The Stevie Awards Blog

Travel Firm Helps Customers Explore Europe in Style on a Budget

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jun 06, 2018 @ 01:21 PM

Hospitality, you could say, is in Vyacheslav Shirokov’s bones.

He grew up in the vast eastern region of Siberia, Russia, where his parents ran a small hotel. To say the lodging was remote is an understatement. The nearest buildings were 500 kilometers away.

As the only one at the hotel who spoke English, it fell on Shirokov to help the occasional tourist from the United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom. Even back then, he enjoyed teaching visitors about Russian culture and playing the role of tour guide.

After receiving a master’s degree in the United States from New York University, he decided to help Americans and other foreigners explore his native country. He created a company named Travel All Russia to do just that.

A New Way to Explore Europe

firebird ceoShirokov’s organization was a far cry from the stodgy bus companies that once dominated the Russian tourism sector. The company, since creating a new brand of Firebird Tours, prides itself on putting customers in top-tier hotels and offering more convenient travel options, such as private transfers and high-speed trains. Customers can trek from city to city privately or with small groups.

From its inception a decade ago, the U.S.-based tour operator—with its main office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States—has worked to deliver a great travel experience to the masses. To drive down costs, the Firebird team works with local suppliers to get lower rates on transportation and hotel fees. Small-group tours cost about $200 per day, while private tours cost about $300 per day.

“The quality of the tours is better than any bus tour, and it’s half the price of similar luxury tours,” says Morta Jablonskaitė, marketing specialist for Firebird Tours.

Going one extra step for its customers, Firebird does something a lot of its competitors won’t: It helps clients obtain proper visas, which eliminates a key hurdle to overseas travel.

While the company started with a focus on Russia’s historic cities, it has since expanded to cover all of Europe, as well as Mongolia and Morocco. In addition to its Florida, United States office, Firebird now has satellite offices in Saint Petersburg, Russia; Minsk, Belarus; and Vilnius, Lithuania. By having experts on the ground, the Firebird team believes it can design better trips that steer customers to the most compelling locales.

By offering its products online, Firebird is also trying to shed the exclusivity that once plagued the European travel industry.

“The right use of technology helps us make upscale traveling available to all people who want to discover the beauty of the world on their terms,” Jablonskaitė says.

Impressive Growth

Firebird users clearly believe the operator is making good on its promise to offer more bang for your buck. The company has an average rating of 5.0 and 4.9 on Google and Facebook, respectively.

Those high reviews are helping the organization, expand at a robust rate—the company now has 88 employees. In February, its leadership team was handed a bronze Stevie Award for Sales Growth Achievement of the Year at the 12th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Jablonskaitė sees the honor as validation of the company’s business model.

“It shows that our sales team did excellent work in crafting itineraries and communicating to our clients,” she says. “This comes from ongoing training, a team-first culture, and, of course, a comfortable working environment.”

Going forward, Firebird hopes the award will help pave the way for continued growth.

“Winning the award helps us assure potential and current partners and suppliers that working with Firebird Tours is the right business choice for them,” she says. “The bronze in Sales Growth Achievement is a credibility mark we are excited to have.”

Tags: sales awards, best sales team, sales growth achievement

Brainier Solutions Helps Companies Embrace Employee Trainings

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 @ 06:20 PM

Brainier Solutions, Inc. is definitely making an impression in the tech world, both with their foundational Learning Management Systems (LMS) and their customer service. Consistent care has earned them the 2017 Bronze Stevie® Award for Customer Service Department of the Year. This is their third year winning a Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service.

brainier-1Brainier was founded in 1995 in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States with a mission to aid clients in continuing education and training, advancing skillsets, and expanding knowledge. They offer three different computer software packages: élan LMS, Chameleon 2.0 (developed by BI WORLDWIDE), and Legacy LMS.

Brainier Solutions serves small to large enterprises dedicated to training and investing in their staff. Their software packages offer an interactive, individualized learning portal accessible to employees at any time and on any digital device they choose.

They state, “Brainier programs are developed with the understanding that employees are not machines,” the company states. “They are people balancing needs, concerns, and interests in and out of the workplace. As such, we aspire to provide a curriculum that develops work-related skillsets and personal development attributes that promote success in every aspect of their life.”


