The Stevie Awards Blog

Watch Clips from the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Banquet

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 03:15 PM

We are pleased to share that the acceptance speeches and winner interview clips from the awards gala celebrating the 2014 (8th Annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's premier sales awards and customer service awards, are now available to view on YouTube. The gala took place on February 21 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

A complete list of all Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards by category is available at picture

Here are some of the Gold Stevie-winning interviews you'll find online now:

kohlsKohl's Department Stores - Credit Division, Winner of the Gold Stevie® Award for Contact Center of the Year (Over 100 Seats) All Other Industries



describe the imageRevana, Winner of the Gold Stevie® Award for Sales Oursourcing Provider of the Year

freshbooksFreshBooks, Winner of the Gold Stevie® Award for Customer Service Manager of the Year, Customer Service Team of the Year - Business Service Industries, and Customer Service Management Team of the Year - All Other Industries

media temple(mt) Media Temple, Winner of the Gold Stevie® Award for Contact Center Solution - New Version


boxBox, Inc., Winner of the Gold Stevie® Awards for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year - Technology Industries - Computer Software - 100 or More Employees


Topics: customer service awards, sales awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service

2014 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Announced

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Sat, Feb 22, 2014 @ 03:24 PM

Winners in the eighth annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, an international competition recognizing excellence in disciplines that are vital to business success, were unveiled last night at a gala ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada attended by more than 470 executives from around the world.

Delta Air Lines Grand AwardDP DHL, with Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award wins for activities worldwide, in Mexico, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.A., among other nations, was the most honored organization this year, thus earning the top Grand Stevie Award trophy. Other Grand Stevie Award winners, in descending order, include VIZIO, Inc., Delta Air Lines, John Hancock Signature Services, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Turk Economy Bank, Salesforce, Richardson, EMKAY, and PetRays Veterinary Telemedicine Consultants.

Among other Stevie winners,, CubeSmart, FreshBooks, Lennox Industries, and RBS Citizens won three Gold Stevie Awards each. Winners of two Gold Stevies include Akbank, AMD, and Marriott Vacation Club.

A complete list of all Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards by category is available at

Winners in the fifth annual People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, as determined by more than 430,000 public votes, were also awarded at the event to organizations including CardioVet, Constant Contact, JobVite, and India’s TATA Motors Ltd., among others.

The presentations were recorded and will be broadcast by the Biz Talk Radionetworks ( at 8:00 pm ET on Wednesday, February 26.

The awards are presented by the Stevie Awards, which organizes several of the world’s leading business award shows including the prestigious International Business Awards and the new Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

Over 1,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition, an increase of 36% over 2013. Finalists were determined by the average scores of 129 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges. Entries were considered in 43 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 43 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.

More than 130 members of seven specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging, that took place January 27 - February 5.

About The Stevie Awards
The Stevie Awards are conferred in five programs: The American Business Awards, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. A sixth program, the German Stevie Awards, will be introduced later this year. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at, and follow the Stevie Awards on Twitter @TheStevieAwards.

Sponsors and supporters of the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include the Biz Talk Radionetwork, Competence Call Center, and ValueSelling Associates.

Topics: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, excellent customer service, customer service excellence

Winners of the 2014 People's Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 @ 11:37 AM

Awards to Be Presented at the Banquet on February 21 in Las Vegas

PCSAFCS LogoMore than 430,000 votes were cast in the 2014 People's Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, part of the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top sales awards and customer service awards.

The worldwide public vote was conducted between January 23 and February 14, 2014, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in 11 industry categories.  The winning organizations are:

  • Computer Software (Up to 100 Employees): CardioVet
  • Computer Software (100 or More Employees): Jobvite
  • Healthcore and Related Industries: PetRays

The crystal people's choice awards will be presented to winners at the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service banquet on Friday, February 21 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tickets for the event are now on sale.  More than 400 executives from around the world will attend.

All organizations honored in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories of this year’s Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service were eligible to be included in voting for the people’s choice awards.

