Sales Awards Blog

How a Virtual Conference Fueled Demand Generation for Motorola

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Aug 03, 2011 @ 08:56 PM

Bulldog Solutions, Inc. of Austin, Texas USA won the Stevie Award for Demand Generation Program of the Year in the sales awards categories of the 2011 annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's premier honors for customer service, call center, and sales professionals.  Bulldog Solutions won for their work with client Motorola on “Mobile Advantage 2010: Change the Game,” a virtual conference produced by Motorola Enterprise Solutions.  (Entries for the 2012 edition of the awards are now being accepted.)

Rob SolomonMobile Advantage 2010: Change the Game is a virtual conference (a “trade show” offered solely as an online experience) that was produced by Motorola Enterprise Solutions on October 6, 2010 and offered subsequently in an on-demand capacity. The opt-in conference featured thought leaders from Motorola and in-depth looks at devices, applications, and technologies being developed by Motorola for mobile enterprise applications including field service, field sales, retail, healthcare, utilities, manufacturing, and transportation/distribution. It was designed to re-enforce Motorola’s leadership in enterprise solutions, strengthen partner relationships, and generate sales opportunities.

Virtual conferences are generally produced by a publication or trade group, with individual sponsors across a range of solutions providing “booths” and information and receiving lead data in return.  In this case, however, Motorola and its demand-generation agency Bulldog Solutions used the event to showcase Motorola’s own expertise and cutting-edge products, including the recently introduced ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant.

Seeing the Big Picture

The virtual conference gave Motorola partners a chance to understand the Motorola Enterprise Solutions group “big picture” as well as to take a closer look at specific services and solutions by visiting online booths and downloading briefings and other information. Using the virtual conference platform, Motorola was able to collect data on registrants’ interests and behavior—data that would drive targeted programs post-event.

“The virtual conference strategy that we created for Motorola made it possible for the organization to collect useful data on registrants’ interests that could then be used to drive more targeted lead-generation programs after the event,” said Rob Solomon, CEO and founder of Bulldog Solutions.

The virtual conference featured 10 booths, covering vertical practice areas as well as specific solutions. Four Webinars and four “scheduled chats” were offered throughout the day, highlighted by a featured speaker, former NFL Head Coach Brian Billick. Original videos were used to draw attention to key issues. In order to generate registrant activity, the Motorola team partnered with the NFL to create a series of sweepstakes, offering prize levels based on depth of participation and engagement in the event.

Exceeding Goals

Motorola far exceeded its original registration goal, securing 1,761 registrants (the goal was 1,500). Subsequent to the live viewing, the conference remains online in an “on-demand” capacity. The level of engagement and quality of the leads, combined with a targeted follow-up plan, continues to generate additional registrants.

“This campaign is a great example of the creativity that BtoB organizations can use to produce demand-generation programs that spur prospect interest and create buzz while positioning their companies as thought leaders in their respective industries,” concluded Solomon.

About Rob Solomon

Rob Solomon is the founder and chief executive officer of Bulldog Solutions. He is an experienced entrepreneur who is passionate about sales and marketing. Before establishing Bulldog Solutions, Rob was the founder, chairman and CEO of USOL Holdings, Inc. ("USOL"), a publicly traded telecommunications company with offices and operations throughout the United States.

Rob currently serves on several corporate and non-profit boards. He is the founder of the Austin Chapter of Young Entrepreneurs Organization ("YEO") and an active member in the Central Texas Chapter of Young Presidents Organization ("YPO"). Rob also recently graduated from the Birthing of Giants program, a three-year leadership program sponsored by YEO, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Kaufman Foundation and Inc. Magazine.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

About Bulldog Solutions, Inc.

Bulldog Solutions transforms BtoB marketers' ability to deliver sales-ready prospects to meet business objectives and prove marketing's impact on sales.  Bulldog Solutions is a BtoB demand-generation specialist recognized for its approach by thought leaders in the industry. Bulldog Solutions is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information go to

Tags: bulldog solutions, stevie awards, sales awards, sales award

4 Steps to Soaring Telesales, From a Sales Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 @ 09:49 AM

MD On-Line, Inc. of Parsippany, New Jersey, USA won the Stevie Award for Telesales Team of the Year in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Entries are now being accepted for the 2012 edition of the awards - learn more at

Nicholas DannenbaumSeveral years ago, a study conducted by independent consultants Milliman Inc. concluded that the USA’s healthcare system could save an estimated $86 billion annually by adopting one procedural change: utilizing electronic data interchange (EDI) technology to automate claim filing, status inquiries, referrals, pre-authorizations, and eligibility.  $11 billion alone would come just from converting physicians’ offices from paper to electronic claims submissions, with estimated savings of more than $42,000 per year per provider. 

