A group, comprised of two students and a professor from the Pamplin College of Business, won several awards stemming from the Russ Berrie Institute National Sales Challenge, which took place on Nov. 9-11, 2011.
The crew took home the first-place team award. And Kristina Kelly, a senior marketing and hospitality tourism management double major, won first place in the overall individual competition and second place in the speed-selling contest.
Kelly was the team leader. Her teammates, Dann Wells, a senior marketing and finance major, and Richard Buehrer, a marketing professor, were pleased with her performance.
“Kristina was really good in both,” Buehrer said. “Her overall scores were just off the chart.”
Kelly’s success came as a pleasant surprise, as she hadn’t heard of a sales competition such as this before signing up.
“I heard about the sales competition from professor Buehrer, who had mentioned it at the beginning of class one day,” Kelly said.
Students from 29 universities entered the competition, which was held at William Paterson University in New Jersey, to network with professionals from major companies and show off their adept skills in sales.
“They had to be able to get that buyers attention and then transition into the business reason for being there,” Buehrer said.
The team sold ADP software because ADP, a payroll services company, was its sponsor.
Kelly competed in two rounds.
“The first round, you go in and sell the ADP software for 15 minutes, and the entire goal is to get another meeting,” Kelly said.
“You have to do this within the 15-minute time period, and the phone would ring to let you know when the 15 minutes was over.”
Kelly also competed in the speed-selling competition, in which she won second place.
“You have to do a two-minute speed sell, which is similar to speed dating,” Kelly said. “You have six tables set up with people who are
actually recruiting for this competition.”
After the competition, Kelly and Wells capped off their successful weekend with a dinner cruise in New York City, which sponsors and other students attended.
The major companies that sponsored the competition funded the trip — reimbursing universities for their participants’ hotels, airfare and meals.
But Buehrer said their sponsorships are well worth the expenses.
“They get access to some of the top sales students in the country,” Buehrer said.
Buehrer is going to the National Collegiate Sales Competition on March 2-5 at Kennesaw State University.
“It gets the students involved in potentially a professional sales career down the line,” he said.