France Challenges implements an innovative solution to train students in sales

the essential
Allowing young people to engage in sales operations aimed at financing educational and solidarity projects: this is the goal of the Albigensian company France Challenges, which since the end of 2019 has been implementing a “turnkey” digital solution in professional high schools. “Both educational and fun.

We all have in mind Épinal’s image of students feverishly ringing their neighbors’ bell in hopes of selling a lottery ticket or a few boxes of cookies to finance a fair or a school trip. This principle as old as the world, the Albigensian company France Challenges, founded in 2019, took up the challenge of brushing up on it, bringing it into the digital age and bringing it an additional educational dimension. “Our concept is very simple, explains William Pralong, president of the six-employee start-up. We offer educational institutions specialized in sales and commerce, wherever they are in France, the opportunity to participate in challenges based on the use of our “turnkey” digital platform, conceived as both a fun tool and a solid educational support. The goal is to provide students with the opportunity to engage in sales experiences, in the field, with full support.“The solution developed by France Challenges is completely free for schools, which also receive a commission of up to 22.5% of turnover, including taxes. The sums raised then allow young people to finance educational or solidarity projects that are close to their hearts.

A 100% digital tool.

Intuitive and rich in content, the solution imagined by the Tarn company leads students – under the guidance of their teachers – to get involved in particularly educational operations. “In concrete terms, young people embark on a multi-level challenge, says William Pralong. They can sell about fifty products in the catalog. Our range, historically composed of chocolates and sweets, is expanding more and more (read in the box). But beware, the goal is not to “loot” families! Students should strive to reach out to professional clients. And like “real” sellers, once their main sale has been made, they have the option of engaging in an additional sale.“During the process, students rely on the France Challenges application. A fun and 100% digital tool that matches the expectations and uses of the new generation well, while providing valuable support to teachers. “We provide them with over 80 hours of free lessons in the form of digital textbooks”Insists William Pralong. All these tools are fully consistent with the expectations of national educational standards. Immersed in the professional “deep sea”, students are evaluated on the basis of various criteria (turnover generated, number of sales made, “company” quiz, etc.). On average, in 2021, a class of 23 young people sell more than € 6,000 worth of products and receive a commission of over € 1,200.

Experience on the field

This commission allows students to fund projects, be they school trips or humanitarian operations. In addition, participants receive gifts based on their performance and ranking at different levels (class, level – CAP, 2nd, 1st, terminal, BTS -, academy and France). But in reality, the main advantage is elsewhere. From these challenges young people above all derive a first experience in the field, professional reflexes and the satisfaction of having taken part in an adventure that is both personal and collective. “Everyone receives a numbered certificate highlighting their involvement, specifies the leader of France Challenges. This allows them to facilitate the search for internships, for example.While when it launched in 2019, the Albigensian start-up had 1,530 students involved in its Christmas challenge, last year it brought together 3,900, from 171 classes in 23 French academies. And with his new challenge organized for the first time in spring (read the interview), the company intends to exceed the milestone of 6,000 young people involved this year. A success that could lead France Challenges, awarded in 2021 by the Septuors de La Dépêche du Midi in the “Innovation” category, to deploy its model in other European countries in the coming years.

An expanding range of products

Historically, the young people involved in the sales operations of France Challenges mainly had chocolates and sweets to offer their customers. Nothing more normal, given that the operation was organized during the end of the year celebrations! But as the Albigensian company launches a spring challenge for the first time in March, its product range naturally expands. Alongside the 52 chocolate references proposed at the end of the year, France Challenges offers 34 new products in spring, almost exclusively made in France: tea – with its own brand “Aparthés” -, beach towels, but also from Occitania (organic biscuits and soaps ).


French challenges

24 rue Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, in Albi

Such. : 05 81 40 61 50 –

[email protected]


William Pralong, President of France Challenges

“Our first goal is to involve students”

How did you come up with the idea of ​​creating France Challenges?

In fact, this idea is the direct consequence of the professional careers of my wife Martine and myself. We met when we were students at Bordeaux Kedge Business School. For her part, Martine worked extensively as a sales and marketing director at Orange, before joining National Education, a vocational high school. As for me, I have held various positions related to trade and management, particularly within the La Poste group. A few years ago, Martine, who was organizing sales operations for her students, told me about her need for a tool. Then I worked on the issue and we realized that the solution we were developing corresponded perfectly to the logic contained in the reform of the career path, allowing teachers and their students to work in design mode. Thus was born France Challenges.

Other players offer this type of offer. How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

First of all, we only cater to students working in trade and sales in France. It is a choice that we have made since the beginning, because we believe that our added value exists. Furthermore, the solution that we make available to young people allows them to get involved in a very concrete way. This is our first goal. The educational aspect is at the heart of our model. And the results are evident: the students are extremely motivated and this creates a completely different atmosphere in the classrooms. After each challenge, we carry out a satisfaction survey, both with the students, their teachers and with the final customers. The results are astounding. 80% of young people tell us they want to renew the challenge the following year … but above all to do better!

You have chosen to launch a second challenge this year, this time in spring …

Absolutely ! Usually, we have hosted a challenge during the Christmas season. This year, for the first time, we have decided to launch a second one, from March 28th to May 7th. This allows us to support our growth by offering other product ranges (read in the box), while supporting more classes and students at the same time, for a longer period of time.

In numbers:

3,900 the students were involved in the Christmas challenge in 2021

6,000 students are expected to participate in both challenges this year

22.5% This is the commission that the schools receive on the turnover including the tax made

86 references produced in the France Challenges catalog, between Christmas and spring operations

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