Sales Awards Blog

A Simple Methodology Spells Sales Success for Stevie® Awards Final Judging Chair

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 02:33 PM

Mike Ortegon, Director of Global Sales Operations at HomeAway, a Stevie® Award-winning online marketplace of vacation rentals based in Austin, Texas, will Chair the Final Judging Committee for the Customer Service and Contact Center Team categories of the 2014 Stevie®ST SD Chair ORTEGON Awards for Sales & Customer Services, the world's premier sales awards and customer service awards. The results will be announced on February 21 at the gala awards banquet in Las Vegas. We talked to Mike about the challenges facing today’s sales teams.

“Today’s sales professionals are challenged by savvy customers and prospects,” says Mike Ortegon, Director of Global Sales at HomeAway.  “Thanks to digital and social media advancements, they have many channels of information and are consequently better informed during the purchase cycle. As a result, it is essential for sales professionals to stay one step ahead in preparation, to anticipate upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and to be consultative throughout the process.”

We asked him what steps he would recommend companies should take to establish standardized sales procedures across countries and regions. “You might be prone to think a unique product or service requires a special sales process,” Mike told us. “Some may even argue the selling process has to continually change, but my experience is that the change is occurring in the buying process, as noted above. Today’s buyers are more informed than ever.”

Simplified Methodology

“Many sales people are familiar with the ‘four, five, six, seven...sales cycle’ methodologies,” added Mike. “In reality, each of these can be boiled down to four steps: Qualify; Research; Propose; and Close. A simplified methodology enables people to focus on the sale, not the process.”

Concluded Mike: “It is always important to pay close attention to cultural differences, although just because someone speaks a different language doesn’t mean a different sales process is needed. For example, in some countries such as Southern Europe and Asia, face-to-face selling is a common practice, while other cultures are fine with a phone call. In any scenario, you still need to qualify, research, propose and close.”

Benefits of a Stevie® Award
HomeAway won a Gold Stevie® for Sales Operations Team of the Year in The 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. As Chair of one of this year’s Final Judging Committees, he is fully aware of the benefits of being a winner.

“Winning the Stevie® Award really brought to light the effectiveness of the HomeAway team in their first year together,” Mike told us.  “It brought about an even greater appreciation for the experience, talent, and determination possessed by each individual. It was great to be rewarded for our hard work and, ultimately, the team had better camaraderie and became even more motivated to improve sales effectiveness.”

Added Mike: “Winning the Stevie® Award in 2013 showcased the HomeAway sales team’s focus on adding value to the organization through industry-leading tools and best practices.”

Creating Lasting Memories

We asked Mike what most inspired him about his role at HomeAway.  His simple answer: he gets his inspiration from the HomeAway team and product. “We have fantastic people who are passionate about their work,” he told us. “Ours is a product that helps families and groups find their ideal getaway and focus on the most important part of traveling together: creating lasting memories.”

About Mike Ortegon:

Mike Ortegon joined HomeAway in March 2012 and is the Director of Global Sales Operations. In this role he is responsible for supporting sales leaders across the globe with tools, training, and sales insights to help make well-informed business decisions; and to run effective and efficient teams while aligning to corporate strategy.

Previously, Mike worked for Harte-Hanks as Global Account Director focusing on multichannel, data-driven solutions for Fortune 100 companies. Throughout his career, Mike has been in management, operational, and sales and marketing roles in North America, EMEA, Latin America, and APAC.

About HomeAway:
HomeAway is the world’s leading online marketplace of vacation rentals, with sites representing more than 773,000 paid listings of vacation rental homes in 171 countries. Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online.

Tags: customer service awards, stevie awards, business award, sales awards, contact center awards

120 Rockstars of the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

The following professionals participated in the preliminary-round judging of the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. Their average scores determined the 2013 Finalists in the customer service awards, contact center awards, and sales awards categories.  This year's Stevie Awards winners will be announced at our annual awards gala at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, on Monday February 25. Learn more about the event and reserve your table today. We thank our judges for their enthusiasm, time, and insights.

Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer ServiceAhmed Al Hai, BRM Specialist, ADCO, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 
Cheryl Alaniz, Director, Member Services Grocery, HBC/GM, NFR, & Frozen, Topco Associates LLC, Skokie, IL, United States               
Kenneth Amormino, Director of Call Center Operations, Time Warner Cable, Charlotte, NC, United States               
Joann Amoroso, Manager, Client Support Services, Dean Evans and Associates, Centennial, CO, United States  
Paul Bilodeau, VP Sales & Marketing, The Brooks Group, Greensboro, NC, United States               
Greg Brink, Marketing Services Manager, Search Optics, Ferndale, MI, United States               
Jim Brodo, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Richardson, Philadelphia, PA, United States        
Amanda Browning, Data Integrity Manager, Unitiv, Alpharetta, GA, United States               
Gregory Brush, VP, Sales, InsideView, San Francisco, CA, United States 
Ana Castellanos, VP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Oakwood Temporary Housing, Los Angeles, CA, United States      
Chris Cerbini, Staff Development and Quality Control Manager, North America, World Courier Inc., New Hyde Park, NY, United States   
Peter Chiarelli, Sales Manager, Cablevision, New York, United States    
Susan Cloutier, Operations Manager, Mayo Medical Laboratories, Rochester, MN, United States               
Jason Copeland, Senior Manager, National Sales Group, SurePayroll, Inc., Glenview, IL, United States    
Irene Corpuz, Senior Analyst, Change Masters International - MENA, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates               
Brian Correia, Director, Sales & Client Services, Solstice Dental & Vision, Plantation, FL, United States               
Tom Cross, CEO, TECHtionary, Boulder, CO, United States            
Andrew Curtis, Manager, Product Specialists, iCIMS, Hazlet, NJ, United States   
Kelly Dantas, Media Director, SDI Distributor, Yonkers, NY, United States               
Robyn Davis, Owner, When I Need Help, Knoxville, TN, United States    
Brent Dierking, Director, Business Development/Strategic Planning, NorthStar EMS, Birmingham, AL, United States               
Alan Dowler, Operations Manager, Hamilton Jewelers, Princeton, NJ, United States       
Basil Dsouza, AVP, Customer Experience Management, Cactus Communications Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, India               
Eve Dumovich, CEO, Snowline Publishing, Ashford, WA, United States   
Annette Eland, Claims Customer Service Manager, Esurance, Rocklin, CA, United States               
Eric Engwall, President, E.G. Insight, Inc., St. Paul, MN, United States     
Richard Feinberg, Professor, Department of Consumer Sciences and Retailing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States   
Cheretha Ferguson, Director of Marketing and Sponsorship, The J3 Agency, Pembroke Pines, FL, United States
Andrew J. “Flip” Filipowski, Executive Chairman & CEO, SilkRoad Technology, Winston Salem, NC, United States
Joey Fister, Director Emergency Recovery, Avaya, Plano, TX, United States         
Simone Fojut, Chief Editor, CallCenterProfi, Wiesbaden, GA, United States         
Stephen Giersch, Director Instructional Design, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Orlando, FL, United States               
Gina Giordano, VP, Customer Feedback, Macy's, New York, NY, United States  
Abhishek Goel, Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Cactus Communications, Mumbai, India               
Karen Greco, Director, Business Optimization, Unified, New York, NY, United States               
Robert Gregory, VP of Customer Support, Media Temple, Culver City, CA, United States               
Jimmy Griffith, Director, Solution Center Operations, Assurant Solutions, Ft. Worth, TX, United States               
Shraddha Gurjar, Assistant Manager, Client Loyalty, Cactus Communications, Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, IN, United States 
Josh Hatala, Marketing Specialist, AIReS, Pittsburgh, PA, United States  
Brian Hayes, Customer Service Manager, PPC, East Syracuse, NY, United States
Peggy Heafey, Director, Intermediary Partner Care, Marriott Intl., Inc., Omaha, NE, United States            
Jane Henry, Owner, LOOMLAB, South Pasadena, CA, United States        
Paul Hoffman, President, WW Field Operations, Informatica, Redwood City, CA, United States  
Phillip Horvath, SVP, Professional Services, Merchant Partners, Redmond, WA, United States               
Tunde Hubina, Customer Care Director, UPC Direct, Howald, LA, United States          
Greg Ives, Director of Global Services, ChannelAdvisor, Morrisville, NC, United States    
Scott James, Program Manager, Member Advisory Center, Arizona State Retirement System, Phoenix, AZ, United States               
Joshua Johnson, Director of External Relations, Digital Talent Agents, Columbia, MO, United States               
JP Jones, Owner, Collipsis Web Solutions, Tulsa, OK, United States          
Molly Kapoor, Head of Customer Service, Birla Sunlife Mutual Fund, Mumbai, India        
JoAnn Kay, VP of Customer Service, GraduationSource, Port Chester, NY, United States               
James Koons, Support Team Manager, Listrak, Lititz, PA, United States 
Mike Krause, President, Sales Sense Solutions, Inc., Rochester, NY, United States           
Elzbieta Krawczynska, Quality Specialist & Trainer, Bank Zachodni WBK, Poznan, Poland
Rajesh Kumar, Assistant VP, Agency, Oman Insurance Company PSC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates          
Shane Lewis, Assistant VP of Sales, Sundance Vacations, Kennett Square, PA, United States               
Russell Lundstrom, COO, Southfork Ventures, Denver, CO, United States            
Mervat  Mansour, Quality Manager, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates         
Wessam Massoud, Program Delivery Manager, Gov. Contact Centre, Abu Dhabi Systems & information Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates    
