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5 Love Languages – Part 3

Second Language : Quality Time

Time has literally become the most scarce resource for human beings. People have everything for each other but time. In this situation, the expectations from spouses are bound to be high. We know that friends and relatives don’t have time and there is no one to whom we can talk wholeheartedly. Getting somebody’s attention has become a big deal.

Giving someone time means giving them our undivided attention. If you are sitting in front of the TV watching some movie on Netflix then that movie has our attention, not our partner.  We all have 100s of things going on in our life. And they all need our attention. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day.  We can make most of those hours by committing some of them to our spouse. 

Here are the aspects of quality time which the author highlights in detail : 

Emotions themselves are neither good nor bad. They are simply psychological responses to the events of our life. Based on our thoguhts and emotions we eventually make decisions.

  1. Focused Attention When we do something together keeping our differences or arguments aside and try to have a pleasant time together. In this era of many distractions giving somebody, our undivided attention is the toughest ask.
  2.  Quality conversation: It means sympathetic dialogue when two individuals are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly uninterrupted context 
  3.  Self-Revelation: It means opening up yourself to your spouse so that your spouse know who you are as a person. It’s only when you know how you think, what you feel about the various events, what is the process of your decision making, and how do you form impressions and interpretations of various situations in life, you get to know who you are as a person.  For self-revelation communication between the two persons are absolutely critical. 
  4.  Complimentary personalities: There are basically two kinds of personalities: one who talks a lot about themselves effortlessly and the others who have a hard time explaining their feelings. Remember it’s a different thing to voice our thoughts but explaining how we feel is difficult for many people which depend on their upbringing and conditioning from early  childhood. 
  5. Quality Activities: Spending some time for your daily routine and doing what your partner likes. Keeping all the worries, thoughts and distractions aside for some time and indulging into the activities which you both enjoy or at least one of you enjoy. It could be a simple walk in the near by park.

Personal Experience

When it comes to time, I feel I am a very stingy and vigilant person. I believe there are two aspects of time.

  • How much time do we actually have? 
  • What are we doing with the time we have in hand?

It requires a lot of consciousness, discipline, and honesty when it comes to taking time out for someone or for yourself. Most of the people of my generation think they are doing some great stuff and they are facing this time crunch because of responsibilities, their job, their lifestyle, and many other nonsense reasons. The fact of the matter is just this, they are not disciplined when it comes to time. Somewhere they are putting their indiscipline and laziness under a fancy carpet called time.  

The other aspect of what we are doing with time depends on how valuable time is and you want to make.  For some weekends may mean just sitting in front of the TV, having 10 hours of sleep. For some weekends means meeting relatives, learning new things, doing shopping with your spouse, playing in a park with your children etc. In short, it means more life.  Time is never the problem, the problem is willingness.  Are we willing to make life a lazy business or joyful experience? The choice is completely ours.   

This is 3rd  in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 4

Third Language - Reciving Gifts

Gifts are a symbol of love.  If Words of Affirmation is about being sensitive to other person’s emotions, giving gifts is about expressing those emotions. When you give gifts to someone,  you think of the other person, you show how much happiness of the person is important for you. I must say that it’s also about how well you understand what will make another person happy. 

There are people who are very good at it. They know how to make someone feel special. These kind of people are quite expressive about their feelings and even if they don’t have money, they know how to make small things in life an absolute treat. 

There are other kinds of people who are not good at giving gifts.  Sometimes because they are not very expressive and sometimes because of money. Remember, if giving gifts is a waste of money and you want to save it for future, then you are being self-centered as you are purchasing self-worth and emotional security for yourself.

If you are the other kind who find it difficult to express yourself, then just think how important the other person is for you, how important his happiness is for you.  A love if not expressed to the other person, one day will lose it’s the charm. Yes, it’s true that not everything has to be explicit, but every person has a longing that someone should make him feel special. Some could make his special moment in life truly memorable forever, whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, festivals etc.

