The Stevie Awards Blog

Elevating the Standard of Customer Journeys

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 @ 01:39 PM

Customers today can interact with organizations across multiple platforms. So how do you track the unique and complex experience of every customer? NICE Customer eXperience Analytics (NICE | cXa) created the digital and analytical transformation necessary for organizations to monopolize the global consumer-centric economy.

Their commitment to end-to-end visualizations of the customer journey has greatly helped organizations recognize pain points and engage insights to transform customer experiences. This is how they won the Silver Stevie Award for Best Cloud Contact Center Technology and the Bronze Stevie Award for Sales Performance Management Suite in the 2017 Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service.

Elevating the Standard of Customer Journeys

NICE_CXA_200X200-(2).jpgAttempting to elevate the standard of customer journeys more broadly, using both innovative technologies and practical thought leadership, is a real challenge. Robert Zoch, head of Customer Journey Solutions, believes their ‘Total Voice of the Customer and Customer Journey Solutions’ are the most capable tools now available for helping large businesses optimize their customer experiences. Zoch shares why winning a Stevie matters in their industry.

“We can make our case loudly and continuously, but the judgment of professionals through the Stevie Awards will always mean more for a great many enterprise technology users.”

Keeping Up with Continuous Change

It's become imperative for brands to have technologies keep up an expanding array of channels by which customers interact with brands. NICE knows customers want low-effort experiences that are enabled by capable self-service tools; but NICE also knows they need to ensure brands can live up to these expectations. Zoch says NICE is proud of how long they’ve been able to meet these demands.

“NICE celebrated 30 years as a global brand. Our particular division finished 2016 with a bang, forging contracts to provide several global brands with Customer Journey Solutions. Among other highlights, we were able to demonstrate an annual ROI surpassing $130 million for five such brands, which include telecommunications, healthcare and financial services. That type of performance is hard to ignore, and these awards represent another rung in our climb to market dominance.”

People are Key to Our Business Success

NICE believes their client relationships are "partnerships," and not only does this help ensure they achieve their goals, but also provides insights to continuously refine solutions to serve the needs of their marketplace. Zoch explains how placing a strong emphasis on customer success with a special team ensures their technologies’ best practices and strategies to accomplish their goals.

“Our value proposition lies in helping brands understand their customer journeys, and fittingly, we apply that same principle to the way we interact with our customers.”

Zoch continues to say they also have a strong commitment to their own people and they're proud to offer benefits to their employees that “many companies do not have.” Just some of the benefits they offer include: paid travel insurance, legal and pet insurance, generous paternity leave, benefits for children with disabilities and much more.

“As a collective body we are deeply committed. So, we respect and listen to each other, drawing from our experiences and learning from our respective skills and backgrounds. That’s why people want to work at NICE.”

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, contact center awards, Customer Service Team of the Year

Signs.com Builds Loyalty with Focus on Customer Care

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 05:51 PM

Do a web search for custom signage, and you’ll find a multitude of businesses from which to choose. Needless to say, it’s an industry where separating oneself from the pack can be a difficult proposition.

Since its inception in 2012, the management team behind Signs.com has believed an unparalleled level of customer service is a big part of the answer. From the beginning the company has guaranteed 100% satisfaction to its customers, many of them individuals and small businesses.

Signs.com new-1.jpgBy 2015, the Salt Lake City-based organization decided to take things a step further. Internally, the team posed a central question: “If we had the best customer experience in the world, what would we do?”

The answer to that question was creating a new mindset that put the customer experience front and center. In order to help make that happen, the customer service department was renamed the “customer experience department.” Instead of focusing on individual interactions, the staff would focus on the entire consumer relationship.

Shortly thereafter, the company hired Madison Page, its first Customer Experience Officer, to oversee the department and make that transformation a reality.

A Recipe for Success 

Among the new key decisions was opting to use live agents for its customer interactions, rather than following the trend for automated solutions. That approach made it easier to provide consumers with the level of service they sought.

To maintain a customer-first philosophy, the company has also formulated four habits for success that its team tries to uphold:

  1. Easy

“Nothing is worse for our customers than going through a hard, cumbersome process to order signs,” says Page. “The customer experience department tries to make things as simple as possible so customers want to keep coming back.”

