lead management software to discount broker Quick & Reilly. The buying process is mapped out over four years. Covers in detail the last six months--from Siebel's initial involvement to a challenge from competitor Oracle to the climax. The structure of Quick & Reilly's buying center is mapped, as is the role of its parent, Fleet Bank. The fortunes of the sale rise and fall as the Siebel account manager faces one obstacle after another.

Discussion Questions

  1. Read Parts 1 & 2 of the case and answer the questions inserted in the text.
  2. What is the purpose of the Siebel Core Values? Why were they written, and how important do you think they are to employees in guiding their day-to-day activities?
  3. How would you characterize the Siebel selling process?
  4. Would you characterize Gregg Carman as a hunter or a farmer (see reading)? Is this the right kind of person for the sales problem presented in the case?
  5. Evaluate Cathy Ridley as a champion. What are her strengths and weaknesses as a champion?
  6. What do you see as potential ethical issues surrounding Cathy Ridley's trip to California?

SCPD Students

See the SCPD Resource Page for general information on assignment submission, team building, expectations, and getting help. See the SCPD Grading Page for evaluation procedures for daily written assignments.

Written work should be submitted using SCPD Homework Processing procedures.

All times listed below are PDT (California time).

  1. Complete the assigned readings and submit answers to the Discussion Questions in Writeup 1 (1 page) by 9am Thursday 5/24/2012.
  2. The videotaped class meeting should be available via SCPD by 2pm, Thursday 5/24/2012.
  3. Watch the video of the class meeting and meet with your team to discuss.
  4. Submit Writeup 2 (1-2 pages) by 9am Tuesday 5/29/2012. This writeup should include the following:
    • A summary of the main points of the class discussion
    • Any points from the discussion that you found particularly enlightening or disagreed with
    • A discussion of how your initial responses did or did not align with the direction of the class discussion
    • A revised go-forward strategy for Gregg Carman and Siebel Systems