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The members of the OSU Competitive sales pose in business dress on the balcony of the Business Building.

Selling the Future: OSU Competitive Sales Team experiences overwhelming success in first semester

Friday, June 21, 2024

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 | terry.tush@okstate.edu

January not only ushered in the beginning of a new year, but also the beginning of a new student endeavor in the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business.

The OSU Competitive Sales Team was founded over winter break and didn’t have the opportunity to compete until spring 2024. The team aims to provide students across OSU the chance to hone their sales skills, network with industry professionals and compete against other sales teams worldwide.

“We’ve had students compete individually in prior years,” said Whitney Roman, director of the Center for Sales and Service Excellence and the team’s faculty advisor. “However, we wanted to create a team environment that would not only bolster interest in competitive sales but provide students with this common interest in sales from across campus, a place to hone their skills, learn from one another and push each other to be better salespeople.”

Team coach Sarah Hall brings a unique perspective. She was one of those individual competitors last year and as Hall neared her graduation, Roman reached out with the idea to start the team. Since Hall’s full-time job wasn’t starting until the summer of 2024, Roman wanted to gauge her interest in coaching.

“It has been truly a blessing to coach this team,” Hall said. “I can’t thank Whitney enough for giving me the opportunity to lead this amazing group of young salespeople. This truly is a ‘wish I would have had that’ situation, as I competed individually, but now get to experience the benefit of having a team around you.”

While the team is still in its infancy, it didn’t take long for it to experience success. In February, OSU traveled to the University of South Florida to compete in its annual Selling with the Bulls competition.

The competition tasks teams with performing an entire sales cycle — from initial prospecting emails, voicemails and LinkedIn messages to in-person sales calls with decision-makers from the “prospective client.” Each team member competes individually to earn points during each competition round. Those individual points are then combined to calculate a team score, as well as rank each team member within their respective competition flight.

OSU left Tampa with the overall team title and nine individual awards for competitors.

“This was an amazing accomplishment for our team, Spears and OSU,” Roman said. “We faced some tough competitors. For a newly formed team at their first-ever competition, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic for our team and proud of the tireless work and dedication they put into Selling with the Bulls.”

Members of the OSU Competitive Sales Team pose on the steps of a building after a sales competition at Kennessaw State University.
Members of the OSU Competitive Sales team pose after National Sales Collegiate Competition held at Kennesaw State University. The OSU squad, which opened its first season in spring 2024, had a banner inaugural season.

The individual awards included a ‘Top Bull Individual’ for Mayce Durham, a marketing and professional sales sophomore, in her flight.

“I was very surprised and humbled by the recognition,” Durham said. “To be recognized as the best overall salesperson in my flight was truly amazing. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my team, coach and advisor.”

From there, the team took part in a few other sales competitions, including the Love’s Travel Stops sales competition held in March in Oklahoma City, where OSU once again placed first overall and included top finishes in role-play for team member David Dishaw, and first-place case analysis for the team of Durham, Brenda Tapia and Katie Springs.

This competition served as tangible evidence of each team member’s improvement since the beginning of the semester. Dishaw competed in a different Love’s sales competition last fall and didn’t move past the first round in the role-play category. However, with the added experience of other competitions and the ability to cultivate and develop ideas with his team, he captured the title this time.

“This semester has truly been amazing,” Hall said. “I’d give it a 10 out of 10 or an A+, however you want to score it. The results of this team are nothing short of phenomenal. Whitney and I weren’t sure what to expect heading into this first semester of competitions and to say this team exceeded those expectations would be an understatement.

“It’s a testament to the hard work and determination of these students. They constantly blow me away with their desire to learn and improve, even with all of their other responsibilities, and their dedication to their teammates is indescribable.”

It’s easy to see that the future of competitive sales at OSU is bright, and it will continue to build upon the foundation that this group of students and coaches has laid in a few short months.

“We told the team after Love’s, ‘We’re building a legacy here,’” Hall said. “This semester, we’ve accomplished more than a lot of long-standing programs ever have. The success we’ve experienced sets the stage for an extremely strong program for years to come.”


Story by: Jeff Hopper | Engage@Spears magazine
Photos by: Devin Flores and the OSU Competitive Sales Team

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