Akshay Masurekar, Associate Vice President, Training & Mentoring (Customer Delight Department), Cactus Communications Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India            
Maria Mattsson, Manager, Guest Services, Royal Caribbean International & Azamara Club Cruises, Miami, FL, United States               
Colin  McKillop, CEO, Butcher Enterprises, Windsor, ON, Canada              
Curtis McLaughlin, Customer Support Manager, AllClear ID, Austin, TX, United States     
Jay Mitchell, Managing Director, Motum, LLC, Irving, TX, United States  
Simona Mollova, CEO, Investment JSPK Credit Consult - JSK, Sofia, Bulgaria             
Brian Moriarty, Vice President North America Sales, General Cable, Highland Heights, KY, United States
Dave Morse, VP Customer Service, Location Based Technologies, Irvine, CA, United States         
Gina Musick, VP, IT Manager I US ITS Loan Loss Share, TD Bank, Fort Pierce, FL, United States               
Pat Mussieux, Founder, Wealthy Women Leaders, London, Canada       
Emily Nelson-Crain, VP of Member Services, Agility Recovery Solutions, Charlotte, NC, United States               
Whattkim Ong, Principal Consultant, Mamsa Consultants PTE LTD, Singapore, Singapore  
Lisa P Oswald, Vice President, Travelzoo, New York, NY, United States  
Mark O'Toole, Managing Director, Public Relations & Content Marketing, H|B, Newton, MA, United States         
Steve Pappageorge, Dean of the College of Continuing Education, New Programs and Outreach, DeVry Inc., Downers Grove, IL, United States               
Darry Pinto, Assistant Manager, Client Relations, Cactus Communications Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India           
Melanie Pope, Director, Australian National Paramedic Support Foundation, Aspley Qld, AL, Australia               
Churchill Prince, Founder & CEO, Sales Intellect Company, Chennai, India     
Mike Prusinski, Chief of Staff, Tiversa, Pittsburgh, PA, United States       
Janet Quadras, Sr. Manager, CRM, Cactus Communications, Mumbai, India         
Jesintha Rajaratnam, Managing Partner, Joje India Consultants-Finance & HR, Mumbai, India     
Dennis Reno, Vice President, Customer Portal Experience, Oracle, San Francisco, CA, United States               
Peter Rifkind, Director of Client Service, UltraLinq Healthcare Solutions, Inc, New York, NY, United States             
Elizaveta Rybinskaya, Customer Service Director, Quelle Russia, Moscow, Russian               
Scott Sachs, Sr. Director, Call Center Operations, Assurant, Wayne, PA, United States               
Russell Sarder, Chairman and CEO, NetCom Learning, New York, NY, United States               
Jodi Sawyer, Director, John Hancock, Boston, MA, United States              
Stu Schlackman, Owner, Competitive Excellence, Richardson, TX, United States
Paula Seeger, Supervisor, Customer Service, Hotline, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States               
Dan Seidman, CEO, GOT INFLUENCE?, Barrington, IL, United States         
Randy Selleck, Sr. Director, Call Center Operations, Assurant Solutions, Atlanta, GA, United States               
Bahar Sensoz, Customer Complaint Management Specialist, Turk Telekom, Istanbul, Turkey       
Bill Shelton, Senior Vice President, USHEALTH Advisors, Grapevine, TX, United States               
Ramin Shokrizadeh, Product Manager, FreshBooks, Toronto, ON, Canada            
Clayton Shold, President, Salesopedia, Oakville, Canada               
Donnovan Simon, Director, Customer Systems & Global Alignment, SMART Technologies, Calgary, Canada               
Manu Singh, Contact Center Manager, Dubai First, Dubai, United Arab Emirates               
Ravinder Singh, Director, Search Engine Marketing, Kulwant Advisory, Nairobi, Kenya 
Cate Sommervold, CEO, pharmaCline, Sioux Falls, SD, United States       
Calvin St Juste, Department Manager, CapitalOne, Laurel, MD, United States     
Tanja Steinbach, Bachelor of Science, Inxmail GmbH, Freiburg, Germany              
Andrzej Szczepaniak, Deputy Director, Central Settlement Services, Bank Zachodni WBK, Poznan, Poland             
Will Tarrant, Cofounder/Owner, Service Metrics Group, Plano, TX, United States               
Özge Tekalp, Director, Türk Ekonomi Bankasi A.S, Istanbul, TX, United States      
Bob Thomas, Director of Business Development, Prorizon, Kennesaw, GA, United States               
Kathy Townend, Product Manager, Europ Assistance, San Diego, CA, United States               
Sean Tracy, Director of Client Services, Property Insight, Carol Stream, IL, United States
Lillian Valdes, President, At Your Service Hospitality Strategic Quality Trai, Miami, FL, United States               
Heather Valentine, Vice President Global Sales, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Manakin Sabot, VA, United States               
Lori Van Dyke, Manager Customer Care, Access One Inc, Chicago, IL, United States        
Vincent Vanden Bossche, Managing Director, Call Communications, Ottenburg, Belgium              
Tina Vasile, Customer Care Manager, Safe2Drive, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, United States     
Amy Veasley, Director of Call Center Operations, Assurant, Addison, TX, United States 
Dave Venance, Solution Architect, 4Point, Ottawa, Canada         
Madalina Vilau, Managing Partner, Expo Media, Bucharest, Romania      
Brian Ward, SVP Client Engagement, Stylesight, New York, NY, United States     
Glenn Wohl, eAwareness Manager, AT&T, Bridgewater, NJ, United States          
Nicolette Wuring, Managing Director, Customer Management Services, Amstelveen, Netherlands               
Julia Zamorska, VP of Corporate Communications, iolo technologies, Los Angeles, CA, United States               
Oleg Zeldin, CEO, Apex Berg Contact Center Consulting, Odintsovo, Russian          
Guo (Peter) Zijiang, COO & GM Assistant, Wuhan Kindstar Diagnostics Co., Ltd, Wuhan, China   