  1. Helpful

One of the team’s priorities is consistently providing accurate, useful information. Representatives logged more than 50 hours of training in 2016, even learning about graphic design so they can aid clients on the fly with basic design issues.

  1. Fast

Page has helped Signs.com achieve a company-wide chat response time of less than 10 seconds and an email response time of about 2.5 hours. That’s more than seven times faster than the industry average.

  1. Friendly

“Part of giving clients a great Signs.com experience includes being kind and friendly no matter what outlet you’re using,” Page explains.

One of the keys to staying upbeat is maintaining a close-knit team that doesn’t take itself too seriously. After weekly meetings, for example, staffers can be found playing games like trying to eat donuts from a string or playing a fierce game of Spoons. The group even has gold and silver medals that get handed to the winner.

High Customer Satisfaction

The result of that emphasis on the consumer experience has led to overwhelmingly positive feedback on social media that helps attract even more customers. Of the 27,000 reviews it tallied as of December 2016, the average reviewer gave the company a 4.7 out of 5.

The company’s philosophy reflects a growing body of research suggesting that better customer care leads to increased loyalty, thereby lowering the cost of customer acquisition. For example, the research firm Access Development found that as many as 79% of customers would shop elsewhere within a week of receiving subpar customer service. 

At Signs.com, a consumer-centric strategy has clearly helped fuel the company’s rapid growth. Last year, Signs.com earned the No. 6 spot on the Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum’s list of the top 25 companies in the state under five years old.

In February, the company added to its plaudits by grabbing the Gold Stevie® Award for “Customer Service Department of the Year” in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. In addition, Page received a Silver Stevie for “Contact Center Manager of the Year.”

“It is so nice to win, but it reminds and motivates us to keep innovating, helping and serving our customers,” Page says.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, Customer Service Team of the Year, Customer Service, customer care

Taking Aim At Student Debt With a Social Conscience

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jun 01, 2017 @ 02:42 AM

Making student finances more affordable and easier to manage in a sea of “loan sharks” is no easy task, but Stevie Award-winner CommonBond does it sucessfully. CommonBond is a reimagined student loan experience offering low interest rates with great customer service. Their customer satisfaction rates have been overtly positive, which is one of the many reasons why they received $1 billion in funding this year. Learn more about CommonBond to see how they won customer service awards in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Crunching Numbers That Don’t Crunch Students

commonbond.jpgOver 40 million Americans are affected by student loan debt. On average, CommonBond members save $24,046 by refinancing their student loans. They also cover MBA student loans, and recently launched student loan benefits for today’s workforce – giving their partners the resources to stand apart from the competition, and giving their employees the tools to achieve financial wellness.

Senior Communications Manager Bethany Hill gave us the CommonBond perspective, “We’re creators, movers, shakers, numbers geeks, and finance freaks. We’re people just like you, who were frustrated by the high rates and poor service that came with our student loans. We knew there had to be a better way. So we created one.”

More Than Just Student Loans

CommonBond helps their community gain access to complimentary tickets to CommonBond-sponsored events, dinners, panel discussions with entrepreneurs and other companies. This is most apparent in their industry-first program called “CommonBridge.” It’s a service that matches members in between jobs with a consulting opportunity at CommonBond, making it easier to earn money, gain experience and spend a little more time on the job hunt.

A Social Promise

CommonBond has been committed to giving since they funded their very first loan – and it's still a driving force behind everything they do. Here's how their “Social Promise” program works:

  • 1-for-1: For every loan funded, they also fund the education of a child in need.
  • Education for all: Loans give kids unprecedented access to schools, teachers, and technology
  • Pencils of Promise: Ensures that funds go to those who need them most

CommonBond is constantly finding ways to fill a void in the student lending space. David Klein, Co-Founder and CEO believes their success is best explained by what they’re always taking aim at.

“We strongly believe that business can - and should - be a positive force for change”

Tags: customer service awards, Customer Service, top customer service

11th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Announce Winners

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 @ 01:06 PM

Winners in the eleventh annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, recognized as the world's top customer service awards and sales awards, were unveiled on Friday night at a gala ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada attended by more than 650 executives from around the world.