Sponsors and supporters of the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include the Business TalkRadio Network, Competence Call Center, and ValueSelling Associates.

Topics: customer service awards, business awards, sales awards, excellent customer service, customer service excellence, peoples choice awards

Who's Coming to the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service?

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 11:56 AM

A record crowd of more than 400 executives from around the world will attend the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on Friday, February 21.  Get your tickets now.

BellagioThese are the world's top sales awards and customer service awards.  Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be announced, selected from the Finalists announced last month by the members of seven specialized final judging committees.

Here's the list of organizations that will be represented at next Friday's gala, as of earlier today:

(mt) Media Temple Culver City CA
60K Ltd. Sofia Bulgaria
Accenture BPO Services of BC Vancouver BC Canada
Access One Inc Chicago IL
Acquia Burlington MA
Actiontec Electronics Sunnyvale CA
Aditya Birla Minacs Moncton NB Canada
Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose CA
Advanced Solutions Inc. Louisville KY
Ally Bank Detroit MI
AMD Sunnyvale CA
ARI Mount Laurel NJ
Assurant Solutions Atlanta GA
AVRS Petaluma CS
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation Memphis TN
Best Western International Phoenix AZ Houston TX
Bluebeam Software Pasadena CA
Bluegreen Vacations Indianapolis IN
Broadview Networks Rye Brook NY
Buildium Boston MA Chicago IL
CFS2 Tulsa OK
CGS New York NY
Chally Group / Sales Education Foundation Dayton OH
Clarizen San Mateo CA
Comcast Cable Philadelphia PA
Competence Call Center Vienna Austria
Constant Contact Waltham MA
CRMnext Noida India
Cross Country Home Services Fort Lauderdale FL
CSI Enterprises / globalVCard Bonita Springs FL
CubeSmart Malvern PA
DataCore Software Fort Lauderdale FL
Datapipe Jersey City NJ
Delta Air Lines Atlanta GA
DHL Express Mexico Distrito Federal
DHL Express Saudi Arabia
DHL Global Forwarding Bonn Germany
DHL Global Forwarding Miami FL
DHL Plantation FL
Discover Financial Services Riverwoods IL
DiscoverOrg Vancouver WA
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG Stuttgart Germany
Elephant Insurance Glen Allen VA
En Pointe Technologies Los Angeles CA
Enterprise Fleet Management St. Louis MO
ExactTarget Indianapolis IN
Experian Consumer Services Costa Mesa CA
Extreme Networks Salem NH
eZCom Software Inc. Englewood NJ
FastSpring Santa Barbara CA
FedEx TechConnect Memphis TN
Florida Blue BlueDirect Sales Center Jacksonville FL
Forrest Performance Group Fort Worth TX
FreshBooks Toronto ON Canada
General Cable Corp. Highland Heights KY Scottsdale AZ
Great Wolf Resorts Customer Contact Center Madison WI
Haiku Learning Tucson AZ
HotelTonight San Francisco CA
HUB International- Business Development Team Westmont IL
I-Flow LLC Lake Forest CA
IHG Salt Lake City UT
Imparta Ltd London United Kingdom
Infinite Convergence Solutions Arlington Heights IL
InfoCision Management Corporation Akron OH
Informatica Corporation Redwood City CA
InsureMyTrip Warwick RI
IntelePeer San Mateo CA
iSpeak Inc. Round Rock TX
Jobvite Burlingame CA
John Hancock Portsmouth NH
KANA Software Inc. Sunnyvale CA
Kohl's Department Stores - Credit Division Menomonee Falls WI
Lennox Industries Richardson TX
Listen Up Espanol Portland ME Alpharetta GA
Locus Telecommunications Inc. Fort Lee NJ
Marriott International Inc. Bethesda MD
Marriott Vacation Club International Orlando FL
MasterCard WorldWide O'Fallon MO
Merchant Warehouse Boston MA
Mercury Payment Systems Durango CO
MetLife Alico Life Insurance K.K. Osaka Japan
Moen Incorporated North Olmsted OH
Monitronics International Dallas TX
Mozy Corporation Seattle WA
MSA Pittsburgh PA
NCR Corporation Dayton OH
Netchex Mandeville LA
Network Alliance Reston VA
nFocus Solutions Austin TX
Nuance Communications Burlington MA
NYCM Insurance Edmeston NY
Offerpop New York NY
Oi Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro Brazil
OmniUpdate Camarillo CA
Opet Istanbul Turkey
OppenheimerFunds Inc. Englewood CO
OptumRx Costa Mesa CA
Outsell LLC Minneapolis MN
Parlant Technology Provo UT
Paycor Cincinnati OH Newark NJ
Photodex Austin TX
PJ Care Ltd Milton Keynes United Kingdom
PrimePay West Chester PA
Purchasing Power Atlanta GA
Rackspace Hosting San Antonio TX
Rapid7 Boston MA
RBS Citizens Providence RI Redwood City CA
Safelite AutoGlass Columbus OH
Salesforce San Francisco CA
Salt Lake County Government Salt Lake City UT
Shell & Turcas Petrol AS Istanbul Turkey
ShopKeep POS New York NY
Single Digits Inc. Manchester NH
Sitel Nashville TN
SmartAction El Segundo CA
Sofica Group JSC Sofia Bulgaria
SolarCity San Mateo CA
SpareFoot Austin TX
Strategy to Revenue Buckinghamshire United Kingdom
Sundance Vacations Wilkes-Barre PA
SurePayroll Inc. Glenview IL
SYSPRO Costa Mesa CA
Telogis Aliso Viejo CA
Thismoment San Francisco CA
TradeKing Group Inc. Fort Lauderdale FL
Trifecta Communications Moore OK
TTNET Istanbul Turkey
TTNET Istanbul Turkey
United States Equestrian Federation Lexington KY
ValueSelling Associates Rancho Santa Fe CA
Verne Global Falls Church VA
Vestmark Wakefield MA Boca Raton FL
Vivint Inc. Provo UT
VIZIO Inc. Irvine CA
Vonage Holmdel NJ
Wells Fargo Bank - Treasury Management Client Services El Monte CA
Wheels Inc. Des Plaines IL
Zendesk San Francisco CA
ZoomInfo Waltham MA
Zuora Inc. Foster City CA