Tags: customer service awards, judging, preliminary judging, business awards, sales awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service, contact center awards, judges

3 Ways to Improve Sales in 2013, From a Sales Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 @ 03:09 PM

Fred Kessler, Founder of Sales Partnerships, Inc., is Chair of the final judging committee for the Sales Department Awards categories of the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (Finalists of the sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards will be notified on January 23 and winners of the 2013 edition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013. You can purchase tickets for the awards gala here.)

Fred Kessler, Founded, Sales Partnerships, Inc.As the founder of a company specializing in sales outsourcing solutions, what top 3 tips would you give to organizations wanting to improve their sales?

  1. The “little numbers” create the big numbers. If you wait until after a quota period to react to sales performance, you will lose almost half of your opportunity to increase sales. Even when you team is above target, there is a temptation to assume everything is optimal when it likely isn’t. Review the stats that are key performance indicators for the creation of new deals and act on that data since it will ultimately generate your success or failure.
  2. Big personalities don’t equal sales. Research shows extraverts have no higher likelihood to succeed in sales than the average sales representative. The problem is, they are often the most promoted and well recognized. Assess new candidates based on what they have achieved historically that is analogous to your environment; and whether they have the ability to solve problems you present them with in real time.
  3. Check your ego. You may have designed the sales process you are currently using, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Get trusted, independent advisors to review your data and ideas. Look at your sales force from an outside perspective, then ask: “Is this the right direction for us?”

