Successful third edition of the Vlerick Sales Competition

Recently the third edition of the Vlerick Sales Competition took place at our Ghent campus. In total 16 Masters students participated in sales role plays that were judged by 25 sales executives from 9 sponsoring companies. The companies are not only involved as judges but also as buyers, participating actively in the role plays together with the students. The competition aims to stimulate a real life sales experience and teach the students how to successfully overcome potential challenges and close the sale. The competition is open to all Masters students who can participate on a voluntary basis.

For this year’s challenge students were asked to approach the fictitious company Vision, a Belgian SME, specialised in creating iPad based apps to be used by salespeople as a presentation tool to their customers. The rumour goes that Vision is looking around to change its current CRM system and students acting as sales representatives of Microsoft Dynamics CRM have to present their product to the CEO and CIO of Vision.

The craziest 48 hours ever

Winner of the competition was Masters in Marketing Management student Rebecca Van Den Houte. She will be representing Vlerick together with second in line Thomas Rotsaert at the National Collegiate Sales Competition in the US. However, for Rebecca the Vlerick competition had an additional perk.

Rebecca: “The Sales Club and the sales competition are amazing initiatives and great learning opportunities. But I must say, I never expected that the sales competition would have such great impact on my life. After the competition, a lot of companies came to congratulate me. And several of the judges asked if we could get in touch for a potential job. However, it has always been a dream of mine to work for an international FMCG company such as Unilever. The same evening I was absolutely thrilled when I was approached by the Sales Director of Unilever for an assessment centre the next day. And by 6 pm I was offered a management trainee position in customer development, which I accepted of course. It was the craziest 48 hours of my life so far! Thanks to the sales competition I can sign my first real contract. I’m also very much looking forward to going to the US together with Thomas to represent Vlerick in the international competition.

Companies value the initiative

All sponsoring companies present did not only bring their top sales executives but also a great deal of recruiters. Besides from Rebecca two other students were invited for a job interview at the Dublin based headquarters of Oracle during their international study trip to Ireland which is part of the Masters in Marketing programme.

It is clear that the sponsoring companies greatly value this sales initiative, with Oracle even flying in a representative from Dublin especially for the competition. Christopher O’Toole, Senior Business Development Manager Europe South at Oracle, finds it very important to contribute to improving the sales skills of our students: “All relationships involve two-way traffic. The more Oracle invests, especially in terms of time, in the development of Vlerick’s sales programmes, the better for Vlerick and its students and for Oracle. It’s a classic win-win situation.

Oracle considers Vlerick Business School as a marvellous source of top talent to swell the sales ranks of their ever-growing business. “Oracle seeks only the best talent. We were privileged to be invited to take part in the highly innovative Vlerick Sales competition. We do not see enough academic sales initiative. Oracle looks forward to building and developing this programme with Vlerick and other allies into the future,” says Christopher O’Toole.

He was also particularly impressed by the level of our students’ role plays: “I expected high standards from Vlerick having employed Vlerick alumni previously. However, I was pleasantly astounded by the allround excellence of the students. I would be delighted to consider any of them who aspire to a sales career for a role with Oracle.” It is clear that Oracle believes in partnering with the best schools to further mutual growth and development.

Learn all about the sales initiatives at Vlerick!

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