Giving gifts is an investment in your relationship and you are filling your spouse’s emotional love tank. There is no such thing as a bad gift or cheap gift. It’s all about the emotions the gift has been given, it’s about the thought, it’s about the happiness of giving gifts as much as receiving gifts. 

Every gift need not have to be tangible.  Sometimes your presence itself is a very precious gift. Especially in challenging times and some very special moments, your presence worth much more than the costliest gift someone can think of. 

Gifts need not be expensive nor must they be given weekly. Their worth has nothing to do with money and everything to do with love.

Personal Experience

A gift is an act to show that you are thankful to the person.  Your spouse may do a lot of things for you and your family. Gifts present an opportunity for you to be thankful and show that you are thinking about your spouse. 
 
While it feels good to be on the receiving end, there is a feeling of self-gratification when you are the one who is doing the giving.  The happiness you get when you are opening a gift is temporary, but giving provides a more self-fulling experience that lasts for a longer period of time.  
 
I make sure that I make every new year special, every birthday special. This language I have learned from my father. He was very good at it and I can never forget the happiness which my Mom used to have while giving gifts to my her. 
 
If you are someone who doesn’t get gifts from your spouse, then don’t stop yourself from giving him gifts.  Because giving gifts is as much pleasure as receiving gifts. And who knows someday your spouse will understand how important this love language is for you.  

This is 4th in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 1

5 Love Languages - The Beginning

 What happens to love after marriage ? Whether it is a love or an arrange marriage, or even if you are unmarried, I am sure you would have this question at least once in your life. And every time you would have asked this question to yourself or to anybody else you either wouldn’t have got an answer or you would have got enough reasons to think quizzically, ironically or regrettably what happens to love after marriage.  The fact is whether you are happily married or unhappily married, you would have certain expectations from your spouse and longing for the love at any age. The form of expression and acceptance of love changes with age and it was this observation which prompted me to explore more about these dimensions of life called love and marriage. That’s the reason I chose to read this book and share my thoughts in the next 7 posts.

About the author

Dr. Gary Chapman is  philosophist, counselor and an author or 5 Language series. He is perhaps best known for his concept of “Five Love Languages”, helping people express and receive love as expressed through one of five languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.
Chapman argues that while each of these languages is enjoyed to some degree by all people, a person will usually speak one primary language.

He has also authored the Five Love Language concept books for parents of children and teenagers, single adults, and a special version for men.

Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another person, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. We need to be loved by someone who choose to love us, who see something worth living in us.

Key Take Aways

  • There is no dearth of couple who feel love in marriage doesn't exist. This happens because husband and wife both have different love languages which seldom are same. They just fail to understand each other's love language
  • Most of us enter marriage by the way of "in-love" experience where everything is ideal, our infatuation is at its peak and it's euphoric. The "fall in love" experience requires discipline and efforts. It's a choice to expend energy in to another person through which you also feel special when he feels special
  • The 5  Love Languages are  Words of affection,  Quality Time, Receiving gifts, Act of service and  Physical Touch
  • Discovering the primary love language of your spouse is essential if you have to keep his/her emotional tank full.  But before that ensure you know your own love language first
  • Love is a choice - when your action doesn't come naturally to you. It's a greater expression of love. The key is to speak our spouse's primary love language whether or not it comes naturally to us
  • Our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth and significance. Love forms the basis for all of the three
  • Learn to express love as an action rather than a feeling. You cannot fake your feelings but you can always choose your actions consciously
  • We come to marriage with a different personality and history. We all have differences in many aspects of life, but we need to learn how to handle those differences

What made me read this book

I had some questions which kept on coming to my mind and I was seeking their answers :

  • Why love lose it’s depth, shine and intensity after marriage ? (well …in many cases)
  • Why  is it becoming increasingly difficult for people to stay together ? 
  • The rate of success of marriage was quite high during my parent’s time, however in my generation it’s becoming increasingly impossible for the people to keep the love alive
  •  Lastly, I was very much curious to explore the various dimensions which will help me to handle differences with my wife, keep the romance on and always remain lovable for my wife.
Clearly these questions are difficult and not one person can answer them in an absolute way. I found this book to be something which opened various simple yet overlooked dimensions of marital relationship. And the author has done a very good job in eloquently explaining them with situations that everyone can relate to. 

