National Collegiate Sales Competition

This past weekend I traveled to Kennesaw State University, just outside Atlanta, to participate in the National Collegiate Sales Competition. The competition is in its 15th year and is attended by approximately 60 universities, each bringing two competitors. Sixty corporate sponsors sign up to have exclusive access to the students who attend, with the hope that they will find a few candidates to join their organization. 
Each student is given the same case study, has a short time to prepare, and then meets their potential customer in a one-on-one role play sales meeting. There are five judges, a mix of academic and industry participants, who grade the students on everything from their appearance, approach, presentation, and their ability to close the sale. Similar to the NCAA basketball tournament, the best students move on and an eventual champion rises to the top. A hiring executive from Verizon stated, "I think that the role play is a real life scenario. Giving the students real rebuttals, real questions and real situations lets us as employers get insight on how they would behave and act and close the sale, and what that looks like to them in a genuine atmosphere."  
Weber State was well represented this year at the competition with one of our students making the quarterfinals.  
Behind the scenes at the competition students are interviewing with the corporate sponsors who are in a frenzy to find the best and brightest. Research has shown that organizations recruiting students from university sales programs lowers turnover rates by 30 percent and increases ramp-up time by 50 percent (H.R. Chally). Anyone hiring sales professionals will recognize that these figures are impressive. The list of corporate sponsors in attendance continues to grow each year as they've recognized the benefit to their organizations.  
Weber State has the longest standing sales program of any of the schools that attend and graduate the most professional sales students each year. While many graduating students find difficulty in entering their field of study, professional sales students always have a number of offers to consider.  Students leave the program with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to drive sales results for their future employers. 
Any employer in our area that is hiring sales professionals should consider how they can benefit from the talent within the WSU Professional Sales Department. The Sales Center has been created with this very purpose; connect industry with students ready to enter the workforce. Within select courses, your product or service can be role played, you can present your organization and discuss your sales methodology. Additionally, there are a number of opportunities to have one-on-one interviews where you can identify the best and brightest that may fit your organization.   
We are fortunate that we don't have to travel far to find a best in class resource for our sales needs.  Take the time to learn more today on how you can partner with us at the Sales Center and find great talent for your organization.  

Originally written by Aaron Hall for The Standard Examiner