Bilingual Sales Competition increases international participation and FIU Business students win big.

FIU Global Bilingual Sales Competition

FIU Global Bilingual Sales Competition

FIU Business’ 2021 Global Bilingual Sales Competition attracted participants from a record 20 universities, including those in Mexico, Spain, Peru and Puerto Rico. FIU marketing majors Marianna Araujo and Claudia Guaremas took top spots in the English, Spanish and Bilingual categories.

The growing participation from international universities and their students has made the bilingual competition the only one of its kind worldwide, explained Nicolo Alaimo, assistant teaching professor of marketing and logistics.

“We are aware of the reality – Spanish is spoken by more than 50 million U.S. residents in addition to Spain and most countries in Latin America,” said Alaimo, co-director of the Global Sales Lab. “The need for bilingual professional sales representatives and managers by local, national, and worldwide organizations is rapidly increasing.”

The case study for this year’s competition was sponsored by HubSpot, a customer relationship management platform. For the English-language track it was centered on SunSail Yacht Charters facing challenges in sales or marketing. The Spanish-language track focused on selling HubSpot’s to ClearSale, a fraud management and chargeback protection services company with plans to grow and expand in Latin America. Although both companies are real HubSpot customers, the cases were altered for the purpose of the competition.

Using role-playing techniques, students were required to build a rapport with the buyer, identify his needs and show HubSpot’s products and services as the best solution in series of 15- and 20-minute virtual meetings conducted via Zoom.

In the final round each student had to deliver the HubSpot-focused proposal and its positive value-added impact to the customer business, address any objections from the buyer and ultimately close the sale.

The most challenging part, recalled Araujo, was pricing and calculating the customer’s ROI. “I had to tell the customer ‘you’re going to pay a lot, but here’s your return on investment.’ The numbers had to be right,” she said.

Among the competitors, Araujo and Guaremas stood out by their level of preparation and understanding of the benefits HubSpot could deliver in each case study. Alaimo explained that they developed detailed questions to ask when interacting with the customer in order to identify the problem and determine the business consequences of those issues.

“They were able to show the value in a more efficient way and in a more convincing way to the buyer and to the judges,” said Alaimo.

The “cherry on top” of the competition, said Alaimo: the four students who excelled in the English and Spanish tracks were invited to participate to the final bilingual challenge.

“Many students have come to the realization that being bilingual is an asset to any profession and if they have the opportunity to participate in a competition like ours before going into the workforce, they should take it,” said Alaimo. “That’s a challenge most universities cannot ignore.”

Students’ performance was evaluated by three judges observing the competition and giving each one a grade. The list of over 20 judges and sponsors included sponsors or representatives from companies that work with the FIU Global Sales Program. Among them, AT&T, ADP, Dell, Aerotek, Dilligent Services, Ecolab, Enterprise Holdings,, Kaseya, Northwestern Mutual, NetApp, Nucleus Research, Tom James, TK Group, Altria, Watsco and the Miami Heat.

English-language Track

  • 1st Place
    • Claudia Guaremas – (FIU)
  • 2nd Place
    • Santiago Nuñes – (FSU)
  • 3rd Place
    • Aleyssa de Jesus – Universidad de Puerto Rico

Spanish-language Track

  • 1st Place]
    • Claudia Guaremas – (FIU)
  • 2nd Place
    • Maria Andrea Falquez Mocha – (UCF)
  • 3rd Place
    • Marianna Araujo – (FIU)

Bilingual Competition

  • 1st Place
    • Marianna Araujo – (FIU)
  • 2nd Place
    • Claudia Guaremas – (FIU)
  • 3rd Place
    • Santiago Nuñes – (FSU)

University Rankings

  1. Florida International University
  2. University of Central Florida
  3. Florida State University
  4. University of Puerto Rico
  5. Arizona State University
  6. University of New Mexico
  7. University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
  8. Universidad Iberoamericana UNIBE
  9. University of North Carolina Wilmington
  10. Metropolitan State
  11. University of Denver
  12. Tecnologico de Monterrey
  13. Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas
  14. North Illinois University
  15. Ferris State University, Michigan
  16. California State University, Chico
  17. Universidad Anahuac Mexico
  18. Georgia Gwinnet College
  19. Universidad del Cema
  20. Middle Tennessee State University

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