University of Louisiana at Lafayette wins competition

A team of senior marketing majors from the professional sales program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette walked away with all the honors at the ninth annual Bayou Sales Challenge, a regional sales competition held at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux on Oct. 20-21.

Marketing major Hannah Darby took the top prize in the individual competition, followed closely by her teammate, Carly Littell.

UL placed first in the team competition, awarded to the group with the competition’s highest overall average performance. This is the second time in the past three years that UL’s team took all the top honors in the event.

For her winning performance, Darby received a scholarship from Steven Dugal, managing partner with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

Dugal also provided a matching contribution to the winning student’s department at UL.

Additionally, Darby received a Toshiba laptop complements of Republic Finance.

UL’s team included Lauren Dooley of Loreauville, Darby and Littell, both of Lafayette, Shea Blanchette of Mandeville, and Jordan Johnson of Lacombe. UL Assistant Professor of Marketing Dr. Duleep Delpechitre coached the team.

The event is sponsored and judged by executives and sales teams from regional and national sponsoring businesses who view the event as an opportunity to recruit some of the top sales students in the state. Sponsoring companies for this year’s event included State Farm Insurance, Republic Finance, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Edward Jones, UniFirst and Capital One Bank.

Five teams and 21 competitors representing UL Lafayette, Xavier University, Nicholls State University, Southern University and Louisiana State University participated in the event.

The competition consisted of individual sales presentation role plays with the students representing Broadlook Technologies, a company that provides an innovative software system that allows users to leverage the Internet when performing the necessary due diligence before performing a sales call. Students were given a different prospective client profile with varying problems for each of the three rounds of competition.

Students were allowed 20 minutes in the first round and 15 minutes in the semifinal and final rounds to identify the customer’s needs, make a sales presentation, handle objections and close the sale.

Ten students advanced to the semifinal round. The remaining students competed in a 10-minute Pressure Round.

UL students Dooley, Darby, Littell and Johnson all advanced to the semifinal round to compete for one of the two top slots. Blanchette competed against the remaining 10 students and took first place in the Pressure Round.

The team acknowledges the contributions of the staff at Broadlook Technologies for the training they provided the students in using their software and for the complementary subscription of the software for use in the competition.

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