Bemidji State sales team ties for 29th in national competition in Georgia

BEMIDJI, Minn. (April 13, 2010) — Following its victory in regional competition last November, the Bemidji State University sales team finished in a tie for 29th place out of 61 teams at the 12th Annual National Collegiate Sales Challenge. The competition was hosted by Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., March 5-8.

The National Collegiate Sales Challenge, the world’s largest collegiate sales competition, pits sales students against one another in live one-on-one sales call challenges. Each sales call is broadcast to faculty and recruiters who evaluate each student’s performance.

Two students are invited to compete from each of the participating colleges and universities. Competitors make sales calls to fictional businesses with representatives of the challenge’s corporate sponsors playing the students’ prospects.  Goals for the calls range from getting a second appointment to making the sale. However, the focus is on the sales skills exhibited rather than the outcome of the call. Competitors sell a product in the 20-minute role-plays individually and are awarded as individuals, with the exception of team awards which are based on the combined cumulative scores of the two teammates.

The competition is a tournament-style format which includes a wildcard and elimination rounds for advancement. Contestants are evaluated on their approach and rapport, needs identification, presentation, handling of objections, closing and communication skills.

Bemidji State’s team consisted of Robyn McBrady, a senior in business administration and marketing communication from Hewitt, Minn., and Tony Hietalati, a senior in business administration from Aitkin, Minn.

Molly Krivarchka, a senior in marketing communication from Mayville, N.D., and Chris Nelson, a sophomore in business administration from Bemidji, were alternates.

McBrady was Bemidji State’s top individual finisher, advancing to the quarterfinals.

“One of the greatest values of these competitions is the wide variety of career doors that are opening for our students,” said David Heilig, assistant professor of business administration and coach of the Bemidji State sales team. “Our senior team members have been inundated with job opportunities and job interview requests.”

This was Bemidji State’s second trip to the national sales competition. BSU tied for 34th in its first appearance at the contest in 2009.

About the National Collegiate Sales Competition
Inaugurated in 1999, the National Collegiate Sales Competition is the largest and oldest sales role-play competition in existence. In the competition’s 11-year history, more than a thousand students and faculty have participated from schools in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Instituted for the purpose of enhancing the practice and professionalism of the sales profession, the competition features the top collegiate sales talent and sales faculty from the best university sales programs in North America. Students are provided a venue for sharpening their sales skills in a highly competitive environment and networking with their peers and sales faculty from across the country. In addition, the competition’s corporate sponsors have the opportunity to meet and interact with top collegiate prospects.