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
Daniel Pink’s new work on selling, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, uses data akin to those Rackham used a decade ago. It’s one of the first new looks at sales using metrics and data in a long time. It’s creating a buzz for good reason. 

What is your favorite business app?
Google News
and its variants.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Teaching business courses.  Less than 60 U.S. universities offer classes in sales, and of them, only about a dozen even offer a minor in sales.  In the real world, however, it’s sales that determine the fate of a company—and it’s often the best incubator for future company leaders. 

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
What inspires me is helping our teams and individuals hit new records in overall sales. It’s exhilarating to see someone break a sales record or set a new bar for the team or the industry. Every day I ask: What am I doing to help our teams get ahead?

About Fred Kessler
Fred Kessler founded Sales Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) in 1997, with the addition of co-equity owner Aaron Kullman as VP of Operations early in 1998. The focus of the company was to change how the market sold products and services, and to create an environment for sales reps that showed respect and honor for what they did. Kessler built a company not only to help its clients but also to build the skill-sets of his own personnel and to give them better lives.

Kessler has been recognized as an innovator and pioneer in changing how the business of sales is done, both In his role as President of SPI and in his overall career in sales and sales management. He is a regular speaker at Industry events ranging from sales metrics through buyer motivation, and at Inc. Magazine’s Growth Conferences 

About Sales Partnerships, Inc.:
Sales Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) employs over 100 sales representatives in 7 U.S. cities. The company aims to help its personnel succeed by investing in training and development in order for them to mature into the most talented individuals they can be. SPI leverages this focus on internal development to provide best-of-breed services for its clients.


Tags: customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, Inc., sales awards, contact center awards, Fred Kessler, Sales Partnerships

3 Tips on Selling in a Global Market, From a Stevie® Awards Sponsor

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

Julie Thomas is President and CEO of ValueSelling Associates, a sponsor of the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (January 15, 2013 is the last day that late entries will be accepted for the 2013 edition. All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries for sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. If you haven't yet done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we sat down with Julie and asked her about selling globally.

Julie Thomas, President and CEO of ValueSelling AssociatesAs CEO of a company with a global reach, what top 3 tips would you give to international organizations wanting to improve their sales?
Value Selling specializes in helping B2B organizations transition from competing solely on price to competing on quality, so my top tips for companies moving into international markets are:

  1. Alignment: transitioning sales methods requires consistency. Moving into an international market is a change-management process, and management needs to be aligned with that process.
  2. Integration: everybody involved in sales needs to be trained to use the same processes and tools that are required to transition to new markets.
  3. Cultural Adaptation: businesses should be fully aware of cultural differences in new regions and countries before operating in them.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The reality is that while much of the business news these days is related to economic factors, businesses themselves continue to grow and invest. The difference is that nowadays value is more important.  Sales people that are aware of this, and are good at helping make the business case for a company to spend more, will themselves be more successful.

What is your favorite business app?
Value Selling has developed an app, ValueSelling Framework® in a Flash©, that provides ValueSelling students with flash cards to remind them of key concepts. Sales people can use the app to refresh their pitch before a sales meeting.  The app is available free for smartphones, and a fuller version is available for just  $4.99.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I’d probably still be selling something in technology, but if I didn’t need to earn a living, I’d love to work in a non-profit organization. I’m on the advisory board of the eWomenNetwork Foundation’s Advisory Council for women entrepreneurs, and I also help out whenever I can at the Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary in San Diego and the Encinitas Community Resource Centre, just north of San Diego.   The holidays are an especially busy time helping out with food, clothing, and toys for families in need.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
What inspires me is the fact that the work we do at ValueSelling helps make a difference for both individuals and corporations. And it’s fun to work with sales professionals because they tend to be exuberant, Type A people.  It’s highly gratifying to see them succeed using our tools, and I get a lot of feedback from people saying how they’d finally been able to close a deal or how they’d earned a great bonus because of increased business.

About Julie Thomas
Julie Thomas, President and CEO of ValueSelling Associates, is a noted speaker, author and consultant. Thomas began her career at Gartner Group and 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, Thomas acquired ValueSelling Associates with the support of ValueSelling CEO and co-founder Lloyd Sappington. Since then, Thomas has led the company to become an industry leader in competency- and process-based training for escalating sales performance.

