The last 18 months have probably been one of the most challenging times that teams working in sales and marketing can recall. We've all had to learn to connect to our customers and colleagues in new ways - and reinvent the way we have thought about our company cultures, communication and team dynamics. But we've also seen incredible innovation across brands and markets, with teams and businesses learning new skills and approaches and in many respects completely reinventing the way they go about their jobs and the service they offer customers. ALF, which for more than 30 years has been helping customers in the media and marketing world connect, we've decided to celebrate the incredible work going on in the market with the launch of the ALF Awards - or "Alfies" as we're calling them. So what's it all about?, I hear you ask. It's a unique set of awards with categories ranging from Best Lockdown Sales Initiative, through to the Turnaround Award for a company hard-hit by the pandemic that transformed its fortunes, along with Best Sales Team and awards for culture and innovation.
Business excellence, innovation, and culture are at the heart of these awards that will celebrate the teams and individuals who have really made their mark in the world of media, marketing and advertising in 2021. So if you think you and your team are the best in the business - check out the ALF Awards details below and let us know about them!
We're looking for outstanding contribution to:
Best Inclusivity & Diversity Initiative
This award will go to an initiative or campaign that has produced positive and demonstrable results in improving diversity and inclusivity within a business or market sector. It can be either an internal campaign or one run for a client or sector.
Best Lockdown Sales Initiative
Best campaign or initiative on behalf of a client during the last 18 months during the pandemic that created a real sales opportunity while fulfilling the needs of a client or clients. The judges will be looking for innovation, great ideas that connected with clients – and how adversity was turned into opportunity.
Best Media Partnership
This award will go to a campaign or initiative that puts partnership at the heart of its strategy bringing together two brands in a way that delivers both in terms of strategy, execution, and results. This can be a new partnership or one that has formed over time and had long-term benefits but it must have been active during the qualifying period.
Best Sales Team (New Business)
This award will go to the media new business team that has really delivered in terms of new business planning, account wins and a focus and determination to deliver high quality new business in relationships that work for both sides.
Best Partnership with Purpose
This award will go to a campaign or an initiative that resulted in a partnership for social good. This could be a charity campaign or single cause campaign where two brands/operations came together with real purpose to do some good. Judges will be looking for measurable outcomes of any campaign and activity.
Best Pitch (Media)
This award will go to the outstanding pitch and presentation that clinched the deal with a client and translated into a great relationship and campaign. We’ll be looking for evidence of client and customer insight, clear understanding of the brief, creative thinking and a compelling story that won the day.
Best Sales Team (Account Management)
This award will go to the account management team with an outstanding record of delivering growth and value for their customers. We’ll be looking for evidence of strong client and account retention and growth and great ideas and relationships that have really moved the dial.
Best Start Up Award (Agency)
This award will go to a start up (a business that started trading in the last three years) and recognise their success and development. We’ll be looking for growth, a positive culture, innovation and how their business is fulfilling their customer needs.
Culture & Mental Health Award
This award goes to a business who can demonstrate a positive culture and mental health initiatives that have supported their staff and ensured a healthy working environment. The judges will be looking at the way companies support staff in areas including corporate values, mental health, training and development, work-life balance and wellbeing.
Customer Insight Award
A great piece of market research which really helped build customer insight and developed a sales or marketing initiative or product development. The judges will be looking for evidence of great customer insight and how it was applied.
Media Sales Leader Award
This award will go to the individual leader of a sales team whose work and approach has helped both drive growth but also the development of that team. Some sales leaders may be too modest to enter themselves (really!) so we encourage sales teams to enter the leader who has inspired and helped them to succeed. The judges will be looking for evidence of real sales leadership that has both developed winning teams and delivered sales growth through sales plans and strategies.
Rising Star Award (Agency)
This award will go to a rising agency star in the world of business development who has been in their role for less than two years. We will be looking for people who have really made a difference to their organisation and team in that time through their commitment, skills and performance.
Rising Star Award (Media Sales)
This award will go to a rising star in media sales and/or business development who has been in their role for less than two. We will be looking for people who have really made a difference to their organisation and team in that time through their commitment, skills and performance.
The Gamechanger Innovation Award
This award will go to a change in approach, direction of strategy that really made to difference to a sales and marketing team - it can be a brand change or relaunch, or a new way of executing sales or marketing strategies. But we’re looking for an innovation that was a gamechanger for your business.
The Green Award
This award goes to a team or business whose work or campaigns have contributed to sustainable causes or environmental protection. This work can be either on behalf of a client or by a company or agency themselves.
The Turnaround Award
A special award to recognise the most successful turnaround by a sales team facing the challenges of the pandemic whose work and inspiration allowed them to succeed despite a pandemic. We will be looking for information about the challenges the team faced, how they managed and sold their way through it – and emerged as the Comeback Kids.
Unsung Hero Award
This award will go to a person who does not work in the sales team but whose positive contribution and support has helped enable the sales success story. The person winning this award can hold any role – they could be a sales administrator, a market researcher or help manage the CRM system.
We're really excited about the launch of the ALF Awards and look forward to celebrating and showcasing the best in the business at a ceremony in London next year.