Sales Awards Blog

Becoming a Stevie Award-Winning Sales Leader

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 @ 10:55 AM

Insights from a Gold Stevie ® Winner at Lennox Industries, Inc.

We wanted to learn a bit more on how Rich Ford, the Sales Director for Lennox Industries in Richardson, Texas  grew to win the Gold Stevie® for Sales Director of the Year in the 2016 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. So, we reached out to the Lennox Industries team and got a few different perspectives. Quan Nguyen,  the VP of Marketing helped us coordinate the conversation and expressed, “We are very excited and proud of Rich.“ Quan pulled in Gary Bedard, the Vice President and General Manager of Lennox Industries as well as the winner himself, Rich Ford.

The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service is accepting nominations through January 11. REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

To get started we asked Gary to give us a bit of background on what solutions Lennox provides.

Lennox Industries is a leading manufacturer and distributor of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and products for residential and commercial markets. We have leveraged our expertise to become an industry leader known for innovation, quality and reliability,” said Gary.

Lennox 1.jpgGary also shared the Vision behind Lennox.Within the home comfort industry, we want to leverage our one step distribution model to provide our professional contractors with the most innovative and highest quality products and services for them to best serve our end customers.” Bedard continued, “Our core values of integrity, respect, and excellence has built a culture of performance and accountability to execute on our vision.”

When asked about the story behind the nomination, Gary got excited. “We have an outstanding team of sales professionals, a group honored by the Stevies for the Best Field Sales Force!  Within that team, we have a leader of leaders and that was Rich Ford. He’s elevated himself in both action and performance to become a complete sales professional. The three year sales performance and growth we’ve seen out of the Western Region is simply incredible for this industry. His leadership has been instrumental in our results. He continually coaches and mentors his team and his peers. He is a thoughtful advisor to the entire management team. He consistently finds innovative solutions to customer challenges and he maintains the highest levels of standards and integrity. When we saw this award category, we were absolutely delighted to nominate Rich. His contributions have been tremendous and he really embodies all of our values of integrity, respect, and excellence.”

Gary provided interesting background on how Lennox first became acquainted with the Stevie® Awards . “We had started undergoing a transformation in 2010. Coming out of the recession in 2012, we started winning. Not just growing,  but winning by taking market share!  It was largely driven by transformational changes in our sales team and supply chain logistics. I understood that the efforts and success we were making were not just industry leading but world class so we sought to compete on a global level. We came upon the Stevie Awards that way and that’s been one of our inspirations ever since.  And we still continue to win in the market.”

Enter Rich Ford himself who described the actual experience of winning the award. Rich began with,

“When you win something you’re not expecting, or even know you’re being considered, it’s a very humbling experience. We have some amazing leaders in our organization – others deserving of the award and recognition. Then, to find out the organization recognized me as their nominee, made me happy to be a part of the team; the organization as well as our industry.”

We were interested in learninghow the award has affected RIch’s business to which Mr. Ford replied, “I can’t say that the award has affected my business dealings. I’m not a better director or leader as a result of the award. I still strive to contribute to a culture of excellence in everything we do. I still try to bring the highest level of service to our customers and to be a champion and advocate for my team. I’m probably more acutely aware of my day to day interactions and will strive to live up to the expectations that come with the recognition.”

Rich also shared his insights on the future of his industry,The key drivers in our industry have always been regulatory. Either the environmental impact at the federal level or on the local level with utility companies. I find it interesting that the regulations can have a greater impact on our industry going forward beyond the typical SEER/EER ratings standards. Secondary regulations in local markets could impact the way our product is installed. And, as an applied product, this could have either a negative impact or change fundamentally how our product is designed and distributed in the future. Closely watching the actions of our competitors as well as different channels (Residential New Construction for example) will keep it interesting and require staying diligent in our own innovative development of products going forward.”

Rich showed his mettle with some inspiration we can all appreciate, “As I think about where I started professionally and where I ultimately wound up – it’s definitely not a straight line. Often times, Sales Leaders start in sales and through consecutive successes over their careers become who they are – Sales Leaders. I started with Lennox, as an IT Specialist. My background had been technology focused and it was through technology I joined Lennox. It wasn’t long before I noticed a culture of sales excellence within the company through working with the Sales Managers.

