Professional sales student finishes near Top 1% in national sales competition


It was a record-breaking RNMKRS College Sales Skills Competition last fall as more than 2,100 college students from 59 different schools from across the globe completed over 45,000 role-plays.

A handful of competitors got within striking distance of a perfect score. Among them was Dakota Carroll, a Bloomsburg University professional sales and marketing major, who finished just out of the top 1% of the competition.

“It’s was a unique experience since I had to sell to artificial intelligence,” says Carroll, who ended up placing in the top 1.4% with 119 role-plays in his first-ever sales competition. “The experience prepping for the sale — eliminating what I can say and whatever the ultimate goal of the sales call is — I believe will help me most in the future.”

RNMKRS is a free online tool student can use to learn, practice, and demonstrate selling skills in a global virtual sales competitive environment.

“RNMKRS is unique, because you can do the sales call get your score and then get a generalized understanding of what you need to fix,” Carroll says. “You can constantly go back into the practices and refine what questions to use, eliminate what’s not working, and try new questions to see if they help or hurt your score.

Carroll credits his performance on Bloomsburg’s professional sales and marketing program and the coaching of Monica Favia, sales program director and associate professor.

“In my (one) class, we were learning about a sales technique call “SPIN,” Carroll says. “That (Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff) process helped me ask and formulate questions during the competition and practicing for it.”

He adds, “The IN questions of SPIN are the hardest to formulate but are the most effective to use. The SP questions are easier to make — are very direct — and can have negative effects on that one sales process. They are essential to understanding the customer and where the salesperson’s product or services fit-in.”

According to Carroll, the sales call (meetings) should feel like a normal conversation you have with a friend when they’re making or thinking of making a purchase decision (like buying a car).

“The salesperson wants to be viewed as a trusted source of information,” Carroll says. An added benefit to participating in sales competitions, according to Carroll, is how each competitor can come away with a unique experience. “This was my first competition, so I can only compare it to my experiences from role-plays and one real-world sale,” Carroll says. “I would suggest other students in sales to do competitions early in their academic career, because they get experience with selling and get their name exposed to recruiters at the competitions.”