Sales Awards Blog

Michael Gallagher

Recent Posts

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

Sales Performance Management Drives Results at Sales Award Winner Xactly

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 @ 10:13 AM


Xactly Corporation of San Jose, California, has won multiple Stevie Awards in The American Business Awards over the years, including for Best New Company of the Year in 2008 and for Best Overall Company of the year (up to 100 Employees) in 2010.

For years, companies have known that how they compensate their sales teams directly impacts business performance.  To quote from Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of GE: “Show me a company’s various compensation plans, and I’ll show you how its employees behave.”  The right sales plans can motivate selling behavior to increase profits, control expenses, and drive consistent quarter-over-quarter results.

Christopher CabreraFor most companies, however, the cost of traditional enterprise applications to automate this function was out of reach. According to Xactly Corporation founder and CEO Christopher Cabrera, the incentive sales process in nearly 90 percent of companies was “still managed by manual, spreadsheet-driven processes that breed errors and disputes, don't cost-effectively scale, can't easily accommodate plan changes and additions, and ultimately don't align sales behaviors with corporate goals to effectively drive profits.”


Early in his career, while head of operations at a large software company, Cabrera had found himself time and again forced to walk away from sales opportunities because the mid-market-sized company he was working for simply couldn’t afford the initial costs and ongoing maintenance of an enterprise sales incentive compensation application.

Around this time, an on-demand software delivery model was starting to gain
noticeable traction.  Despite Cabrera’s evangelizing this concept, his company balked at using an on-demand offering.  Cabrera left that company and went on to launch Xactly in March 2005.

A Simple Idea
Cabrera’s idea was to take a complicated and challenging function—managing sales compensation—and automate it to become a simple and cost-effective solution for the huge and underserved mid-market.  His company, Xactly, has done exactly that, and has been instrumental in radically opening up the market.

By 2007, Xactly had signed 100 customers.  The company was managing more compensation, and more compensation complexity, than any other on-demand vendor today.  Xactly software was helping its customers to manage nearly $1 billion in sales compensation annually. 
Sales Performance Management
In 2008, Xactly moved into a much larger emerging-market category called Sales Performance Management (SPM).  In 2006, Gartner had predicted that “a sales performance management market will coalesce around best-of-breed vendors largely originating from the sales incentive compensation management market.” 

Xactly’s compelling value proposition for potential customers, said Cabrera, was that “the convergence of SPM and on-demand SaaS delivery has created a new, affordable way to improve sales effectiveness. We let companies automate and integrate strategic sales and finance business processes, and let individuals, from sales reps to top management, make better, more informed and timely decisions.

“In the on-demand world, the customer holds all the cards and can kick an on-demand vendor out of the game at any time. Hence we're driven by the notion that each customer's business must be earned anew every day. Xactly's over 90 percent customer-renewal rate is, we think, testament to our culture.”

Building upon its leadership in on-demand Sales Compensation Management (SCM) software, Xactly was the first vendor to deliver in this market.
Stellar Results in Uncertain Times
In spite of the downturn, Xactly continued to deliver stellar business results in both 2009 and 2010.  At the same time, the company increased year-over-year revenues by more than 50 percent , and grew its customer base by more than 60 percent—including a sharp increase in international customers.

The company’s success is due in part to its strong customer-centric culture and ability to help customers turn sales into a strategic competitive weapon. With both excellence in service and solutions—Xactly Incent™ and Xactly Express™—Xactly has maintained a renewal rate of more than 90 percent over the past three years. In addition, more than a third of the company’s customers added additional subscribers or modules.

According to Cabrera: “Incenting the right sales behavior has never been more important. The value of automating compensation and incenting right in order to improve sales results was evident throughout our customer base, as our projects consistently made it to the top of the ROI stack.”

Customer Joe Dawe, Senior Director of Business Operations at Akamai, also added, “Xactly Incent delivers incredibly rich information for making strategic and tactical decisions around our global sales compensation and performance. It has removed a significant distraction for finance and sales, lets us focus on
other business challenges, and enables us to more effectively address our market.”

On the partner front, Xactly has a close association with, which recently made a strategic investment in Xactly. In addition, Xactly continued its strong relationship with Oracle as a member of its CRM On Demand Inner Circle, an elite group of key partners forming an integrated ecosystem of complimentary solutions offering extended value to Oracle CRM On Demand customers.

