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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

Monday, June 23, 2008

Heartland crowned best in sales

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. might need a bigger trophy case. On June 12, 2008, the Sixth Annual American Business Awards honored Heartland with the 2008 Best Sales Organization in America. The Princeton, N.J.-based processor was selected from more than 2,600 entries of businesses in various industries.

"This award is an honor because it not only recognizes Heartland, but also a part of the company that is a particular point of pride for us – our sales organization," said Bob Carr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland.

Someone must have liked the way Heartland, a provider of credit, debit and prepaid card processing, payroll, and payment services, conducts business, because the company didn't enter the contest on its own – it was nominated. Carr found out about the submission when American Business Awards called, notifying him that Heartland was a finalist in the competition. "Everyone was pretty excited," Carr said.

Unfortunately, the company was in the middle of acquiring Alliance Data Corp. and executive representatives couldn't attend the awards ceremony to receive the top prize.

More raves

The award is another addition to Heartland's growing number of accolades. In April 2008, Heartland received Best in Payments Editor's Choice Award by Cards&Payments magazine.

In December 2007, Selling Power magazine recognized Heartland as the Financial Services Sales Organization of the Year, and Executive Director of Sales and Service Irina Haydon – also a finalist for American Business Awards' Best Sales Director – as Sales Director of the Year. Also last December, the Eastern Technology Council named Carr Technology Company CEO of the Year.

"This award – as those of the past – is a direct reflection of the tremendous synergy between all of Heartland's departments," said Sanford Brown, Chief Sales Officer for Heartland. "It is an advantage that has made it possible for us to lead the country in direct sales."

Recipe for success

So, how does Heartland keep snagging one honor after another? The company hasn't changed its commission model in over a decade, Carr said, simply because it works. "We treat our people with respect," he said. "We walk the walk.

"For Heartland, our success is directly attributable to a strategic sales effort that not only values growth, but also relationships with our customers throughout the country. This is a credit to the members of our dedicated sales force who have committed themselves to the success of Heartland Payment Systems.

"We treat the customers of our salespeople fairly," he added.

And with that fair treatment comes customer loyalty. According to Carr, Heartland's customers often refer friends and acquaintances to them.

The goal of the American Business Awards, one of four awards programs operated by Stevie Awards Inc., is to raise public awareness for top-achieving companies and business professionals. A Board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors, made up of a cross section of business executives, vote on the awards.

"Stevie" is derived from the Greek word meaning "crowned."

For the full list of finalists and winners, go to www.stevieawards.com/aba . end of article

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