"World Series of Sales" Happens This MonthMarch 13, 2003
The nation's only competition where business school students can match wits and sales skills moves from its traditional Baylor home to Kennesaw State University this month. Teams from 28 universities in the U.S. and Mexico are registered for The National Collegiate Sales Competition to be held Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29.
Co-hosted by the Coles College of Business at KSU & the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, the competition will take place at KSU's new Center for Professional Selling. Discretely placed video cameras will tape the students making one-on-one sales calls to volunteers. The judges and other competitors will watch the sales calls projected on a screen in a lecture hall.
The competition's founder, KSU sales professor Terry Loe, says it's like a scouting camp where large companies can find the best students. "I played in college baseball tournaments around the country, and was also involved in professional scouting camps," Loe says. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if schools held a competition to give business school students that same kind of experience.'"
KSU and Baylor are two of only five universities offering an undergraduate degree in sales. The mission of the universities' Centers for Professional Selling is to improve and enhance the profession of selling by promoting its image, integrity and character.
"Hands-on learning is important," says Dr. William Weeks, director of Baylor's center. "This competition is a great opportunity for students to actually put theory to practice."
The students will sell both a product and a service during the competition. Sales presentations for the product, Act! software by Interact Commerce, start Friday at 9 a.m. The second round features sales of the service, UPS delivery. The top three students go on to a championship round.
Sponsors and judges represent some of the largest companies in America, including UPS, IBM, Belo, Edward Jones, Kimberly-Clark, Liberty Mutual, ADP, Accenture, ELK, Abco Inc., UniFirst Corp and GlaxoSmithKline.
Fifty executives will participate. The event ends with an awards banquet Saturday night. The keynote speaker will be HomeBanc Executive Vice President Paul Lopez.
"This competition gives students the opportunity to compete using real world skills," says Coles College Dean Tim Mescon. "It also introduces them to businesses that could become their future employers."
In the past, three-quarters of the competitors have received job offers from sponsors. The judges say the competitors understanding of the sales process and willingness to pursue sales careers puts them well ahead of their peers.