More than 90 professional sales students from 33 universities nationwide will compete in the sixth annual UToledo Invitational Sales Competition, hosted, for the first time virtually, by the John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation.
The sales competition runs Thursday, Feb. 25, through Saturday, Feb. 27, and will include role-playing, coaching/interviewing sessions, a career fair, networking breakouts, student development blocks, entertainment and awards online via Zoom.
The Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales within the Neff College of Business and Innovation organizes the event, the original and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen students; graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs because of high corporate demand.
The 2021 competition’s sponsors include 3M, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, Mediasite, Hilti, Owens Corning, Schindler Group, Crown Equipment, Gartner, International Paper, Citrix and Intuit.
“Going online with UToledo Invitational Sales Competition is an amazing opportunity for universities and sponsors to experience new and reimagined ways to shape people and make connections online,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UToledo Invitational Sales Competition.
“All the interactions we love are still there thanks to Zoom breakout rooms and the different ways you can administer them. We got creative with Grubhub and Airbnb to feed and entertain our guests across the country.”
Jones added: “It is important to focus on what is possible and what you can control so you can move forward and excel.”
The profiles for round 1, wild card, quarterfinals and semifinals will be emailed to the university coaches in advance of the sales competition. Role-playing will last 15 minutes, and competitors will receive their evaluation sheets at the end of the competition. Judges will be a combination of corporate and faculty. Faculty will not judge students who are from their own university.
“Something new we added to being online with UTISC is the social media competition so the students can recognize and connect with the UTISC sponsors on LinkedIn,” said Courteney Buchanan, engagement and outreach graduate assistant for the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales.
“The School of Professional Sales has been using Zoom for years in the classroom and for select portions of events, so while the shift to fully online has been a big undertaking, we already had a strong foundation to work from. This gave us the chance to do something new instead of just focus on the regular parts of the Invitational Sales Competition.”
Formed in 2000 and endowed in 2002, the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales is dedicated to transforming the sales profession by creating knowledge, shaping people and making connections. The Invitational Sales Competition is an extension of that mission.