Program for Excellence in Selling Team Places in Top 10 at National Collegiate Sales Competition
Undergraduate sales students from the C. T. Bauer College of Business recently placed in the top 10 at the 2018 National Collegiate Sales Competition, continuing a longstanding tradition of recognition among the best in the United States for the college’s Program for Excellence in Selling.
Bauer College students Andrea Acosta-Rivera, Brianna Ferguson and Joseph Blount, along with alternate Kiana Alirezaei, claimed a top 10 team finish. This was the 18th year for the Program for Excellence in Selling (PES) to participate in the competition.
“PES helped me prepare by teaching me the basics and then giving me the opportunity to excel with those principles,” Blount said. “I was given a support network and challenged to grow and put myself in uncomfortable situations. From picking up the phone on my first cold call to meeting with senior level executives, I was taught to be confident and curious and to always strive for more.”
The competition, held in April at Kennesaw State University, drew participants representing 73 colleges. A panel of judges evaluated teams on several factors, including building rapport, uncovering buyer’s goals and challenges, and handling objections from the client.
“We prepared for the competition for four months. We did extensive research on the product and industry, broke down the roleplay into segments to learn each component, and did 15 roleplays weekly,” Ferguson said. “In addition, we met every Tuesday and Thursday in the Bauer sales video labs for three to four hours with our coach and other UH alumni that had gone through the competition.”
The opportunity to participate in a sales competition at this level was invaluable, Acosta-Rivera said.
“My NCSC experience has enriched my undergraduate career immensely,” she added. “I have learned the power of perseverance and complete dedication to one goal. I have a completely new understanding of how to work with a team in a way that is not only functional, but synergistic. I have learned to not only focus on my personal success, but also on helping others around me become the best that they can be.”
The Program for Excellence in Selling is part of Bauer College’s Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute. Students are admitted into the program after a rigorous admission process and gain hands-on experience in live selling and securing event sponsorships and institute partnerships.
For 18 years, students from the program have participated in the National Collegiate Sales Competition, taking home first place in 2004, 2011 and 2012 — the same year that Bauer students swept the competition by earning top honors as a time along with first and second place individual wins. This year, Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute Lecturers Grace Moceri and Craig McAndrews coached the students.
By Amanda Sebesta