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Students from across the UK put their top sales pitches to the test at a contest hosted by Abertay University in Scotland.

Participants from Edinburgh Napier University, Coventry University, The University of Aberdeen, The University of Dundee, Abertay University, The University of Strathclyde, The University of West of Scotland, and The University of York were amongst those taking part in the challenge.

Agilico were delighted to be the media sponsor of the 2024 UK Universities Sales Competition, with Steve Clark, our Regional Sales Director in Aberdeen, a judge at the event.

What is the UK Universities Sales Competition?

The UK Universities Sales Competition is an annual event and brings together a diverse pool of business leaders and sales undergraduates from universities across the UK. It’s a unique platform that blends rigorous competition with invaluable networking, as students interact with potential employers. The event is back in 2024, after a near 4-year hiatus, and hosted by Abertay University in Dundee.

The competition encompassed several challenging rounds, including speed-selling and role play exercises, that compelled the participants to step into the shoes of a salesperson and demonstrate their selling skills. It’s a unique platform that not only gauges the sales acumen of the participants but also grants them recognition from industry veterans. Hence, the competition is not merely about winning but an opportunity for students to truly prove their mettle in the sales arena.

Judging Criteria in the Sales Competition

In the Sales Competition, participants were scrutinised by a panel comprising seasoned sales and business professionals.

In the morning, they had a discovery session with their panel of judges who played the part of a client with business issues and the students’ goal was to ask questions to allow them to prepare a final presentation and sales pitch to the judges, they only had three hours to prepare this. The competitors were assessed not just on their product pitches, but on their comprehensive approach and execution of the sales process. Key factors in this evaluation include the ability to forge strong relationships with potential customers, demonstrating an understanding of their requirements and being able to present persuasive solutions to their needs. The way competitors handle objections would also play a pivotal role in their assessment.

Communication skills are imperative; participants had to articulate their pitches clearly, persuasively and in an engaging manner. Creativity and lateral thinking are prized attributes; an ability to think outside the box and present innovative solutions will set competitors apart. Being able to think on one’s feet is also a key requirement; judges did ask some probing questions back as unexpected challenges often arise in sales scenarios.

Ultimately, the judges were looking for well-rounded competitors who not only had a comprehensive grasp of sales techniques but also embodied the personal qualities that make a successful salesperson, also placing equal importance on interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities, and a creative, customer-centric approach to sales.

“The event serves as career development for anyone considering or aspiring to a role in the sales world and the format allows us to assess the ability of the next generation of aspiring talent in its well-structured role-play scenarios and step into the realm of real-world sales.

“Mentoring the next generation is hugely important to Agilico as people are the lifeblood of our business. By meeting this year's cohort it gave me a chance to find out who’d want a role in our business without the pressure of interviews."

Steve ClarkRegional Sales Director

Seizing the Sales Future

The competition aims to promote a deeper understanding of professional selling and its significance within UK businesses and the economy, while also building collaboration between employers and universities and providing a platform for careers discussions.

By participating, students get to step into the realm of real-world sales, offering a platform to potentially to take their first steps in the industry.

The 2025 event will be co-hosted by the University of Dundee and Abertay University from February 11 to 13.