Sales students face the real world

Students of the Advanced Profesional Selling Course from the college of business participate in the “Bayou Sales Challenge” at Nicholls State University on Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2. Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion’s Roar

The winners and runner-ups of the “Southeastern Sales Challenge” participated in the 2018 “Bayou Sales Challenge” at Nicholls State University.

The “Bayou Sales Challenge” was held on Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2.

The participating students were senior marketing majors John Roberts, Dillon Cockerham, Kristal Terrell and Justin Molina, junior marketing major Abigail Benson and senior business management major Joshua Sapp. All of the participating members were students of the Advanced Professional Selling course offered by the college of business.

“The team had a fantastic inaugural performance and stayed consistently in the running against much larger and more established sales programs such as Florida State University and LSU,” said Associate Professor of Marketing Tara Burnthorne Lopez.

In the “Bayou Sales Challenge,” the participating students had to do mock sales for the pre-selected product from Gartner, Inc. to potential buyers. Students also participated in panel discussions and were exposed to networking opportunities.

Benson discussed the panel discussion that occurred before the mock sales.

“On Thursday morning, we sat through a panel of men and women who had been in sales for most of their career,” said Benson. “We discussed with them, and they gave us some tips, and that was really nice. Thursday afternoon, we had the mock sales.”

This was the first experience in such a scenario for students participating in the competition. Benson feels that she is ready to face the real business world after participating in the competition.

“Southeastern did not place in the semifinals, but we all did really, really great,” said Benson. “We all had really great scores from the judges, and we had a really fun time doing it too.”

Instructor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management April Kemp thought the competition was a rewarding experience for the students.

“The ‘Bayou Sales Challenge’ has been a very rewarding and competitive event where our team members were able to demonstrate knowledge and skills competing among some of the best sales talent at the college level,” said Kemp. “Several large companies participate in the event and use the opportunity to interview the competitors for possible career offers. All of the students who attended the ‘Bayou Sales Challenge’ walked away with not only valuable experience, but potential job offers from good companies.”

Benson believes the university is preparing students to face the outside world. 

“I think that everything the college of business does is to get us ready for the real world, and this is no exception,” said Benson. “This was probably one of the best things I have ever done at Southeastern that will help me get ready for the real world experience because we were selling a real product to real people. It was a great experience. I think I am now just more prepared to go graduate and take on the real world after this experience.”

Benson wants to be involved with the sales challenge in the coming days to help future students win the competition. Despite not getting to the finals, Benson was proud to have represented the university and was happy with the team’s performance.

“I think the performance of the team as a whole was amazing,” said Benson. “We were all very supportive of each other. I think, at the end of the day, all that mattered was that no matter how bad or good we did individually, but as a team, we were very supportive of each other. I think that the next team that’s going to go is only going to get better.”