Why should you read this book

I strongly recommend you to read this book because it will help you to understand your spouse in a way you had never tried consciously. It will also help you to unfold the ways love can be rejuvenated, experienced and expressed to make the marital bond stronger. You might know about the likes and dislikes of your spouse, but what is it that really make his emotional love tank full ? How can we make love stronger and deeper as we grow old ?

We belong to different families and even if the couples know each other for years, still there comes a time when we face challenges in marriage. There are issues like, unfulfilled expectations, loneliness, the feeling of insecurity and insignificance which many couples struggle to deal with and end up finding their life in misery.

Once you identify and learn to speak your spouse’s primary love language, I believe that you will discover the key to a long lasting marriage full of love. Love need not evaporate after the wedding, but in order to keep it alive, most of us will have to put forth the effort to learn a secondary love language. We cannot rely on our native tongue if your spouse does not understand it. If we want them to feel the love we are trying to communicate, we must express it in their primary love language. 

This is 1st of 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 resolutions every seller should make in 2019

New year new beginning may be a cliche’ for many but for sellers it absolutely make sense to consider new beginning with new year. One, they will literally be starting their budgets from zero and second they should give themselves the time and opportunity to overcome the success or failure of the past year. Here is the time when a seller will start writing new page of his career.

So here is my list of 5 new year resolutions which every seller should make:

Unless you are not selling something which is niche’ in the market, you know that there is a plenty of competition and customers really have an upper hand in negotiation. The only weapon in your arsenal is discount. But if you center your discussion only on price, then you know that you have very thin chance of winning the deal because a customer can have more competitive prices.
Furthermore, your job is to maximize profits.

To come out of this, you need to sell value to the customer and justify the reason he is paying the premium when compared to other cheaper options. Teach people how much they will benefit, how much your product or service will help them, and all of the things your product or service can do to help them achieve their goals and solve their problems. The more you focus on these values, the less important price becomes. This is not an easy task and will require significant efforts from your side. But trust me, it’s worth putting in this effort.

What should you do ?

  • Create a  territory plan with marketing, partners and your leadership to increase the number of qualified leads 

  • Plan your schedule judiciously, make sure you stick to it and don’t procrastinate
  • Utilizing sales tools like CRMs, communication tools and route planning can greatly increase your productivity

 

There are plenty of reasons because of which you didn’t stick to your plan, you miss out on building your database, you missed out updating your CRM, you spent less time on selling. You know there are repercussions of this and you are the one who is going to face all of them. 
Becoming more productive means spending more time selling rather than doing admin or customer support tasks and rate at which you are increasing company revenue. The more you are productive, the more time you will spend with the customer.



What should you do ?

  • Create a  territory plan with marketing, partners and your leadership to increase the number of qualified leads 

  • Plan your schedule judiciously, make sure you stick to it and don’t procrastinate
  • Utilizing sales tools like CRMs, communication tools and route planning can greatly increase your productivity 


You must have spoken to 1000s of prospects but you spent time only on the ones who you think will close deals with you. Spending time with the prospects who will give their money is quite obvious and that’s what we sellers want to do. But in this process we ignore leads who might not be buying from us right now. You know it’s important to nurture them, you know it’s important to keep them warm. But you didn’t do it. 

If you are in sales profession you must remember that the seeds of relationship you bow today, will reap benefits later.



What should you do ? 


  • Create your reach out plan using email campaigns, writing blog posts, linkedIn posts, attending conferences and calling your prospects once in a while. 


