The Great Canadian Sales Competition

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

The Great Canadian Sales Competition is Canada’s biggest student competition. As of 2017, the competition attracted over 3,000 contestants from 80 campuses around the country. The main objective of the contest is to identify students with great sales skills and help them improve their skills.

Who Can Enter the Great Canadian Sales Competition?

Only university students at participating schools may enter the Great Canadian Sales Competition. If your school has not signed up, you may want to contact the competition organizers about getting involved. If you are a business owner interested in this competition, you may contact the organizers about becoming a sponsor or volunteering as a judge. Even if you don’t get directly involved, you can follow the process or check out the winners on an annual basis. These contestants and winners will be some of the top sales professionals in the nation.

What Are the Prizes?

The Great Canadian Sales Competition issues five cash prizes. As of 2017, the first-place winner receives $7,500, and the second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-place contestants receive $1,000. However, for competitors, the contest is about much more than the cash. Every year, the supporting organizations send the top 25 contestants on a free trip to the Winner’s Gala. Typically held in Toronto, this gala gives contestants the opportunity to meet and network with the event’s sponsors, past winners, and the media.

What Happens During the Great Canadian Sales Competition?

For contestants, the process starts with filming a sales pitch to present to top Canadian business leaders. Most years, organizers ask contestants to create a pitch about anything they’re passionate about. Basically, if you want to compete, you have a few minutes to artfully convince judges to care about something that interests you. The judges select over 500 semifinalists, who get advice on perfecting their pitches and refining their techniques. According to the competition’s organizers, in 2016, contest sponsors reached out to 97% of participants regarding jobs after graduation.

Should You Compete in the Great American Sales Competition?

Aside from cash prizes, networking opportunities, and job offers, the competition can help you hone your sales skills. Sales skills aren’t just about selling vacuums door to door. Rather, sales underscores everything entrepreneurs do. If you plan to open your own business or work in the business world, you may benefit from this competition or a similar one. Across all industries, sales and marketing is important. According to the Conference Board of Canada, this specialty has been in high demand for the last decade.

Who Sponsors the Great Canadian Sales Competition?

Generally, the competition has 20 to 25 sponsors every year. Shopify, Google Canada, IBM, and Dell Canada have all been sponsors. However, the contest isn’t just fueled by tech companies. Air Canada, Acklands Grainger, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, UPS, and Waste Management also act as sponsors, along with many other companies. All of these companies deal with business-to-business sales as well as consumer sales in many cases. By sponsoring this competition, they hope to bolster the pool of savvy sellers in Canada.

References & Resources

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