Topics: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, excellent customer service, customer service excellence

The Final Judges of the Top Sales Awards & Customer Service Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 @ 10:35 AM

Final judging concluded on Wednesday for the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top customer service awards and sales awards.  More than 260 professionals around the world participated in the preliminary and final judging process this year - a record number - and we thank all of the people who participated for their time, their interest, and their insights.

Two weeks ago in this space we acknowledged the 129 executives who participated in the preliminary judging process, which determined this year's Finalists.  Now it's time we thank the members of the seven specialized final judging committees, whose scores have determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements that will be announced at our gala awards banquet on Friday, February 21 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  (Get your tickets here.)

All judges are also acknowledged on the awards' website, will be listed in the official program book that will be distributed at the awards gala and online, and will receive a certificate of appreciation, suitable for framing.

Interested in participating in the 2015 judging process?  Learn more here.

The members of the seven final judging committees were as follows.

Customer Service & Contact Center Achievement Categories Final Judges

George OrrChair: George Orr, Vice President of Client Services at kCura in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Steve Ankenbrandt, Cofounder & President
Milyli Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA

Bruce Blank, Director of Litigation Support
Foley & Lardner LLP, Westminster, Colorado, USA

Ye Chen, Founder
NexLP, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Ruth Diehl, Assistant Vice President
Harris Bank, Elmhurst, Illinois, USA

Anthony Digate, Senior Account Executive
SalesForce, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jeff Gilles, Director, Product Solutions Group
Content Analyst Company, Reston, Virginia, USA

Tanya Glaser, Litigation Support Case Manager
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Joann Kay, Customer Care Director
GraduationSource, Port Chester, New York, USA

