Masters student Sebastiaan Debrouwere is the best sales talent in Europe

Two of our Masters students have proven to have a true talent for sales. Sebastiaan Debrouwere and Simon Ampe respectively won first and second prize at the 2016 European Sales Competition which took place in Helsinki. 24 students from 12 European universities participated in this annual B2B sales role-play. Winner Sebastiaan says: “I’m incredibly grateful to my professors for their confidence and for the skills they taught me. As a political scientist I never thought I'd be closing sales. And without Vlerick I probably never would have.”

During simulated sales meetings participants have to convince buyers from sponsoring companies of the added value of their product and try to close a good sales deal. This year competitors were selling ‘Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment’, a professional grade coaching tool that transforms heartbeat data into personalised insights on stress, exercise and sleep.

From left to right: Ares Hamid (Best Partner Opponent - Arnheim & Nijmegen University); Zahir Wanga (4th prize - Arnheim & Nijmegen University); Husain Al Waily (3rd prize - Windesheim University); Sebastiaan Debrouwere (1st prize – Vlerick Business School); Simon Ampe (2nd prize – Vlerick Business School)

According to Professor Frank Goedertier (Programme Director Masters in Marketing Management) the excellent result of our students demonstrates that the overall approach of 'learning by doing' in our Masters programmes is clearly successful. “In several modules of our Masters in Marketing Management students are presented with real-life business assignments they have to prepare and defend in front of a jury of business managers. During the course of these exercises they receive coaching by professionals and professors. We are very pleased to notice that this intensive training and preparation to tackle real-life business challenges clearly pays off - as the result of this competition illustrates."  

As the organising university changes every year, this year’s competition was co-organized by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and Turku University of Applied Sciences.
Competition Director Sini Jokiniemi (Turku University) says that a sales competition is a great way to highlight demanding B2B sales skills. “Through sales competitions universities have a great opportunity to develop sales teaching and raise the appreciation toward sales as an interesting and challenging profession.”
Fellow Director Pia Hautamäki (Haaga-Helia University) adds that the event exceeded the expectations of sponsoring companies. “The sponsors praised students’ B2B sales skills and claimed that the students were more talented than they expected”.

The European Sales Competition is open to universities in Europe and their students. The target of the competition is to raise the appreciation towards sales and make B2B sales skills visible. It also aims to bring sales courses to the curricula of European universities. The next edition will be organized in Edinburgh on June 1st, 2017.


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