The complete list of Stevie Winners by category is available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

SASCS 2017 pic.jpgDP DHL, with Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award wins for activities worldwide, in Argentina, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and the U.S.A., among other nations, was the most honored organization this year, earning the top Grand Stevie Award trophy for the fourth consecutive year. Other Grand Stevie Award winners, in descending order, include Visualize, HomeServe USA, Delta Air Lines, GuideWell Connect, IBM, VIZIO Inc., Carbonite, Inc., WePay Inc, and Concentrix.

Among other Stevie winners, Carbonite Inc., HomeServe USA, IBM, and iHeartMedia won four Gold Stevie Awards, the most from all organizations. Cisco Systems, ClearVision Optical Company, Optum Consumer Sales and Services, UNOX, Vivint Smart Home, and WePay Inc took home three Gold Stevies. Winners of two Gold Stevie Awards include Ally Bank, CAC 2000 Ltd, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Dow Jones & Co., GuideWell Connect, Imparta Inc., Inci Akü GS Yuasa, Infinity, John Hancock Financial Services, ListenTrust, Network Alliance, Odeabank, VIZIO Inc, and Wilson Learning.

Winners in the People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, as determined by more than 149,000 public votes, were also awarded at the event to organizations including Bombardier Aerospace, Chewy, CommonBond, CubeSmart, Distinguished Programs, FieldEdge, GPS Insight, j2 Global, Inc., Marriott Vacation Club Owner Services, Ultimate Software, Unitrends, and Zelis Payments.

The presentations were broadcast live via Livestream, and are still available to watch online..

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 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 75 members of several specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging, that took place January 23 - February 1.

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

Who's Coming to the Sales & Customer Service Awards on Friday?

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 @ 01:11 PM

The 11th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service - the world's top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals - will be staged this Friday, February 24 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  More than 650 professionals from around the world will attend, making it one of the largest Stevie Awards events ever staged.  

The awards presentations will be broadcast live - look here for the details.  

Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards in the business development, new product and service and solution provider categories will be presented at 5:15 pm Pacific Time.  After a reception and dinner, awards in the sales and customer service categories will be presented beginning at 7:40 pm PT.

Here's the list of organizations that have already confirmed their attendance this Friday.

