Sales Awards Blog

5 Steps to Improved Sales Performance, From a Sales Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 @ 11:26 AM

The Brooks Group of Greensboro, North Carolina USA was named Sales Training Practice of the Year earlier this year in the sales awards categories of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for customer service, call center, and sales professsionals. Here we take a closer look at what drives this sales training firm.  (Entries for the 2012 edition of the awards are now being accepted.)

The sales professionals at The Brooks Group believe in continuity of coaching, customized training, and a consistent focus on client ROI.  This, they believe, is what drives success when it comes to implementing a sales system. 

They also know that if a salesperson follows a proven, tested selling system there is a 93% chance of making the sale. Without a system, the odds drop to 42%. Why? Because most sales people focus on the end stages of the sale and neglect the early-stage actions or leave them entirely up to chance.

A tested, proven sales system will direct the sales professional's attention to the entire sales process.  Following are the five steps that are used by The Brooks Group (TBG) in their proprietary deployment methodology:

Step 1: Assess/Screen

TBG’s powerful TriMetrix™ assessment tool goes beyond most personality-based tests by providing an insight into behavioral drives and attitude.  It tells the client where to place people for maximum results; how to coach medium and high performers for maximum results; why lower performers haven't lived up to expectations and what to do about it; and what non-personality characteristics to look for in new hires to better predict real-world performance.

Getting the right people to perform is the fastest way to translate training to sales. 

Step 2: Design/Customize

While the fundamental dynamics of selling don't change, how a successful sales professional applies those dynamics does change with the type of sale and industry.  TBG tailors its application for each unique industry and market so people are trained in actionable skills and techniques that will work in their field. 

Step 3: Delivery

TBG’s seasoned sales professionals and coaches can train a sales team, or they can "train the trainers," giving them everything they will need to successfully implement a customized training system.   TBG can even grant a license to re-brand its proprietary training under a client’s corporate aegis.  TBG also runs sales and sales-management seminars, and will work with clients to uncover their objectives and recommend the best delivery method possible.

Step 4: Reinforcement

A training program should continue after the sales force gets back in the field to implement what they’ve learned, so TBG’s training doesn’t stop when people leave the program.  Implementing a sales system requires reinforcement to make the training stick, so after 12 weeks a TBG coach leads the team through a competitive reinforcement process. 

Step 5: Measuring Return on Effort/Investment

TBG provides clients with the tools and processes to measure its training impact and results. This has proved to be an excellent customer-retention tool and is part of the reason why 84% of TBG clients who sign on for six months end up staying for more than five years.

In sum, everyone at The Brooks Group is tasked with working every day to “Elevate the Sales Profession.” An earnest belief in the idea that professional
sales people engage in a noble calling drives each member of the team to work hard to improve the skills, attitudes, and reputations of salespeople.

Jeb BrooksOn receiving their Stevie Award earlier this year, Jeb Brooks, Executive Vice President of The Brooks Group, commented: “The entire team at The Brooks Group is very proud to receive this level of recognition by the Stevie® Awards and its impressive panel of judges. This is a testament to the sales philosophy we preach: Commit to making your customers successful and amazing things happen.”

About Will Brooks
Called one of America's most thoughtful sales writers and speakers, Jeb Brooks is the co-author of the books Perfect Phrases for the Sales Call and High IMPACT Selling. He has appeared in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal. Jeb serves as Executive Vice President of The Brooks Group, one of the world’s Top Ten Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine. He writes for The Brooks Group's popular Sales Blog, Sales Evolution. His greatest professional pleasure, however, comes from actively selling. As he was once told: “Selling is like shaving. If you don't do it everyday, you're a bum!”

About The Brooks Group
Founded in 1977, The Brooks Group is a sales and sales-management training firm that has helped more 3000 organizations in over 400 industries improve their businesses by creating and sustaining top-performing sales and business development programs. Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, the company offers its clients proven sales and sales-management methodologies, industry-leading reinforcement tools, accountability systems, and sales-management training.  For more information go to:

What do you think of this five-step process?

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

4 Steps to New Business Success, From a Sales Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 @ 12:22 PM

Salesify, Inc. of Redwood City, California USA, a provider of outsourced B2B sales and marketing services, won the Stevie® Award for Sales Department of the Year - Services in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. (Entries for the 2012 awards are now being accepted.)  Here we look at how the department’s system works.

Raj HajelaFor a company in the business of accelerating revenue for its customers, it seemed only natural to turn the talents of its sales team to its own sales efforts.

Using the same system that Salesify uses for its clients, the telesales team turned its talents to growing the company’s revenues.

The Salesify system has four tiers: 

1. Contact Discovery

The company’s research team developed its own customized B2B contact list containing current and accurate data.