It became my purpose and goal to become a Sales Director before I had my first sales position. It was not a clear road.  It took three attempts before I was finally given the opportunity to join the sales team as a Territory Manager. With each rejection I worked harder to get better. I looked for opportunities for improvement by spending time with those who were great in the role to which I wanted to rise. From Territory Manager to District Manager – I learned from great DMs.  From DM to director – I listened to and spoke with great sales directors.  

I’m not a ‘natural salesperson’ as many believe is true for most salespeople. My point is – regardless of your dream – be it a sales leader, a great IT professional or even a great parent – don’t quit getting better at what you want to do. More importantly, find others who do it great and do what they do.”

Lennox 2.jpg

Shown from left to right: Mark Yonai winner of the Stevie Gold for Best Use of Technology, Leigh Ann Vernon winner of the Stevie Gold for Best Sales Meeting, Rich Ford winner of the Stevie Gold for Sales Director, Bill Carlson winner of the Stevie Gold for Business Development.

You can learn more about Lennox Industries at http://www.lennox.com/

Tags: sales team, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, Customer Service

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

One Grand Reason to Enter the 2013 Sales & Customer Service Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 @ 02:22 PM

The final entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals, is tomorrow, January 15, and we thought it would be helpful if we shared one grand reason you should enter the 2013 awards.

Gold Stevie Awards TrophyHere's one more giant reason you should enter the 2013 awards: This will be your final opportunity to win the traditional, large Gold Stevie Award trophy. After this edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the large trophy will become the Grand Stevie Award in all of our programs, and a new, smaller Gold Stevie trophy will be conferred. The Grand Stevie Award trophy will be awarded to only a handful of organizations in each of our four competitions and the new Gold Stevie Award trophy will be the same size as the Silver and Bronze Stevie Award trophies. Read more about this here.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories honoring sales excellence and best customer service practices for individuals, teams, and departments, plus categories for products and service and solution providers. If you haven't yet done so, you can begin your submission process by requesting your entry kit here.

Finalists 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.

Have last minute questions regarding the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service? Email us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389 and we'll get back to you right away.

Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, call center awards, sales awards, grand trophy

5 Days to Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Final Entry Deadline

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 04:18 PM

Tuesday, January 15 is the final entry deadline for the 2013 (7th annual) Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals.

Stevie Awards LogoIf you haven't yet done so, you can begin your submission process by requesting your entry kit here. The entry kit contains all of the instructions you need about how to prepare and submit your entries.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories honoring sales excellence and best customer service practices for individuals, teams, and departments, plus categories this year for products and service and solution providers. The 2013 awards will recognize achievements since July 1, 2011.

Information generally required for 2013 entries include an essay of up to 525 words describing the nominee’s achievements during the eligibility period; links to any online materials that support the nomination; and a brief (125 word) biography of the nominee.

To make the most out of your entries, we suggest downloading our 5 Tips for Winning Sales Awards in the 2013 Stevie® Awards tipsheet, reviewing past winners' entries, and watching our short video, How to Enter the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Winners of the 2013 edition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

Have questions regarding the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service?  Email us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389 and we'll get back to you right away.

Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, call center awards, sales awards

3 Tips on Beating the Competition, From a Sales Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Jan 09, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

Robert Jeppsen is the Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales at Zions First National Bank in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and is the Chair of the final judging committee of the Sales Individual 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. (January 15 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 Rob shares some useful tips on beating the competition.

Robert Jeppsen, Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales, Zions First National BankAs one of the top sales executives for a growing financial institution, what top 3 tips would you give to sales individuals seeking to make their mark in sales?