The LMS offers access to courses in Drug and Alcohol Awareness, HIPAA, IT Skills, Legal Compliance, OSHA, PC Skills, SkillSoft, as well as access to other course libraries. Employees can study at their own pace in ways they can comprehend and succeed. LMS is sure to include blended learning options with interactive e-learning and multimedia resources. Success is measured by each individual’s testing and tracking.

Employers and their administrators can manage and coordinate trainings as well as keep track of each employee’s development and success. The LMS programs also offer internal social communication via blogs, file exchange, internal messaging, and live chat.

They are repeatedly recognized for their product and services by tech guru sites like TrainingIndustry.com and SoftwareInsider.com. TrainingIndustry.com cited Brainier Solutions as one of The Top 20 companies in 2017 for Learning Portals/LMS after several years of featuring them as a company to watch. SoftwareInsider.com assessed them as “Above Average” in almost every category. The Brandon Hall Group has awarded Brainier Solutions for Excellence in Technology for Learning Management and Unique Learning Technology every year since 2013.

Brainier Solutions’ excellent product and award-winning customer service mirrors the motivation behind their LMS systems. “To advance, you must inspire and invest in their [employee] development. In-house training not only motivates employees to improve, it also gives them the tools and knowledge to do so.”

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, customer service department of the year, solution provider awards, best sales team

New Categories in the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 11:35 AM

The 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are accepting entries. These are the world's top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals. All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries to the 12th annual competition.

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE

sascs 2017 group 1.jpgThe early-bird entry deadline, with discounted entry fees, is this October 18. The final entry deadline is November 15, but late entries will be accepted through next January 11 with payment of a late fee. 

There are four new new-product categories:

  • Best Sales Enablement Product - New
  • Best Sales Enablement Product - New Version
  • Best Sales & Marketing Mobile Application - New
  • Best Sales & Marketing Mobile Application - New Version

A number of the existing sales and customer service categories have been split into multiple categories based on industry. These include:

  • Sales Support Team of the Year
  • Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year
  • Award for Innovation in Sales
  • Back-Office Customer Service Professional of the Year
  • Young Customer Service Professional of the Year
  • Customer Service Team of the Year - Recovery Situation
  • Customer Service Complaints Team of the Year
  • Customer Service Training Team of the Year
  • e-Commerce Customer Service Award
  • Best Use of Technology in Customer Service

Learn more about what’s new and different in the 2018 edition of the awards.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, Customer Service Team of the Year, best sales team, sales team of the year, mobile application awards, support team awards

Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Announce Finalists in 11th Annual Competition

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Finalists in the 11th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, an international competition recognizing excellence in disciplines that are crucial to business success, were announced today.    

A diverse group of organizations and individuals around the world are among those recognized in the customer service awards, contact center awards, business development awards, and sales awards categories. Among the organizations with the most finalists are Carbonite, Inc. (Lewiston, ME USA), Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, GA USA), Deutsche Post DHL (offices globally), Festival Walk (Hong Kong, China), Guidewell Connect (Jacksonville, FL USA), HomeServe USA (Norwalk, CT USA), IBM (Armonk, NY USA), John Hancock Financial Services (Boston, MA USA), and Vizio, Inc. (Irvine, CA USA).

For a full list of Finalists by category, visit www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

SASCS winners 2016 7-1.jpgGold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be announced during a gala banquet on Friday, February 24 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tickets are now on sale.

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

More than 2,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition, an increase of 10% over 2016. Finalists were determined by the average scores of 77 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges. Entries were considered in 61 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; 53 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive 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 will determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging, to begin January 23.

Beginning today through February 10, the general public may vote for their favorite providers of customer service in the People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service. Voting is open at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com. Winners of the People’s Choice Stevie Awards in multiple industries will be determined in mid-February and honored at the awards gala in Las Vegas on February 24.

“We are very pleased with the quantity and quality of nominations received in this year’s competition,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and president of the Stevie Awards.  “The final judges are in for a treat, because they’re going to review many remarkable, inspiring stories of workplace success from around the world.”