These dollar savings don’t even take into account the extra benefits that would
accrue from faster payments and turnaround on claim errors, improved cash flow, and patient satisfaction.

Not surprisingly, MD On-Line (MDOL), a proven leader in healthcare information technology transactions, was able to leverage these statistics as it methodically built a customer base of over 38,000 physicians in its first 13 years of existence.  That meant that the early-adopting customers had all been converted, leaving a pool of smaller, reluctant prospects for engagement and adoption. 

Targeting Reluctant Prospects

From July 2009, six highly motivated and internally trained telesales professionals at MDOL began targeting that high-hanging fruit.  The highly successful results demonstrated their ability to build from a strong base and to find innovative ways of exploding sales with the most reluctant prospects.

Four of the ways they achieved this were by:

1. Identifying new strategic selling approaches and closing an average of 430 new customers every month, which grew the total MDOL customer base by more than 20% to over 45,000 in the space of a year;

2. Leveraging relationships with health insurers to secure their lists of
paper-submitting providers, and developing special offers to attract the most
reluctant provider offices, including offers of free electronic transactions and packages that enabled offices to file to all insurers affordably;

3. Reaching out to the largest managed Medicaid Plan in the State of New
York with a plan for non-emergency transportation providers to submit their taxi or private ambulance charges electronically, thereby totally eliminating a time-wasting and paper-laden process that had been consuming costs for decades. 

4. Engaging MDOL’s largest insurer client with a promise to convert 60,000 claims from paper-based physicians to EDI in the first year. The result:  Over 1.1 million claims were converted in the first year, and the growing claims volume has spurred a multi-year contract extension, over 3,000 new customers, and monthly revenue increases of over $20,000.

New Challenges Ahead

The telesales team is under the direction of MDOL’s Sales SVP, Nick Dannenbaum.  The team is young by almost any company’s standards, with half of them just completing their first year at MDOL.

“To be recognized in this way by The Stevie Awards bodes extremely well for the success of our company's future initiatives,” said Nick Dannenbaum on receiving the award early in 2011. He added: “If this is what the team could accomplish behind our core product that has been on the market for more than a decade, I can't wait to see what they will be able to do with our new products.”

The team’s next challenge is learning about and selling the Company’s first Practice Management Software, and enlisting customers in the company’s first Electronic Health Records.  Both products are designed to drive further cost and time efficiencies for healthcare providers and to transition MDOL’s customers into the next generation of healthcare EDI.  Based on their performance, selling new and innovative should be no problem.

About Nicholas Dannenbaum

Nicholas Dannenbaum joined MDOL in 1997 as its first Account Executive, personally securing thousands of customers and signing the Company’s 35 largest insurance/payer clients.  Today, Nick is SVP Sales and leads the Telesales, Provider/VAR Sales, and Account Management teams, while playing an integral role in the marketing of MDOL and in shaping the Company’s strategic direction.  One of the early visionaries to enter Healthcare EDI, Nick has become one of the industry’s most experienced Healthcare EDI sales and marketing professionals and is dedicated to the training and growth of his teams. 

About MD On-Line

MD On-Line Inc. is a leading provider of electronic data interchange (EDI) solutions that facilitate the critical connection between doctors and payers. Its offerings enable electronic data capture and entry, and claim and transactional data submission to payers. Co-branded and endorsed by more than 30 major insurers and increasing its presence in providers' offices of all sizes, MD On-Line is transacting the business of healthcare, helping to make the healthcare system significantly more cost-effective by eradicating inefficiencies. In addition to claims processing, MD On-Line offers real-time services for eligibility verification, referrals, claim status inquiries, and electronic remittance advice (ERAs). Its "all-payer" EDI solutions encompass a network of more than 2,000 payer organizations and are used by more than 45,000 healthcare providers nationwide. For additional information visit

Tags: stevie awards, sales awards, sales award, MD On-line, telesales

200 Reasons to Attend Monday's Sales & Customer Service Awards Show

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 @ 12:49 PM

Eden Roc LobbyOn Monday, February 21, more than 200 customer service, call center, and sales executives from the U.S.A. and several other countries will gather at the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida for the presentation of the 5th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  Tickets are still on sale.

This is the world's premier sales awards and customer service awards competition. More than 800 entries were submitted this year, and 35% of them were recognized as Finalists through the scores of more than 50 preliminary judges. This year's Finalists are listed here - what do do you think of them as a group?

