Sales Awards Blog

Early-bird Entry Deadline Today for 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 @ 10:02 AM

Today, Wednesday, October 10, is the early-bird 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.  

Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer ServiceTo begin your submission process, you should:

1. Request an entry kit.
The entry kit contains all of the information you'll need to be able to prepare and submit entries to this year's awards.

2. Review the categories.
The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service has more than 125 sales awards and customer service 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.

3. Submit your entries.
Select your categories, write your submissions according to the instructions, and submit your entries. All entries are submitted online. You can begin by registering here.

The entry deadline for the 2013 awards is November 14. Late entries will be accepted through January 15, 2013, with payment of a $35 late fee per entry.  Winners of the competition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

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.

Need help answering  your early-bird questions?  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, sales awards

Top Tips on Sales Training, From Stevie® Awards Winner, MarketBridge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Oct 04, 2012 @ 02:11 PM

MarketBridge of Bethesda, Maryland, USA, received the Gold Stevie® Award for Best Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (The early-bird deadline for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service is October 10. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here.) Here we look at what made their training program outstanding.MarketBridge Award-Winning Team

MarketBridge, in partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue and MasterCard Worldwide, won a Gold Stevie Award for its multifaceted and interactive training program for Saks Fifth Avenue Stores. This training focused on SAKSFIRST, Saks Fifth Avenue's exclusive loyalty program, and the Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard® card, a premier co-branded credit card offering tied in with Saks Fifth Avenue's loyalty program.

"We are honored to receive this award and celebrate our success with Saks Fifth Avenue and MasterCard, two preeminent brands in their industries and valued partners," stated Rebecca Johns, Vice President at MarketBridge when she and the team were in Las Vegas in February 2012 to collect the trophy.

Background Story
In 2006, MasterCard partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue to launch the Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard, with features and benefits designed for the more affluent consumer, in all Saks Fifth Avenue Stores nationwide.

MarketBridge was engaged to build a sales training and coaching program for this co-brand card which would primarily help drive new cardmember acquisitions, but also solve key issues that arose during initial product roll-
out.

Flexible Approach
This training program was delivered to all Saks Fifth Avenue stores through a variety of coverage approaches, including in-store classroom trainings, on-the-job simulations, and long distance support. This flexible training and coaching model allowed for modified versions of the program to fit the unique needs of individual stores, departments, and store associates. 

1. Territory Support:
The first coverage model type, “Territory Support,” included regularly scheduled visits from an Account Executive to train, coach, and incent the store management and employees.

2. Accelerator Support:
Next, “Accelerator Support” involved a 1-2 day credit event that included training, strategic credit planning, one-on-one sales coaching, and incentives
for top performers.

3. Air Cover Support:
Finally, the third coverage model was “Air Cover Support”, which did not feature any regular Account Executive visits, but rather on-going support through distance learning, mailed materials, and interactive online tools.

Making Training Fun
Through its in-store visits, MarketBridge conducted fun and interactive training classes, during which the store associates were taught about credit, helped to achieve objectives, and encouraged to promote the co-brand to their customers.

Changing Behavior
Post-training—regardless of module used, additional training tools and reinforcement materials such as takeaways, quick tips, fun facts, and games— helped to ensure that the learning process was effective, that the information was retained, and, above all, that behavior changed.

Positive Results
In the first three fiscal months of 2011 MarketBridge was able to improve credit performance year-over-year, while reenergizing Associates and increasing program participation.

In an industry clouded by the current economic downturn, these results were substantial. Furthermore, from a qualitative perspective, overall program feedback from store associates and management alike was highly positive.

