Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sales competition sharpens skills, helps employers identify top talent

The Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation will conduct their Third Annual Invitational Sales Competition on March 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Huntington Sales Lab, Room 4200 in the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement.

It’s an event which is as exciting and rewarding for the sales professionals who serve as mentors and judges as it is for participating professional sales students.

“ESSPS is very engaged with the business community, as is the entire UT College of Business and Innovation,” noted Dr. Ellen Pullins, ESSPS director. “Company recruiters, who serve as coaches, judges and buyers in the role play sessions, are also interested in obtaining the best sales talent for their organizations.  We are here to help them achieve their goals while preparing our students for great success in the field of professional sales.”

“The Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales is consistently recognized as one of the top professional sales programs in the United States,” Pullins said. “Our students are always in high demand and are being successfully placed. In fact, our career placement rate is approaching 100%, which is a particularly significant achievement given recent economic conditions.  In the past, 70% of the students in this competition received job offers following the event from the attending firms. ”

 “The ESSPS Invitational Sales Competition is a tremendous event,” said Kevin Donahue, District Manager, The Sherwin-Williams Company. “The organization and attention to detail made it great for both the sales students and for the participating companies.”  

The senior division of this Sales Competition is open to students who have successfully completed their basic sales class and who have not accepted a job offer.  All other professional sales students, freshmen through juniors, who are also available for internships are eligible for the junior division of the competition.  The professional sales faculty team reviews the applicants and selects the top 36 based on demonstrated conceptual selling skills, academic performance, professionalism, and career placement status. 

A study by the Sales Education Foundation (SEF) reported that firms are deliberately seeking out professional sales students because they “ramp up 50% faster” than non-sales-educated peers, experience less turnover, and actually save money for employers.

Pullins explained that among the benefits provided within professional sales education are the use of role playing and simulations which offer hands-on training; internships which build competence and confidence; and a faculty with sales experience providing knowledgeable guidance.

There are 50 corporate recruiters attending the Sales Competition from 30 companies. Corporate spots at this competition were ‘sold out’ in December with no advertising and there was even  a waiting list of companies hoping to participate. Among the companies participating are 3M, Cleveland Cavaliers, Hilti, Huntington Bank, MassMutual, Northwestern Mutual, Shrader Tire and Oil, SSOE,  The Sherwin Williams Company, TEK Systems, Tenneco, ThermaTru,  and Verizon Wireless.


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