On October 26, Paulina Klemm, Tim Nelson, Madison Shinn, and Thea Snow represented the Foster Professional Sales Program at the National Team Selling Competition (NTSC) hosted by Indiana University at the Kelley School of Business. The NTSC attracts students from 21 universities across the nation. Teams participated in a three-sales-call process in front of judges from sponsoring corporations 3M and Altria. Teams competed in three divisions with the top competitor in each division advancing to the finals. The University of Washington took top division honors and advanced to the finals, ultimately achieving a 1st place victory.
The 2016 National Team Selling Competition demanded a tremendous upfront commitment by our students as they learned the complexities of growing a bottled water product line in a chain of 3,752 retail stores. The competition involved case knowledge, identifying gaps in information, and understanding the retailer’s goals and pain points. The team came back with an over-the-top presentation using slotting, end caps, and sell through, while also showing financials, distribution, marketing, promotion, and profits. The final round was presented to over 100 faculty and staff of 3M and Altria acting as the board of directors.
Numerous hours of training, rehearsing, and strategizing on this case took place prior to the trip to Indiana. Rick Carter, associate director of the Foster School of Professional Sales Program, assembled a team of four seniors to represent Foster. Soon after, a study team joined by Joe Vandehey of Altria, Jeff Lehman of Mentor Press, and graduates from prior year’s competition spent many hours preparing the students for this remarkable competition. When asked what the best part of the competition was—besides winning—students agreed that it was the team experience and confidence gained in the preparation. Paulina Klemm said, “Of all of the training I’ve had in school, this experience was the best practical learning experience in preparation for the real world.”
About the Foster Professional Sales Program
The Foster Professional Sales Program provides students with the knowledge and real-world experience necessary to be successful in sales. This nationally ranked program teaches students how to sell, manage, and lead. These skills can be used for a lifetime in business. Given a job placement rate of over 90%, this combination of interning and curriculum has proven to be invaluable for students as they graduate and enter the job market.