Jim LeMere, Director Customer Contact Center
Great Wolf Resorts, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Kit Mackie, Founder
NexLP, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Alicia Orr, Corporate Bookkeeper
Waterton Associates, Elmhurst, Illinois, USA

Walter Pynas, COO
George Jon Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA

John Sanchez, Executive Vice President
Advanced Discovery, LLC, San Francisco, California, USA

Taffi Schurz, Vice President, Quality Assurance
LDiscovery, LLC, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Michael Senko, Partner
Wolf & Co LLP, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, USA

Christopher Terzich, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking
Standard Bank & Trust Company, Lyons, Illinois, USA

Customer Service and Contact Center Individual Categories Final Judging Committee

Sanjeev GargChair: Sanjeev Garg, Global Head of Customer Care, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit at TATA Motors in Mumbai, India

Sumanth Badiga, Managing Director
Jasper Industries Limited, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Atul Bahel, Marketing Manager
Shell India Markets Private Limited, Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Bhavana Bindra, Vice President, Automotive Business
Cummins India Limited, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Angela Blevins, Vice President Customer Care
Bluegreen Corporation, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Saibal Choudhuri, Global Account Manager
Shell India Markets Private Limited, Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Anurag Gupta, Director
DGM-India, New Delhi, India

Phillip Horvath, Senior Vice President, Professional Services
Merchant Partners, Redmond, Washington, USA

Manish Jar, Group Managing Director
Sewells Group, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Shridhar P Joshi, Consultant Advisor
TATA Motors, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Achal Mehra, Director
Mahua Resorts Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Sanjay Passi, President & CEO
Pasco Motors, New Delhi, India

Mathew Sebastian, Managing Director
Strategic Learning Solutions Private Limited, Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Premanand Shenoy, Managing Director
Prerana Motors Private Limited, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Vipul Tandon, Vice President, Distribution Business
Cummins India Limited, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Customer Service Department Categories Final Judging Committee

KellyThomasChair: Kelly Thomas, Assistant Vice President, Client Relations at OppenheimerFunds, Inc., in Englewood, Colorado, USA

Colleen Bolton, Client Officer
National Quality Review, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Glen Colthup, Senior Director
SRS|Acquiom LLC, Denver, Colorado, USA

Andrea Daigle, Marketing Director
HindmanSanchez, Arvada, Colorado, USA

Bethany Demeter, Sales Analyst
Inspirato, Littleton, Colorado, USA

Russ DiBlasi, Vice President, Operations & Customer Care
Zions Bancorporation, Houston, Texas, USA

Vickie Friece, Vice President, Operations & Customer Care
Zions Bancorporation, Kanab, Utah, USA

Eric Head, Senior Director of Sales
Foresee, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Adam Ihrig, Business Analyst, Chase Customer Service Real Time Solutions-Card
JPMorgan Chase, Heathrow, Florida, USA

Scott Kozak, Founding Partner/CEO
KozakandAssociates, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA

Jason Morris, Release Manager
SRS|Acquiom LLC, Denver, Colorado, USA

Joann Orefice, Director-Human Resources
Ticketmaster, Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA

Jacque Plair, Director, Network & Corporate Services
IHG, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Tonya Plumer, Sales Assistant
Strategic Benefit Services, Rensselaer, New York, USA

Steven Puckett, Vice President, Retirement Plans
Strategic Benefit Services, Rensselaer, New York, USA

Soli Schwarz, Business Analyst
JPMorgan Chase, Heathrow, Florida, USA

Afton Semon, Director Customer Service-Support Service
Franklin Templeton, Rancho Cordova, Georgia, USA

Mike Twedt, Director Finance
Miller Heiman, Aurora, Colorado, USA

Vincent Vanden Bossche, Managing Director
Call Communications, Ottenburg, Belgium

Customer Service and Contact Center Team Categories Final Judging Committee

BenHerkenhoffChair: Ben Herkenhoff, Customer Interaction Center Manager at Outsell, LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 

Teresa Allen, Owner
Common Sense Solutions, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