Can't get to Miami on Monday? Look for the announcement of the final results on the awards' web site on Tuesday morning.

Here are the organizations that have already booked their tickets for Monday's banquet.

Accenture BPO Services of BC  Vancouver BC Canada     
American Support  Chapel Hill NC
Archipelago Learning  Dallas  TX                 
Assurant Solutions  Atlanta  GA                
Assurant Solutions, Lawton, OK
Bronto Software Durham NC                        
Bulldog Solutions, Inc., Austin, TX
Capital One Financial Corporation  McLean  VA       
Carnival Cruise Lines  Miami  FL                  
Catapult Technology  Bethesda  MD                 
Ceridian Corporation  Minneapolis  MN                
ChannelAdvisor  Morrisville  NC               
CIGNA Government Services  Nashville  TN              
Comcast, Philadelphia, PA
Competence Call Center AG  Headquarters  Vienna Austria                               
Constant Contact, Waltham, MA  McLean  VA                
Cvent, McLean, VA
Daxko, Birmingham, AL
DeVry  Inc.  Oakbrook  IL
DiCentral Corporation  Houston  TX     
DYMO Endicia  Palo Alto  CA
eCornell  Ithaca  NY
EMKAY, Itasca, IL
Epicor Software Corporation, Irvine, CA
Everything Everywhere - Customer Operations (T-Mobile and Orange), United Kingdom               
Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America  Cleveland  OH                               
Force3, Crofton, MD
Gazelle, Boston, MA
GlassHouse Technologies, Framingham MA       
IHG Salt Lake City UT
Infogroup  Omaha NE
Informatica Corporation Redwood City CA        
Information Builders, New York, NY      
iolo technologies  Los Angeles  CA       
Kraton Polymers, Houston, TX     
L-com Inc.  North Andover  MA
Litle & Co, Lowell, MA    
LiveOps, Santa Clara, CA
LivePerson, New York, NY
Marriott International  Bethesda  MD
Marriott Vacation Club International  Orlando  FL          
Marsh U.S. Consumer, Urbandale, IA
Mayo Medical Laboratories  Rochester  MN             
MD On-Line, Inc., Parsippany, NJ
Merchant Warehouse  Boston  MA                 
Métier  Ltd.  Santa Rosa  CA                      
Model Metrics, Chicago, IL
Mondial Assistance  Richmond  VA                 
Oakwood Temporary Housing  Los Angeles  CA           
Office Depot  Inc. Boca Raton  FL                 
OnStar, Detroit, MI, Salt Lake City, UT
PAETEC Holding Corp.  Fairport  NY                 
Paycom Payroll LLC, Oklahoma City, OK
Paycor  Cincinnati  OH                    
Paylocity  Arlington Heights  IL                    
PetRays Veterinary Telemedicine Consultants, The Woodlands, TX        
PHH Arval  Sparks  MD                      
Portugal Telecom, Lisbon, Portugal        
Prescription Solutions/UnitedHealth Group, Irvine, CA
PSAV Presentation Services  Long Beach  CA          
Rosetta Stone, Arlington, VA
Safelite Solutions  Columbus OH
Sales Management Association  Atlanta GA            
SilkRoad technology, Winston-Salem, NC
Sundance Vacations  Wilkes Barre  PA              
SurePayroll  Glenview  IL                    
Tahitian Noni International  Provo  UT              
TATA Motors Ltd  India                
Telecom Italia SPA  Rome Italy               
Teva Neuroscience  Inc. Kansas City  MO             
The Brooks Group, Greensboro, NC
Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc., Irvine, CA     
TRUMPF Inc.  Farmington  CT            
TRX, Inc., Atlanta, GA               
US Postal Service Business Alliances, Southeastern, PA                           
USANA Health Sciences  Inc . West Valley  UT          
ValueSelling Associates, San Diego, CA      
Walker Advertising Inc, San Pedro, CA
Wheels  Inc.  Des Plaines  IL

Tags: customer service awards, stevie awards, sales awards, good customer service, excellent customer service

Q&A with John Cushman of AT&T, Sales Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Feb 01, 2011 @ 02:34 PM

John Cushman is a member of the final judging committee for the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. His eSales & Services team at AT&T has won multiple Stevie Awards in the sales awards categories of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
John Cushman

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
While the tragedy in Tucson captured everyone’s attention, I found myself truly inspired by the various acts of heroism demonstrated by people from all walks of life.

