The College of Business’ Global Sales Program, designed to prepare students for careers in professional selling and elevate the sales profession, has expanded its footprint, drawing new sponsors and connecting students with more potential employers.
The program’s new tagline: Learning, Networking and Connecting.
“We have done an incredible job of connecting people to each other – students, faculty, sales alumni and sponsors — and building relationships,” said Nancy Rauseo, senior lecturer and coordinator for Global Sales Programs in the Department of Marketing. “Overall, we’re starting to be known in the global arena.”
To showcase the program and its many dimensions, on August 29, the Global Sales Program will host a “meet & greet” networking event connecting students with program sponsors. The increasingly competitive Panther Sales Tournament, now in its third year, will be held September 28-30.
The new semester marks the debut of the Sales Speak Lecture Series, featuring presentations on various sales-related topics. Global Sales Program sponsors will facilitate the series, hosting question/answer sessions at each event. Topics will focus on areas where students’ skills require attention and improvement, and were determined by feedback of faculty and sponsors. Among them:
- Cold Calling: Warm It Up with LinkedIn
- Small Talk: Make It Big
- Business Acumen: What You Should Know
- The ‘In’ of Inside Sales: Expert Panel
FIU’s Panther Sales Tournament is one of the only U.S. programs to include a Spanish-language track, where the selling and buying is conducted in-language and Hispanic executives judge the students. In early 2016, the Global Sales Program hosted the first-ever Global Bilingual Sales Competition, inviting students from national and international universities. The next Bilingual Sales competition will be held in March 2017.
Word of the FIU program’s strength spreads.
“This year we’ve had companies come to us to become sponsors or partners,” said Rauseo. “Companies indicate that we have a strong student body in sales although some areas need to improve. They’re impressed with the quality of our students and their ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations.”
Some of the sponsors for the program’s 2016-2017 academic year are Celebrity Cruises, DHL Express, Comcast Spotlight, AT&T, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, C.H. Robinson, Northwestern Mutual, Axxis Solutions and City Furniture.
The upcoming Panther Sales Tournament has attracted Procter & Gamble, Paycom, NetApp, and SunTrust as sponsors. At last year’s tournament, 65 students competed and 25 companies were represented. Rauseo has already seen increased interest from both students and sponsors, and expects numbers to rise.
In the competition, students use role-playing techniques to sell a product to a corporate executive. Sponsor representatives participate as the buyers in the role-plays, as well as the competition’s judges.
In addition to the Panther Sales Tournament, the Global Sales Program, which focuses on sales leadership development, professional networking and competitive training, includes a Professional Sales minor, a certificate program, and a Sales Team that competes at national events.
“Students today are facing new challenges because sponsors have some aggressive goals in terms of hiring,” Rauseo said. “We’re doing the best we can to encourage students and connect them with sponsors. If they’re not graduating with a job, it’s their fault.”
FIU Global Sales Lab: a place to train for success.
A central part of the College of Business’ Global Sales Program is the Global Sales Lab, which features 12 sales training rooms, each equipped with a camera and microphones, and recording and playback capabilities.
Students can conduct mock interviews, participate in executive training sessions, work on role-play exercises, and record sales presentations, all of which can be archived for review. Executives and recruiters can watch students’ archived videos, or interview students, and determine which are best suited for internships or jobs.
“The lab has been a real catalyst [for the program] because students feel they have a home,” said Rauseo. “It has become an incubator of learning.”