Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level





Paul Williams

Committee Member

David Robinson


Sales training, utility aircraft, organization, utility aircraft industry


The study analyzed the manner in which the five leading utility aircraft companies conducted their sales training activities, the reasons for their methods of sales training, and the problems encountered in their sales training program. Sales training, as defined in this paper, refers to an organized attempt by the management of a business organization—in this instance a utility aircraft manufacturer—to advise, assist, prepare, discipline, teach, and educate the organization’s selling personnel at all levels so that better results—greater sales with less effort at lower costs—can be attained. Sales training in the general aviation industry appears to be important for three reasons: (1) the shift from a physical production orientation to a marketing orientation, (2) the changing attitude toward professionalism in selling, and (3) the growth potential which lies within the industry. It appears that the early development of sales training was adversely affected by the production orientation and when initial programs were prepared marketing goals were not clear. The changing attitude toward the sales function appears to have permeated this industry causing increased considerations of sales training. This training, a method of non-price competition, also provides a base for the exploitation of the growth potential which lies within the industry. The general development of all marketing within the industry is discussed so that the significance of sales training can be observed. Actual attendance in sales training programs was used to gather specific information from the five leading manufacturing firms who produced about 98 per cent of the unit and dollar volume within this industry, No attempt was made to investigate the supplementary training per* formed by the distributors and dealers in the channel of distribution.

Six predictions concerning sales training within this industry can be made:

1. Staff positions for sales training will be increased.

2. Continuous training will receive greater emphasis.

3. Programs will become more decentralised.

4. Visual aids and programed techniques will be used more extensively.

5. Distributing organizations will become more selling oriented.

6. Future training will be directed more toward distributors than dealers.

The eight conclusions of the paper are summarized in the following statements: (1) salesmen accept training only when they fully understand the benefits; (2) firms will tend to upgrade the selling profession; (3) companies should attempt to adhere more closely to the basic fundamentals of the selling process; (4) sales training, like all education, should be based upon th© laws of learning; (5) greater expenditures on sales training seem mandatory; (6) additional training is needed at the sales management level; (7) formal training schools will find it necessary to adhere to a strict time and subject schedule; and (8) evaluation of sales training is imperative.