What New Year’s resolution have you made and why?
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions and instead prefer to build a 12-month roadmap for my top three professional and/or personal objectives.  I review my progress each quarter, and make any necessary adjustments during the course of the year. (After all, it is MY list!)

What book are you currently reading?
I am reading E$caping Oz: Protecting your wealth during the financial crisis.  It’s a book written by one of my “mentees” at AT&T, Jim Mosquera, and provides an easy-to-understand game plan for one to follow in order to build and sustain financial security.

What was the last movie you saw, and would you recommend it?
My wife and I recently went to see The Little Fockers, with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro.  It was a hilarious family comedy, and well worth the price of a ticket.  The kid that plays Ben Stiller’s son in the movie is a riot!

What is your favorite sport or hobby?
My favorite sport is professional baseball—not just the major leagues but at all levels of play.  I recently started collecting baseball cards as a hobby, and sure wish my Mom hadn’t thrown mine away.  You would be amazed at how much a little piece of cardboard can appreciate in value over the years.

Who is your favorite historical figure?
I have many, but my all-time favorite is Gandhi, a fascinating man who was able to overcome oppressive tyranny with passive resistance.  I believe we all could learn much from this inspiring leader.

Who (apart from close family) is your favorite living person?
Nelson Mandela.  Here is a man of greatness who used reconciliation to cure a nation from apartheid atrocities.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I would love to be the general manager of the New York Yankees for one full season, and then retire.  By the way, the current GM’s name is Cashman, so Cushman might not be such a stretch …

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
#1 – Business Ethics; #2 – Honesty; #3 - Loyalty

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work?
Sometimes, an individual who is intensely driven to success can lose sight of the bigger picture, or the ramifications that a single action can bring.  The ends do not always justify the means .

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
Very strong espresso with lots of sugar gets me started!  Seriously, I really enjoy my work and the people associated with it.  I have had the benefit of working for one of America’s top corporations for a number of years, during an evolutionary period where change is occurring at an extremely rapid pace.  Challenge is there for the taking, every day.

What do you consider has been your greatest achievement in business?
Husband—Dad—Son, these are where my greatest achievements lie.  In business, I am fortunate to have had several opportunities to achieve success, but those achievements pale in comparison to those that have come in my personal life. [

What advice or useful tip would you give to someone who is just starting out in business?
The same advice I give to my own adult daughter and son:  Be professional; have perseverance; and be patient!

About John M. Cushman
John Cushman has an extensive background in product management, marketing, and operations leadership. His career spans a number of major defining points in the telecommunications industry, including 800 number portability, the expansion to new toll-free area codes such as 888, payphone compensation legislation, and the explosive growth in use of the World Wide Web for everyday business and information needs.  For the past three years, Cushman has been leading the vision, execution strategy, and day-to-day field operations for electronic sales and service, an online channel that has grown to represent more than $4 billion in annual revenue and $750 million in productivity savings for his corporation.  As Vice-President of eSales & Service, he is responsible for all aspects of B2B eCommerce for AT&T. With an operating budget of over $90 million, he leads a global team of almost 2,000 associates.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates—AT&T operating companies—are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high-speed Internet and voice services.  AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010 AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.  Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

Tags: stevie awards, sales awards, sales award

5 Tips for Winning Sales Awards in the 2011 Stevie Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 @ 05:11 PM

Sales award presentationWe've just published a new tipsheet called 5 Tips for Winning Sales Awards in the 2011 Stevie AwardsGet it here.

It summarizes the 5 best ways that sales and business development professionals can be recognized in the four Stevie Awards competitions in 2011 (which include the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, and the Stevie Awards for Women in Business).  For the most part it recommends the sales awards, management awards, and other categories that sales folks should focus on, and outlines the general submission requirements for those categories.

Tags: sales excellence, stevie awards, sales awards, sales award

Q&A with Anita Samojednik of 2010 Sales Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Dec 02, 2010 @ 11:13 AM

Anita Samojednik is Director of Customer Operations at, which won a Stevie Award in the sales awards category for Sales Department of the Year -Computer Services in the 2010 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Anita SamojednikWhat item of news recently caught your eye and why?
There were certainly quite a few attention-grabbing news stories in the past couple of weeks that I followed closely--anything from the Federal Reserve’s second round of quantitative easing (QE2), currency wars, deflationary fears in the U.S. and other developed economies, elections in Brazil and the U.S., and of course a Royal Wedding in the U.K.!  But my eyes are fixed on the U.S. unemployment rate.  My work revolves around helping people find their next $100K+ job, so I am closely following all the economic trends in the U.S. that might impact private sector job creation and employment.  When I hear about the persistent lack of labor mobility caused by people stuck with their underwater houses, or that QE2 is ostensibly in full swing to fight deflation, it is unsettling. 