Access One Inc Chicago IL
Achievers Toronto ON Canada
Acquia Inc. Boston MA
Adestra New York NY
Adobe Systems San Jose CA
Aflac Columbus GA
Albridge Lawrenceville NJ
Allianz Global Assistance Richmond VA
Ally Bank Detroit MI
Arcelik Istanbul-Turkey
ArmadaGlobal Hunt Valley MD
Auspac Business Advantage Maroochydore QLD Australia
AWeber - Email Marketing Chalfont PA
BCM One New York NY
BiggerPockets Denver CO
Billhighway Troy MI
Black Knight Financial Services Jacksonville FL
Blue Ocean Contact Centers Halifax NS Canada
Board of Certification/Accreditation Owings Mill MD
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft Customer Services Toronto ON & Montreal and Mirabel PQ
Borusan Otomotiv Istanbul Turkey
Box Inc. Redwood City CA
Brainier Solutions Inc. Minneapolis MN
CAC 2000 Kingston Jamaica
Camp Bow Wow Broomfield CO
Carbonite Inc. Lewiston ME
CareerArc Burbank CA
CareerBuilder Chicago IL
Casper New York NY
Chewy Dania Beach FL
Choozle Denver CO
Cisco Systems Diegem Belgium
Cisco Systems Inc. San Jose CA
CLEAResult Tempe AZ
ClearSlide San Francisco CA
ClearVision Optical Company Hauppauge NY
Clio - Practice Management Software Vancouver BC Canada
Comcast Philadelphia PA
Concentrix Fremont CA
Conectys Bucharest Romania
Convergys Corporation Cincinnati OH
Cricket Wireless Atlanta GA
CrunchTime! Information Systems Boston MA
CubeSmart Malvern PA
DataCore Software Fort Lauderdale FL
Daxko Birmingham AL
Dell Technologies Bangalore Karnataka India
Delmarva Trailer Sales and Rentals Inc. Elkridge MD
Delta Air Lines Atlanta GA
Delta Defense West Bend WI
Delta Vacations Minot ND
DHL Express Plantation FL & Tempe AZ
DHL Global Forwarding U.S.
Dicom Transportation Group Dorval QC Canada
Digital Native Agency Prague Czech Republic
Donan Louisville KY
Dow Jones & Co. Princeton NJ
Druva Inc. Sunnyvale CA
Dun & Bradstreet Malibu CA
EFG Companies Irving TX
Elite Wealth Group San Jose CA
EMKAY Inc Itasca IL
eMoney Advisor LLC Radnor PA
EventMobi Toronto ON Canada
EXTRA Loyalty Solutions Istanbul Turkey
ezCater Boston MA
Festival Walk Hong Kong
First American Database Solutions Santa Ana CA
FirstEnergy Akron OH
FIS Global New York NY
FIS Jacksonville FL USA
Forrest Performance Group and The Pacific Institute Fort Worth TX USA:
FreshBooks Toronto ON Canada
Garanti Emeklilik ve Hayat A.S. Istanbul Turkey
Globoforce Southborough MA and Dublin Ireland
GMC Software Boston MA
GoDaddy Scottsdale AZ
Google Fiber Mountain View CA
GPS Insight Scottsdale AZ
Grovo New York NY
GuideWell Connect Jacksonville FL
HomeAway Inc. Austin TX
HomeServe USA Norwalk CT
Humana Inc. Louisville KY
IBM Armonk NY
ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd Mumbai India
IHG Salt Lake City UT
Imparta Inc. Austin TX
Inci Akü GS Yuasa Manisa Turkey
Infinity Cedar Rapids IA
Invenio Solutions Austin TX
ISN Dallas TX
j2 Global Inc. Ottawa ON Canada
Janek Performance Group Las Vegas NV
John Hancock Financial Services Boston MA
Kohl's Credit and Customer Service Menomonee Falls WI
KT Seoul South Korea
L A Mortgage Team, Mortgage Intelligence Burlington ON Canada
Lennox Industries Richardson TX
Lhasa OMS Weymouth MA
ListenTrust Portland ME
LiveOps Inc. Scottsdale AZ
Lucernex Plano TX
MarkitTrack Chicago IL
Marriott Intermediary Partner Care Omaha NE
Marriott Vacation Club International Orlando FL
MediaRadar New York NY
Mercer Consumer Des Moines IA
MetTel New York NY
Migros Istanbul Turkey
Mixpanel San Francisco CA
ModusLink Waltham MA
Moody's Analytics New York NY
Mozy by DELL Draper UT
MTM Lake St. Louis MO
NCR Atlanta GA
Netchex Covington LA
Network Alliance Reston VA
Nuance Communications Burlington MA
Oi Rio de Janeiro Brazil
OmniUpdate Camarillo CA
OpenLink Financial Uniondale NY
Optum Eden Prairie MN
Optum Consumer Sales and Services Horsham PA
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Raritan NJ
PGi Atlanta GA
PlanGrid San Francisco CA
Prov International Inc Tampa FL
Pushpay Holdings Limited Redmond WA
QNB Finansbank Istanbul Turkey
Qstream Burlington MA
Qualtrics Salt Lake City UT
Response Lindon UT
Revana a TeleTech Company Tempe AZ
Richardson Philadelphia PA
Rimini Street Las Vegas NV
Riva International Inc. Edmonton AB Canada
RizePoint Salt Lake City UT
Runzheimer Waterford WI
Salary.com Waltham MA
Sales Partnerships Broomfield CO
Sandler Sales Institute Overland Park KS
SAP Newtown Square PA
SAVO Group Chicago IL
Scribendi Inc Chatham ON Canada
Securus Technologies Dallas TX
Selling Energy Burlingame CA
SGEi Las Vegas NV
Sharegate Montreal QC Canada
ShopKeep New York NY
Signs.com Salt Lake City UT
SMTP2GO Christchurch New Zealand
SoftPro Raleigh NC
Sonnet Toronto ON Canada
Standard For Success Indianpolis IN
Statewide Intake Austin TX
Sun Basket San Jose CA
Symantec Ltd Dublin Ireland
Tarion Warranty Corporation Toronto ON Canada
TCL Corona CA
Telogis Inc. Aliso Viejo CA
The Horton Group Chicago IL
Transitions in Progress LLC Winchester VA
Travelzoo New York NY
Ultimate Software Weston FL
United States Equestrian Federation Lexington KY
University of Oregon Eugene OR
Unox, Inc. Belmont NC
UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh PA
UserTesting Mountain View CA
USHEALTH Advisors LLC Forth Worth TX
ValueSelling Associates Rancho Santa Fe CA
Velocity Advisory Group Philadelphia PA
VENZA Roswell GA
VIPRE (ThreatTrack Security) Clearwater FL
Visualize, Inc. Birmingham MI
Vivint Smart Home Provo UT
VIZIO Inc. Irvine CA
VMWare Palo Alto CA
Warshaw Group Inc. New York NY
Wayfair Boston MA
Webhelp Istanbul Turkey
Webroot Broomfield CO
Wells Fargo Treasury Management Client Delivery San Francisco CA
WePay Inc Redwood City CA
WP Engine Austin TX
Wyndham Vacation Ownership Orlando FL
Young Living Lehi UT
Zebra Technologies Lincolnshire IL
Zelis Payments Clearwater FL

