The sales and marketing functions of a company are the reasons it either struggles or thrives. Those involved in these crucial activities deserve recognition. And past winners agree.
A lack of time is often a reason used not to submit entries to awards. There is no doubt everyone is short on time these days.
Winning an award can provide a real boost to the whole company, and also raise its profile within the industry. And as with all CRN Awards, anyone could lift that trophy on the night.
If you fail to take the time, sit back, and measure the achievements your company has already made, and recognise and reward the people that made it happen, you risk losing those valuable employees through apathy.
This is why entering awards like the CRN SMAs are so important - to reward the individuals and teams that are behind the everyday success of your company. Without them, the story could be very different.
But it is not just the sales and marketing teams that could benefit from an SMA win either.
As we have seen in previous articles, your company may be a fantastic place to work, or you could have the most amazing graduate/apprenticeship scheme in place that is working wonders in bringing the next wave of talent into the channel. Or you could have a manager that really deserves recognition for all their hard work and encouragement.
Sara Yirrell, consulting editor at CRN, has overseen the judging process of the awards since they were launched almost a decade ago.
"We understand that there are so many awards open to enter these days and so many people are time poor," she said. "But few are dedicated to channel sales and marketing, and there is a definite gap between the number of firms that submit an entry and those that should be entering the SMAs.
"Everyday on social media platforms you see stories of success, whether that is through a huge win, amazing project innovation, or some fantastic achievements by individuals and teams within companies; yet when it comes to shouting about these achievements with the potential of winning a coveted award for them, many firms seem to clam up," she added.
"They are missing out on the chance to shine and share their excellence with the rest of the industry. Are they really all too busy to submit an entry and give their teams the recognition they deserve?"
Don't just take our word for it. Some of last year's winners share their thoughts after coming home with a trophy.
Simon Rutt, marketing director at MTI, which won the Best Marketing Campaign (Reseller) category, said: "Winning was a fantastic surprise. CRN is the one everyone wants to win and it made me personally incredibly proud of the team. It was fantastic for them, it was fantastic for the company…it was industry recognition. It was a real boost."
Brother took home the Best Company to Work For award in the vendor category. Louise Marshal said the award definitely helps raise awareness.
"It was the first time we'd seen the category and it was really important that we won it because it reflects all the work we're doing about employee engagement," she said. "It means that we raise our profit within the industry and it gives us a really good opportunity to attract some good people."
Anthony Beckley, senior marketing manager at HPE, which bagged the Best (vendor) Marketing Campaign award, said it meant so much to the company.
"It was a huge validation of all the effort that went in both our marketing services agency outbound and internally. There was a huge amount of individual effort involved at HPE and it was really great to see that external validation of all that effort," he said.
You can also read what other past winners had to say here.
And while winning is the obvious goal, companies also feel the benefit from bagging a place on the shortlist, as Bandish Nayee, managing director of MSP 64TEQ explained.
"Submitting an entry in the CRN Sales and Marketing Awards is well worth the effort," he said. "It's a great way of showcasing our Team64 culture, it makes selling so much easier and internal morale so much higher. Of course, winning would be great but even being shortlisted for an award has a significant effect on our growing brand."
The deadline for entry is 29 March at 5pm, and the event itself is on 4 July in central London. To submit an entry and read all the criteria, please click here.
Best of luck!