Written by Dawn Deeter-Schmelz
The National Strategic Selling Institute continues to grow, with more students and corporate partners getting involved. Currently we have 30 students earning their Certificate in Professional Strategic Selling, and we are accepting applications this fall to admit a new group of certificate candidates. Our goal is to grow the program to 50 students this year, with a longer term goal of 250 students by the 2018-2019 academic year. In addition to our certificate, we are putting close to 500 students through our three sales courses annually.
The ‘Sales Cat’ Team
The ‘Sales Cat’ Sales Team has expanded; our goal is to take more students to regional and national sales competitions as a means to further their professional development. Students attending the competitions demonstrate amazing improvement in their sales skills, and benefit from the opportunity to interact with sales professionals from across the country. To maximize our students’ exposure to such benefits, we will be attending eight competitions this year: the Sales Decathlon at Northern Illinois University (see adjoining story); the National Team Sales Competition at Indiana University; the Great Northwoods Sales Warm-up at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; the International Collegiate Sales Competition at Florida State University; the RBI Sales Challenge at William Paterson University; and the National Collegiate Sales Competition at Kennesaw State University. Additionally, our Pi Sigma Epsilon students will be attending the Sales Pro Am at their regional and national conferences.
To help us send more students to the competitions and provide them with what many students describe as the highlight of their collegiate careers, several NSSI Advisory Board members have underwritten travel for a student via NSSI travel scholarships ($750). We would like to thank Larry Kendall and Dave Warner for their generosity and support of our students! If you would like to support sending an additional student to a sales competition, please contact Dawn Deeter (email@example.com).
The NSSI Benefit Auction
Last spring we hosted our second NSSI Benefit Auction. The auction is the product of the students taking the Advanced Sales class. As part of the class, the students find items for the auction and/or sell tickets to the auction. Each student develops a prospect list and learns how to track his or her sales pipeline in Salesforce.com, a customer-relationship management system. The entire class revolves around the auction; class sessions are treated like sales meetings, with students making weekly phone and/or face-to-face sales calls. The class provides an amazing experience for our students, and that experience has translated into jobs.
For the 2014 auction, the students raised almost $20,000, with 50% of the net proceeds going to the NSSI and 50% going to the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan. We are using the NSSI-designated funding to create a performance-based awards program for Sales Certificate students called the NSSI Sales Cup. This year up to 10 certificate students can earn a total of $5000 in cash awards. Going forward, we will continue to use the auction to raise money for student awards as well as money for a local charitable organization. Next year’s auction takes place on Saturday, April 25, with emcee Stan Weber returning to host a fun evening. We hope to see you there!