It’s very important that a seller use his time wisely and judiciously. If you don’t invest time in upgrading yourself, learning new skills and enhancing your selling skills, you are deemed to become obsolete soon.

What should you do ? 


  • Spend at least 8 hours per month to study. Invest time in learning about your industry, products/services, technology, customer persona, communication skills etc. 


Sales is a career filled with lots of uncertainties and rewards. As long as you are meeting your quota you will be The Rockstar of the organization. Everyone will applaud you and it will be easy for you to get carried away due the success. We all want to be in this situation. 

But when the market is bad 

and things are not going as planned, you definitely need to have some kind of security. You must be cognizant of this and ardently plan your future before life surprise you.

What should you do ? 


  • Network within and outside your organization

  • Keep working on alternate skill 

  • Prepare a contingency fund, so that in case you lose job for sometime, you can take care of your finances.




Wishing you lots of success, rewards and recognition in 2019. 


An introduction to Serverless Computing

What is serverless computing?

In one word serverless is the ultimate abstraction of IT infrastructure for compute function which takes away a lot of pain of developers to go straight in to developing applications.  They don’t need to worry about what’s going at infra level at all. They can simply upload their code and functions will be executed at the trigger of an event. See the below image to see how we have advanced to serverless :
 Earlier organizations used to purchase hardwares set up a network environment and ensure fault tolerance plus a lot of other things which used to go behind the scene. It used to easily take 10-20 days to set up the environment and start developing application.
This started changing when AWS introduced IaaS. Suddenly you were able to provision servers using APIs, you no longer need to worry about your hardware, you can now spin up servers in a matter of minutes
But you still need to worry about Infrastructure and something can still go wrong, what if it gets crashed, what if it gets hacked. That’s when Microsoft came up with PaaS offering.  You just need to push your codes, VMs and run time environment could be set up automatically. You were no longer responsible for servers   But then you still had to worry about servers.
Then came containers which are light weight alternatives to full blown virtualization and isolated but still need to be deployed in servers. Plus they have their own house keeping challenges. You still need to worry about keeping your containers, running your stuffs to worry about scaling, response to load etc.
Then came Lambda and server less computing was born. You are able to take your code without being concerned about managing the server.
There are quite a few service providers offering FaaS. Some of them are :
  1. AWS Lambda
  2. Azure Functions
  3. Google Cloud Functions
  4. IBM Cloud Functions
  5. Apache Open Whisk

 What are some of the Top Use cases of Serverless ?

The technology looks amazing but what are it’s applications.   Practically every monolithic application can be broken down to micro services and all microservices can be further broken down to 100 different serverless functions. Presently not all the applications are cloud native and there still is a hesitation from the customers to adopt this architectuer. Some of the key use cases for serverless are shown in the below figure.
Serverless requires a new architecture of developing applications.  Start small, start with less critical applications, perhaps few automation tasks or event driven use cases. According to a research done by The New Stack, Web services are the top planned use case for Faa

Serverless computing comes with a compromise too.  Some of the shortcomings which you should know before you choose serverless are :
1. Portability of application is an issue. You may end up locked in with a particular vendor. In case you are not happy with your vendor there is a lot which you will need to change and migrate to another vendor
2. You will have limited to no control over the infrastructure on which your application runs
3. Flexibility of architecture also gets compromised

 

The Effective Executive – By Peter Drucker

Every career has a pattern. For example, if you are an international cricketer your career span is 10-15 years on an average, you make most of the money in this time . You go through the ups and downs, you learn, you get your share of opportunities to excel and then you retire. But everything happens in these 10-15 years before you hang your boots.

If you are an actor, your career depends on the type of films you are doing and the type of roles you get. It’s very random, determined by a lot of people you work with and other other factors.

A career of an IT professional or anyone who is doing a 9-6 job is comparatively long and  have some stability and predictability. You really work hard and work long to make money.  You have a long inning to play before you finally get retired in your late 50s or early 60s.

One thing which remain common in all careers is how long you remain relevant in your professional life.

