Twelve Haslam College of Business students took part in the college’s first professional sales competition earlier in the fall semester. Sponsors from Haslam’s Professional Sales Forum judged the competition and held an awards ceremony and mini-job fair directly following it.
The competition gave students experience with real sales situations and connected them with business professionals who helped them hone their skills.
Carter Greene, a senior studying marketing, was the competition’s overall winner.
“The Haslam sales competition was an extremely valuable experience because it provided us with practice in a simulated sales call environment and exposure to networking opportunities,” Greene said. “I gained greater confidence through this experience in determining the best strategies to uncover the needs of a company in a fixed timeframe.”
During the competition, students acting as sales representatives for Ryder sold supply chain solutions to mock buyers from E. & J. Gallo Winery who sought alternative distribution options for a new product line. Both companies are Professional Sales Forum sponsors and helped judge the event alongside several other sponsors.
“Of course, E. & J. Gallo is loyal to its current distributor relationships,” said Dan Flint, Regal Entertainment Group Professor of Business and the event’s faculty advisor. “But using real companies for the scenario provided a complex sales example that both students and our sponsor companies could learn from.”
Todd Skiles, senior vice president of sales for Ryder Supply Chain Solutions, spoke at the awards ceremony. Students were recognized for their performance overall, in each round and in key skill areas such as creativity, closing and handling objections. The top four students will represent Haslam at Florida State’s International Collegiate Sales Competition during the first week in November.
The full list of winners includes:
Overall 1st: Carter Greene
Overall 2nd: Madison Barton
Overall 3rd: Wiley Stidham
Best Round 1: Will Carter & Brett Dockery
Best Round 2: Carter Greene
Most Creative: Allison Dillard
Best Closer: Wiley Stidham
Best Needs Identification: Carter Greene
Best Handling of Objections: Madison Barton
Team Advancing to the Intercollegiate Sales Competition: Wiley Stidham, Madison Barton, Will Carter, Haley Anderson
The sales competition is part of a larger effort at Haslam to provide additional experience and training in professional sales for students. The Professional Sales Forum spearheads this effort. Plans for another sales competition in the spring as well as an industry-faculty engagement conference.