Entries for the 2018 edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service will open in July.  Interested?

Get the Entry Kit

Tags: customer service awards, stevie awards, new product awards, sales awards, business development awards

Thanks to the 2017 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Preliminary Judges

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 03:37 PM

The following professionals participated in preliminary judging of the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service from November 2016 through January.  Their average scores determined the 2017 Finalists.  We thank them for their time, insights and support.

The 11th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service gala is on Friday, February 24 where winners will be announced. Tickets for the Las Vegas ceremony are on sale now.

iStock_000064097091_Large.jpg

Asburche Adalan, Business and Sales Development Mgr., DHL Express US, Miami, FL USA
Amit Kumar Agarwal, Sr Manager, FarePortal India Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, Haryana India
Shelly Alder, Manager, Domestic Customer Service, J.R. Simplot Company, Boise, ID USA
Scott Anschuetz, CEO, Visualize-Inc, Birmingham, MI USA
David Araujo, Direct Sales Supervisor, DHL Express São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Benj Arriola, SEO Director, Myers Media Group, San Diego, NC USA
Bilal Asci, Customer Value Group Manager, n11.com, Istanbul, Turkey
Ronald Joseph, Avecilla Process Auditor, Globe Telecom, Manila, Philippines
Stuart Bankey Manager, Community Management Rackspace,San Antonio, TX USA
Mike Bare, CEO, BARE International, Washington DC USA
Nick Broadbent, VP Global Support, DataCore Software, Reading, United Kingdom
Randi Busse, President Workforce Development Group, Inc., Massapequa Park, NY USA
Pembe Candaner, Founder, President, JobzMall, Tustin, CA USA
Lucia Caron, Manager, Customer Support, Verint Systems Inc., Herndon,VA USA
Beth Castro, AVP - Commercial Enablement, AT&T, Houston, TX USA
Joe Cherian, Regional Vendor Manager, Vonage, Chennai, Tamilnadu,India
Brian Correia, Director, Sales & Client Services, Solstice Dental & Vision, Plantation, FL USA
Marc Cowan, Fellow at the Institute of Supply Chain Management, Dolphin International, United Kingdom
Emilia D'Anzica, VP, Customer Engagement, WalkMe, San Francisco, CA USA
Robyn Davis, Trade Show Strategy Specialist, When I Need Help, Columbia, SC USA
Luis Deza, General Manager, Canto Rodado Consulting, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Sheryl Dobson, Director of Customer Support, J2 Global Cloud Services, Ottawa, ON Canada
Alan Dowler, Operations Manager, Hamilton Jewelers, Princeton, NJ USA
Eve Dumovich, Publisher, Snowline Publishing, Ashford, WA USA
Caroline Edwards, Consumer Information Centers Product Manager, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN USA
Andrew J. "Flip" Filipowski, Executive Chairman & CEO, SilkRoad Technology, Winston, Salem NC USA
Shannon Gregg, Director, Sales Operations, TeleTracking,Pittsburgh, PA USA
Tara Griffin, Senior Solutions Consultant, Genesys, Flagler Beach, FL USA
Heidi Guzman, MBA, Consorcio Kairos, VILLAHERMOSA, Tabasco, Mexico
Nabyl Hassain, Director of Telesales, DHL, Miami, FL USA
Mary Henson, Membership Care Coordinator, United States Equestrian Federation, Lexington, KY USA
Deepak Kumar, Hotkar Manager, Jasper Industries Private Limited, Hyderabad, Telangana,India
Lin Hui Kai, Deputy Manager, Cathay Life Insurance Co., Ltd Taipei, Taiwan
Adam Ihrig, Business Analyst, JPMorgan Chase, Heathrow, FL USA
Linden Ingram, EVP Sales, Imparta Inc, Austin, TX USA
Joann Kay, Customer Care Director, GraduationSource, Port Chester, NY USA