There is no dearth of people in the market who lose their job because they have got over valued . There is a mismatch in their skill set and the money company is paying, especially in a private sector job.  Companies can easily replace employees with cheaper options and automation.

So sustaining at the same level and making to the next level, both are tough. The people who are in this situation and who have an experience of  6-10 years are called mid-career professionals.

After working for 8 years in IT, I see there are many peers of mine who are in this situation today. Their careers are inching towards saturation, they are making decent money but the question of getting replaced have started haunting them and they are finding it tough to go to next level.

I had a lot of questions and I started actively looking for answers. Consequently, I came across this book, The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker, which was suggested to me by a Prof during my MBA days.

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker delves in to what managers should accomplish and how they should conceptualize their role.  However I find this book relevant to mid career professionals because it helped me to rethink and re-purpose what I am doing.  It essentially answers 3 questions for executives  (I will use the word professionals to make it more relative to many other readers):

  • Why a professional must be effective ?
  • What 5 habits must be developed to become a productive professional ?
  • Why society depends on successful organizations and the professionals who make them so ?

In this summary , I will talk about the 5 habits which you must be aware of .

1. Know your time : By the time you reach your mid-career, you are married, you have responsibilities, if you are lucky to still have your parents, you need to take care of them and you have children. Your personal life has become a lot tougher. Your professional life has its own challenges. You know that your compensation has increased and hence the expectations are obviously high. You also know that unlike your good old bachelor days, you have  financial commitments, EMIs, financial goals etc . 

You are expected to achieve more  and do more in the same 24 hours.



If you have not shown an inclination to  manage your time, you definitely have become a master of mismanaging it. 

I can’t emphasize how important it is to understand that there is only this much time you have and it’s all about how you plan and make use of it.

2. What can I contribute : This question is something which one must ask  everyday, every quarter. But people often ask this towards the end of the year and most of the times, it’s been forced by the manager.  People typically remain constrained to what was expected from them rather than taking a keen interest and ensuring that you go beyond your responsibilities.

I guess it requires a sense of curiosity to understand and be aware of what is happening around and what has to be done. There is always a situation which you and your company will be in and then all we need to focus is what is required  to be done. You may like or may not like the situation the tasks the people around etc. But if you direct your action or focus towards the situation you  certainly know what can you contribute.


3. Making strengths productive: You may be having best possible communication skills, but it’s of no use if it’s not productive. Similarly you might be having best possible coding skills but if it’s not aligned to business priorities, then nobody is going to value it.
 Fact is, you need to keep discovering your strengths and be aware of how is it going to create an impact.  The effective professional always builds on his own strengths and others’ strengths as well.

4. First things first : Multi tasking is a mistake and  never works. You can’t focus on more than 2 tasks at a time. Instead of multi tasking work smartly and quickly on one job at a time. This doesn’t mean working in a hurried dither; it means concentrating and working steadily on the task at hand. 

According to my experience there is always too much to handle and you will definitely have that feeling of missing out on your commitments often. You will almost always be working on important and urgent tasks, which need your full attention. If you don’t have set priorities for yourself and you have not planned meticulously, you will never be able to be disciplined. You will eventually end up working only what is required RIGHT NOW and there is some consequences to face in case you miss out on that task.

5. Decision making : The dilemma of a person who is in to mid of his career is that he is stuck between two extremes. On the one side you have a leadership who makes all  decisions and you are expected to follow and help them in decision making. On the other hand you are not at the beginning of your career that people will expect you to follow instructions blindly. There is also a good possibility that with your experience, you have developed some wisdom of your own and would have your own opinions in everything you are doing or you are a part of. 

To come out of this situation, Peter Drucker highlights a very important concept. The challenge is to determine when a situation is, indeed, typical or when it is different in some way that needs unique handling. The biggest decision-making mistake is to try to deal with a generic problem as if it were unusual. 

