Sapphire Employee Short Listed for BESMA Award

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Jo Herring, at Sapphire Systems Plc, named as finalist in the British Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards 2006

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LONDON, UK – 04 January 2007. Sapphire is pleased to announce that Jo Herring has been named as a finalist in the category of the “Most Effective Use of Sales Automation” in the British Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards 2006 for the work she has undertaken on Sapphire’s internal SAP Business One solution.

Since Jo's arrival at Sapphire she has been responsible for driving forward the Sales Force Automation initiative using the SAP Business One solution; and has brought what was once a multitude of spreadsheet-driven sales forecasts, into an integrated central source containing up-to-date prospect, sales opportunity and forecasting information. Her work has transformed the way in which the Sapphire Management Team can now access analysis of what’s happening in the business, right from an initial marketing campaign through to forecasting and the closure of a deal.

Now that Sapphire has a fully functional SFA system Jo has continued to find innovative ways to add value to the solution. Her current goal is to migrate the Customer Support system in order that the whole company can benefit from one view of the customer.

Telesales Account Manager at Sapphire, Sharon Stevenson, states: “Jo’s goal was to transform the way the sales department work by moving everyone from a paper based system to a fully automated CRM system. Changing habits of a lifetime are never easy and it has been a hard mountain to climb! Her determination to succeed and hard work has produced a fantastic system. Personally, I would never go back to the old way of working now”.

Donal Madden, Head of Channel SAP UK & Ireland, also impressed by Jo’s work, remarked “We in the IT Industry have a responsibility to "practice what we preach". Sapphire are doing just that through their Sales Force Automation initiative based on SAP Business One. With Jo's help, Sapphire can now look forward to its next phase of growth with a very strong foundation and we would like to congratulate her on this richly deserved nomination.”

Commenting on getting through to finalist stage of these prestigious awards Jo said “It was a surprise to find that my manager had nominated me in the first instance, so I am thrilled to have got this far! Working on the upgrade of the system has been a real challenge but seeing the benefits it is bringing the team is very rewarding. Now I am looking forward to the completion of the final stages of the project which should get 2007 off to great start.”

Winners in the eight categories of the 2006 BESMA awards will be announced at a Black Tie Dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, on 8th February 2007. The evening is to be chaired by Guy Browning, an acknowledged expert on the use of creativity in business and is the man behind The Guardian’s Office Politics column. He also presents Guy Browning’s Small Talk on Radio 4.
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About Sapphire Systems plc
Sapphire is the global number one reseller of SunSystems and the UK’s leading reseller of SAP Business One. Since 1986, Sapphire has offered their clients wide-ranging practical expertise in selecting and implementing advanced financial accounting and business management solutions and today provides software, services and support for over 600 customers worldwide from their offices in London and Manchester. Sapphire is a founder member of the British Application Software Developers Association and is featured in the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 Technology 2005 rankings.

About The British Excellence in Sales and Marketing Awards
Now in their second year, The British Excellence in Sales and Marketing Awards (BESMA) are awarded by The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM). Nominees have their value benchmarked against a National Standards Framework and nominations are assessed by an independent team of judges (business school experts, practising Sales Directors and leading Trainers) handpicked for their industry knowledge and expertise. The ISMM is the UK’s only professional body for sales people and exists to promote the prestige and integrity of selling by inspiring sales and marketing personnel to greater heights of achievement by providing them with guidance, education, training and information.