UMUT KECECIOGLU, Mobile Services Manager, Yapi Kredi Bankacilik Üssü, Kocaeli, Turkey
Tony Keesee, Director of Customer Care, VPay, Richardson, TX USA
Joshua Kelley, Supervisor, Leadership Operations Training, MTM, Inc., West St Paul, MN USA
Kathy Leckey, Vice President of Marketing, SomethingNew, New York, NY USA
Sandra Lynch, Account Manager, John Hancock, Boston, MA USA
David Madacsi, Senior Technical Customer Support Engineer, GrassValley, Lakewood, CO USA
Wessam Massoud, Programme Delivery Manager, Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Center (ADSIC), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Rowena Maxwell, Senior Manager, Accenture, London, United Kingdom
Judy Mod, Founder, CEO, Chief Adoption Officer, RevenueSphere, Atlanta, GA USA
Anni Mollett, SVP, Senior Credit Products Manager, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Dallas,TX USA
Thomas Moor, Global Director, Strategy and Planning, Sartomer (a business unit of Arkema), Exton, PA USA
Ann Moreth, Sr. Customer Service Engagement Manager, UPMC Health Plan, Pittsburgh, PA USA
Jason Morris, Director of Operations, SRS|Acquiom LLC, Denver, CO USA
Rajendran Nair, VP, Marketing, Rootstock Software,Fremont,CA USA
Tracy Neiser, Customer Service Manager, Active Exhaust Corp., Toronto, ON Canada
Ken Overly, Vice President, Operations, EFG Companies, Dallas, TX USA
Kadir Mustafa, OZTURK Executive Vice President / ADC & Digital Banking Solution Projects, Intertech Bilgi Islem ve Pazarlama Ticaret A.S.,Istanbul, Sisli, Turkey
Leticia Padilla, Corporate Recognition and Citizenship, Concentrix, Fremont, CA USA
Lou Reinemann, Director, Customer Care, SmartBear Software, Somerville, MA USA
RJ Riemer, VP Support Operations, VIZIO, Inc., Dakota Dunes, SD USA
Toni Roberts, VP, Customer Service & Operations, Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio & Indiana, Farmington Hills, MI USA
Vicki Rollins, Sales Operations & Marketing Professiona, Glenaden Homes, Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada
Sharon Rudd, Organisational Development & Sales Consultant, TNT, Mascot, NSW, Australia
Stu Schlackman, Owner, Competitive Excellence,Richardson, TX USA
Paula Seeger, Library Technician 2, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, OR USA
Randy Selleck, Sr. Director, Call Center Operations, Assurant Solutions, Atlanta, GA USA
Bill Shelton, Senior Vice President, USHEALTH Advisors, Grapevine, TX USA
Melda Sofuoglu, Channel Experience & Operations Development Manager, Call Center Operations & Experience & Development, Istanbul, Turkey
Andrzej Szczepaniak, Deputy Director, Central Settlement Services Bank, Zachodni WBK S.A., Poznan, PA Poland
Will Tarrant, Managing Partner, Service Metrics Group, Plano, TX USA
Asli Tas KAYABAS, Psychologist, Trainer, Founding Partner, Awards Consultant, Kuzey Academy, Istanbul, Turkey
Özge Tekalp, Director, Türk Ekonomi Bankasi A.S, Istanbul, Turkey
Julie Thomas, President & CEO, ValueSelling Associates, Rancho Santa Fe, CA USA
Kelly Thomas, Assistant Vice President, Transfer Agent, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., Centennial, CO USA
Irem Tuzunalper, Founder & CEO, EXTRA Loyalty Solutions Co., Istanbul, Turkey
Lori Van Dyke, Manager, Customer Care, Access One Inc,Chicago, IL USA
Chris Vasan, Communcations Lead, Cisco Systems, Inc., Raleigh Triangle Park, NC USA
Madalina Vilau, Managing Director, Expo Media, Bucharest, Romania
Sunil Wadhwa, VP - Customer Success, Druva, Sunnyvale, CA USA
Charles White, Principal Administrator, International relations officer (retired), European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
Nicolette Wuring, Managing Director, Customer Management Services, Amstelveen, Netherlands