You need to understand the type of situation you are in. Is it typical or does it really require unique handling. Most often you will be able to assess it over the period of time. If it’s a typical situation, then don’t think much and do what is expected. You always have a limited visibility of the entire situation. Your leaders know much more about the situation than you and they will come back to you if there is a help needed. 

There might be just 1-2 situations in a half or in a quarter which would require unique handling. Be smart enough to recognize such situations and then do your best when you get a chance.

There is no one who doesn’t have a mid career malaise, whether it’s a sportsperson, actor, businessman etc . We all have times when we wonder, “Am I at the right company ?” Am I in the right job ? What would be my next big “aha” moment in my career ? As a mid-career professionals we all are searching for fulfillment while juggling demands at home and intense financial pressures to earn.

I believe  “The Effective Executive” is worth your time and you can use this as a reference whenever you need some expert career advice.

How to use Sales Navigator to generate your prospect list

Every seller has two big challenges to find a qualified lead.

1.Finding the right contact

2. Starting a conversation with your prospect when you have their co-ordinates.

The first challenge is more to do with database. To an extent marketing can help you with getting email addresses and phone numbers by doing inbound and outbound marketing activities. But to have a real impactful database which has right information about the clients, you need to get your hands dirty. The second challenge is about how good you are in finding the right sales trigger events.  Sales trigger events are something which can fetch you an immediate qualified prospect.

If as a sales person you are struggling with these two challenges and are not using LinkedIn sales navigator, then you definitely will end up having a bad sales pipeline.

Assuming you have a complete and optimized profile, below are the steps you should follow in order to make most of your prospecting using LinkedIn :

Step 1 : Prepare a target account list : Doing an Advanced search on linkedin can help you to give an approximate size of your database. For ex. in US geo, there are more than 1000 accounts with employee size of 200-1000 and revenue between 100M – 900M for all industries..  You can further narrow down your search by filter the results with industries, growth etc.

Step 2: Prepare a lead list : Save the above search and then start finding the relevant people. You can find them based on their titles, job roles etc.  This will appear in your Lists as below :

Step 3 :  Use TeamLink : You still don’t have any contact information of  your leads. You may think of sending invitations / writing InMails. This may not give you immediate results. For immediate results you should use TeamLink feature of LinkedIn Sales Navigator.  TeamLink feature helps you to utlizie the power of your entire team’s network. With this information, you can easily see who can help you connect with potential leads and make a warm introduction. For example : in the below screenshot the lead can be introduced by 4 people. You can either “Ask for intro” or get their contact information.  You got to be patient with this because there is no instant gratification using this method.

image

Step 4:  Look Sales Triggers :  To begin with use the Sales Alerts feature of Sales Navigator , which is on the left side in the Home Page of your account:

imageSales triggers are the events which can help you start a “meaningful” conversation with your leads. You don’t need to pitch your services/products. You just need to look for an opportunity to get their attention and start have a conversation.

Step 5 : Create , curate and publish content :  You would have heard this many times from many people about the importance of publishing content and being consistent.  We all understand it, but struggle to remain consistent. From my own experience, publishing contents can help you succeed almost immediately. By publishing content in 3 consecutive days, I got a jump of 9% in my Social Selling Index :

imageIf you are really looking for a formula to succeed in Social Selling them then here it is :

The more you interact with people, better the chances are you will get a qualified lead. 

People fail in Social selling because they lack planning and they want instant gratification. Both are detrimental and if practiced for long will soon derail your focus. You got to track the important numbers and you also have to focus on consistency. Remember, sales is all about consistency.

3 ways of making an unresponsive prospect speak

I have always believed, prospecting is the toughest part of sales. When you have closures and qualified leads, you are ecstatic, you are focused and just everything in the world seems perfect. You think you can do wonders in your career. But when you don’t have a pipeline, that’s when you start feeling the pinch of Sales.

