Congratulations to the 2016 Sales Bowl participants, winners and judges!
On April 23rd 10 teams of Cal State LA CBE students competed to showcase various sales skills including demonstrating value, creating an effective pitch, and establishing trust and credibility. CBE Marketing faculty Dr. Rika Houston, Dr. Shirley Stretch, Dr. Stacey Sharpe and Dr. Nicole Hanson judged the teams’ effectiveness at a given sales challenge for cash prizes.
Autumn Moore and Vittoria Costa took home 1st place and $1000. They impressed the judges with their approach to establishing trust and credibility while articulating customer solutions throughout their calls and professional-level pitch. Daniel Helfman earned 2nd place and $500, succeeding despite his partner missing the event and therefore missing points in teamwork categories. Katja Selbach and Carlos Covarrubias also impressed the judges earning $250 and 3rd place.
In addition to the top awards, the team of Dimitri Chelidonis and Sigrid Benitez earned an Honorable Mention. Two MVP's, Austin Brown and Santiago Aponte, were recognized for their top selling efforts in terms of persuasiveness and delivering specific, unique solutions related to customer needs. The Sales Pitch coordinator Professor Michael Germano stated afterward that “the sales talent on display was formidable and at the level of professional business to business selling in a corporate environment.”
How it worked
The students completed a three round challenge in which they had to sell a light and sound system to a large night club. Rounds 1 and 2 were simulated sales appointments. Round 3 required a presentation pitch. Each round had a specific objective, was timed, and evaluated by four faculty judges. Michael Germano role played the customer for consistency in all calls and was motivated to buy based upon set criteria like support, leasing equipment, customized installation to coincide with a renovation, and specialized needs due to the indoor/outdoor nature of the club.
In round 1 the students had 5 minutes to convey value via an elevator pitch and build trust, rapport and credibility based upon their company's history and capability. In round 2 they had to get a confirmation from the customer regarding at-least 2 needs/drivers listed above. Round 3 required them to pitch their offering in a persuasive way while overcoming an objection to buying in 8 minutes.
Salesmanship skills are a critical vehicle for building business revenue. Thanks to Dr. Tye Jackson, Chair of the CBE Marketing Department, for his funds and support for this event and to the faculty judges for their time and advice.