Tags: customer service awards, judging, sales awards, judges

An interview with Julie Thomas, President & CEO, ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

ValueSelling Associates has been a sponsor of the Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service for nine consecutive years

We spoke with Julie Thomas, President & CEO of ValueSelling Associates. Julie will be presenting awards at the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service gala in Las Vegas on February 24. She shares her thoughts and sales industry insights.

The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service announced finalists last week. People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service voting is now open through February 10. If you missed the Sales & Customer Service entry deadline this year, check out The American Business Awards Customer Service Awards categories

What does ValueSelling do?

Julie Value Selling.pngValueSelling Associates offers its customers a conversational, question-based sales methodology that is simple, logical and scalable. We offer customized training on the ValueSelling Framework®, interactive reinforcement tools and consulting services that empower sales organizations around the globe with a proven formula to qualify prospects, accurately forecast and close more deals. We work with business-to-business sales organizations who are working to improve their sales productivity. Some of the challenges that we address with our clients include reducing discounting, improving forecast accuracy, more effective qualification, and selling the breadth of the product line.

What is the organizational vision?

The vision is to continue growing our well-respected global business. We’re motivated by our clients’ results. Witnessing the effectiveness of the ValueSelling Framework when working with world-class sales teams such as Adobe, Alere, Kamstrup, Autodesk, Cisco, Google, Monster, NCR, Rockwell Automation, Servicemax, Siemens, and ServiceNow, keeps us fired up. 

We invest in and integrate the most current adult-learning concepts into our customized classroom instruction, on-demand courseware and tools, leading to thousands of participants each year developing skills that measurably increases sales productivity. We know adults learn more when they are having fun,  so we strive to deliver unique and exciting experiences for our clients.

What sets your company apart in your industry?

The ValueSelling Framework is easily applied to complex B2B sales. Our methodology gives you a framework to have a conversational, question-based dialogue. So, instead of pitching, you’re engaging. Instead of presenting solutions, you’re collaborating and competing based on value, and by that, I mean the value confirmed by the individual and the organization.

How did you first become acquainted with the Stevies?

I met Michael Gallagher, President of The Stevie Awards, over 10 years ago. We became involved with the Stevie Awards at the very beginning. We welcome the opportunity to recognize our clients’ individual and organizational impact through this prestigious organization.

What’s it like for your clients to win the Stevie Award?

We put a lot of thought into which clients to nominate for the Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service. It’s thrilling to be with them at the gala in Las Vegas, celebrating their achievements.  There are high fives, champagne toasts and lots of celebrations when the awards are announced. Our clients prove time and again the power of the ValueSelling Framework and correlate that to their outstanding results. During the Gala, we get an opportunity to toast and applaud their dedication and successes.

What inspires you to continue your work?

It’s fun! Each organization is unique. There are many different challenges: meeting revenue numbers, forecasting more accurately, growing strategic accounts, and difficulty accessing high-level executives, among others.

What’s inspiring is watching how our team and the ValueSelling Framework methodology is a wonderful solution to enabling our clients to resolve their business issues. It’s transformative, not only for individuals, but for entire teams and organizations. We pride ourselves on enabling the entire organization to wrap around our framework, create a common language and leverage a common toolset. When everyone inside a company is focused on value for their customer, then, they are well positioned to develop long-standing customer relationships.

What changes do you expect in your industry in the future?

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of emphasis on sales software solutions and technology tools such as sales asset management and marketing automation platforms. Used well, these are great tools for supporting the sales effort.

Another key trend is the increase in inside sales – not telemarketers, but true inside sales professionals who build relationships and sell products and services solely over the phone and the web. The tools and techniques to become proficient and communication are different when you never build a face-to-face relationship.  That said, the inside sales professional will continue to need and leverage a successful sales methodology.

