Business students place in International Collegiate Sales Competition

Four Walker College of Business students represented Appalachian at the International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) held Nov. 4-8, 2015 in Orlando, FL, hosted by Florida State University. The ICSC, held each fall, is a tournament-style sales competition that recognizes students and faculty for their sales ability and allows recruiting organizations the opportunity to network with students.

The International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) at Florida State University combines challenges in the three most sought after selling skills, selling business-to-business, selling direct to consumer, and using the latest video conferencing technology to present solutions to international decision makers. Technology allows for immediate competitor feedback at the end of each round.

Senior Marketing major Sarah Handy from Charlotte and Senior management major Gage Johnston from Waxhaw, NC competed in the sales call role play competition against 114 other students.

In the sales call role play competition, Sarah handy placed in the upper third of competitors, and Gage Johnston placed in the middle third.

"The feedback I received from not only the competition judges, but also our faculty coaches has allowed me to hone my sales skills, become more business-minded and improve my ability to work effectively as a member of a team," said Handy.

"The sales competition gave me a perspective on sales that I did not previously have," said Johnston. "The real world experience and networking with dozens of professionals, there really is no experience like it."

Senior marketing major and Supply Chain Management minor Wallis Belcher from Huntersville, NC and Senior Communications major and Marketing minor Erin McKenzie from Grand Rapids, MI competed as a team in the sales management case competition featuring 30 colleges, placing 5th overall in the pack.

Wallis BelcherSarah HandyGage JohnstonErin McKenzie

Pictured, from left, are Wallis Belcher, Sarah Handy, Gage Johnston, Erin McKenzie.

"Not only were my partner and I expected to perform, present facts and data on a professional level, but we had to present in front of a board of executives, said McKenzie. "This required practiced public speaking and presentation skills as well as thinking on your feet during the question and answer portion."

"The competition was by far one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at Appalachian," said Wallis. "Being able to get hands-on opportunities to apply the sales management skills I've studied to real-life scenarios was a unique and rewarding experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom."

The students were accompanied by Marketing Professors Bonnie Guy and James Stoddard. "Overall the students worked extremely hard and did an excellent job," said Dr. James Stoddard. "I am pleased with their professionalism and performance."

"We have been competing in various national and international sales competitions for two years now, and each time we improve our standings," said Dr. Bonnie Guy. "Our students have uniformly received very positive evaluations from judges and interest from numerous employers across the country for job interviews."

Handy and Johnston received valuable coaching assistance also from Appalachian marketing instructors Barbara Michel and Charles Ciaramita, as well as from professionals including Chuck Eyler of nationwide Insurance in Boone, Erin Taylor of Federated Insurance in Charlotte, and Allison White of ImpactPlus Uniforms and Promotional Products in Charlotte.

The next competition for Appalachian's marketing students will be the National Collegiate Sales Competition, scheduled for April 2016 and hosted by Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

Participants at the International Collegiate Sales Competition
Published: Nov 17, 2015 1:46pm