Nov 7, 2012 3:54 PM by KATC
UL sales team members Ryan Robin (Finance major), Brittney Kuepferle (Marketing major), Fallon Bearb (Marketing major) and their coach Dr. Duleep Delpechitre (Marketing Assistant Professor) won the Team Championship at the 1st Annual International Collegiate Sales Competition hosted by Florida State University held October 19-21, 2012 . In addition to the first place team award, Robin and Kuepferle placed 2nd and 3rd Runners-up, respectively, and Bearb placed in the Sweet Sixteen in a field of 72 students from over 30 universities. Tom James Company, the Product Sponsor for the four-round competition, provided information and training materials for the participants and awarded each of the finalists with a Tom James suit.
The international competition is designed to help students compete on a world business stage. The first international stage at which the Team Champions will compete is in Paris, France in April, 2013, where they are being sent on an all expenses paid 10 day trip to participate in the International Collegiate Sales Competition - Europe hosted by the IESEG School of Management in Paris. When asked what participating in this competition meant for her personally, Bearb responded "Before this competition I wasn't sure where I was going or what career path I wanted to take. Now, I know exactly what I want to be doing and how to get there. It has opened so many doors and possibilities for me, whereas, before I felt I didn't have any. There's so much more to sales then most students are aware."
In Round 1 of the competition, the Wild Card round and the Final round, student participants had to sell in a business-to-consumer situation identifying the needs of a consumer relative to a tailor-made business suit and seeking to gain the client's business. Rounds 2 and 3 were more advanced and required students to engage in a business-to-business selling situation introducing both an international component and the use of technology in the form of a Skype video sales meeting. The role plays for this competition involved selling to Russians. In addition to needing to understand Russian business culture, students sold via Skype directly to a Russian buyer. With only one day's notice that they would be selling to a Russian buyer, UL students again used technology to their benefit teaching themselves how to open the sales call, introduce themselves, and close the call in Russian!
The competition is sponsored by companies such as ADP, the Capital Group, Cox Media, Frito Lay and several others who are seeking the top sales students for employment in their companies. "This competition has given me opportunities to network with various Fortune 500 companies, and now I have multiple interviews scheduled with companies located all across the country," explained Kuepferle. UL's team members not only left Florida with job offers from numerous companies, but many companies were lined up to request times when they can come to UL to recruit more of our sales students. When asked about his experience, Robin said "Participating in a competition like this enhances your ability to deal with pressure and people. [Before this competition] sales was never a career option of mine, but I realized the ability to speak with people confidently and comfortably would be beneficial to any career."
The UL students outperformed students from universities with large, prominent sales programs such as those at Baylor, Florida State University, Kennesaw State, Kansas State, University of Alabama, the University of Texas at Dallas, Duquesne and many more. While most of the sponsoring companies and competitors were not familiar with Lafayette or the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the university and its sales program are now on all their radars!
The UL sales team members captured the Team Championship last month at the 1st Annual International Collegiate Sales Competition at Florida State University. Pictured receiving their team award are Ryan Robin, Brittney Kuepferle, Dr. Duleep Delpechitre (Assistant Professor of Marketing and team coach), Pat Pallentino, Director of the FSU Sales Institute, and Fallon Bearb.