About the MarketBridge Team

Becky Johns, Vice President, Marketing Services Practice
Becky Johns works with clients to improve marketing and sales productivity by developing and executing integrated data-driven marketing and sales strategies. At MarketBridge her experience centers primarily on building brand loyalty through customer acquisition, engagement, and retention programs and developing online and social media communities. In addition, she has expertise in enabling sales teams through innovative training and sales readiness and enablement programs. In her 7 years with MarketBridge, she has managed accounts and initiatives across the healthcare, retail, financial services and high tech industries. Most recently, Becky led her teams to win a Gold Stevie Award for 2012 Sales Training Program of the Year, and the 2011 Marketing Innovation Award for Customer Retention and Loyalty held by Merkle and the CMO Council.

Prior to MarketBridge, Becky’s background in marketing and advertising included client and agency positions working in both B2B and B2C engagements.

Courtney Milliken, Program Manager
Courtney is a Program Manager with MarketBridge. Most prominently, she is responsible for leading the deployment and measurement of sales enablement and digital customer relationship programs for clients.

About MarketBridge:
MarketBridge is a leading global provider of technology-enabled sales and marketing solutions for Fortune 1000 and emerging-growth companies. The firm offers three core methodologies: MarketBlueprint™ for go-to-market strategy and resource planning, RevenueEngines™ for demand generation and sales enablement and DemandAnalytics™ for sales and marketing reporting and analytics.  For over 20 years and 1,000 client engagements, MarketBridge has helped CEOs and senior Marketing and Sales leadership create scalable revenue growth.  Find us on the web at www.market-bridge.comand on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MarketBridge.

Tags: sales excellence, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, best sales practices, sales award, MarketBridge

Two Weeks to Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Early-bird Deadline

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 @ 02:05 PM

The early-bird 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 quickly approaching on October 10.

If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here.

The Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer ServiceThe Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service has more than 125 sales awards and customer service 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 entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service is November 14.  Late entries will be accepted through January 15, 2013, with payment of a $35 late fee per entry.  Winners of the competition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

2012 winners include, among others: 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). A complete list of 2012 honorees is available at www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

Need help getting started? Contact 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, sales awards

3 Ways Sales Awards Winner Developed Training to Drive Performance

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 @ 01:53 PM

MarketBridge won the Gold Stevie® Award for Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for sales, call center, and customer service professionals. Here we look at how the sales awards winner's training efforts directly led to higher employee performance.

MarketBridgeIn 2010, sales award winner, MarketBridge, was tasked with building a sales training and coaching program by MasterCard and Saks Fifth Avenue to help promote their joint card, the Saks Fifth  Avenue World Elite MasterCard. Offered in all Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide, the card is complete with features and benefits designed for the upper-affluent consumer market segment.

MarketBridge was primarily charged with helping to drive new card member acquisitions, but also to solve key issues that arose during initial product roll-out including: an unbalanced and incomplete card launch, knowledge gaps among store associates as well as limited, complicated, and non-actionable training materials.

Using best sales practices, MarketBridge developed a flexible training and coaching model that allowed for modified versions of their program to fit the unique needs of regions, individual stores, departments, and store associates. MarketBridge had three training modules:

  1. Territory Support, which included regularly scheduled visits from an Account Executive to train, coach and, incent the store management and employees. 
  2. Accelerator Support, which involved a 1-2 day credit event that included training, strategic credit planning, one-on-one sales coaching and, incentives, like vacations for top performers.
  3. Air Cover Support, which did not feature any regular Account Executive visits, but rather on-going support through distance learning and mailed materials.

Through in-store visits, MarketBridge conducted fun and interactive training classes, during which associates:

  • Were taught about credit,
  • Helped to overcome objectives, and
  • Learned about ways to promote the co-brand to their customers. 

Post-training, regardless of module, incorporated additional training tools and reinforcement materials such as takeaways, quick tips, fun facts, and games, to help ensure that learning was affective and information was retained.

In the first 3 fiscal months of 2011, the sales excellence focused module led to improved credit performance year-over-year, while reenergizing associates and increasing program participation. Three major achievements include:

  1. In terms of total card applications, the stores in the regions being supported by the MarketBridge program consistently outperformed the total company performance, with up to a 62 percentage point increased improvement year over year. 
  2. A 65% training penetration in stores for 2011 contributed to higher performance and associate participation in credit.
  3. MarketBridge incentive initiatives alone increased private label card performance by 24%, and co-brand performance by 62%, when compared to pre-program performance.

