The 2014 IES&BD award event was held on Thursday morning, May 1, 2014, at the USA Today Building in McLean.  The leading Sales & Business Development organizations in the high-tech, government contracting, financial services, healthcare, real estate, not-for-profit, enterprise sales, and many other industries are recognized for their achievement in sales & business development.

Winners and Finalists

Excellence in Sales Innovation

Cisco (WINNER)

Cisco developed the Partner Sales Academy (PSA) to recruit and intensively train top talent for Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Network. PSA targets recruits from the Millennial generation (born 1982-2002) and has been adapted to fit their style of learning, including the incorporation of two-way dialogue via a high definition learning environment. Using Cisco videoconferencing and other technologies to deliver virtual and remote training, Cisco has found a 24% reduction in training costs while achieving higher learner satisfaction scores.


Deltek set out to solve common sales challenges: endless email threads, document version control issues and poorly disseminated information. Deltek’s solution was to use its own social collaboration tool – Kona! Kona was successfully implemented internally – leading to consistent access to information, more thorough and timely distribution of information, and sharing of best practices. Deltek eliminated islands of knowledge and has improved the efficiency and productivity of the sales teams.


Oracle sales teams have been trained in leveraging “Storytelling to Sell More.” This “story selling” approach focuses on a story book framework that leverages customer experiences leveraging Oracle software. The storytelling approach incorporates humility and often humor to convey the message. The goal of this approach is to get a customer to open up and share their real pains and challenges they are now facing by creating an emotional connection. Oracle has become more customer focused leveraging this effective sales approach.


Tempus entirely revamped its inside sales process by focusing on five key components: Oversight, Transparency, Productivity, Profitability and Structure to drive 20% annual sales growth. The Intelligent Sales System has proven to be scalable, adaptable and executable. A combination of technology-enabled automated tools and granular level hands-on leadership has fostered a high-performing sales environment that is customer service-oriented and generates results.

Excellence in Sales Training

Cvent (WINNER)

Much of Cvent’s remarkable growth can be attributed to Cvent University, an in-depth training program for new sales employees. Curriculum includes shadowing experienced sales reps to learn best practices for successful selling, engaging in role playing, practicing sales pitches, learning how to handle questions and objections and how to close deals. One employee said, “I received more and better training in 3 days at Cvent University than during 3 years at my previous company – by a wide margin.”


In 2013, the Adobe Worldwide Field Enablement team transformed how Adobe trains its field by converting in-person training to virtual, on-demand programs. Instead of flying field employees to attend costly multi-day events, the team packaged learning components into a comprehensive virtual experience to address critical business needs. The virtual delivery model supports self-paced training and has helped build a vast content library that can be utilized by multiple audiences, including sales, pre-sales, support, delivery, and partners.

Farmers Insurance

Farmers Insurance Northern Virginia District Office recruits, trains, mentors, and supports new Agency Owners. Farmers strives to identify the best candidates for ownership and provide performance management and training to help them achieve their goals. The University of Farmers, which was recently inducted in Training magazine’s Top Ten Hall of Fame, is an important component of comprehensive, rich, multi-prong approach to training.


Nortec Communications provides a systemic, dynamic, and on-going approach to sales training. Each sales professional begins training on their first day and receives reinforcement with weekly training sessions with role plays on specific business scenarios. As they practice and learn, sales professionals incorporate the feedback they receive into their interactions with clients and continually improve as a result. Nortec is augmenting this approach by using People Stretch Solutions individual assessments to tailor sales rep development.

Excellence in Sales Management and Team Building

RW Murray (WINNER)

In an environment where team performance (rather than low pricing) drives repeat business, RW Murray practices a continuous, “team building lifestyle.” It is designed to benefit the team member as an individual, as a member of a project team, and as a member of the larger group. The objective is multi-faceted: to create and strengthen internal relationships, enhance quality of life in the workplace, promote healthy lifestyles, and ultimately to encourage peak performance in order to grow business.


In response to market challenges, AMERICAN SYSTEMS invested in business development tools, processes, and key personnel to change the culture and to build confidence as a prime contracting leader. Leadership implemented a plan that emphasized stronger capture management and tighter integration with proposal development, peer training and coaching, and a services framework that strengthened cross-company collaboration and delivery. Revenue from prime contracts now accounts for 70% of annual revenue, a dramatic shift from a previous reliance on subcontracting.