Thomas is a guest lecturer at both Babson University and the University of Michigan. She is a member of the advisory board of the eWomenNetwork Foundation Advisory Council and is heavily involved with her local public schools as well as the San Diego Children’s Hospital Auxiliary. Thomas earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

About ValueSelling:
Since 1991,ValueSelling Associates has helped FORTUNE 1000 business-to-business sales organizations around the world compete and win. Generating revenue is the goal of all sales organizations. To do that, sales teams need the right tools, skills, and processes to succeed. ValueSelling Associates has maintained its position as a leader in the industry for nearly 20 years by continually evolving to meet the new challenges sales forces face. Clients turn to ValueSelling Associates for classroom training, e-learning, and consulting services that yield immediate impact, repeatable strategies, and sustainable results.  For more information, go to

Tags: customer service awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, contact center awards, Julie Thomas, ValueSelling Associates

5 Ways to Prevent Deals from Stalling, From a Stevie Awards Sponsor Provider

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 @ 09:55 AM

Scott Anschuetz, founder of sales and marketing consultancy Visualize, a leading provider of the ValueSelling Framework®, shares his tips for ensuring smooth business deals. (ValueSelling is a sponsor of the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries for sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. January 15, 2013 is the last day that late entries will be accepted; request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.)

Scott Anschuetz, Founder of VisualizeWith some reps seeing as much as 40% of their revenue coming in during the last quarter of the year, the recent ValueSelling webinar on keeping deals from stalling was especially timely. For those not able to take part, following are the top 5 situations that can cause a deal to stall or slip, and how to prevent them: 

1. No Business Issue: Lack of a connection to the critical business issue of a key stakeholder
It’s essential to uncover what a key stakeholder needs to address to achieve his or her business objectives. These business issues can usually be found in a variety of sources: websites; operating statements; financial analyst perspectives; peer comparisons; and by talking with individuals inside the company. Thorough research should confirm your understanding of a key stakeholder’s business issues.

There are some questions you can ask to uncover a key stakeholder’s business issues and objectives, including:

  1. “Our research indicates that X appears to be a critical objective for the company. Do we understand this correctly?”


  2. “How does this align with the key objectives with which you have been tasked?”

The question you SHOULD NOT ask is: “What is the #1 thing by which you are being measured?” Because that is ultimately what you are trying to discover.

Although it may take multiple conversations and lines of questioning to refine, it is extremely important to uncover your key stakeholders’ business issues early and to confirm them often. 

2. No “D” in VisionMatch Differentiated: Not being uniquely positioned to address a key stakeholder’s needs
You need to deliver a Differentiated VisionMatch. In other words, you need to uncover problems that only you are qualified to address—and that your prospect may not have thought of—and position yourself as the one-and-only solution provider.

3. No Personal Value: Failing to align with the key stakeholder’s personal value
It is critical that you get alignment with your key stakeholder and understand the power person’s motivations.  Examples of personal value for them could include a promotion, a bonus, increased credibility, or any other kind of recognition.

After you’ve developed an appropriate level of comfort, trust, and rapport with that power person, following are examples of questions you could ask to uncover their personal value:

  1. “What’s in it for you?”  (Open-ended question)
  2. “What kind of impact could this have on your career?” (Probing question)
  3. “Where does this sit on your priority list?” (Confirming question)

4. No Power: Selling below the decision level
The decision-making authority within a company or organization has perhaps moved up a couple of levels in recent years. Ideally, you want to gain and maintain access with the ultimate decision maker. You need to know which person that is: Be careful not to get so tied to any one contact within the organization that you can’t make a move without going through him or her.

5. No Mutual Plan: Not understanding the full sequence of events
Keep in mind that a signed contract is just a stepping-stone to future milestones. Confirm everything in writing, because every written message is another opportunity. Send a follow-up letter or email to your prospect confirming your understanding of the mutually agreed upon set of activities and milestones. We call this a mutual plan. It is a proactive approach to managing the sales cycle, being deliberate in understanding the prospect’s view of "When."

We all appreciate that a stall or a slip in the sales process is actually more expensive than an outright no, so it’s crucial to identify “no decision” situations early—and to be ready to do something about it.

