Sales competition score improves ten spots from last year

By Jennifer Kang

In Baylor’s second year to participate in the National Team Selling Competition at Indiana University, two Baylor teams placed fourth and fifth out of 21 teams.

The competition is a way to prepare today’s sales students for the world of work as more companies are turning to a team- sell or team-consulting approach.

Baylor placed fourth and 15th last year.

Baylor was the only university out of 20 to have two teams compete at this competition.

The students that participated are all part of the Advanced Sales Class and are professional selling majors said Dr. Andrea Dixon, executive director of the Keller Center for Research and the Center for Professional Selling.

The 15 students in the class went through two role-play sales calls, which is a face-to-face meeting between a buyer and seller, to find the eight students that would participate and seven that would serve as student coaches.

“To prepare for the competition, the students first read, analyzed and presented sales call number one based on the 2010 sales competition materials,” Dixon said

“Then, they read, analyzed and presented sales call number two based on the 2011 sales competition materials. That role-play was with two executives from the McLane Company, and the three teams were judged by a panel of six executives and faculty.”

League City senior Colyn Squires, a member of the fifth place team, said the competition was a combination of a morning appointment, which showed how the teams worked as groups, and an afternoon appointment that showed students interacting with buyers.

“The morning appointment was a chance for us to figure out how we were going to prepare for the actual competition and see everything we did, which was taped. We reviewed it and compared it to other teams and saw what areas we were good at and what we needed to improve on,” Squires said.

“The afternoon appointment was for us to hammer out the details pertaining to social media, packaging and sampling for our company.”

JR Weaver, a Pleasanton, Calif., senior and captain of the fifth-place team said the 2011 competition case was about representing a company called Nature’s Junction and selling popcorn to 84 grocery stores.

“They had been out of popcorn for three weeks and the CEOs had decided that we would supply them with popcorn. Our job was to work out the details and get the contract signed,” Weaver said.

“This competition was about working with a team to achieve a common goal and working with a company to see how our solutions can meet their needs and more.”

Garland senior Andy Anderson, a member of the fourth place team, said this competition is a valuable experience for students in the professional selling program and teaches them how to work as a team.

“This competition allows you to network with professionals while you’re there. This competition gives you real-world experiences as far as interacting with clients in a sales role,” Anderson said.

“It gives you a great experience working as a team because it adds a whole new factor of selling. It makes it more difficult than individual sales.”

The competition took place Oct. 14.