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Boise State students earn top placements at sales competition

Students from the College of Business and Economics brought home top placements from the virtual RNMKRS College Sales Skills Competition. They competed to give the best sales pitches against more than 3,000 students from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Frank Veltri, adjunct faculty in the Department of Marketing, encouraged students in his Marketing 321 class to compete.

Hannah Bailey, Olivia Harris, and Matt Zoba all earned top marks. Zoba finished 2nd and Harris finished 15th in the Speed Sell Competition, a 90-second elevator pitch versus more than 1,800 other competitors. Bailey finished 13th in Role Play, a longer business-to-business sales conversation with a customer bot.

The annual competition takes place online using the RNMKRS app. Students can use the app to practice their sales pitches in a low-stress environment with a bot. The bot poses as a buyer and the students try to close a sale of Dell laptops. The app listens for key phrases and awards points based on how well the students perform.

Even though students are selling to a bot on the app, their performance on these mock calls can have real-world effects. “Many students have been offered jobs through the competition,” Veltri said. “It looks great on a resume.”

Zoba, a Seattle native, spoke about his success at the competition.

Boise State student Matt Zoba
Matt Zoba placed 2nd in the RNMKRS speed sell competition.

“It was very exciting to have placed 2nd in the RNMKRS Professional Selling competition and represent Boise State,” he said. “I spent a long time preparing and tweaking my sales pitch for competition. I worked with Professor Veltri and bounced ideas off of my classmates to fine-tune my presentation.”

Zoba put in over 100 practice attempts on the app before submitting his final pitch for judging.

“After the awards session, I was able to network with sales leaders from Marsh-McLennan, Gartner, Dell, and others,” he said. “I received job offers from some of the corporate sponsors and have since begun my career in the professional selling space.”

Zoba graduated in December 2021. He returned to Seattle to work for Highspot. “I am still new, but it’s an exciting role so far allowing me to blend my passions of marketing and professional selling.”

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