About Scott Anschuetz:
With more than 25 years of direct sales, sales management, and leadership experience, Scott Anschuetz leads, coaches, and motivates sales forces. He combines an accomplished track record of achievement with real world practical applications in leading Visualize, the company he founded in 2002. Visualize trains over 6,000 sales and marketing professionals around the globe at corporations including: Avaya, Siemens, Mercury Interactive, newScale, Symbol,, VMware, Motorola, SuccessFactors, and TELUS. 

About Visualize:
is a leading provider of the ValueSelling Framework®.  Its team of certified associates enable companies to bridge the gap between sales and marketing while uncovering and applying value holistically, utilizing the ValueSelling methodology that’s intuitive, sustainable and proven. Clients turn to the experts at Visualize for consulting services, classroom training in sales and management, and e-learning, yielding immediate impact, repeatable strategies, and sustainable results.

About ValueSelling:
Since 1991, ValueSelling Associates has helped FORTUNE 1000 business-to-business sales organizations around the world compete and win. Generating revenue is the goal of all sales organizations. To do that, sales teams need the right tools, skills, and processes to succeed. ValueSelling Associates has maintained its position as a leader in the industry for nearly 20 years by continually evolving to meet the new challenges sales forces face.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, contact center awards, valueselling, Visualize, Scott Anschuetz

Watch Video of the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:28 AM

The Stevie® Awards is pleased to announce that videos clips of the 6th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world’s leading sales awards, customer service awards, and contact center awards program are now available to view on YouTube.

Watch the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards presentations here.

Stevie Awards 150 resized 600More than 350 professionals attended the business awards banquet which took place on Monday, February 27th at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our 2012 sales award & customer service award video clips showcase business award acceptance speeches made by individuals and organizations from around the world, including:

Rob Jeppsen of Zions Bank, Winner of the Gold Stevie Award for Sales Director of the Year
Rob's speech started the night off by recognizing the team effort behind all individual awards.

MarketBridge, Winner of the Gold Stevie Award for Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year
MarketBridge's enthusiastic team accepts the Gold Stevie Award and expresses their gratitude for their strong partnerships.

Joey Romaine of Groupon, Winner of the Gold Stevie Award for Young Customer Service Professional of the Year
Honored for his efforts as a young professional, Joey Romaine keeps the awards show lively and the audience entertained.

Vodafone Turkey, Winner of the Gold Stevie Award for Sales Department of the Year, Telecommunications
Traveling from Istanbul, Turkey, Vodafone Turkey's humble speech brought to light the importance business awards have globally.

International Checkout Inc., Winner of the Gold Stevie Award for Telesales Team of the Year
Jackson Strobel, VP of Sales & Operations at International Checkout, and his "lean machine" sales team show the audience that size doesn't matter.

The 6th annual corporate awards banquet was the first to showcase our three levels of distinction: gold, silver and bronze as part of our 10th anniversary celebration. Previously, only overall category winners have received Gold Stevie Awards.

Want more sales and customer service awards celebration? Watch all acceptance speeches, listen to the live recording and view photos from the event.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, corporate awards, business award, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, contact center awards, YouTube

53 Customer Service & Sales Awards Heroes

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 @ 01:16 PM

The following professionals participated in preliminary-round judging of the 5th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service from November 2010 to January 2011.  Their average scores determined the Finalists in the sales awards, call center awards, and customer service awards categories.  We can't thank them enough for their work this year.  Entries were up more than 60% over last year, so they had their work cut out for them!  Special thanks to Frank Powell of PetRays and Shannon Russell of Seattle Pacific Industries, the two judges who scored the most entries and are thus the winners of two free tickets to the February 21 awards banquet in Miami Beach.