In the end, it comes down to people connecting with people virtually and social selling is a technique that is needed by sales, but success in sales requires having real conversations  either in person or by phone about the business issues and problems a buyer is facing.

On-demand courseware will become more prevalent, but the critical success factor will be presenting information in a way that keeps adults tuned in. That means smaller chunks of learning and just-in-time learning. That’s why our eLearning modules include interactive quizzes and scenarios. It’s not enough to just show a canned video or slide with a talking head. Gamification and user-centric learning is here to stay.

Given the uncertainty in the world, I expect that businesses are going to seek tried and true solutions. For over 25 years, the ValueSelling Framework has been helping organizations around the world maximize their sales productivity, better qualify prospects and improve win rates.

Is there an inspirational story related to your organization that might appeal to our blog readers?

Market Track, the leading provider of timely market intelligence solutions serves more than 1,700 brands, retailers, manufacturers, and agencies. Market Track supports clients with comprehensive analysis of the advertising, promotional, and eCommerce landscape to optimize engagement with consumers throughout their purchase cycle.

Business Issue: How do you get an entire sales team on the same page with a single methodology given the requirements of a steep growth trajectory and the continual addition of new sales professionals with various sales training and backgrounds?

Problem: In 2008, Market Track’s value proposition was murky. There was no proactive client or prospect engagement. The close rate low.

The management team knew sales would fuel future growth plans. And because the sales team was selling an intangible—tech-enabled service—they had to sell on value. Market Track called on ValueSelling Associates to install a sales methodology that could be implemented consistently to drive rapid growth.

Solution: Market Track has quintupled its revenue since adopting ValueSelling Associates’ proprietary sales methodology. Such sales improvements have allowed the firm to make 11 acquisitions in 8 years and broaden its portfolio.

The resulting, expanded organization successfully integrates new sales executives and managers with a consistent methodology and approach across each of the acquisitions so the company is supported, not stymied by additional team members.

Market Track's overall adoption is stellar because the sales methodology and tools are easy to apply in a war room or deal review. With a common sales process, the team maximizes their weekly gatherings, sharing best practices—new templates, better conversations, more innovative strategies—all honed to engage Market Track’s buyers.

Market Track continues to organically grow as they keep a pulse on their clients’ advertising, promotion, and eCommerce initiatives. In 2016, the firm had its best first half ever. Justin Hartanov, Market Track EVP (recently appointed to lead Market Track’s international expansion) and 10-year ValueSelling practitioner, swears by his team’s consistent practice of ValueSelling principals.

To learn more about ValueSelling, visit http://www.valueselling.com/

Tags: customer service awards, best sales department, sales team, sales awards, best sales practices, sales leader

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

One Week Until Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Final Entry Deadline

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 10:55 AM

World’s Top Honors Accepting Nominations Through January 11

The final entry deadline for the 2017 (11th annual) Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service is Wednesday, January 11.  Entry kits and complete details on the competition are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

These are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals.  All organizations and individuals worldwide may submit nominations.  The 2017 awards will recognize achievements since July 1, 2015.

sascs17entrykit_001.jpgFinalists will be announced on Thursday, January 19.  Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners in the competition will be announced at a gala awards banquet on Friday, February 24 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.   Attendance is not required to win.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 135 sales awards, customer service awards, business development awards, new product awards and solution provider awards categories. Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories.   

The competition will be judged by more than 150 professionals around the world, and nominees will have access to all of the judges’ comments about their entries – an invaluable resource.

The 2017 program offers new categories for new products and services and solution providers. New categories for new products and services include Customer Service or Sales Book of the Year, Customer Service Training Product of the Year and Sales Training Product of the Year. The new solution provider category for 2017 is Leadership or Management Training Practice of the Year.

2017 will see the return of a popular feature of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. All finalists in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories will be included in the People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service, a worldwide public vote. Voting will open January 19 and close February 10.  Winners of the public vote will receive a special crystal People’s Choice Stevie Award trophy.

Winners of the 2016 edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service included Cars.com, Comcast, CubeSmart, Delta Air Lines, Etiya, eZCom Software, FedEx, HubSpot, Kohl’s Department Stores, Office Depot, SAVO, ShopKeep POS, Vestmark, and VIZIO, Inc., among others.

The 2017 entry kit and a complete history of the awards program are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, best new products, solution provider

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