If knowledge is power then information is RDX!
One of my old colleagues suggested I write about my own experiences in closing large deals.
It occurred to me that in this whole commotion of closing the year and taking up a new quota and repeating it year after year, I had forgotten doing a little analysis and finding the genesis of my own deals.
If I have to credit an aspect that has contributed to large deal closures and an “abundant” pipeline, it would be reading bite sized information every day.
The tactics that has worked for me since 2009:
- Do it every day, each day
- Do it for 15 to 20 minutes only; lest you drown in Information over dosage.
What to read
I read on industry, competition, skills enhancements and productivity.
My definition of success is Access.
Access to people, access to opportunities and access to wisdom.
Hence I intentionally follow Industry trends, policies and companies I need to follow
- Read about new funding, M&A press releases, competitive intelligence and relevant content on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Read on new lead generation techniques, marketing hacks and pitch decks
- New Chrome extensions, web scraping and Pomodoro techniques
Where to read
First of all automate your reading process so that each morning, decision making becomes a breeze.
- Bookmark your favourite websites and
- Save good stuff to Pocket.
Here are my tools
- For 7 minutes I have all my favorite topics set in this amazing tool like Right Relevance. It is a mini powerhouse of relevant content.
- For industry news I have Google alert set; I get emails each day at a specific time
- To track specific personalities and companies I have Google News personalised
- For M&A and funding, I read VC Circle
- People find it annoying but I have Chrome push notifications turned On for my favorite sites. News walks up to me!
- For sales techniques there are many but I prefer Jeffery Gitomer and Coleen Francis
Here are my deals
2010: Google alert sent me an email saying one of my large customers, in the Canadian Government were increasing considerable amount of spending that financial year.
This was drool worthy to my eyes.
I’m sure IT spending was up as well.
Reached out to my contact, told them they need to re-look at my upgrades and the enhancements I had proposed some months back.
To my good luck, they were willing to re-look at it.
Post 3 techno-commercial meetings and 2 months later, deal closed with a sizeable increase in monthly revenue.
2012: Was following some industry veterans in LinkedIn from the Publishing industry in the US and one of my contacts was a speaker at an event.
I congratulated him genuinely and in the next week asked him who their vendors were in India for their back office operations.
He mentioned he isn’t the decision maker but was happy to connect me to his Mumbai counterpart.
A deal of 100 full term employees was closed in record time of 1.5 months.
What if I hadn’t read that piece of, what lot of people would consider irrelevant information?
2013: My Google alerts threw me a news about a healthcare BPO expanding in Hyderabad with 1000 seats.
Researched on the company and hunted down some decision makers in LinkedIn.
Asked them if they would consider working with us in an opex mode, saving tons of CapEx money.
It worked and they are still a customer of ours and it’s the 5th year !
2010 again: felt guilty as an “ambulance chaser “ that time but now when I reflect back, it feels good.
Lot of people would say it’s taking advantage of someone’s misfortune.
I would say it’s like doing an expensive surgery when you didn’t listen to your doctor’s preventive advice earlier.
Read this on my Outlook RSS feed that one of my customers, an online grocery store in the US east coast was getting featured in Oprah’s show and they were throwing a massive discount for the next 24 hours.
It was going to be an internet mayhem with all the traffic.
I had my engineering team and customer care on standby proactively.
The CTO appreciated my account management skills.
However he was sitting on a bandwidth upgrade deal for last 2 months, which was good commission for me.
The site went down for 5 minutes and all hell broke loose.
It was 5am my time.
The CTO had no option. We upgraded him to all the enhancements and brought the site up.
He signed up right away and one more Bigg deal was closed!
Not sure about being a smart vs. a hard worker but growth doesn’t happen in vacuum.
You have to be exposed to the weather outside, keep your ears and eyes open to information.
Smartness comes in analysing the information so as to profit you.
It is also about optimal usage of resources.
The internet, the browser and all the websites are all available to us in equal measures.
But what we do with them will be the key to our business and careers.
What could be a piece of information to many, could be a stepping stone to a massive deal.
So what did you read today?
Author bio: Karmesh Ghosh, is Sales professional; has been hustling, and closing deals for the past 1.5 decades. Avid reader and loves foreign language movies. Writes on sales and marketing strategies for small and medium businesses. Currently, lives in Mumbai. Loves food and fast bikes.