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Page updated 30.12.2021

European Sales Competition with its coaching enables getting a job

In the annual European Sales Competition held on 17–19th November 2021, Sjoerd Smeltink negotiated themselves as the winner. According to the judge in the final, Harri Lappalainen, the final was very tight, and the level was tough.

Text: Veera Laaksonen

– A total of 112 sales negotiations were conducted during the competition. The profit was certainly affected by how the competitor developed their own sales process as they received more information to include. Sjoerd showed a holistic view and was able to conclude the sales negotiations convincingly, Lappalainen ponders.

Competitions spawn job opportunities

Each year, competitors receive a specific product or service from a partner for sale. This year, the sales negotiations focused on the location marketing service PinMeTo. The product to be sold was the marketing visibility they offer to businesses such as in Google’s map service and on social media.

The competitors had a month to prepare for the first sales negotiation and get to know the company and the products it offered. Preparation is done either together with the coach or as part of a sales coaching course.

Iiro Antero, Country Manager at PinMeTo, says that their employees have been familiar with the products for about a month so that the employee can master the product and be able to start sales work on their own. As a result, the company was very impressed with how well its competitors were doing in their sales situations.

– As a product, PinMeTo was very challenging, but the competitors embraced and sold the product amazingly well. PinMeTo's own salespeople followed the competition and provided feedback, according to which the competitors took advantage of sales approach arguments that their own salespeople had not thought of, says Lappalainen.

– In the semi-finals and the final, two sales situations were also seen, after which PinMeTo asked the competitor for a direct job interview, continues Antero.

The hybrid implementation has come to stay

The European Sales Competition has been held remotely for two years now. The organizers of the competition believe that remote and hybrid events have come to stay, which should also be considered in sales education.

– Sales situations have been transferred to be implemented partly online. For this reason, remote implementations will always be included in my future teaching, because this operating model will continue in working life as well, says Timo Holopainen, Principal Lecturer in Sales and competition director.

The 2022 European Sales Competition will be held in the Netherlands in May under the auspices of HAN College. According to Holopainen, the organizing body has also been encouraged to plan a remote alternative for implementation if the pandemic situation at the time does not allow an event on location.

– I believe that there is a hybrid model in the competition concepts, where the initial qualifiers and competitions would be organized virtually, and the final competitions on site, if possible,Holopainen says.

Turku University of Applied Sciences organized the European Sales Competition 2021, in which a total of 335 active participants interacted in 48 events, acting as a seller, judge, buyer and participant, utilizing the Tavata event platform. 

The competition partners were Gartner, Qualtrics, Shopify, Meet, LinkedIn, Palo Alto Networks, StratX Simulations, AASE – Academic Association of Sales Engineering and PinMeTo.

European Sales Competition Association elects a New Board

This communique announces an update about the progress of the European Sales Competition Association (ESCA). Despite the challenges being faced by the pandemic, ESCA is active across the length and breadth of Europe developing and advancing its members’ and related stakeholders’ sales skills, and advocates sales education by providing opportunities in the form of the European Sales Competition.

ESCA has elected a new Board. It contains sales professionals and sales academics who are focused upon itsongoing success. They are Timo Holopainen from Turku University of Applied Science, Finland; Tony Douglas, Sales Consultant, UK; Jeanet Castel HAN University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands; Johannes Reiterer from University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Austria; Timo Rima from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland; Harri Lappalainen from Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland; Matias Hokkanen, Sales Director from Lingosoft, Finland; Richard Lowton from University of Portsmouth,UK; Thomas Berger from DHBW Stuttgart, Germany; Poul von Wowern from VIA University College, Denmark; and Alexander C. Bauer from Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences with locations in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.

Timo Holopainen was elected to continue as chairman of the association and Tony Douglas was elected to continue as vice-Chairman.

Our next big event is the European Sales Competition 2022 which will be organized by HAN University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands with Jeanet Castel serving as Competition Director. More information can be found from https://www.europeansalescompetition.com/