What book are you currently reading?
Well, I usually read in two tracks--one for fun and one for intellectual stimulation.  For fun, I’ve just finished reading The Millennium Trilogy by the Swedish author Stieg Larsson.  The other track is now dedicated to a variety of Six Sigma books as I am preparing for a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification.  It’s probably not the most exciting read, but it is certainly helpful for someone who always strives for excellence in managing customer-facing organizations.

What was the last movie you saw, and would you recommend it?
Food, Inc.; it promises you will never look at dinner the same way, and it’s true!  This movie shows how the mass production of cheap and low-quality food is really not that good for us.  I would recommend it to anyone who eats non-organic foods!

What is your favorite sport or hobby?
At the risk of coming across as old-fashioned, I have been knitting and crocheting with some exotic wools, and producing pieces that my girlfriends and I actually wear.  Recently I had to make three hats to settle an inner-circle war.

Who is your favorite historical figure?
Frederic Chopin. Although his name sounds French, Chopin was one of the greatest Polish composers; he was able to capture the sadness of the Slavic soul in his music.  I grew up behind the Iron Curtain, where society in general placed a premium on the fine arts, so l learned to read music, play the piano, and sing in a choir ... and looking back, Chopin was a major reference for me.

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Tags: stevie awards, sales awards, sales award, Anita Samojednik, theladders, the ladders

How Oakwood Temporary Housing Won Its Sales Award

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 @ 03:22 PM

Oakwood Temporary Housing, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, won a Stevie Award for Sales Process of the Year in the sales awards categories of the 2010 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Oakwood TeamOakwood, a provider of furnished and serviced apartments worldwide, knows that being successful in sales takes more than stamina and ingenuity: Having a process helps ensure reliability and success. Until 2009, Oakwood’s sales team had been functioning on the fly—doing what seemed right, with no metrics, no benchmarks, and no methodology. Based on the company’s experiences and research, Oakwood realized that identifying and institutionalizing its best practices would be a key driver in building its success.

As a result, Oakwood’s sales and sales operations teams instituted the “Sales Playbook,” a process that has completely transformed how they do business. The goal has been to achieve a best-in-class sales-and-marketing framework.

According to Oakwood, the main focus of this process was to teach their sales team how to “win fast and lose fast.” As a result, the team now spends less time on losing prospects and more focusing on winnable deals that positively impact the bottom line.

Oakwood had no overarching best practices or processes for the sales force to follow. They needed to create a system that would achieve consistent results and reduce time between qualifying and closing sales.

The system also needed to outline what “success” looked like for Oakwood, to identify top performers’ practices, and to propagate them among the masses. This system would develop a definition for managing opportunity that would provide clear, measurable objectives to determine if a sale was progressing.

Major Initiatives
Oakwood sales leadership conducted an intensive interview process and led a cross-functional team to identify top performers’ best practices. By combining those ideas with outside best practices, they decoded the tools and resources needed to gather, get, and grow business and to focus on the Single Sales Objective (SSO).

SSO moved Oakwood from an account-management mindset to an opportunity-management mindset and provided the objectives necessary to determine if sales were progressing.  The system also defined a common language to articulate key strategic components.

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Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, oakwood

Two Reasons Why You Should Judge the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 @ 05:44 PM

Preliminary judging opened this week for the the 2011 (5th annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's premier honors for customer service and sales professionals.  There are more than 40 sales awards categories in the competition, and more than 30 customer service awards categories.

Once of the great things about preliminary judging of the Stevie Awards is that anyone can apply to participate.  Interested?  Apply online today.  If your application is accepted you'll be able to judge online, at your convenience, anytime through January 7.

There are two big reasons why you should spend a few hours participating as a preliminary judge:

  1. Judging is a great badge of honor to put on your resume or CV.  Active judges are always acknowledged on the awards web site (here's the list of the 2010 judges) and in the awards dinner program.
  2. You'll get to read and evaluate a lot of great success stories in your field, whether it's customer service or sales, and there's no better way to measure the pulse of achievement in your professionals, especially when those stories of success are coming from industry leaders.  Last year's winners, for example, included Macy's, FedEx, AT&T, SAS Institute, DHL Express, Royal Caribbean International, and more.

And here's a bonus third reason why you should participate: the two preliminary judges who score the most entries will receive two free tickets to the 5th annual awards banquet, slated for Monday, February 21 at the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, awards judging