Professional Sales Students to Compete during Virtual National Sales Challenge at William Paterson University’s Russ Berrie Institute from November 17-19

The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales (RBI) at William Paterson University’s Cotsakos College of Business will host its 14th Annual National Sales Challenge comprised of an intense series of selling competitions and workshops to be held virtually from November 17 to 19, 2021. Thirty college students, representing 15 universities from across the country, will participate in the event.

“The National Sales Challenge is a keystone of the Cotsakos College of Business’s commitment for students to learn via close connections with local, regional, and national businesses,” says Anthony Bowrin, PhD, dean, Cotsakos College of Business. “Our corporate sponsors appreciate the opportunity to connect with a new generation of future sales leaders.”

This year, the RBI National Sales Challenge will consist of a Virtual Selling Experience, incorporating the latest and most dynamic trends in professional sales while continuing to provide students with opportunities to learn directly from industry leaders. In a virtual meeting environment, the competition challenges student competitors to sell themselves on why they should get hired for a professional sales role during the speed selling competition. The sales role-play competition will challenge student competitors to showcase their skills by delivering a virtual sales presentation and conducting a virtual sales meeting. Students will come away with an all-inclusive virtual selling experience and develop new soft and tech skills to prepare them for the future of professional selling. 

In addition, new this year is a focus on diversity in professional sales. Lenita Davis PhD, sales program director at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and president-elect, University Sales Center Alliance, will present a keynote address, “Diversity in Professional Sales Education,” during the opening kick-off event on Wednesday, November 17 at 11:00 a.m. The kick-off will be followed by a virtual sales career fair and opening rounds of the sales role-play competition and speed-selling competition.

The second round of the sales role-play competition will take place on Thursday, November 18. In addition, a panel discussion, “Diversity in Professional Sales Careers,” will feature a panel of RBI corporate partners who will discuss their companies’ diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives regarding professional sales careers.

Finalists in the sales role-play competition will compete on Friday, November 19, followed by the winner’s recognition ceremony.

In the speed-selling competition, students will rotate through two-minute Zoom interviews with company executives to pitch themselves for a generic job. The event will be headquartered in the Russ Berrie Professional Sales Laboratory, a high-tech sales training center that is dedicated to providing sales education to college students and industry professionals.

The National Sales Challenge is designed by the University’s Russ Berrie Institute to encourage excellence in sales skills and offer students an opportunity to demonstrate those skills practically. Participants network with business executives from companies around the country who will judge the events and serve as sponsors. It is one of only a few such select competitions in the country. Before the event, students competed on their campuses to win the opportunity to compete in the National Sales Challenge at William Paterson.

Guy Baroan, owner and chair of Baroan Technologies, will serve as 2021 National Sales Challenge chair partner. Baroan, a 1994 graduate of William Paterson University, created Elmwood Park-based Baroan Technologies in 1997. Baroan Technologies is a managed service provider offering quality guidance, implementation, and technology support services in the tri-state region. In addition, approximately 30 executives from six sponsor companies are participating in the National Sales Challenge. Sponsors include Baroan Technologies, Canon Solutions America, CBRE, Lennox Industries, ORS Nasco, and Tom James Company; grant funding was also received from the Russell Berrie Foundation.   

The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales is consistently recognized as one of the top sales programs in the nation by the Sales Education Foundation of Dayton, Ohio. William Paterson is the first higher education institution in the world to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in professional sales and the first in the nation to offer the executive Master of Science degree in sales leadership. The degrees are offered through the University’s Cotsakos College of Business and prepare students for careers in sales, sales management, and sales leadership, providing them with the academic knowledge and practical skills required for success in today’s complex business environment.

Participating schools for 2021 are: 
Arizona State University
Bloomsburg University
Ferris State University
Pace University
Penn State Harrisburg
Ryerson University
Salisbury University
Temple University
Texas A&M University
University of Central Florida
University of Nebraska Omaha
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Weber State University
Western Michigan University
William Paterson University

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Twitter: @wpunjbusiness; #wpnsc21

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