Ken Amormino, Director of Call Center Operations
Time Warner Cable, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Dmitry Aristarkhov, Executive Vice President
National Association of Contact Centers, Moscow, Russia

Leah Bowes, Senior Director, Customer Experience
PaySimple, Denver, Colorado, USA

Laura Fredrickson, Director of Marketing
NIC Technologies, Arlington, Virginia, USA

Peggy Heafey, Director, Intermediary Partner Care
Marriott Global Sales & Customer Care, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Tunde Hubina, Customer Care Director
UPC DTH S.á r.l., Luxembourg

Molly Kapoor, Head of Marketing
Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Meltem Karateke, President
IMI Conferences, Istanbul, Turkey

Raymond Lohr, Customer Experience Program Manager
Kabel Deutschland, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Steve Mackie, Group Manager, Workforce Management
Target Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mary Poynter, Senior Director Managed Services
Contact At Once!, Alpharetta, Georgia, USA

Randy Selleck, Senior Director, EPS Call Center Operations
Assurant Solutions, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Emily Truslow, Annuity Customer Service Manager
Securian Financial Group, St Paul, Minnesota, USA

Sales Achievement and Sales Individual Categories Final Judging Committee

Becky JohnsChair: Becky Johns, Vice President of MarketBridge in Bethesda, Maryland, USA

James Brodo, Senior Vice President, Marketing
Richardson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Nicky Brooker, Vice President
MasterCard, Purchase, New York, USA

Jason Brusa, Director, Partnership Brand Marketing
Capital One, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jamie Clark, National Sales Coach
Forrest Performance Group, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Dean Cowell, Senior Vice President, Marketing Strategy
Citi, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Fred Cremo, National Practice Leader
Humana, Tampa, Florida, USA

David deBuys, Associate Director
CEB, Arlington, Virginia, USA

Vincent DiCaro, Vice President, Development & Communication
National Fatherhood Initiative, Germantown, Maryland, USA

Christine Fludd, Loyalty Marketing Manager
Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, USA

Kristi Kehr, Area Catering Sales Manager
Panera, LLC, York, Pennsylvania, USA

Howard Lewis, President
Family Heritage Life Insurance, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Kore McBride, Owner
Miss Fit, Encinitas, California, USA

April Mock, Manager, CEM & Loyalty
Panera, LLC, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Andrew Pyper, Senior Business Leader, US Merchant Marketing
MasterCard Worldwide, Purchase, New York, USA

Vicki Rollins, Vice President, Sales Operations
Angoss Software Corporation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Matthew Smith, Program Manager
Qualcomm, Encinitas, California, USA

Melissa Steward, Vice President, Marketing
National Fatherhood Initiative, Germantown, Maryland, USA

Jason Stroot, Strategic Partner Lead
Google Inc, New York, New York, USA

Cindy Wen, Marketing Specialist-Credit & Gift Card Marketing
Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, USA

Jaffer Zaidi, Head of Retail Partnerships
Google Inc, New York, New York, USA

Sales Team and Sales Department Categories Final Judging Committee

Mike OrtegonChair: Mike Ortegon, Director of Global Sales Operations at in Austin, Texas, USA

Jeanne Conger, Certified Forrest PG Instructor
Forrest Performance Group, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Michael Conley, Director Operations Mid Atlantic
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, N Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Daniel DiBona, Sales Manager
Elephant Insurance, Glen Allen, Virginia, USA

Robert Gillespie, Executive Vice President, Corporate Director Employee Development & Training
New York Community Bancorp, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Linden Ingram, Executive Vice President
Imparta Inc., Austin, Texas, USA

Fred Kessler, Founder
Sales Partnerships, Inc., Westminster, Colorado, USA

Scott MacGregor, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
FloTech, Middletown, Connecticut, USA

Jason Mathias, Vice President of Sales Operations
Living Social, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Rowena Maxwell, Senior Principle-Customer Sales & Service
Accenture, London, United Kingdom

Gene McNaughton, President
Elite Concepts, Inc., Ladera Ranch, California, USA

Julie Thomas, President & CEO
ValueSelling, Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA

Solution Provider and New Product and Service Categories Final Judging Committee

Ansa SekharanChair: Ansa Sekharan, Senior Vice President, Global Customer Support at Informatica Corporation in Redwood City, California, USA

Jamal Ayyad, Vice President-Service Delivery
SurePayroll, Inc., Glenview, Illinois, USA

Deepak Chawla, Senior Director Global Technical Services
Nutanix, San Jose, California, USA

Andrew Curtis, Manager, Product Specialists
iCIMS, Hazlet, New Jersey, USA

Churchill Dass Prince, Founder & CEO
Sales Intellect Company, Chennai, India

David Fong, Vice President, Marketing
Accounting 4 Solutions, Inc, Los Angeles, California, USA

J Israel Greene, Director of Managed Services
Gorilla Group, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jimmy Griffith, Director, Quality Assurance
Assurant Solutions, Forth Worth, Texas, USA

Julie Holmes, Product Manager, Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA

Scott James, Program Manager, Member Advisory Center
Arizona State Retirement System, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Eric Johnson, Senior Vice President & CIO
Informatica, Global Customer Support & Maintenance Renewals, Redwood City, California, USA

Jesintha Rajaratnam, Managing Partner
Joje India Consultants/Finance & HR, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

Mark Repkin, Chief Revenue Officer, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Rahul Sheth, Lead Strategy and Marketing
CRMnext, Noida, India

David Vasquez, Customer Care Executive
Ally Bank, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Carla Zachman, Director, Talent Acquisition and Talent Management
Insight Software, Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA

Topics: customer service awards, judging, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, excellent customer service, customer service excellence, judges

How to Price Your Product to Sell: Tips From a Sales Awards Sponsor

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

Julie Thomas is CEO of ValueSelling Associates in Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA, a sponsor of the 2014 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top customer service awards and sales awardsValueSelling has associates around the globe, and recently appointed a new associate in China, so Julie is excited by the customer service awards category in the new Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.  (Get your entry kit for this program here.)  Julie recently shared with us some insight on determining the right price of a product or service.

Julie ThomasDuring the objection-handling module of our ValueSelling sales training course, we ask participants: “What is the most common objection?” Nine times out of ten, the objection they get from the customer is: “Your price is too high,” or “You’re too expensive.”

The price objection is guaranteed to come up during most sales cycles. In the current economic environment, no one wants to pay more than necessary for any product or service.  In addition, buyers are more educated than ever before. Choices are plentiful. No one wants to overpay or be taken advantage of. With that said, we don’t need to lower prices to win the business … nor do we need to be afraid of discussing the cost of the products or services we sell.

Price objections are raised because the salesperson hasn’t yet demonstrated enough value for the prospect to feel comfortable in making a purchase.

Price and value are vastly different concepts, however. Price is what is paid for an item at a given time. It’s a short-term conversation. Value is an investment made in exchange for future benefits. Value is a long-term concept.

Does your product or service convey value?
Start by asking yourself these seemingly simple questions:

-What makes your company valuable to a customer?

-What is your unique selling proposition?

-Why should the prospect care?

Often a prospect gets the same pitch from both you and your competitors. Whether it’s great service, 24-hour availability, leading-edge technology, or more than 500 happy clients, they’ve heard it all. The truth is that it doesn’t matter what you think is valuable. What matters is what the customer perceives is valuable.

Once you identify what is valuable to your customer, it will be much easier to lead the prospect toward a buying decision.

Most sales professionals don’t spend nearly enough time to uncover the real value they offer the prospect. Still others don’t know how to articulate the value in a way that presses the customer’s emotional hot buttons.

Get the customer’s perspective
What’s the best way to pinpoint and promote real value? Get the customer perspective. Discover how your customer uses your product or service. Interview them by phone or in person, and find out:

-What do they like about your product or service?

-How does it make their life easier?

-How could your product or service be improved?

-How do they use your product or service?

-What causes them to use your product or service?

-How does it impact their customers?