  1. Understand that HOW you sell is far more important than WHAT you sell.  Products are copied almost immediately, especially in financial services.  While products will be copied, experiences can’t be.  Making the client experience your priority, from the initial sales process on, is the most sustainable competitive advantage you can have.
  1. Discover the process that works in your marketplace.  With the right process you can do things that would otherwise be impossible.  Process gives you predictability in sales, which may be the most desirable thing a business can have.  This is particularly important in complex sales environments like financial services.  For example, in commercial banking, studies show that it takes a minimum of 6-8 calls to a potential client before they actually get serious about considering the new banker as a viable option.  Here’s the problem: Most bankers quit calling on a prospect after 2-3 calls, the perspective being that there is no opportunity. In reality, at this point a banker is only 25-30% of the way to the stage of being seriously considered.  Process allows you to have indicators that not only help to win more business, but also provide confidence about where you are in each transaction.  Once you discover it, the right process can be a huge and ongoing competitive advantage: less than 10% of salespeople currently use a milestone-based process as part of their regular approach to winning and retaining business.
  1. Products don’t matter.  My first law of sales is simple: “Products have no value. Products only derive value.”  Rather than have your call preparation be about product knowledge and product fluency, my suggestion is to learn the breadth of problems a product can solve and why those problems matter.  Nobody likes a “Press Play” salesman who just switches on a product pitch.  If you can be fluent and comfortable in having conversations about the impact—preferably a dollarized impact—of solving a business problem, you will find that your sales cycle time shrinks and your win rate will rise pretty quickly.  One of the most important skills a salesperson can have is fluency and confidence in deriving value.  The better you are at this, the more successful you will be.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The most important news topic to me right now is U.S. fiscal policy.  New tax laws will have a huge impact on business owners and will create significant changes in our business environment.  With change there is always opportunity, and I want to be sure to be close to the changes that are inevitably coming in the short term. We saw a lot of business owners move into “hunker down” mode as the election drew near.  The jury is still out on the impact to business owners and their ability to grow.  As a financial institution that has been the #1 SBA lender in the Western United States, the economic environment for business owners is the most significant issue right now.  A lot of clients are asking us for insights into what the implications will be for them, and I want our team to be able to provide meaningful advice. 

What is your favorite app?
Like many sales leaders, I am on the road a lot and not able to attend many events back home with my family.  I miss a lot of the games that my kids play in, so an app that has been a real difference maker for me is GameChanger.  It allows an absentee Dad to “watch” a game by posting play-by-play updates, and for a Coach, it provides instant stats and match-up/coaching suggestions. (And as a sports fan, another app I don’t know what I would do without is ESPN ScoreCenter, which provides scores and news of sports leagues around the world.)

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I would be a basketball coach.  The most fun I’ve had came when I was a volunteer coach for a local high school’s varsity basketball team.  It was in a less-affluent part of our area and many of the boys had never had the experience of learning the relationship of preparation and success. They hadn’t had a winning season since 1972.  But we had a winning season that year, and qualified for the state tournament…a quick turnaround.   I am in sales because I love the competitive element.  It gives me that thrill of competition I used to have as an athlete.  But as much fun as it has been to achieve my own success, I have found the most fulfillment when I guide a team to a point where the collective group wins instead of just me.  A much larger challenge is a much more fulfilling one.  Coaching a NCAA D1 team would be about as good as it gets!

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I love winning.  At Zions, we have a big team and big challenges.  Last year, every single one of our 10 regions hit goal.  We had 31% growth in a down economy, and we beat our 2007 production numbers with fewer people.

There are big challenges in our industry right now that require big plans and big execution.  I like taking the NOT out of CANNOT and helping people realize they can do things that others simply don’t think is possible.  I like to go out and do things that are just too inconvenient for my competitors.  It is a ton of fun and it makes everything worthwhile.

About Robert Jeppsen:
Rob Jeppsen is the SVP of Commercial Sales for Zions Bank. With over 16 years of direct sales and sales leadership experience, Jeppsen has worked in publicly-traded organizations, privately-held organizations, and has successfully led sales teams in the technology, pharmaceutical, and financial services sectors.

Jeppsen is a regular speaker at conferences nationwide and at universities in the Western United States. He is the creator of the Zions Bank Business Performance Series, a tool offered to Zions' clients interested in building a world-class sales system. The course was taken by over 500 businesses in the 2010-2012 period. 

About Zions First National Bank:
Zions First National Bank is a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation, which operates more than 500 offices and 600 ATMs in 10 Western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. As a full-service bank, Zions offers commercial, installment and mortgage loans; trust services; foreign banking services; electronic and online banking services; automatic deposit and nationwide banking and transfer services; as well as the more familiar checking and savings programs. For more information, go to https://www.zionsbank.com

Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, call center awards, sales awards, Zions First National Bank, Robert Jeppsen

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 www.valueselling.com.