Sponsors of the 11th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include Sales Partnerships, Inc. and ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

Tags: best customer service, customer service awards, sales awards, good customer service, best sales team

Insights from Sales Partnerships, Inc.

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 @ 02:44 PM

An interview with Fred Kessler,  CEO of the highly respected sales outsourcing firm, Sales Partnerships, Inc.

Sales Partnerships has provided outsourced sales solutions since 1997. Among their many Stevie Award wins, the company recently won the Silver Stevie in Sales Outsourcing Provider of the Year - along with a slew of other Stevie Awards in multiple categories. They were named as a Grand Stevie-winner in 2016 and are also a sponsor of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service for the second consecutive year.

We got the chance to talk to Fred Kessler, CEO of Sales Partnership, Inc., about how the group first submitted nominations to the Stevie Awards years ago and how they’ve remained involved since then.

The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service has closed for nominations. The 2017 American Business Awards offers Customer Service Awards categories and will accept entries through February 16. Late entries will be accepted through March 15. 

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

Fred looked back on when they first, “heard about the Stevies in 2007 and knew it was something we wanted to be a part of. That year marked our first win – as the winner of the top Sales Outsourcing Provider. We’ve repeated as winner in that category several times.”

Sales partnerships.jpgSales Partnerships has become known for helping companies overcome their challenges. Fred relayed that, “Sales Partnerships helps top brands navigate the challenges of market expansion and customer engagement via field engagement and outsourced sales solutions. Utilizing our proprietary technology and best practices, Sales Partnerships provides integrated sales and marketing solutions for market launch, customer engagement, customer acquisition and retention.”

Since 2007, Sales Partnerships has continued to win Stevie Awards.Fred explained why their involvement with us has been beneficial: “We first got involved in participating in the Stevie Awards several years ago when we were just signing some of our first big accounts. We thought it would be a good way to get our name out there, network some of the other participating companies, and learn from each other.”

Being recognized for progress in your field is important; Fred explains why the Stevie Awards matters to the firm:

“We take pride in the wins. Recognitions for being the best at what we do are important.”

Fred also acknowledged how winning Stevie Awards has directly affected their business.

“Our Stevie wins have helped reinforce the reputation we’ve built over two decades of being the industry leader in Sales Outsourcing. “

We asked Fred what trends have come and gone over the years and how they have stayed relevant:

“Old school approaches to sales are increasingly failing. Field representatives aren’t there to just parrot information about products. Market targeting and approach have to be far more than just intuition or guessing about where the best opportunities will exist. Today’s success in field engagement requires getting the best talent, constantly honing them, and equipping them with best tools and analytics about their territories. Smart applications of big data, cutting edge use of analytics to maximize sales, and leveraging real time information to adjust and to maximize markets is now the requirement to be competitive. Today’s best field engagement teams will require evolution of the best practices and technologies – the industry is in a state of renaissance that will separate those willing to take the steps to achieve the best results and those left behind.”

Though the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 135 Sales Awards, the Sales Partnerships vision has remained focused on continuing their success in changing times.

“The vision of Sales Partnerships is to continuously develop best of breed solutions to allow for engagement with customers in the field as branded representatives for our clients. We serve as an extension to our clients’ brands which allows them to expand their market presence in ways difficult to do on their own. This provides brand protection and focus not possible through resellers or independent rep organizations. ”

Fred concluded that, “We focus on developing the most productive processes for recruiting, training, field management, territory management, and analytics to drive maximized marketing and sales goals for our clients. Large companies trust us to be their field forces globally. We strive to always deliver far above any other option they could have used while vigilantly protecting and advocating for their brands.”

Learn more about Sales Partnerships here 

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, Sales Partnerships, best sales team, sales outsourcing, sales leader

Nominate Your Award-worthy Sales Team

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

The 11th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service recognize the achievements of contact center, customer service, business development and sales professionals worldwide. Entries for the 2017 competition are now being accepted.

October 19 is the early-bird entry deadline with discounted entry fees. The entry deadline is November 16, but late entries will be accepted through January 11 with payment of a late fee. Winners of the eleventh annual competition will be announced at a gala awards banquet on February 24 at Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas.

