Company: Merchant Warehouse, Boston, MA
Company Description: In 1998, Merchant Warehouse (MW) was founded on the principle that businesses should be able to purchase credit card machines and services at a reasonable price. Over 40,000 merchants later, MW now sets the standard for price, customer service, and integrity. The company still offers the guaranteed lowest cost on all processing services, in an industry of approximately 300-500 competitors.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Online Sales Team of the Year
Nomination Title: Merchant Warehouse's Online Sales Team
Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
The Online Sales Team at Merchant Warehouse consists of around 70 sales
representatives and an Executive team. This group handles all inbound marketing
leads generated through the corporate website and multiple online marketing
initiatives. While the team has historically been a strong group, company
leadership saw opportunities for growth and pushed the team to find innovative
ways to increase expectations. In an effort to drive this growth the Sales
Executive team undertook numerous initiates to improve both the close rate and
the quality of accounts in the portfolio. These drivers include:
Weekly Lead Reports and Performance Incentives:
Sales reps and Team leaders were empowered to examine and review all leads
representatives had accrued each week. This system emphasized accountability and
performance, allowing sales reps and team leaders to better forecast their
schedules and optimize pipelines. This reporting was tied to a new weekly
incentive program focused on allowing reps to hit repeated bonus options
throughout the month. While monthly performance remains the focal compensation
model, these weekly incentives allowed Sales Executives to better channel their
staff towards the end goal in an efficient and productive manner.
The executive team also delivered a long term incentive plan, in what is known
as the Merchant Warehouse Achiever’s club. This club allows top earners and
executives to take part in additional rewards and incentives by maintaining
consistency in above average sales performance. This club encourages reps beyond
short term incentives and rewards those reps that are able to maintain a high
level of sales acumen and drive daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly.
Focus on Account Quality:
The Sales executive team also placed a priority on developing and nurturing high
valued accounts. While these accounts typically have a longer sales cycle and
are harder to close, with increased training and focus the sales staff was able
to increase the average value of an account by over 40%.
Training and Analytics:
As the team prepares for growth in the second half of 2011, and to empower a
youthful sales force, the sales executives saw a need to expand on their
training and analytics teams. As a result Merchant Warehouse now has a full time
training program in place for new and existing sales representatives. The
analytics advances have allowed the executive to begin identifying both high
achieving sales teams and individuals, as well as better direct lead
distribution and optimize staffing levels throughout the day and week.
As a result of these efforts the Sales Executive team has brought about a close
rate increase of over 20% for all online marketing leads since April 2011.
Additionally as noted the Sales team was concurrently able to increase the
average value of an account by over 40%. These changes have had a sweeping
impact on the company and have poised Merchant Warehouse for an exciting 2012.
List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated team:
Ryan Zdanis has worked in the sales division of Merchant Warehouse for the past 12
years. As the current Senior Vice President of Sales, he manages 60 plus Account
Executives, 7 Sales Managers, and 2 Sales Directors. Whether he is building the
sales force or increasing the team’s closing ratio, Ryan keeps the sales team
ahead of the game. He joined Merchant Warehouse as the first Account Executive in
1999, became the Vice President of Sales in 2002, and then was promoted to Senior
Vice President of Sales in 2008.