Universities across South-East Asia are undertaking join initiative to boost sales resilience in early March 2021.

Traditionally, companies have taken a major role in training their own business-to-business (B2B) sales teams. However, universities are increasingly taking the lead of sales education development and skills practice. An effective method of achieving this is to complete a sales education course with a ‘live’ role-play sales meeting in front of a jury; this is the core of the South-East Asian Sales Competition (SEASAC), designed for university students.

After the success of the 2020 SEASAC, hosted by the Mahasarakham University in Thailand, this year’s competition lead moves to Indonesia where a panoply of universities and almost 100 students from across the South-East Asia region and Europe will be participating. Due to the continued pandemic, the SEASAC 2021 – in-tune with current sales conversations – will be held online on March 3rd to 5th 2021.

The main organiser for this year’s event is the Catholic University of Parahyangan (UNPAR) from Indonesia. Competition Director, Dr Margaretha Banowati Talim, commented, “Businesses have opportunities to act as judges, or even set their companies as ‘case exemplar’, thereby gaining cost effective recruitment opportunities and in many cases learning how they can sell their products and services more effectively. We would be delighted to hear from any business who is interested in learning more and cooperate with us.” The main sponsor in SEASAC 2021 is Salesforce, which defines the ‘sellers’ cases for this year’s competition.

SEASAC is a European Commission funded Erasmus+ project created to support the professionalisation of B2B sales throughout the South-East Asian region. Sales education is based on a mixture of research and skills practice. Students’ final assessment is to participate in the simulated live sales exercise organised by a conglomerate of Universities under the SEASAC banner.  Competition buyers and judges are drawn from all over the world and have a wide variety of experience from  business and pedagogy.

Mr. Harri Lappalainen from Turku University of Applied Sciences (Finland), says, “SEASAC research demonstrates that this method of boosting sales education has many developmental benefits for students, including building individual confidence and developing a positive approach towards sales as a vital business skill. Performing in a live role play is quite nerve racking but ultimately really rewarding experience”.

The sales competition concept, as adopted to South-East Asia, has been developed and tested over many years by a number of European universities. Winners of the European competition and SEASAC are offered reciprocal opportunities to compete, thereby expanding student’s cultural understanding of B2B sales.

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