In early 2013, Ellucian’s North America Customer Relations business unit adopted a new organizational structure and approach. Combined with timely innovation, this laid the foundation for success – establishing clear goals, redefining roles, revamping onboarding, and implementing an action-oriented go-to-market strategy based on new methodologies. Particular attention was paid to the creation of a dynamic and innovative inside sales team, located at Ellucian’s Fairfax headquarters.

Evans, Inc.

Building on a new corporate mission, vision and story developed over the past two years, Evans created detailed account plans for the first time and internally communicated the mantra “BD is a WE sport,” to show that all employees are in BD. Evans intentionally employs a balanced growth approach that focuses on (1) Organic growth within the existing client base that is fueled by all employees and (2) Longer-term capture efforts managed by the Business Development team.

Excellence in Customer Partnering

CapRelo (WINNER)

CapRelo identified furnished housing as a corporate employee relocation “pain point” for our customers: corporate HR managers. CapRelo built a strategy to improve the furnished housing experience for customers, their relocating employees, and suppliers turning a “necessary evil” into a “delighter.” This program reduced client costs by an average of 25-30% annually; increased employee satisfaction due to consistent quality of housing; and opened new business development opportunities with housing providers for CapRelo.


Dovel and the FDA worked together to successfully develop and roll out a new solution that introduced a new way to share data and information to better track and manage all food and drug related issues and recalls. The Emergency Operations Network Incident Management System (EON IMS) has been actively marketed throughout FDA by Dovel. The system’s reach has expanded to six different FDA Centers and Offices with over 1,000 users.


Phacil partnered with the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to transition from a decentralized, internally operated and administered set of Help Desks to a centralized, outsourced, Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) solution. Phacil helped OCC achieve high quality end-user service delivery and visibility into service performance at a 30% reduced cost. Phacil worked with OCC officials to meet current needs as well as scale to meet changing OCC requirements.


The entire Stone Street Capital sales team spends five hours a week off of the sales floor in small groups being coached, developed and trained to hone skills and techniques that are necessary to build the confidence it takes to be successful in a sales-driven culture. The biggest corner office in the building is called the “coaches corner office” where hours of formally scheduled practicing and coaching is delivered each and every day.

Excellence in Alliance Management

immixGroup (WINNER)

As the public sector market becomes more competitive manufacturer sales teams and their downstream channel partners are both looking for ways to generate sales in more productive ways. immixGroup delivers specialized resources to help these companies align activities to support the demand creators, increase revenue, and operate efficiently. These services include market intelligence, marketing, lead generation, channel development, and a proven government business infrastructure that includes territory-based alignment training.

ASM Research

Leveraging its alliance with Tableau, a leader in the Business Intelligence and Analytics space, ASM Research implemented tools to address the Army National Guard’s critical need to better understand their vast amount of data. The results allowed the National Guard to analyze and see the value in their data in new ways while reducing tasks that used to take hours to complete to mere minutes. The program resulted in cost savings of $20 million.


Blackboard teamed up with to launch Blackboard LearnTM for Salesforce, which aligns employee development programs with key corporate priorities and business goals by allowing sales reps, business partners and service teams to directly enroll in and complete training courses on Blackboard’s flagship learning management platform. Sample sales presentations, interactive tutorials, and other professional development resources are all easily available within the familiar Salesforce environment.

Optimal Networks

Optimal Networks, Inc. partners with leading technology companies and vendors to offer comprehensive, business-driven IT solutions. In the past two years, Optimal has acquired two IT companies to expand client service offerings. The first augmented Optimal’s portfolio of cloud solutions, while the second acquisition enhanced service and technical capacities. By integrating them into Optimal’s corporate culture the company has been able to develop innovative service offerings to better assist clients and boost sales.

IES 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Bruce Klein is the recipient of the 2014 IES&BD Lifetime Achievement Award for Sales and BD.

Bruce Klein is Senior Vice President of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, which is responsible for supporting Cisco’s global business of more than 60,000 partners, representing the company’s primary route to market. This global partner ecosystem, which includes systems integrators, value-added resellers, distributors, services partners, independent software vendors, and technology partners, accounts for more than 80 percent of Cisco’s revenue. These partners expand Cisco’s customer reach with innovative solutions and services based on Cisco technology.

