2013 Nominee: Lena Requist, ONTRAPORT
2013 Winner: Mari Anne Vanella, The Vanella Group

2013 Winner: Traci Whetzel, Concept Services, Ltd.

Traci-whetzelCompany: Concept Services, Ltd

Years In Business: 11

Brief Description of Nominee's Achievements:

Concept Services is a Sales Lead Management Organization. Over the past few years we have won the Weatherhead 100 and most recently the Inside Business 2013 NEO Success Award. Traci Whetzel has been instrumental in helping us achieve both awards. Traci is a graduate of The University of Akron where she earned her Degree in Business & Organizational Communication. Traci worked full-time while attending college, paid for all of her college expenses and still found time to make the Dean's List. Traci is an active member of SLMA, ASTD (American Society for Training), Akron Canton Sales Professionals, Advancing Women Leaders in Supply Chain, and Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association. Traci joined Concept Services 10 years ago. She now holds the General Manager position which is the highest position within our organization. Traci has worked and lived Lead Management for the past 10 years.

Nominee's Achievements In Sales Lead Management:

Traci started with Concept Services 10 years ago as a BDM (Business Development Manager.) As a BDM Traci's responsibility was to generate sales leads for the accounts she was assigned to. This is not a telemarketing position. This is a very high-end, inside sales, new business development and sales lead generation/prospecting position.

As a BDM she had to take on the identity of the accounts assigned to her. She had to learn her account's products and services. Some of the product and services she represented could range as high as $500,000 in cost. Traci contacted CEOs, Presidents, VP Marketing, Supply Chain Managers and other high-level positions.

Her role was to position herself, her product/service, identify who the decision maker was and then have dialogue with this C level individual in an effort to identify if they had a need and what the need was. Traci did not read scripts, she had to become knowledgeable of the product/service in order to conduct a conversation with a C level individual. Once the need was identified, Traci would schedule a firm date and time for the customer to meet with the prospect.

Not only did Traci become very proficient at learning the art of making a cold call, she also had to learn how to use CRM software. Traci held this position for 3 years and then was promoted. Over the past 7 years in our organization, Traci has held the position of Client Services Representative, Manager Training & Quality Development, Account Manager and now General Manager.

As the General Manager Traci personally manages $750,000/yr of contract revenue generated from our customers. This is revenue our customers pay for our lead generation services. She also overseas an additional $1.7Million of lead generation revenue from all of our accounts. Traci lives and breathes sales lead generation.

Traci works with companies in multiple industries helping them strategize an effective program.  Traci overseas a group of 35 employees of which 30 of them are BDMs making calls for our clients. She also overseas 3 Account Managers as she helps them make key decisions to effectively implement and manage lead generation programs for their accounts. Concept Services manages more than 50 lead generation programs each month. These are not simple projects. These are accounts that have contracted us to become their internal sales lead generation engine. We become part of their internal team.

In addition to Traci's involvement in lead generation she also heads up a program called SAM (Sales Activity Management.) SAM is a program we provide our clients which includes us designing, implementing and managing their CRM solution. Traci is considered and expert in her field. Her clients invite her into their internal sales meetings and often solicit her advice on how to most effectively manage the program and their own internal sales reps.

I cannot recommend Traci enough for your SLMA nomination. She truly works all aspects of sales lead generation. This includes everything from data procurement, CRM implementation and management, program strategy and direction, lead management, reporting, and more. She works intimately with our Fortune 500 customers in designing, implementing and managing their internal lead generation programs. She has been doing this for the past 10 years. She is truly an expert in my eyes and the eyes of our clients.

Authorship (articles or books):

Traci is referenced in my book, "Time For Change" as a key individual in our success over the years. On May 7, 2011 the Akron Beacon Journal did an article on our company titled "Concept Services Thrives With Niche in Outsourcing." The article was about our sales lead generation services. Traci was interviewed and quoted in the article as a leader on our team. This year Traci was the lead spokesperson in a corporate video sponsored by our largest client. This video was produced to send out across the country to inform them of our lead generation services. Traci had the lead role in the video describing our services and how it works.

Nominated By: Daniel D Harsh