Masters of the trade

Vlerick students come 3rd in US Sales Competition

Two of Vlerick’s Marketing Management students, Wim Wauters and Jamie O’Gorman, have taken third prize in the Master’s edition of the National Collegiate Sales Competition in the US. The achievement is particularly notable as Wim and Jamie were the only non-US participants in the largest and oldest sales role-play competition in existence.

The competition was divided into three rounds:

  1. 20 minutes to establish the needs of the client;
  2. 40 minutes for the sales team to present their product and negotiate a price;
  3. follow-up of the sale.

Having previously won the Vlerick role-play competition set up by Professor Deva Rangarajan, Wim and Jamie were entered in the US competition confident that the experience would at least give them a chance to really put theory into practice. Jamie: “We had a good grounding from the classes at Vlerick, but the competition really brought that knowledge home. In the US, sales is much more developed as a profession. Seeing how the American sales guys operate and the passion they have for sales brings the field to life.” “And we got very detailed feedback on our performance,” adds Wim. “Even after the competition a judge came up to congratulate us and give us a few extra tips on how we could improve. The competition demonstrated that sales is about building a relationship and looking for the win-win solution.”

Centre for Excellence in Sales

The Centre for Excellence in Sales aims to further professionalise sales as a field of study as well as a career choice. It seeks to create knowledge by combining academic research and research for business, and then sharing this knowledge, for instance through its Sales Management Forum and Sales Club (online community).

The Sales Club organises a sales role-play competition during the Master's in Marketing Management programme. The winners are then entered in the National Collegiate Sales Competition in the US. The driving force behind these initiatives is Professor Deva Rangarajan. He represents Belgium in the Global Sales Science Institute, where he will submit a proposal for organising a European sales competition similar to that held in the US.

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