Year of Graduation: 2005
Current Position: Sales Training Specialist, BSN Sports
Please provide a brief description of your current position and what your work entails.
I'm a Sales Training Specialist for BSN Sports and am responsible for building, coordinating, and facilitating one-on-one training content to sales professionals in sales offices across the Midwest region, covering nine states. I’m responsible for approximately 100 of our 800+ sales professionals and usually travel every other week to one of our regional offices to conduct training.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
After graduating from SJU in 2005, I began working at GameDay Athletic in St. Joseph. It was a small business that sold equipment, uniforms, and apparel to high school, colleges/universities, youth leagues, etc. I was able to get my feet wet in the sporting goods industry and, thanks in part to the small business, was able to get experience in all aspects of the business (inside sales, outside sales, accounting, customer service, shipping/receiving, etc…). After six years, GameDay Athletic was acquired by BSN Sports (headquartered out of Dallas, TX). After the acquisition, I became a Sales Support Representative where I was responsible for the six sales professionals based out of our St. Joseph, MN office. While in this role, I assisted with the on-boarding process for other BSN acquisitions throughout the country and in late 2016 took on my current role in sales training.
What are the most challenging and satisfying parts of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is that the sales professionals I train have been doing their job well for many years. For some, they approach the start of each training feeling as if they have “learned it all” and treat it as something they’re required to do. With that being said, the most satisfying part of my job is seeing these sales professionals open up to what I teach in our sessions; showing them tools they can use, ways to grow their business through the company’s technology, and other areas that teach them how to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
What skills are important in your field?
In my role, you need to be able to communicate and execute a training plan and then customize it to meet the needs of individuals with whom you work. I also need to be able to build relationships. Trust is really important in what I do. To build trust, I’m as authentic, genuine, and understanding as I can be so I can better relate to the sales professionals I train and understand where they’re struggling to help them grow.
What activities/experiences were you involved with at CSB/SJU and how have they been helpful in your career?
While at SJU, I played baseball and was able to gain valuable experience in developing a strong work ethic and building relationships. On the ball field, you meet people from all walks of life with different interests but who share a common goal – to win the game.
What advice would you have for students who are interested in working in the sports sales industry?
Network. Similar to many places, sales within the sporting goods industry is a lot about whom you know. Connections you make today (playing, coaching, officiating, can get your foot in the door for a future opportunity. Start with what you have now - no matter how large, small or connected you are - and build from there with every interaction. Once you have a network, in the case of BSN Sports as the largest distributor of team sports apparel and equipment in the United States, our technology and resources will take care of the rest.