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

SASCS_winners_2016_987.jpgToday we will highlight the Sales Team Awards categories. Sales team categories recognize the members of individual teams within your overall sales department.  For example, the team may service a particular customer segment or a single client, or may work in a particular sales territory.

Information required for entries in these categories include:
(a) An essay of up to 650 words describing the team’s accomplishments since July 1, 2015.
(b) Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges. At the very least you should provide a link to the organization's website.

Global Sales Team of the Year
Recognizing sales teams whose industry, client, or other focus has a global scope.

National Sales Team of the Year
Recognizing sales teams whose industry, client, or other focus has a national scope.

Government Sales Team of the Year
Recognizing sales teams whose charge is selling to government clients.

Field Sales Team of the Year
Recognizing sales teams that obtain the majority of their business out of the office at face to face meetings with clients.

Telesales Team of the Year
Recognizing sales teams that obtain the majority of their business by telephone .

Online Sales Team of the Year
Recognizing sales teams that obtain the majority of their business via online and social media.

Sales Support Team of the Year
Recognizing teams that provide administrative, logistical, or resource support to sales organizations.

Sales Operations Team of the Year
Recognizing teams that help sales organizations to run effectively, efficiently and in support of business strategies and objectives

Virtual Technology Sales Enablement and Pre-sales Team of the Year
Recognizing teams that provide remote sales and technology expertise to accelerate and enable sales with a global or national scope.

Sales Management Team of the Year
Recognizing the leadership teams of sales organizations for their achievements.

Past Stevie Award winners in the Sales Team Awards categories include:

Global Sales Team of the Year 
GOLD STEVIE WINNER:
Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, CA USA: Cisco's Global Virtual Sales Organization
SILVER STEVIE WINNER:
Acquia, Burlington, MA USA: Acquia's Global Account Sales Team
BRONZE STEVIE WINNERS:
Marriott International Inc., Bethesda, MD USA: Marriott Global Reservation Sales
Varonis, New York, NY USA: Varonis Systems Sales Team
Victrex plc, Lancashire, United Kingdom: Victrex Sales Team

National Sales Team of the Year 
GOLD STEVIE WINNER:
Adobe Systems Incorporated, San Jose, CA USA: Adobe Strategic Accounts Sales Team
SILVER STEVIE WINNERS:
iHeartMedia, Inc., New York, NY USA: iHeartMedia, Inc. National Sales Team
Lyons Consulting Group, Chicago, IL USA: LYONSCG's National Sales Team
Sales Partnerships, Inc., Westminster, CO USA: Sales Partnerships, Inc. Sales Team of the Year
SoftPro, Raleigh, NC USA: SoftPro Sales Team Boosts Revenue Amidst Industry Changes
BRONZE STEVIE WINNERS:
Digital Risk, Maitland, FL USA: Digital Risk National Sales Team
Revana, Tempe, AZ USA: Revana Ranked Highest Global Google AdWords Vendor

Government Sales Team of the Year 
GOLD STEVIE WINNER:
DHL Express U.S., Plantation, FL USA: DHL Express Public Sector Team
BRONZE STEVIE WINNER:
IAC Philippines / TomArmor Systems, Layton, UT USA: IAC Philippines Government Sales Team

Field Sales Team of the Year 
GOLD STEVIE WINNER:
Sales Partnerships, Inc., Westminster, CO USA: SPI Lights up Sales in 2015
SILVER STEVIE WINNERS:
American Solar Direct, Los Angeles, CA USA: American Solar Direct Embraces Change to Drive Results
Turk Ekonomi Bankasi, Istanbul, Turkey: Strongest Field Sales Team of Turkey
USHEALTH Advisors, LLC, Grapevine, TX USA: USHEALTH Advisors Field Force Fulfills Our Company's Mission of HOPE
BRONZE STEVIE WINNER:
Lennox Industries, Inc., Richardson, TX USA: Lennox's Field Territory Sales Team

...and more. See all 2016 Sales Team winners here.

Tags: sales awards, sales accomplishments, best sales team

Follow The Stevie Awards

Subscribe to Email Updates

Opportunities

CMA_Alerts_125x125-1

Most Popular Posts

Browse by Tag

Posts by Month