About MarketBridge
MarketBridge is a leading global provider of technology-enabled sales and marketing solutions and services for Fortune 1000 companies, delivering client results based on an empirical approach to designing, building, and managing programs. Through their understanding of connected sales and marketing, MarketBridge helps clients make investments in brand development and demand generation to measurably drive sales productivity in both direct and indirect sales channels. MarketBridge delivers solutions via three core methodologies, MarketBlueprint, RevenueEngines, and DemandAnalytics, which are customized to fit each client’s unique business objectives. To learn more about MarketBridge, visit www.market-bridge.com.

Tags: sales excellence, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, best sales practices, sales award, MarketBridge

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

Biggest Impact on Sales Success? Q&A with Tom Schaff of Big Swift Kick and a Sales Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Feb 02, 2012 @ 02:37 PM

Tom Schaff, Managing Partner of Big Swift Kick, is a member of one of the sales awards final judging committees for the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Final judging is now underway; sales excellence and customer service awards winners will be announced on February 27 at the 6th annual awards banquet in Las Vegas. Get your tickets here.

We asked Tom for some insights on what has influenced sales people the most over the past ten years.

What in your opinion has been the top business story of the past 10 years for sales people? Tom Schaff
If you ask me, the biggest impact on salespeople and companies that sell over the last ten years is definitely the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Why?
Companies buy differently now. Superstar salespeople need to sell to a whole different buying team.  What used to work doesn't anymore—especially if you are the little guy selling to a big company. 

Smart companies understand that, given the changes in buying, big companies are more afraid than ever of the small guy—but at the same time, they need their creativity and responsiveness. The exceptionally bright company has adjusted its sales processes away from the superstar rugged individual and instead doubled down on strategic processes that involve the selling team's executive management, supply chain, clients, and subject-matter experts. This adjustment to Sarbanes-Oxley has actually helped over 200 of our clients win their biggest deals in the history of their companies. Change can mean opportunity: Sarbanes Oxley, while difficult to implement, has been an incredible opportunity for those who have adjusted. Have you?

We had to ask: Why Big Swift Kick? 
After 17 years of performance consulting and training, my partner Andy Miller and I wanted to make a distinctive brand. We audited what made us different with clients and the answer that came up most often was: Candor. 

Further investigated, clients told us that our candor and straightforwardness, truth without apology, and real-world approach helped impact to happen faster. We quickly recognized that our favorite clients were the ones who needed us the least but wanted feedback the most. The least impacted clients were the ones who needed us the most—but couldn't handle the feedback. 

Big Swift Kick is for the CEO, VP, or HR executive who wants that "Big Swift Kick in the Acronym." Organizations that want to challenge the way things have always been done can count on us to honor what works, uncover what doesn't, and take massive action on areas of opportunity.

About Tom Schaff:
Tom Schaff is a managing partner of Big Swift Kick. He is also interim Chief Strategy Officer of Tony Robbins’ and Chet Holmes' consulting company, Business Breakthroughs International. He has worked with 62 of the Fortune 500 companies, a handful of the Inc 500, hundreds of privately held businesses, and a dozen private equity firms. A writer and thought leader on sales, Tom has assessed 30,000 sales people and organizational leaders. He is the official licensee of Tom "Whale Hunting" Searcy's compelling "big deal" selling system that has helped over 200 small companies win their largest-ever sales deals. Earlier in his career he co-founded Solution People, an innovation, creativity, training, and consulting firm, working with companies like Kraft, Unilever, McDonald's, AT&T, Quaker, and Kodak. Tom lives with his wife and two children in St Louis.

Tags: sales excellence, customer service awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, Tom Schaff, Big Swift Kick