So the question is why prospecting is the toughest part of sales. Because it’s frustrating to find a person who has a genuine need and most of the times prospects don’t turn up. They will not answer your call, they will avoid your emails. And you will end up making that “one last attempt” when a prospect will answer your call or email.

So in this post, I am going you 3 tips to make a prospect speak.

  • Understand the purpose you want to talk to that person : Quite often it happens that we end up putting a lot of efforts behind a prospect without even knowing why do we want to talk to him. Sometimes we wan to talk to them because he of his designation, because of the brand of the company, because he might have responded to our marketing campaigns or may be even silly, because we have the phone number.
    That shows disrespect to the prospect and the lack of  preparation at your end.  Remember the purpose of  prospecting depends on products/service you are trying to sell. There should be namely 3 purpose of you reaching out to the prospect :

    • Fixing a meeting
    • Establish familiarity
    • Getting more info
    • Closing a deal
  • Try different touches and tactics  : Don’t call any customer to an extent that he will not just respond to you, but he become unresponsive to your entire organization and want to blacklist it . If you think that prospect is so valuable, try other channels like Facebook, linkedin, their blog etc.  It’s also important to add a value to your conversation on social media.  What you are doing is trying to find a trigger event in the conversation where the customer finally notices you and thinks you are not trying to just sell something to him. For example you can do following :
    • Send him a whitepaper
    • Send him an invitation to a marketing event related him industry or topic of interest
    • Keep your LinkedIn timeline uncluttered to get updates only from the people truly matter to you
    • Join their groups
    • Send personalized birthday wishes etc
    • Contribute to the content they post
  • Stick to the basics : LinkedIn is not a tool which will give you closures or where deals are possible to be closed. That’s very unlikely. Use linkedin to grow your brand value, establish yourself as an expert in your field. And you do that curating and creating content. There are sellers who don’t update their linkedin profile for ages and just keep on sending linkedin requests, which is of no value. Some of the best practices which you can do are :
    • Try to find the Teamlink connections and request your colleagues to introduce you to the person you are trying to get in touch with
    • If you have any shared connections, use them as reference to break the ice
    • Use InMail as the last resort to get in touch with the prospects, as you will lose credits if you don’t get a reply and they will not reply you if there is no value for them.

Prospecting is painful but this is the cost you bear to earn success in Sales.

How to start “Insight Selling” ?

Consider you got a call from a sales person.

Hi Sir !!! I am calling from a company ABC and do you have plans of buying a TV ? It’s a 50” TVs, on which you can play YouTube, browser internet, check emails and we will give you a 20% discount.

After sometime you got another call from some other sales person

Hi Jai, I noticed that  recently you went to see your favorite movie, but you missed it because of traffic.  How about creating a theater like experience  for you at your home and that too without compromising on your holiday plan.  All I need is 10 mins to discuss to tell you how.  Would you be available in the evening ?

Which one you think has more chances of a positive out come? Which type of seller are you ?

A lot has been changed in Sales because of internet and technology advancement. There has been 3 types of Selling techniques :

1. Alligator Selling : Selling happens based on features and quite honestly how loud you can shout in a market place. 

This is an old style selling technique only because it’s difficult to achieve competitive differentiation. Competitors can easily come up with the same features and quite honestly in no time they will bring something better than you.

2. Solution Selling: Selling happens because of your understanding of customer’s issue.

That’s what’s happening right now. But this selling technique is becoming archaic because there are lot many who are doing this. To understand customer’s issues sellers ask open-ended questions and trust me there are many who are asking lot of questions to the prospects. They have got irritated with them because they themselves can find the answers online and they don’t have time to be questioned by many.

3. Insight Selling :  Selling happens because of your intelligence.

As I said, there are lot many who are asking questions to the prospects to an extent that they just don’t want to give time. To be heard you need to say something which is useful

Insight selling is based on 4 factors and how well you understand them.  And to excel in these you need 4 qualities: persistence, knowledge, patience and building your own brand.

Industry

What you need to know ?

Focus on how the industry is changing, where is it  heading and what are the influencing factors ?

