By Grace Beck, student writer
Broad College of Business student Heidi Surdyk (BA Marketing ’19) won the 8th annual All-Michigan State University Sales Competition, empowering her to advance to the National Collegiate Sales Competition in Kennesaw, Georgia, this April, where she will represent MSU.
“I firmly believe in the saying ‘Proper preparation prevents poor performance,’ for it was my preparation that allowed me to exude confidence and ultimately get the close during the role plays,” said Surdyk.
Sixty students engaged in a series of 20-minute sales calls, taking on the role of sales personnel for Gartner (the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company) selling their services to a chief information officer, played by corporate partners of MSU’s Sales Leadership Minor.
“The competition affords students the opportunity to put classroom theory into action, combining preparation with actual execution of their strategy. Factors like nerves, enthusiasm, and listening skills all come to life when you’re asked to actually perform a sales conversation, rather than just writing it on paper,” stated a corporate sponsor, Natalie Lampas of Thomson Reuters, “The fundamentals of a sales process are key in any type of professional selling role. Missing any step could cost a sales rep a potential deal. Getting as much hands-on practice, working through the sales process before graduation, helps prepare the student to hit the ground running in their first full-time role out of college.”
Participants advanced through a series of three rounds of role-playing, each increasing in difficulty and competition.
“I am honored to be able to continue this journey as one of the four MSU sales students traveling to Atlanta, Georgia, this April in order to represent our school and compete in the National Collegiate Sales Competition,” said Surdyk.
Three other participants will be representing MSU in Atlanta: finalist Selma Kijamet (BA Advertising Management ’18), finalist Alyssa Cutcher (BA Communication ’18), and semi-finalist Keegan Dashner (BA Marketing ’19). The remaining finalist, Alix Blair (BA Kinesiology ’18), is unable to accompany the group due to a prior commitment.