Vlerick students win third prize in largest sales competition in the US

Our Masters in Marketing Management student team of Rebecca Van Den Houte and Thomas Rotsaert have placed third in the Negotiation Round of the National Collegiate Sales Competition in the US. It’s the second year in a row that Vlerick students do very well in the largest and oldest sales role-play competition in existence. This year 67 universities participated in total. Last year’s winners were Wim Wauters and Jamie O’Gorman.

Deva Rangarajan, professor of sales at Vlerick Business School, is thrilled with this result: "For the second year in a row, our Masters students have secured the third prize in the Negotiation round of the National Collegiate Sales Competition. To win this award, the students had to go up against older, more experienced, very well trained, native English speakers and with very limited time to prepare, given the full schedule of our students. This award again, signals to the outside world that Vlerick Business School is slowly, but steadily gaining a reputation as the only business school in Belgium where professional selling is being taught. With the European Sales Competition all set to begin in 2015, where Vlerick is one of the founding institutions, it is only a matter of time before sales education gets the credit and the attention that is due".

Having previously become first and second in the Vlerick role-play competition set up in February by professor Deva Rangarajan, Rebecca and Thomas entered this international competition with great confidence. Thomas Rotsaert: “I feel honoured that I was selected to represent Vlerick in the US amongst those top universities. It was also a lot of pressure, but that’s what drives you to outperform the competition and achieve a good result, which we did.

Vlerick Sales Competition is boost for career

Thanks to the Vlerick sales competition both of them have already secured a job. After Rebecca had already closed a deal with Unilever, now Thomas as well has signed a contract with P&G. “Before the sales competition, I had already taken some of the steps in their selection procedure, but the fact that the Sales Director of P&G was part of the jury was an extra opportunity for me to convince P&G of my talent. Two weeks after the sales competition I got an e-mail from P&G Western Europe offering me a position as Account Manager in the Customer Business Development Department! I start on September 1 and I’m really looking forward to it. I always wanted to work in the fast moving consumer goods and at P&G you already get a lot of responsibilities from day one, and you have the opportunity to grow.”

Thomas has some valuable advice for prospective students interested in sales: “Both the Vlerick Sales Competition as well as the Vlerick Sales Club are unique initiatives. In Europe there is barely an offer of sales education. At Vlerick you learn all the skills you will need in a future sales job such as how to handle a sales call, how to deal with objectives and how to close a deal. Furthermore, being able to mention your participation to both initiatives on your CV is definitely an important asset compared to other applicants. It’s an excellent way of distinguishing yourself from the competition.

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