University of Central Missouri Wraps Up With Ninth in Annual Redbird National Sales Competition

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Putting their marketing and sales knowledge and skills to test against students from across the United States, the University of Central Missouri Sales Team shined at the 2023 Virtual Redbird National Sales Competition, placing ninth among teams from 43 universities. This prestigious annual event was hosted by Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, and included 120 student participants.

“Competition was fierce, but the UCM Sales Team rose to the challenge,” said Tyler Hirlinger, assistant professor of marketing in the Division of Business Strategy Marketing Program within the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies.

Led by three marketing majors, senior Joel Leslie, and juniors Dalton White and Meleah Volmert, the team made a great impression in its first sales competition. Leslie and White impressed the judges and advanced to the semi-final round, with Leslie making a strong bid for a spot in the final four, ultimately placing him in the top 12 overall. Volmert narrowly missed advancing to the semi-finals.

The UCM Sale Team is coached by Hirlinger and Dr. Charles Schwepker, Randall and Kelly Harbert Marketing Professor in the College of Business and Professional Studies. Both are faculty members in the UCM Department of Marketing, Public Relations and Sport Management.

One of the main objectives of this annual competition is to provide collegiate sales teams with an opportunity to participate in a competitive setting. Schwepker said the UCM team engaged in competitive sales role plays in which they sold Gartner® services to a business professional acting as a buyer.

According the competition website, this event also provided participants with an opportunity to gain individual feedback from industry experts and networking experience with representatives of sponsoring companies. Company members who observed students also used it as an opportunity to recruit them for current and future openings within their organizations.

Eager to build on their success at the Redbird National Sales Competition, the UCM Sales Team is currently preparing for the National Collegiate Sales Competition hosted by Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, March 3-6. The UCM Sales Team, which in 2022 represented the only competing institution from Missouri, finished 12th in last spring’s competition among teams from 67 participating universities. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this annual event.