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School of Business Administration

Dayton Flyers Earn First Place in the 25th Annual National Collegiate Sales Competition

For the first time in UD History, the 2023 School of Business Administration (SBA) Sales Team brought home the trophy for first place at the US's highest-ranked sales competition.

The National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC), founded in 1999, is the longest-running university sales role-play competition. It provides a venue for dedicated collegiate sales students to improve their skills and pursue career opportunities with top professional sales organizations. The National Collegiate Sales Competition participants come from over 70 of the most elite sales programs from universities worldwide. Sponsored by Gartner, a provider of research and consulting services for businesses in the IT sector, team members are then scored on their ability to role-play sales calls in incredibly realistic environments against 140 of the best young sales professionals in the country.

The University of Dayton's 2023 competing members who traveled to Georgia to compete in this year's competition were Will Blubaugh, a Finance & Marketing Senior, and Alexa Plummer, a Junior majoring in Marketing with an emphasis on Insight Selling, alongside alternates Gabby Rullo ('23), Hans Rottmann ('24), John Sommers ('24) and Clare Gaffney ('23").

"Our presentation was on the Gartner for High Tech Providers solution, which consisted of 3 parts; Research & Tools, Analyst Inquiry, and Conference Attendance. Our goal was to discover the buyer's needs and pain points from their business to recommend the best solution that solved these issues, all while handling intense objections from the buyer," explains Alexa Plummer, who placed overall 1st runner up.

In typical Flyer fashion, Will and Alexa soared through the first round to advance to the national quarterfinals. Though Will narrowly missed advancing to the semifinals, he finished high enough in his room to score crucial points for the overall win. 

Will, who is also the SBA's Fiore Talarico Center Student Sales Supervisor, explained, "In the semifinals and with only one hour of preparation, Alexa once again had an amazing call, and she won her room, earning her a chance to go to the finals. The final four calls were broadcasted in an auditorium, where we watched all four competitors deliver their calls. Alexa's call was stunningly good, and I was so proud of her. She ended up finishing first runner-up in the competition at the awards ceremony. Our combined points were enough for us to take home the win for the University of Dayton. Never had I been more proud to be a Dayton Flyer than that moment."

Since January, the sales team has been practicing for 12+ hours a week under the Head of UD's selling program Tony Krystofik within SBA's Fiore Talarico Center for Professional Selling, a state-of-the-art experiential learning center that allows students real-world experience making high-stakes sales calls.

SBA Junior Hans Rottmann ('24), a Junior Assistant Sales Coach and alternate for the 2023 team explains how they trained by "doing things like understanding the scenarios, breaking down the product, thinking of different ways to properly present the product, and a lot of role-plays. Roleplays are great because the cameras in the Sales Center allow them to be recorded and then students can evaluate/critique themselves."

Tony Krystofik, the Director of the Fiore Talarico Center for Professional Selling and Sales Coach, is proud of the UD team and everything they have accomplished, "Everyone spent countless hours individually and with each other perfecting their approach, needs identification, presentation, objection handling, and closing skills. This Sales Team really raised the bar in terms of teamwork and trust with each other!"

Teamwork that Alexa Plummer believes contributed to her and the entire team's success. "I attribute much of my success to their guidance and support each and every day. I also enjoyed meeting all of the Gartner (the competition's sponsor) team members because I will be interning with them this summer as an Account Manager intern. The networking and collaboration that I was able to do at this competition was tremendous, especially having the opportunity to meet other sales students from all around the country. I am so grateful to be a part of the UD Sales Program, and I owe my entire career and life to this process and education that UD provides me."

Besides winning the 2023 National Collegiate Sales Competition, this year's team also placed first at the 2023 Redbird National Sales Competition, where Senior Gabby Rullo won 1st runner up, and the University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition, where Sean Phelan placed 1st overall in the Freshman/Sophomore Gold Division Bracket.

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