Turku Sales Competition measures competence in technical sales
The idea of sales competitions is to offer students an opportunity to get as close as possible to a real-life sales situation. The winner of the 11th Turku Sales Competition, organized by Turku University of Applied Sciences, is Jacqueline Piplitsch.
In Turku Sales Competition, students’ skills in technical sales are put to a test in front of an audience in sales situations that simulate real life. The competitors sell a real product on the basis of prewritten descriptions of sales situations. A sales situation lasts for 20 minutes, during which the competitor has the chance to conduct a needs analysis, convince the expert who is playing the buyer’s role, and close the situation by either agreeing on the next steps or making a deal. The progress of the sales situation and the competences of the sales person are evaluated by an unbiased jury of 3–6 people.
During the years, Turku Sales Competition has evolved into an international three-day event. In November 2018, the 11th Turku Sales Competition was arranged at the Sepänkatu campus of Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS).
The competition was participated by 85 judges or buyers, and 60 competitors of whom 16 made it to semifinals and four to the final where the task of the participants involved selling a real product to a real customer. The four finalists in November 2018 were Jacqueline Piplitsch from Wiener Neustad University of Applied Sciences, who won the competition, as well as exchange student at TUAS William Middendrop, Henry J. Keinänen from Savonia University of Applied Sciences and Tim Schöllkopf from Aalen University. The product the finalists got to sell to real customers was the Virtual Reality security training by ADE Oy.
“I was surprised by the high level of expertise of the finalists and the nature of the event”, says Pasi Porramo, CEO of ADE Oy, who acted as a buyer in the final.
William Middendrop reveals that while his attitude towards the competition was sceptical at first, it changed in the course of the competition.
“What I liked was that the rules are strict. If you’re not allowed to leave the room, you’re not allowed to leave the room. As Timo Holopainen, Principal Lecturer in Sales at TUAS and the director of the competition, said before the competition, this is the best way to learn how a real selling situation works in real world", says Middendrop.
The next Turku Sales Competition will take place in April 2019.
In the photo (from left): Willian Middendrop, Timo Holopainen, Jacqueline Piplitsch, Henry J. Keinänen and Tim Schöllkopf.