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Schey sales team brings home World Cup of Sales at international competition

Ohio University is now home to an internationally-renowned sales team. Sales Cats, OHIO’s competitive sales team led by Greg Scott, recently won the World Cup of Sales at the International Collegiate Sales Competition.

More than 100 teams started the competition during the summer with a sales simulation event, and from there, 80 teams entered the main competition this fall.

“Early this semester the Schey Sales Centre pivoted to teaching and selling in a virtual environment,” said Dr. Adam Rapp, professor and executive director of the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre. “The unprecedented success of the sales team is a true indicator of the students’ ability to adapt in this evolving world. These young sales professionals are the future of business.”

The event consisted of two main competitions: A sales management case study competition and a role play competition. Sales Cats placed both competitors in the role play portion of the event into the semi-finals and one into the finals. Individually, Brody Gilliand made the semi-finals and placed in the top eight, while Grace Brezina made the finals and finished third overall. As a team, Gilliand and Brezina placed first overall.

Brody Gilliand
Brody Gilliand, a management information systems and marketing major, made the semi-finals and placed in the top eight in the sales management case study competition and placed first with his partner Grace Brezina in the role play competition.

The Sales Cats sales case team, Ashley Mullins and Delaney Allen, made the finals and placed fourth overall. The combined score from these events gave Sales Cats the overall lead and victory, taking home the World Cup of Sales.

“The Sales Cats team has always been about combining the very best OHIO has to offer as we compete on a national scale. This year’s team was made up of students from the College of Business, Scripps College of Communication, and Russ College of Engineering and Technology, and delivered one of the strongest performances we’ve ever had,” said Greg Scott, director of partnerships at the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre. “As coach I could not be prouder of the time and effort our students put in this semester. They truly doubled-down and it showed in the results.”

Case study competition
Being a mechanical engineering major, Mullins has never participated in something like a sales management case study at an international competition. To say it was out of her comfort zone would be an understatement, but she couldn’t be prouder of her team’s results.

“During this unfamiliar time, human connection is something we all miss,” Mullins said. “It was nice and refreshing to be back with all my Schey friends and to help hype each other up. One of the coolest things about being in the Schey is that we always push each other to be the best version of ourselves. This was really brought out by my teammates in a time where I think we all needed it.”

She and her partner, Allen, who’s studying finance and marketing, developed a solution for a selling and lead generation problem in a COVID environment. This year’s company chosen for the case competition was Paycom, which is a real company, but the issues needing to be addressed in the case were created solely for the competition.

The team was tasked to create a robust recommendation that was comprised of three initiatives to address challenges Paycom has faced during the pandemic to ensure it can survive in the virtual environment and ultimately thrive post-COVID. Their recommendations were backed with sales research and incorporated modern technology.

“I had an incredible experience being tasked to develop and present a solution that was not only complex and challenging but also in such a short turnover time after receiving the case,” Allen said. “I was able to implement the knowledge and skills I've taken from the classroom and actually incorporate it into a real-world business solution. It gave me the opportunity to think critically while creating a highly effective workflow structure to meet the presentation deadline and work on my public speaking skills as we presented to a group of judges.”

Role play competition
Together, Brezina, who’s studying strategic communication, and Gilliand, who’s studying management information systems and marketing, placed first overall in the role play competition.

The event put Brezina and Gilliand in the role of sales consultant at ReliaQuest. They were tasked with selling a cyber security provider to a large financial institution that was experiencing serious cyber-attacks. Each round of the competition, they would sell to another decision maker in the process, ultimately getting a final meeting with the CEO and CISO.

Brezina said they had been preparing for the competition since August. She believes the sheer amount of preparation helped her develop the skills and knowledge she needs to excel in her postgrad sales position.

Grace Brezina
Grace Brezina, a strategic communication major, made the finals and finished third overall in the sales management case study competition and placed first overall in the role play competition with her partner Brody Gilliand.

The Schey introduced me to sales competitions, but Greg Scott has been the mastermind behind the strategy our team takes,” Brezina said. “He is our supporter, mentor and coach. His dedication to his students is unmatched and I can personally say that I would not have the sales skills, leadership experience and confidence I do today if it were for not having the opportunity to work for Greg.”

Overall, Gilliand thought the competition was extremely relevant, realistic and challenging. He credits the team’s success to Scott, who he said is, “one of the smartest and most dedicated faculty members Ohio University has.”

“Greg is by far the most committed faculty member I have ever met and cares more about his students than anything else,” Gilliand said. “He has worked for years to reach this level. The support he gave when we received results we were happy with will always mean more than the excitement we shared when we found out we were world champions.”

The World Cup is one of several accolades that the Schey has earned recently. Last March, students brought home a top-five finish at the 22nd Annual National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC), the longest-running university sales competition.

November 30, 2020
Staff reports