Klein and his team develop the strategic initiatives and program innovations which create capacity to promote Cisco’s growth in existing markets and new areas of opportunity. They also ensure that partners have the right capabilities and skills to meet evolving customer needs, while accelerating market adoption of Cisco products and services.

Klein joined Cisco in 2004 and held previous roles leading the Federal, U.S. Public Sector and and Global Public Sector organizations, which are responsible for building a vision, strategy, and execution plan to further advance Cisco’s relationship with customers, partners, and suppliers in this market segment.

Prior to joining Cisco, Klein was vice president of federal at Hewlett-Packard, where he managed sales, services, support and marketing into the federal government. As the leader of HP’s federal business, he oversaw significant growth in the company’s federal sales. He was responsible for reorganizing the federal sales operation to become more focused on customer satisfaction, and he teamed with resellers and systems integrators to grow HP’s business. He also led the integration of HP’s consulting and support services into a single organization to position HP as a total solutions provider to federal customers.

With a strong background serving customers over several decades, Klein is a well-respected thought leader within the IT industry. He has twice received the prestigious Federal Computer Week’s “Federal 100” award, an industry recognition for his contributions in information technology across the federal government market. He was also named the 2010 Executive of the Year by Government Computing News and recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Institute for Excellence in Sales and Business Development.

Klein serves on numerous industry boards and councils, including the United Service Organizations (USO) by assisting them in their efforts to provide comfort and support to members of the military services around the world; AFCEA International helping them advance professional knowledge and relationships in the fields of communications, IT, intelligence, and global security; and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the largest technology council in the nation.

Klein holds a bachelor of science degree in management information systems from George Mason University. Bruce is married with 3 children and a grandson.

IES Executive Director’s Award Winner

Craig P. Abod is the recipient of the 2014 IES&BD Executive Director’s Award for High-Achievement in Sales and BD.

Abod is president and founder of Carahsoft Technology Corp., a Reston, VA-based firm that has become one the nation’s most respected and fastest growing Government-focused IT solutions providers. In founding Carahsoft, Abod combined his entrepreneurial spirit and 25+ years of experience in government sales, marketing and contract management to create a new company that has redefined the way technology is marketed and sold to the public sector market.

Prior to founding Carahsoft, Abod worked with Government resellers DLT Solutions, Falcon Systems, and Falcon Microsystems. As a true serial entrepreneur, he applied the lessons learned at these companies to even further refine his business model and his vision for Carahsoft.

The results are impressive. In just 10 years, Abod has grown the company from $0 to $1.8 billion, generating more than $6.7 billion in total revenue over that period. As a top-ranked GSA schedule holder and master aggregator, Carahsoft now employs more than 425 people, and has established strategic, long-term relationships with the industry’s leading software manufacturers including VMware, Adobe, Symantec, HP Software, F5 Networks, EMC, SAP, and Red Hat among others who have entrusted their entire government channel management activities to Craig and his team.

As the largest public sector partner for these vendors, Carahsoft also boasts an IT solutions portfolio of more than 90 additional manufacturers and an ecosystem of partners that, in the last 12 months alone, has expanded to encompass nearly 1,300 government contractors, resellers, and integrators.

In addition to working with and helping to expand the channel organizations of these major software vendors, Abod has established the industry’s only business practice focused on bringing solutions from emerging technology developers (e.g., In-Q-Tel and A16Z portfolio partners) to market. These small business start-ups need more than a contract vehicle to “catch” innovation; they also desperately need mentorship, which Abod provides at no charge by offering an organizational culture that values diversity, experimentation, and risk-taking.

In recognition of his accomplishments, Abod has received The Federal 100 Award and SmartCEO magazine’s Circle of Excellence Award for Entrepreneurship. He was named CRN Magazine’s Top 100 Executives of the Channel Industry and has been named a six-time finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Carahsoft is also consistently recognized as the top performing partner for many of its vendor partners, and is listed among the top government contractors and industry’s fastest growing firms by CRN, Inc., Washington Technology, Washington Post, and the Washington Business Journal.

Abod graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. He is married and has two children.