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Selling with the Bulls, the Intercollegiate Version, Pushes Though the Pandemic

By Keith Morelli

Selling with the Bulls

TAMPA (February 15, 2021) -- In the face of a pandemic that continues to cripple academic conferences and events, the 2021 Intercollegiate Selling with the Bulls competition took place earlier this month, with competitors facing off virtually instead of personally.

Rob Hammond, director of the Muma College of Business Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation, put together the annual event that, this year, included nearly 100 students making up 25 teams from 21 different universities.

Williams Automotive, a new business partner of the center, joined fellow business partners KnowBe4 and ReliaQuest in as buyers in the role plays. The center’s business partners – more than 50 total – participated in 463 networking conversations with  students and served as judges for the competition.

Billed as “The Toughest Test in Sales Education,” the event took place over 1½  days and challendged students across the full sales process including networking, prospecting, discovery calls and sales meetings. Competitors completed 279 “role plays” in one day and 558 customer interactions.

Students in the USF Professional Sales Club pitched in to helped run the event. They included the student competition director, Natalie Pollock and competition coordinators, Lucas Boney, Bill Marquis, Nikola Naveski.

This was not the first time elements of the competition took place on a virtual platform, Hammond said. Selling is a combination of in-person and remote contact. One of the unique aspects of Selling with the Bulls is that the competition has provided both experiences.

“Even before the pandemic, much of the communications between businesses took  place over the phone or via web meetings,” he said. “Students have to familiarize themselves with working in all these modalities to be successful.

“This competition very much resembles today’s real-world selling experience,” he said.

USF Muma holds three sales competitions a year. In two  of the events USF students from all three campuses compete and in the third students from USF compete against other schools and universities.

The intercollegiate competition drew competitors from universities across the nation, including 15 states: Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Nortch Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.