19–20 May 2020, University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Austria
Four students from CU Coventry travelled to Scotland to take part in the Scottish Open Sales Competition held at Abertay University in Dundee. Held over two days in February this year, the competition asked students to speed sell their skills to industry experts and a ‘real life’ role play sales pitch to sales professionals.
Two of the winners, CU Coventry BA Strategic Sales and Marketing students Natasza Steven and Jack Biggs, were supported by course leader Bentil Oduro and lecturer, Marion Greenhalgh.
A total of four sales and marketing students from CU Coventry entered the competition, with Svetoslav Lichev and Andrei Iordan also taking part.
Several weeks in the run up to the event were spent preparing for the event, involving making sure that students make the link between applying classroom skills with a competitive edge needed to succeed. The presence of so many prestigious industry experts and the chance to attend workshops and seminars on site were a great addition to the main competition and help their future employability.
Bentil Oduro, Course Leader for Sales and Marketing at CU Coventry, said: “This event is an amazing opportunity for the students and the universities involved. It was a fantastic learning experience showcasing talented students from a range of prestigious UK universities.”
It is the first time students from CU Coventry have taken part in the annual contest, organised by Professor Tony Douglas from Edinburgh Napier University and Dr Gary Mulholland from Abertay University.
The students also had the opportunity to meet and network with a range of industry experts and professionals including the sponsors of the event; San Francisco-based software and enterprise firm Salesforce; banking giant RBS; IT insights specialist Gartner and the Association of Professional Sales.
The competition consisted of two separate challenges, speed selling, where students prepare a two minute pitch about themselves to deliver to recruitment consultants highlighting why they think they should be employed. The second challenge is a sales meeting role play where students take part in a two meetings with a potential customer. Both challenges are evaluated on sales the performance based on a number of criteria.
Bentil said: “This meant they had to be able to not only give a well-researched presentation but also think on their feet and respond to any challenging questions.”
Marion Greenhalgh added: “In an ever changing commercial world, selling is an important focus for many businesses. The CU degree programmes and opportunities such as these competitions allow students to gain new skills and be better prepared for effective careers.”
The networking opportunities and advice and feedback from industry professionals gave the students a unique opportunity. Competitions such as this enrich the learning experience and are great addition to a CV.”
The two winning Coventry students are looking forward to joining other winners from the heat to go head-to-head against the best in Europe at the next round of the competition to be held at Edinburgh Napier University in May.