Giving the cream of UK sales talent the chance to shine

University teams up with Abertay for Scottish Open Sales Competition  

Date posted

30 January 2017


The best young sales talent in the UK will compete in a national university contest where selling skills are honed and students get feedback from corporate executives.

Abertay University will host the prestigious Salesforce Scottish Open Sales Competition 2017 in partnership with Edinburgh Napier, where the event was first piloted last year.

Universities from Scotland and England will be challenged to sell under real life conditions to major players including San Francisco-based software and enterprise firm Salesforce and banking giant RBS.

Edinburgh Napier student Andrew Dailly, pictured right with the university's Tony Douglas and Craig Jackson of Talented/Edgar Stewart, came top in the Speed Sell competition at last year’s event.

The next generation of business professionals from Edinburgh Napier, Abertay, Aberdeen University, Robert Gordon University, Dundee University, Sheffield Hallam University, Coventry University, Perth College UHI, St Andrews University and Glasgow Caledonian University are currently sharpening their sales tactics in preparation for the battle in Dundee on February 21 and 22.

The competition conference model is based on massive US sales events where up to 1,500 colleges regularly compete, and the winners will go head-to-head against the best in Europe at a contest at Edinburgh Napier this summer.

Sponsored by Salesforce, Royal Bank of Scotland, IT insights specialist Gartner, recruitment solutions firm Talented Scot, software company Zudu, and the Association of Professional Sales, the competition at Abertay is also a golden opportunity for businesses across Scotland to identify student sales talent with a view to employing future stars.

A role play session where students engage in a business to business seller-buyer meeting makes up one element and there will be a timed Speed Sell section to test nerves under pressure and also instill confidence in the students.

There will also be a range of talks and feedback sessions from industry experts over the two days and the event will culminate in a Gala Dinner.

Tony Douglas, of Edinburgh Napier Business School, said: “It is so important in today’s fast changing business environment that our University Business School students have the opportunity to learn and practice the important presentation, listening, questioning and negotiating skills that will help equip them for not just a job in sales but also introduce them to the opportunities for a career in sales.

“Large numbers of students leaving our Business Schools are destined for a sales-related first job in the real world – it is important that we assist them in finding meaningful employment on graduation.”

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Edinburgh Napier University offers two degree programmes with a sales element and an advisory group drawn from industry helps develop the teaching agenda.

The university recently announced that it had added world-renowned sales expert Neil Rackham, pictured, to its academic staff as a Visiting Professor in Strategic Selling.

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