How can you do this ?

The best way is to create a list of few players from that industry. Then try to connect with them on LinkedIn.  Also, if you have Sales Navigator save those accounts to get regular feeds from them.  You should also think of finding a mentor from that industry if possible.

Technology

What you need to know ?

If you are a seller, you still need to be technical and have good understanding of the technology. I went to a TV store and asked the person what’s the difference between a Smart TV and  an Internet TV. Similarly if you  are in IT let’s say you are handling a Blockchain consulting services, you must understand Blockchain. You ofcourse don’t have to be a programmer.

How you can do that ?

Just develop the curiosity. You can find plenty of resources around. You can use Udemy, Udacity, other MOOCs, or you can get a book, magazine etc. The only thing you need is a curiosity of how things work.

Competition

What you need to know

Your understanding of your competitor’s offerings should be as good as yours. Customers do a lot of research online and they are already 70% ahead in their buying journey. You can’t fool them.

How should you do it ?

If there are certifications available, do it. If possible consume their offerings too. Don’t ignore the people who are already using your competitors’ offering.

Buyer

What you need to know ?

The more you know them, then better it is.  You should atleast know about their past experience, their job profile, their education and their personality.

How should you do it ?

Connect with them on LinkedIn.  Try to find a reference.  Follow them on Twitter and yes, if they don’t have an immediate requirement, just be updated with what they are sharing and keep the interaction going on.

HCX on IBM Cloud – Intro

Typically in a hybrid cloud implementation CIOs have the below concerns:
  1. I don’t have a compatible vSphere version
  2. My network architecture is different from Cloud Services Provider’s network
  3. My applications have a lot of complex dependencies and they interact with various other entities in my DCs like storage/DB Solutions, DMZs, security solutions  and platform applications
  4. They have created their own governance and control and they are concerned if they will be able to do  the same in a Cloud environment.

Is there a way they can get away from these complexities and find an easy way out ? These are the concerns which can be easily taken care by HCX. Below are some of the very important use cases of HCX .

  1. Extending to the Cloud :   when you want to extend your application may be because of the requirement of additional storage or compute.  This can be a short term requirement or even long term in case you have hard fresh refresh due.
  2. Disaster Recovery : Typically customer wants to have the shortest possible RTO and RPO for the on-premise DR site. This can be easily achieved if you have a vmware virtualised infra.
  3. Modernize on-premises DC : If you are planning to move entire DC to the cloud HCX can help you to migrate 100s of apps with just a single reboot and no change to the OS or application.

 

IBM Cloud provides the foundation to extend on-premise workload seamlessly and with minimum efforts required.  HCX enables this by extending on-premises network in to the cloud through an optimised software defined WAN.  VMware workloads can be moved to IBM Cloud from on-premise without any modifications required and without any downtime.
HCX establish a secure WAN optimised  hybrid interconnect which sits between cloud and on-premise environment.
Below is the architecture of the implementation :
Hybridity Services :  It has two parts. Target side and Source side. Target site is IBM Cloud DC and source site is on-premises deployment.
Product : VMware HCX.

Cloud Management : A centralized platform for managing the entire software-defined datacenter.
Product vCenter

Virtualization Admin : Responsible for maintaining the cloud services and environment.

Here is a step by step explanation of what needs to be done to use HCX
Step 1: VMware HCX is deployed in the cloud instance in an IBM Cloud DC
Step 2:  HCX is deployed on-premises
Step 3:  Virtualization administrator uses the HCX user interface in vCenter to establish the network connection
Step 4: The two HCX deployments establish a software defined WAN connection to extend the on-premises layer 2 network to the cloud instance.
Step 5: Virtualization administrator uses the standard vSphere user interface to initiate migration of on-premises workload to the target site in the cloud.
Step 6: HCX uses WAN optimization to efficiently migrate the workload to the target site, maintaining the current workload IP configuration
If you want to read more about the Solution architecture click here