17.–19. November 2021, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland
European Sales Competition 2021 boosted employment possibilities
Probably the largest event for sales educators in Europe on 2021 – the European Sales Competition ESC 2021 – was held on November 17th-19th 2021 in a virtual meeting platform Tavata. Totally 60 competitors from 13 different countries – 10 European countries + invited visitors from Indonesia, Thailand and USA – competed in the 7th edition of the European Sales Competition. All competitors were students, representing 25 different higher education institutions.
The ESC 2021 event was launched to search and train top class future salespeople, capable for challenging international business-to-business (B2B) sales. All individual competitors’ performances were carried out as 20 minutes role-playing meetings, during which each competitor went through a typical international online B2B sales negotiation. The winner of the ESC 2021 was filtered through four eliminating competition rounds.
The top 4 competitors in the ESC 2021 were Sjoerd Smeltink from HAN University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands); Taric Jahic from FHWien der WKW (Austria); Artur Schmal from Hochschule Aalen (Germany) and Andre Ostheimer from Technische Hochschule Aschaffenburg (Germany).
Totally 335 active participants – talented students and also great number of sales experts from universities and businesses – took part in 48 different events of the ESC 2021, like competition rooms, workshops, and keynote speeches. Most of the time, participants were hands-on involved as judges, buyers, or competitors as part of the developing sales role play scenario, which was all the line created in close cooperation with the 2021 Case company PinMeTo.
“It was a very exciting and interesting experience to see how competitors managed to do their research about PinMeTo and understand how to present its values throughout the competition. From business perspective, we got multiple new fresh point of views for our sales teams”, says Iiro Antero, Country Manager from PinMeTo.
European Sales Competition serves also as a cost-effective platform for fresh sales talent recruitment for cooperation partners. Additionally, it provides valuable opportunity for all participants to widen their professional networks in international settings. As a tangible impact, several competitors received immediate job offers from cooperation partners already during the competition.
“Shortly after the start of the event, I was contacted by two international ESC 2021 partner companies and at the end one more. Furthermore, my network on LinkedIn expanded by a considerable number of good new connections”, sums up finalist Andre Ostheimer.
Implementation of the ESC 2021 was enabled by Gold level cooperation partners Gartner, Shopify and Qualtrics Experience Management; Silver level partners LinkedIn, Tavata and Palo Alto Networks; and Bronze level partners The Academic Association of Sales Engineering (AASE) and StratX Simulations.
The ESC 2021 was hosted by the Turku University of Applied Sciences (Finland), and the Competition Director Timo Holopainen felt relief and satisfaction after the intensive event: “Real experts have it and several students get it always during competitions, namely passion towards sales. It motivates me to organize these very intensive and impactful events”.
“Quality of competitors was really high. In all competition rooms, our international panel of judges had to utilize their full observing and assessment capacity to find best performers“, summarizes the ESC 2021 Head Judge Harri Lappalainen from the Turku UAS.