Cheryl Alaniz, Director, Member Services, Topco Associates LLC, Skokie, IL
John D. Allen, President/CEO, Allen Worldwide Solutions Ltd, St. Thomas, ON Canada
Jane Blackwell, Community Outreach Manager, High Point Bank & Trust, High, Point, NC
Jeffrey Brooks, Senior Manager, Support Services, Peak 10, Charlotte, NC
Dawn Collier, Customer Service Manager, Sunco Carriers, Lakeland, FL
Patricia Cotter, VP Worldwide Operations, Netezza Corporation, Marlborough, MA
Derek Cunningham, VP-Sales, DAXKO, Birmingham, AL
Jan Delory, President, Sales Vantage Point, Raleigh, NC
James Donovan, VP/General Manager, National Inside Sales, Cbeyond, Atlanta, GA
Carolyn K Edwards, Communications Consultant, London, United Kingdom
David Figueroa, Adoption Analyst, eSales & Service, AT&T, Bothell, WA
Heisha Freeman, VP, Client Development, Quantum Relocation Services, Dallas, TX
Michael Gerard, VP, Sales Advisory Practice, IDC, Framingham, MA
Steve Gershik, Chief Marketing Officer, The Brand, Art & Technology Studio, Beachwood, OH
Jaki Glenn, Regional Senior Sales Representative, Taleo Learn, Taleo, Belton, SC
Bob Gooderl, Associate VP - Client Services, Symetra Financial, Bellevue, WA
Shane Hallen, Regional Vice President, Sales, PAETEC, Plymouth Meeting, PA
Joshua Harris, Senior Director, Program Sales, Direct Alliance Corporation, Tempe, AZ
Bill Hicks, Director of Business Development, The Sales Management Association, Atlanta, GA
Marie Holliday, EFT-ADV, MAAMET, President, EFT Spain, Murcia, Spain
Dustin Johnson, Vice President of Sales Operations, Market Force Information, Norcross, GA
Amanda Kendall, VP of Customer Exeprience, Unionbay Sportswear, Kent, WA
Patti LaChapelle, Manager, Training and Development, Marriott International, Bethesda, MD
Rebecca Lane, President, Epitome Health and Beauty Ltd, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Seleste Lunsford, Executive Consultant, Sales Performance, AchieveGlobal, Tampa, FL
Robyn McNeely, Continuous Improvement Coordinator, CIGNA Government Services, Nashville, TN
Sharon Metzung, Publications & Graphics Manager, Lake Metroparks, Concord Township, OH
Jay Mitchell, Managing Director, Motum, LLC, Irving, TX
Alan Moak, VP & COO, Assurant Solutions, Atlanta, GA
Sean Murphy, Executive VP - eCommerce, CustomInk, McLean, VA
Reghunath Nair, Training Manager, Oman Insurance Company (PSC), Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Adam Patenaude, General Manager, Aloft Hotels, San Antonio, TX
Summer Poletti, Director of Client Relations, Payroll Tax Management, Inc., Santa Ana, CA
Matt Popinski, Director of Support Services, DAXKO, Birmingham, AL
Frank Powell, Marketing Director, PetRays, The Woodlands, TX
Bridgette Ridgeway, President & CEO, TaylorField, Brown Deer, WI
Peter Rifkind, Director of Client Service, UltraLinq Healthcare Solutions, Inc., New York, NY
Shannon Russell, Compliance Manager, Seattle Pacific Industries/Unionbay Sportswear, Kent, WA
Scott Sachs, Senior Director, Call Center Operations, Assurant, Wayne, PA
Stu Schlackman, Owner, Competitive Excellence, Richardson, TX
Kristina Schwende, Owner/Program Developer, Sabre Business Skills, Richmond, BC Canada
Ansa Sekharan, Senior VP, Global Customer Support, Informatica Corp., Redwood City, CA
Randy Selleck, Senior Director, Call Center Operations, Assurant Solutions, Atlanta, GA
Paula Sellergren, Director of Marketing, Mather LifeWays, Evanston, IL
Donnovan Simon, Director, Sales Support, SMART Technologies, Calgary, AB Canada
Alexsis Stephens, Human Resources Manager, Assurant Solutions, Lawton, OK
Ralph Stewart, Marketing Director, Maintenance Connection Inc., Davis, CA
David Stuart, Customer Support Manager, Halogen Software, Ottawa, ON Canada
Janice Sutherland, Head of UK Sales Contact Centres, Bank of Ireland, Bristol, United Kingdom
Christopher Tepas, Chief Marketing Officer, EMKAY, Itasca, IL
Linda Varrell, President, Broadreach Public Relations, Yarmouth, ME
Sundy Visbal, Director of Digital Strategy, Womenetics, LLC, Decatur, GA
Julia Zamorska, VP of Corporate Communications, iolo technologies, Los Angeles, CA

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, good customer service, excellent customer service, contact center awards