This gives you a ripe opportunity to listen and be open to what the customer has to say. Even if the comments are less than positive, sometimes the mere fact that you’re listening helps to create a bond with the customer that is long lasting.

Become your own customer 

Believe it or not, some companies don’t even use their own products or services! First-hand experience gives you true empathy for the customer. You wouldn’t buy a car without reading the reviews, visiting various car dealerships, or taking a few for a test drive, would you? Often your product or service requires a much larger investment. So don’t just rely on information from marketing materials to fuel your sales presentations. Shop around, “test drive” the other products and services, and do a side-by-side comparison with the competition.

By being your own customer, you’ll quickly discover what’s so great about your product or service, and you’ll be able to articulate the value proposition more effectively.

Deliver value to your customer
Given that customers are faced with a vast array of decisions, opportunities, and alternatives all competing for limited funds, value matters more than ever before. Your job throughout the sales cycle is to determine the customer’s motivation for buying your product or service, and then articulate that value in such a compelling way that the customer feels comfortable making the decision to buy from you.

When it comes to decision criteria, these are the crucial measurements the customer weighs:

-Is the price worth the investment?

-Is the risk worth the reward?

-Is the effort worth the impact?

Value is in the eye of the customer
Make the effort to gain the customer perspective, passionately articulate your value, and then deliver value over and over again. Doing so will help you reduce the perceived risk, increase the positive impact you deliver, and speed the sales cycle.

For more information and insights on sales and selling, visit the Value Selling Blog.

About Julie Thomas:

Julie Thomas, President and CEO of ValueSelling Associates, is a noted speaker, author, and consultant. In a career spanning more than 24 years, she credits her mastery of the ValueSelling Framework® for her own meteoric rise through the ranks of sales, sales management, and corporate leadership positions.

Julie began her career at Gartner Group. In 1999, she became Vice President of Gartner’s Sales Training for the Americas, which included successfully managing the training of new hires in the ValueSelling process.  In 2003, Julie acquired ValueSelling Associates with the support of ValueSelling CEO and co-founder Lloyd Sappington. Since then, Julie has led the company to become an industry leader in competency- and process-based training for escalating sales performance.

Julie is a sought-after speaker at industry events such as the Selling Power Sales Leadership Conferences. She is a guest lecturer at both Babson University and the University of Michigan. In addition, Julie is on the advisory board of the eWomenNetwork Foundation Advisory Council and is heavily involved in her local public schools as well as the San Diego Children’s Hospital Auxiliary.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

About ValueSelling Associates

ValueSelling Associates, based in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is the creator of the ValueSelling Framework®, the sales methodology preferred by sales executives around the globe. Since 1991, ValueSelling Associates has helped FORTUNE 1000 business-to-business sales organizations compete and win in markets crowded with seemingly similar products and services. ValueSelling Associates has maintained its position as a leader in the industry by continually evolving to meet the new challenges sales forces face. Clients turn to the experts at ValueSelling Associates for classroom training, online training, and consulting services that yield immediate impact, repeatable strategies, and sustainable results. For more information, visit

Topics: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

New Video: How to Enter The International Business Awards

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Feb 05, 2014 @ 01:48 PM

We've just published a new video entitled" How to Enter The 2014 International Business Awards.  Watch it here.

IBA Video

The International Business Awards are the world's premier business awards program.  Now in their 11th year, the IBAs typically receive nominations from organizations in more than 50 nations and territories. 

All individuals and organizations worldwide -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small -- may submit nominations to the IBAs, recognized as the world's top honors in business and the only completely international business awards competition.

The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Stevie® Award trophies will be conferred upon top-scoring nominations in each category, to be determined by the ratings of more than 200 professionals around the world, acting as judges..

The IBAs feature a wide range of categories to recognize achievement in every aspect of the workplace, including

See the full list of International Business Awards categories.

In slightly more than four minutes the new video illustrates

  • How to get the entry kit
  • How to review and select categories
  • How to prepare and submit entries through the IBA website

The early-bird entry deadline for The 2014 International Business Awards is April 16.  See the complete IBA calendar here.

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