Napier pilot paves the way for second university sales challenge

Edinburgh Napier student Andrew Dailly, who came top in last year’s Speed Sell event, with the university’s Tony Douglas (left) and Craig Jackson of Talented.

Competition could be a golden opportunity for businesses to identify student sales talent with a view to employing future stars

A national contest launched by Edinburgh Napier University to find the UK’s future top sales people is set to return for a second year – this time in Dundee.
Abertay University will, this time, host the Salesforce Scottish Open Sales Competition, at which talent from across the UK will gather later this month to hone their selling skills and get feedback from corporate executives.
The event follows on from a successful pilot held at Edinburgh Napier last year and will see universities from both sides of the border go head to head in a selling challenge in front of San Francisco-bases software and enterprise firm Salesforce and banking giant RBS.
The 2016 event at Edinburgh Napier’s Business School was the first of its kind in the UK, with students taking on an Apprentice-style sales challenge as well as a speed selling exercise.
Now the next generation of business professionals from Edinburgh Napier, Abertay, Aberdeen University, Robert Gordon University, Dundee University, Sheffield Hallam University, Coventry University, Perth College UHI, St Andrews University and Glasgow Caledonian University are sharpening their sales tactics in preparation for the battle in Dundee on February 21 and 22.
The competition conference model is based on US sales events where up to 1,500 colleges regularly compete, and the winners will go head-to-head against the best in Europe at a contest at Edinburgh Napier this summer.
According to organisers, the event, which is sponsored by Salesforce, RBS, IT insights specialist Gartner, recruitment solutions firm Talented, software company Zudu, and the Association of Professional Sales, the competition at Abertay is also a golden opportunity for businesses across Scotland to identify student sales talent with a view to employing future stars.
A role play session where students engage in a business to business seller-buyer meeting makes up one element and there will be a timed Speed Sell section to test nerves under pressure and also instill confidence in the students.
There will also be a range of talks and feedback sessions from industry experts over the two days and the event will culminate in a Gala Dinner.
Tony Douglas of Edinburgh Napier Business School said: “It is so important in today’s fast changing business environment that our University Business School students have the opportunity to learn and practice the important presentation, listening, questioning and negotiating skills that will help equip them for not just a job in sales but also introduce them to the opportunities for a career in sales.
“Large numbers of students leaving our Business Schools are destined for a sales-related first job in the real world – it is important that we assist them in finding meaningful employment on graduation.”
Dr Gary Mulholland of Abertay’s Dundee Business School said: “Working in the sales industry is both rewarding financially and personally and is a great way of meeting people.”
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