USD School of Business Sales Team Takes Second Place at National Selling Competition

Photo of USD NTSC 2020 Winners
begin quoteIt’s an even more impressive achievement given this is the first all-rookie team we have had in five years.

For the first time ever, the University of San Diego School of Business Sales Team takes second place at the 14th annual National Team Selling Competition (NTSC) hosted by the Center for Global Sales Leadership at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

The NTSC is known as a premier sales event that allows student teams from elite sales programs to apply their experience and skills learned in the classroom to a realistic selling situation in front of a panel of corporate judges. USD Sales Team members say this experience is invaluable.

“The role play prepared me for future competitions, for my eventual career in sales and life in general,” said Jessica Bachar ’21 (BBA).

“This experience has prepared me for the real world,” said Tiffany Yabsley ’22 (BBA). “No one in the real world is going to tell you to pick up your slack. You can’t ‘retake’ a job. This competition has definitely helped me become more disciplined and has also made me realize how important it is to love what you do—that’s what made this competition fun to compete in.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual fall event went virtual this year and competition was steep. Historically, the NTSC only allows 21 teams to compete. However, interest has grown substantially over the years as well as the competition. Teams needed to be accepted into the event this year.   

“Out of the 32 teams competing this year, our USD Sales Team received the second place award with perennial sales powerhouse Indiana State University winning first place,” said Carlton O’Neal, Clinical Professor of Marketing and USD Sales Team Coach. “.  It’s an even more impressive achievement given this is the first all-rookie team we have had in five years after the entire USD Sales Team graduated last spring.”

Members of this stellar rookie team are Jessica Bachar ’21 (BBA), Constantino Fialo '22, Noelle Freeberg '22, and Tiffany Yabsley ’22 (BBA). Each team taking part in the competition reviews a 10-15 page case detailing a sales problem for a fictitious seller trying to land a new customer. Within two weeks, the student teams create a 20-minute sales presentation to give to the competition judges who happen to also be the corporate event sponsors—3M and Altria. The USD Sales Team did not disappoint.

“The judges even remarked that they were surprised to hear that this was the first competition for everyone on the team given their professionalism,” said Professor O’Neal.

Students say the coaching received from Professor O’Neal helped guide them to victory.

“Without the support from Professor O’Neal, our team would not have been as strong as we were at the NTSC. He helped us narrow in on the important details, refine them and, in turn, present them in a professional manner,” said Bachar.  

It wasn’t without hard work that led this rookie team to placing.

“It’s not a cakewalk pleasing Professor O’Neal, and that’s what makes you work that much harder to get approval from him,” said Yabsley. “He proactively checks up on the team and his enthusiasm to help us is contagious. It’s easy to look up to and be advised by him because you can tell how much knowledge he has in his industry. Having trust in his experience has definitely helped our team excel in this year's national competition,” she added.

Last year, the USD Sales Team finished third out of 21 teams. In 2016, they tied for fourth place with two other teams.

According to Professor O’Neal the sales skills learned through the Sales Team program has helped students land jobs after graduation, “A lot of graduating business students enter into sales jobs. The curriculum we teach to the sales team is equivalent to some companies sales training programs. Our students are steps ahead of other job candidates and are hired out of college based on sales skills learned on this team.”

This year, the USD Sales Team won $750 to split between each team member and an automatic bid to compete in next year’s event, a competition Tiffany says the team hopes to win, “Next year we are looking forward to having the experience of this competition under our belt and more practice of professional team selling. We have a team with such strong, motivated, intelligent students and it is an absolute pleasure working with them—I think that now we have the confidence from this competition, next year we will be able to sign and seal the deal!” 

They will have a good amount of practice before the next NTSC event. The USD Sales Team participates in three to four competitions each year. Professor O’Neal is now prepping the team to compete in the International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) hosted by Florida State University this November.

“We do this for the students. It’s our way of giving back— training them to be successful at the University of San Diego and beyond,” Professor O’Neal added.


— Victoria Johnson


Gabrielle Horta
(619) 260-4468