UW-Eau Claire professor co-authors sales textbook

David Taintor

For the first time in 15 years, the students of marketing professor Robert Erffmeyer’s Sales Management class are learning from a textbook not previously on the market. More than that, they are learning from a textbook co-authored by their own professor.

The textbook, “Sales Marketing: Shaping Future Leaders” was released in November and was co-authored by Director of MBA and Distance Learning, Robert Erffmeyer, John Tanner Jr. (Baylor University, Texas), and Earl Honeycutt (Elon University, North Carolina).

Publishers who had read his past research and were interested in having him contribute to the textbook, contacted Erffmeyer about three years ago. The textbook is the first new book published on the subject in about 15 years. All others were revised versions.

“They were stale . . . they lacked an infusion of technology and a fresh perspective of what the market really is,” Erffmeyer said of the previous texts.

There was an agreement between the publishers and the authors that a new text was much needed. The preface of the book describes the content as “how firms manage their selling functions has changed tremendously over the past 20 years.” This is one change Erffmeyer said he feels was ignored by older texts.

After accepting the publisher’s offer, Erffmeyer went through a process of writing auditions, which, he explained, were 10 to 15 page take-home essay exams. After a few rounds of auditioning, the publishers at Prentice Hall narrowed the possible authors down to three.

Erffmeyer said he was somewhat familiar with his co-authors and that he feels their contributions complimented each other well. Erffmeyer said his chapters in the text deal mainly with human resources, while the others focused on technology and international issues.

The textbook is being used as the primary text in his Sales Management course and although he hasn’t heard any complaints from his students, Erffmeyer said “. . . they know who wrote the book.”

Senior Claire McGahan, a student in Erffmeyer’s class, said having the author of her textbook teaching her the material in it “. . . helps, obviously, with credibility. He knows what he’s talking about, he really knows the book.” She stated that because he is so familiar with the text, lectures always coincide with the text.

Although McGahan said Erffmeyer is humble about his achievement, which he talks about, but never boasts about, his students like to have fun with him about it. She added some have even asked Erffmeyer for his autograph.

Because the book has been on the market for only a few months, it is still too soon to tell if it will be a popular text. Erffmeyer said the time to judge its popularity will likely be next spring, although he is aware of some major sales to a few universities.