2. Account Profiling

The team used a combination of online and telephone research to compile account intelligence profiling prospective accounts.

3. Lead Generation

The team leveraged creative content to nurture inquiries. They verified interest to confirm the presence of the most critical components that make up the lead: Interest and need.

4. Appointment Setting

Salesify’s experienced appointment-setting team further qualified leads and set confirmed appointments, which were then converted into highly qualified business opportunities.

High Productivity

The team’s overall productivity was high, with an average dial out—without the use of dialers—of 136 calls per day across a team of 8 sales people. With this level of activity, the team was able to generate on average 12 appointments per rep per month. In addition, the team closed an average of 18 new logo accounts per month—an average of 2.25 new deals per rep.

Quality Customers

While the range of companies that the team targeted and converted to customers included both small and large accounts, including Fortune® 500-listed companies, approximately one-fifth of closed deals included companies that were category leaders.  Revenue growth was also impacted because the team progressively increased the average deal size by almost double across all deals.

“In addition to amazing productivity, the sales team successfully built traction with new product offerings allowing for an increase of our company’s service portfolio. For example, the team successfully added event promotion services into the mix this year, which they were able to both cross sell to existing customers and sell to prospects,” said Raj Hajela, Salesify COO and head of Sales.

Retaining Customers

The Salesify sales team worked closely with Operations to integrate new back-end delivery processes and manage customer expectations of deliverability, which enabled Salesify to close 2010 with no meaningful customer attrition. Customer escalations were also reduced to 18% over the previous year.  While this speaks volumes for the Operations teams' evolution and commitment to high quality, it also reflects the sales team's effectiveness in setting the right expectations to matching the ability of the delivery teams.

In 2010, without any increase in team-size, the telesales team was able to deliver year-over-year growth for Salesify of over 50%, despite the depressed economy.

The company has made the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Fast 50 for two years running (2009 and 2010) and was named to Inc. magazine’s 2010 list of fastest-growing private companies. 

Commented Raj: “Our strong productivity combined with the team’s ability to listen to the customer and meet customer needs resulted in our strongest revenue growth to date. Salesify is honored to be a winner of a 2011 Stevie® Award. Our sales team’s unique accomplishment is testimony to Salesify’s ability to support the success of our customers and fuel their growth.”

About Raj Hajela

Raj Hajela has 20 years experience in high technology sales, sales operations,
and inside sales. As co-founder and COO of Salesify, Raj manages the company’s contact centers and internal sales team. Prior to co-founding Salesify, Raj was responsible for all direct and channel sales for Virtela in India.  He established Virtela’s first India-based B2B inside sales team to support all the company’s U.S. field sales teams. Previously, Raj had been Head of Business Development at TangibleData, had held a senior sales role at MCI, and had led a successful business consulting practice with clients such as Comdial Corporation and Innodata.

About Salesify

Salesify, a provider of outsourced B2B demand-generation services, helps its clients create pipeline and accelerate revenue by identifying, profiling, nurturing, and contacting the right decision makers within their clients’ targeted customer and prospect accounts. Salesify services include custom, targeted B2B contact lists; account profiling and competitive research; phone-based lead nurturing campaigns and content syndication; appointment setting; inbound lead generation qualification services; and CRM database cleansing. Salesify delivers high quality, cost-effective services and programs tailored to address each customer’s unique requirements. With over 300 clients, Salesify has a proven track record of helping some of the world’s largest technology companies drive revenue. For more information, visit or call 1-888-557-2537.

Tags: salesify, best sales department, stevie awards, sales awards, sales award

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

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

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

New Product Categories in the Customer Service & Sales Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Nov 01, 2010 @ 05:18 PM

One of the big changes/additions to the Stevie Awards this year is in our 5th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  In the past this program honored only the achievements of sales, customer service, and call center professionals: individuals, teams, and entire departments.

For the 2011 aSASCS10 Awards Presentationwards (entries are being accepted now through the end of 2010), we've added a slew of new product awards categories in the SASCS.  We now have new product of the year categories as follows (the numbers are our internal categories codes):


90. Collaboration Solution – New
91. Collaboration Solution– New Version
92. Contact Center Solution – New
93. Contact Center Solution – New Version
94. IVR or Web Service Solution – New
95. IVR or Web Service Solution – New Version
96. Marketing Solution – New
97. Marketing Solution – New Version
98. Relationship Management Solution – New
99. Relationship Management Solution – New Version
100. Workforce Management Solution – New
101. Workforce Management Solution – New Version

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Tags: sales excellence, customer service awards, business awards, sales awards, valueselling, sales award, customer service award