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?”

    or

  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, Salesforce.com, VMware, Motorola, SuccessFactors, and TELUS. 

About Visualize:
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 "How to Enter the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service"

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 @ 05:44 PM

We've just published a short video called How to Enter the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Watch it here:

The brief video offers a comprehensive overview of the Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals, including:

  • What the Stevie Awards are, and their history
  • The schedule for the 2013 awards
  • How to review and select categories
  • How to prepare and submit entries
  • How the judging process works
  • Best practices

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories honoring sales excellence and best customer service practices for individuals, teams, and departments, plus categories this year for products and service and solution providers. The final entry deadline for the 2013 edition is January 15, you can begin your submission process by requesting your entry kit here.

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  Email us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389 and we'll get back to you right away.

Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, call center awards, sales awards

Two Days to Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Entry Deadline

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:29 PM

Wednesday, November 14, is the entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (If you can't make the November 14 entry deadline, entries will still be accepted through January 15, 2013 with payment of a $35 late fee per entry.)

Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer ServiceAll entries are submitted online. You can begin your submission process by requesting your entry kit here. The entry kit contains all of the instructions you need about how to prepare and submit your entries.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories honoring sales excellence and best customer service practices for individuals, teams, and departments, plus categories this year for products and service and solution providers. The 2013 awards will recognize achievements since July 1, 2011.

To make the most out of your entries, we suggest reviewing last year's Gold winning entries. 2012 winners include: Adam Bain, Chief Revenue Officer, Twitter, Inc. (Senior Sales Executive of the Year), Direct Alliance (Government Sales Team of the Year), Joey Romaine, Customer Service Role Model and Innovator, Groupon (Young Customer Service Professional of the Year), United Parcel Service, Inc. (Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year), and eCornell (Customer Service Department of the Year), among others. A complete list of 2012 honorees is available at www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

Winners of the competition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

Need help submitting entries to the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service?  Email us at help@stevieawards.com  or call us at + 1 703-547-8389.

Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, call center awards, sales awards

Less Than Two Weeks to Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Entry Deadline

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Nov 05, 2012 @ 01:13 PM

Next Wednesday, November 14, is the entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (If you can't make the November 14 entry deadline, entries will still be accepted through January 15, 2013 with payment of a $35 late fee per entry. You can request your entry kit here.)Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories honoring sales excellence and best customer service practices for individuals, teams, and departments, plus categories this year for products and service and solution providers.

Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories, which include:

  • Sales Individual categories such as Senior Sales Executive of the Year and Sales Operations Professional of the Year
  • Sales Team categories like Global Sales Team of the Year and Field Sales Team of the Year
  • Sales Achievement categories such as Sales Turnaround of the Year and Outbound Marketing Program of the Year
  • Sales Department of the Year categories in 13 industry groupings
  • Customer Service and Contact Center Individual categories such as Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year and Customer Service Leader of the Year
  • Customer Service and Contact Center Team categories like Contact Center of the Year and Customer Service Management Team of the Year
  • Customer Service and Contact Center Achievement categories such as e-Commerce Customer Service Award and Award for Innovation in Customer Service
  • Customer Service Department categories in 11 industry groupings
  • New Product and Service categories like Best New Business Intelligence Solution and Best New Relationship Management Solution
  • Solution Provider categories such as Sales Consulting Practice of the Year and Incentive, Rewards, or Recognition Provider of the Year

Winners of the most recent edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service included New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (Customer Service or Call Center Training Practice of the Year), Rob Jeppsen, Zions First National Bank (Sales Director of the Year), International Checkout Inc. (Telesales Team of the Year), Office Depot, Inc. (Customer Service Complaints Team of the Year), OppenheimerFunds Inc. (Contact Center of the Year), and SquareTrade Inc (Customer Service Department of the Year - Financial Services), among others. A complete list of 2012 honorees is available at www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

Winners of the competition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

Not sure which categories to enter?  Email us at help@stevieawards.com  or call us at + 1 703-547-8389 and we'll get back to you right away.

Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, call center awards, sales awards