The Workforce Behind the Success
Cabrera is justifiably proud of his company, but is most proud of the workforce behind its success. Xactly remains committed to providing a positive work environment and giving back to local communities, under the umbrella of the Xactly One™ program.  Xactly employees have participated in building houses for a local Habitat for Humanity, orchestrated a food drive for Feeding America, partaken in the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days Campaign, and much more.

About Christopher Cabrera
Christopher Cabrera has more than two decades of senior management experience at both early-stage and public companies. At these companies, he managed sales, operations, and business development. Cabrera is a noted expert in issues relating to sales performance management and enterprise and SaaS delivery models. Prior to founding Xactly, Cabrera was SVP of operations for Callidus Software and served as director of North American channel sales at Silicon Graphics.

About Xactly
Xactly Corporation is the market leader in on-demand sales performance management. The company’s SPM Suite of products enables sales and finance executives to design, implement, manage, audit, and optimize sales compensation management programs easily and affordably. Xactly’s solutions automate the process of aggregating data from disparate systems into a secure, hosted repository and enable companies to leverage this business data, which is the lifeblood of sales performance management. Xactly helps companies improve operational performance, optimize sales effectiveness, proactively manage risk and compliance, and maximize profits. The Xactly family of products is used by sales and finance executives, compensation analysts, sales operations, and sales professionals across a variety of industries ranging from SMBs to large enterprises. For more information go to

Tags: business awards, sales awards, xactly, christopher cabrera, sales performance management

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

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

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

Sales Awards Judges Announced

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 @ 01:08 PM

The following professionals have joined the sales awards final judging committee for the 2011 (5th annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's leading competition for sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards.

The final entry deadline for the 5th annual competition is December 31.  Get your entry kit here.

Johnny Anderson, VP-Sales, Bulldog Solutions
Damian Artt, Senior VP-Worldwide Sales and Services, Wind River
Kieran Callaghan, VP-Direct Sales, Dish Network
Bob Conlin, VP-Marketing & Business Development, Accero
John Cushman, VP eSales & Service, AT&T
Dan Dapper, VP of Worldwide Sales & Operations, Right Hemisphere
Brent Dierking, Director of Business Development, NorthStar EMS
Jessica Eker, VP, Global Life Sciences Practice, TransPerfect
Chris Harrington, VP Americas Enterprise & Omniture Channel Sales, Adobe Systems
Michael Haske, VP-Sales & Marketing, Paylocity
Paul Hoffman, President of Worldwide Field Operations, Informatica Corporation
Suzanne King, Director of Sales Operations, XO Communications
Shane Lewis, Assistant VP - Sales, Sundance Vacations
Chino Nakagome, CEO, Moon Cake Limited
Mitch Sobocinski, National Account Manager, DHL Express
Jeff York, Chief Sales Officer, Paycom

These distinguished sales professionals join the Board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors that will perform the final judging in late January to determine the 2011 Stevie Award winners, who will be announced at a banquet in Miami Beach, Florida on Monday, February 21.

Tags: customer service awards, call center awards, sales awards, customer service excellence, sales award, customer service award, service excellence

Sales Awards Sponsored by Sales Management Assn.

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Dec 15, 2010 @ 11:06 AM

SMA LogoThe Stevie Awards are pleased to announce that the Sales Management Association has signed on as a sponsor of the 5th annual (2011) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, which is accepting entries through December 31. This is the premier competition for sales awards and customer service awards in the world.

Get your entry kit for the awards here.

The SMA is a global, cross-industry professional organization for sales operations and sales management. The Sales Management Association promotes professional development, peer networking, best practice research, and thought leadership among professionals who support, manage, coach, and lead sales organizations. SMA provides on-line resources, tools, training, career development, and professional networking opportunities for members in 17 countries.

At the request of the SMA, a new category has just been added to the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, Sales Operations Leader of the Year. You'll find that category listed as #12 under the Individual Sales Categories.

SMA members get to enter four of the top Individual Sales Categories for free:

Global Sales Leader of the Year
Worldwide VP of Sales of the Year
National VP of Sales of the Year
Sales Operations Leader of the Year

SMA members should contact SMA for the promotion code to submit to qualify for free submission.

Last but not least, sales awards honorees in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service will be offered free membership in the Sales Management Association.

Finalists in the 2011 competition will be announced in mid-January, and the final results will be announced at a banquet at the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida on Monday, February 21.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, customer service excellence, sales award, customer service award, sales management association

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