With just over a week to go before we hit the 2021 Sales and Marketing Awards (SMA) deadline, some of last year's winners explain why it has made a difference to them in a tough year and why it is so important to enter
It may feel like we have been living a Groundhog day existence for the past few months, but as the country finally begins to open up once more, it will bring a welcome boost to the economy and some much-needed positivity.
Now, more than ever, businesses need to ensure they are promoting themselves to their full advantage and really showcasing what they can bring to both their existing customers and partners and potential new ones. What better way of doing this than entering the CRN Sales and Marketing Awards (SMAs)?
With 23 categories to choose from, there really is something for everyone, particularly our newest categories, the ‘Over and Above' Awards, which tip a hat to the wonderful work done by individuals, teams or whole companies during the Pandemic.
But why should you even consider submitting an entry to the awards? Don't just take CRN's word for it - some of our 2020 winners have shared what taking home a trophy has meant to them.
Tim Kenny, head of marketing at SCC, was proud that his firm scooped two coveted trophies - the Best Company to Work for £101m+ turnover and Best Customer Event.
"What a fantastic achievement for SCC, to win two extremely competitive awards at the CRN Sales and Marketing Event last year," he said. "It has been a difficult period for everybody around the globe and although the IT Channel is strong, it certainly hasn't been immune to these recent challenges. So now, more than ever, we are extremely proud of our people who continue to work together and achieve recognisable and impressive results supporting our customers. We thank everyone's continued efforts in doing the best at what they do, and making SCC a great place to work."
Exclusive Networks walked away with Best Sales and Marketing Support Team on the night. Rachel Jay, marketing director at the distributor, said the channel was such an amazing place to work and winning was a special experience.
"It is highly competitive, but at the same time compassionate, caring and full of camaraderie," she explained. "The human spirit of the channel has never been more evident than during the challenges faced in 2020, overcoming those challenges and coming together as a team made our award even more special.
"I was immensely proud of the way in which the Exclusive Networks marketing team not only supported one another through a difficult year but the way in which we supported our fellow colleagues, partners and vendors while producing some of our best campaigns. People and culture are the heartbeat of our business so it was hugely rewarding for the team to be recognised by industry peers for our marketing excellence and to see the hard work we put in every day."
Andrew Skipsey, managing director of M12 solutions and its ISP brand Giganet, was delighted to win Best Company to Work For in the Reseller category.
"Internally, we know we have a truly unique business culture which we've built and nurtured over the last 17 years and to put CRN's coveted stamp on our efforts to be the best, has been fantastic," he said. "I'm proud to have a great business with a team of people that really treat each other like family. Our thanks and congratulations to the entire team at CRN for organising a superb virtual event."
Distribution giant Exertis scooped the Best Company to Work For award in 2020. Marketing director Rob Fitzsimons said the award was a welcome boost in a challenging year.
"We were absolutely delighted to win the Best Company to Work For award at the 2020 CRN Sales and Marketing Awards. It always feels like such a great achievement to be recognised, but even more so in a year unlike any other. We're passionate about ensuring Exertis is a great place to work and we're extremely proud of our people who truly go above and beyond to always make a difference. Thank you CRN!"
Winner of the Best Sales/Marketing Recruitment Agency, Robertson Sumner, issued a challenge to potential competitors this year.
Marc Sumner, CEO, said: "I am very proud to have won. We are dedicated to helping our clients and candidates make better decisions. Whether that's by filling a business-critical role on behalf of one of our clients or helping a candidate find their dream role. Getting recognition from the industry about the value our team of recruiters has brought to the IT channel felt fantastic. I would strongly urge others to take part and take the opportunity to see how you stack up against your competitors. Good luck if you do decide to enter as I am keen to retain our award in 2021!"
Finally, Agilitas was the other double winner on the night, scooping Best Company to Work For and Best Marketing Campaign in the 2020 vendor categories.
Richard Eglon, marketing director at Agilitas, said it was great to win a double after coming so close in previous years.
"We identify the CRN SMAs as the leading awards in the channel for recognising the very best in sales and marketing innovation," he explained. "After many years entering the SMAs, it was fantastic for the whole team to pick up our first double-scoop. This accolade provided a huge boost for the team in what has been a difficult 12 months for all. It was also a great barometer for the progress we continue to make as a business."
The deadline for entries is Friday 9 April with no extensions. To enter, please click here.