UniFirst Wins Two Awards for Sales Training
UniFirst Corp., Wilmington, MA, recently was presented with two Bronze Stevie® Awards in the Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year category at the 11th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service. The awards were presented during a gala banquet on Feb. 24 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. More than 650 executives from around the world attended the banquet.
The first of the two UniFirst bronze-winning nominations centered on the creation and implementation of a new customer retention program called Account Management Education (AME) that teaches strategies and tools necessary to proactively build relationships with customers. “UniFirst continually strives to optimize our customer retention percentages as part of our ‘Customers for Life’ philosophy,” said Jeff Brandli, UniFirst sales training specialist. “Our location managers are among the best in the industry and we wanted to further enhance existing strategies with new and improved ways to strengthen customer relationships. In our first year of deployment, we noticed a marked improvement in customer retention – a direct reflection of the program’s success.”
UniFirst’s second bronze-winning entry was a new program the company developed to help the sales team improve telephone skills when talking to prospective customers. UniFirst created the Phone Skills Coaching Tool by tapping into existing technology resources to engage sales managers in automated “prompt and response” appointment setting attempts by telephone. “Developing successful telephone sales skills takes a great deal of practice,” said Julia Davis, UniFirst sales training specialist. “We believed that helping our sales teams began with ensuring our sales managers were confident about their own skills. UniFirst found a creative solution to help our sales managers increase their confidence on the phone, and get excited about coaching and developing their teams. We created a program that not only helps them get the practice they need, but also leverages our existing technology resources for maximum value and efficiency. We have seen major improvements in our sales managers’ telephone skills along with an increase in appointments set by more than 90% when the practices are applied in the field.”
More than 2,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition, an increase of 10% over 2016. Finalists were determined by the average scores of 77 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges. Entries were considered in 61 categories. More than 75 members of several specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the finalists during final judging earlier this month. Finalists were determined by another 77 judges.
The Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals. The Stevie Awards organizes several of the world’s leading business awards programs, including the prestigious American Business AwardsSM and International Business AwardsSM. Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at www.stevieawards.com/sales.