Kennesaw State Has Strong Showing in National Collegiate Sales Competition

KENNESAW, Ga. | Mar 22, 2021

Adam Stickler
Adam Stickler won third in the individual category at the National Collegiate Sales Competition.

The Kennesaw State University Sales Team finished third at the recent National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC), which saw more than 160 sales students from 68 universities across the United States and Canada competing for the top spot.

Kennesaw State’s Michael J. Coles College of Business hosted the 23rd annual NCSC. The all-digital event featured students putting their skills to the test in team-based and one-on-one sales call simulations. It also included a two-day career fair with 16 companies – many of them in the Fortune 500 – looking to hire their next sales superstars.

The team of Kennesaw State professional sales majors Hannah Teague and Adam Stickler, president and vice president of the Kennesaw State Sales Club, respectively, placed third overall. Meanwhile, Stickler also won third in the individual category.

“NCSC being virtual this year served me well because it equipped me with the means to sell in a similar fashion to what I will be doing out of college,” said Stickler, whose career goals include becoming a vice president of sales. “We live in a virtual world. I’ve learned to adapt through this competition and thrive in a virtual environment.”

For the second year in a row, the NCSC was fully virtual. While 163 students participated in the competition, 70 additional students from the competing schools also attended. Kennesaw State also invited hundreds of other sales students from around the world to join the career fair.

“The 2021 virtual National Collegiate Sales Competition was a great success given the current environment,” said Terry Loe, executive director of the NCSC and co-director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Professional Selling. “Although the value to the students, hiring sponsors, and faculty that is provided in a face-to-face event cannot be fully replicated virtually, we worked with our volunteers and sponsors to create career-advancing opportunities for all the students involved.”

The Center for Professional Selling worked with lead sponsor Gartner to implement the technology to run an all-virtual NCSC. Gartner sent out more than 600 unique WebEx invitations to more than 400 participants worldwide, provided 20 members of their corporate team to act as buyers in the sales roleplays, and maintained the back-end technology running the competition. More than 30 Kennesaw State faculty, staff, and student volunteers also worked on the event.

In addition to the main competition, an important part of each year’s NCSC is the career fair, and this year was no exception. Fortune 500 companies such as Aflac, BD, Henry Schein, and Gartner headlined a career fair that connected them with 492 qualified candidates from collegiate sales programs around the world.

“At most career fairs, companies have difficulty finding candidates who understand or desire to go into sales,” Loe said. “They are relegated to finding the ‘needle in the haystack.’ The NCSC provides a haystack that contains only needles. Every candidate that the NCSC sponsors engage with understands the sales process and the challenges of what salespeople go through daily. Probably the most important thing to the hiring company is these candidates want to go into sales.”

Started in 1999, the NCSC is the world’s oldest and largest collegiate sales competition. Kennesaw State University has hosted the event since 2003. Students assume the role of sales professionals and compete in three rounds of 20-minute mock sales calls with representatives from the event’s corporate sponsors portraying the prospective buyers. Judges include corporate partners and faculty from participating schools.

Winners of the 23rd Annual National Collegiate Sales Competition

1st - Bradley University
2nd - Illinois State University
3rd - Kennesaw State University
4th - Bowling Green State University
5th - Asbury University
6th - Oregon State University
7th - University of North Alabama
8th - Ryerson University (Canada)
9th - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
10th - University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Final Four – Individual Competition

1st - Pooja Chafekar, Bradley University
2nd - Natalie Zito, Bradley University
3rd - Adam Stickler, Kennesaw State University
4th - Kalila Jeffrey, Asbury University

– Patrick Harbin

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit