By Kait Kisel and Grace Beck, student writers
A lineup of Broad College of Business and Communication Arts and Sciences Spartans teamed up to outperform 24 teams from competing business schools to bring home a national championship from the National Team Selling Competition (NTSC).
2017 marked a major milestone for the sales leadership program at NTSC: it is the fifth time MSU has won in the 10 years it has sent teams (two of the wins taking place in the last three years).
Competing on behalf of the Spartans were Heidi Surdyk and Paul Butcher (both BA Marketing ’18), Brian Platte (BA Finance ’18), and Kelsey Clements (BA Communication Arts and Sciences ’18).
The National Team Selling Competition takes place at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and it is considered the premier sales competition that positions students from top business schools across the United States to apply their classroom knowledge to a relevant and realistic selling situation. Corporate partners supporting the event include 3M and Altria.
Two weeks prior to the competition, the 24 teams were provided a sales case, and students began cultivating strategies to provide value to the buying firm and crafting a sales presentation.
“Through this competition I have learned to be extremely effective in a team with varying personalities. This opportunity has offered me a way to practice and improve my sales and presentation skills. The National Team Selling Competition was one of the highlights of my MSU career thus far, and I am so proud of our team’s performance last week,” said Surdyk.
Coaching the team from MSU was Dr. Stephanie Mangus, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing at the Broad College of Business. “I am so proud of these students and so proud of their efforts toward our Broad College goals. Their work ethic and talent leading to this championship are reflective of the strength of our Sales Leadership Minor. Further, this win continues to improve the reputation of our program nationwide,” Mangus said.
Mangus reveals the team’s winning strategies came down to student commitment, strong work ethic from members, and polished presentation skills. “The time commitment expected from students allowed them to really learn the material, versus just memorizing facts of the case,” she said.
The competition goals include providing an invaluable team learning experience, supplying students with a forum to practice and showcase their sales abilities and talents, and extending networking opportunities to students.
Platte looks back on the experience and says his biggest takeaway relates to reputation. “I now realize how extraordinary the MSU Sales Leadership Minor is compared to other top collegiate selling programs in the nation. Prior to this experience, it was easy to say that MSU has the best sales program in the nation when you don’t have any competition to compare it to. However, after seeing our team perform and proudly representing MSU to a first-place victory, I am humbled to be a part of this prestigious university and sales program,” Platte said.