Our All-Stars Demo Day was a sight to behold. You could see the glitter in the air with the panel of high-profile judges.
After 12 weeks of training at Uvaro, our recruits more often than not – become some of the best tech salespeople within Silicon Valley. Every day, these talented individuals work towards polishing their skills in tactical prospecting, discovery, objection handling, and weaving in personalized stories to become better tech salespeople.
In 15 uninterrupted minutes, watch our top tech sales candidates of the term showcase their newly honed abilities to deliver a specific type of software demo to a special panel of judges.
Event Recap: All-Stars Demo Day
Joseph Fung: Hello everyone! Welcome to the Uvaro demo days all-star edition. We have such a fun line up set up for us today. This is going to be a hoot. I want to go through some quick introductions.
A little bit of housekeeping and then for all of you on YouTube, we’re going to invite you in to the Zoom room to actually enjoy this conversation. So first off we have an all-star panel of competitors. But we have an all-star panel of judges. I’m going to pull their faces and names up here and in a moment. I’ll get them to introduce themselves but you are going to have some fantastic questions, fantastic feedback for our competitors. You’ve been through this before but this is a next level engagement.
This is going to be a really good time for those of you on YouTube and wondering who is competing. I would love to introduce you to our panel of competitors. These are all of our grads. They’re in the field. They’re coming back to show off their skills and what they’ve been selling.
We have Nehemie, Jame, Tanpreet and Ezra. For those of you who think this is the order they’re competing in, it’s not. They don’t yet know. So we’re keeping the pressure nice and high. In a moment we’ll be giving a heads up to our first competitor. But let me go over the house rule. So you know what to expect. I know we’ve got two hours on the clock. We’re going to get you out nice and early. But let’s cover some of the house rules there. First off if you are joining us in Zoom would ask that for the most part, you keep yourself muted because background noise can be a huge distraction.
Out of respect for the competitors, we want to keep that on again. If you’re in the Zoom room, keep your cameras on. If you want to keep them off, that’s great. The flickering on and off again can be distracting for the competitors. So ask that you keep some good Zoom etiquette. A good reminder that we are gonna pose some challenging questions, but this is a space to build up. We’re building and launching careers.
So let’s keep constructive feedback in mind and while catcalling is always welcome. Let’s keep it to their sales acumen and keep us focused on our competitors. A couple of reminders, be sure to say your name, what you’re selling, and who you’re selling it to that helps the judges. When we give shortcuts to these YouTube, clips it, makes it way easier for people to know who they’re actually seeing on these videos. You’re also going to have 15 minutes you will be cut off. So watch for that sound because if you get hit with that, we’re going to cut you off right thereafter each presentation.
There’ll be two minutes for the judges to end their scores. We’ll also let the next competitor know who’s up. So we’ve got a little bit of time to prep and at the very end, we will be sharing feedback and crowning the champion. We’ve covered the basis. I think we’re in a good spot to get going. So for those in Zoom, I’m going to stop sharing my screen and then for those who are joining us via YouTube, I am going to invite you into Zoom, in just a moment. There we go.
So here we are, we’ve got the crew, we’d like to get things started. Let’s start off with some introductions. So first off, for our judges in the same order, we had you in the slides. I’ll invite you in. could you help everyone with your name, your company, and what your firm does? Chris, can you kick us off?
Chris Von Huene: Yeah! Happy too! So Chris Von Huene or CVH for short. I work for Prodigal technology. So it’s a voice analytics platform for the collection industry.
Joseph Fung: Nice! Belal, can you help us out next.
Belal Batrawy: Yeah! Can you guys hear me now?
Joseph Fung: A lot of clear!
Belal Batrawy: Alright! Well, I appreciate you guys having me. I’m really excited for this like I’m more nervous, I think than the competitors. I’m like so anti to get going, but really short about me. I’m a serial startup guy. I’ve been a part of six different start-ups. One of the first, if not the first sales hire at all of them. I run the death the fluff community, which is just for sellers buy sellers in support of sellers. Never for companies, we’re always pro-employee, not pro-employer; you should check it out if you get a chance and find me on LinkedIn.
Joseph Fung: Fantastic! Drew, you’re up next.
Drew Williams: Just got off the red carpet for this special Uvaro all-stars edition! Super excited to be here once again! Yeah, Drew Williams from salesplaybookbuilder.com. I help founders transition out of founder led sales building sales playbooks and bringing on those first second third sales reps. So good luck to everybody out there.
Joseph Fung: Fantastic, now, we’re about two minutes of the last couple of intros so I’m gonna give a quick heads up to our first competitor, and then we’ll get our next three judges to introduce themselves. So first up will be Ezra. Ezra, you got two minutes to get yourself organized. But to continue our introductions for our judges, Reid, can you kick us off next?
Reid Anderson: Yeah, I’m Reid Anderson. I’m an account executive over at PandaDoc. Still at the office as you can see. And we’re all about digital documents proposals contracts e-signature pretty much everything under the sun in that area. Thanks!
Joseph Fung: Awesome! James, you’re up next!
James Buckley: Get off mute! There, I am James Buckley. I work with John Barrows. I am a sales trainer and coach. I help salespeople break through the noise. Get attention, gain some interest, and maybe create an opportunity. So my job is to come out and help people sell better. That’s literally what we do every day in and day out. I also say inappropriate things commonly. So look for that! Thanks a lot! I appreciate being here! This is awesome!
Joseph Fung: We’re looking forward to the inappropriate comments! We’re gonna keep it real! I know sales calls aren’t supposed to be easy! Let’s make sure we keep it tough, Mark. Can you bring us home on the intros?
Mark Petruzzi: I sure can. I’m Mark Petruzzi. I’m with N3. We are a part of an Accenture for about the past month. They’ve recently acquired us. We are a, thank you a little clapping out there. Which is great. We are an outsourced sales and marketing engine company. I’m also the co-author of a new book called selling the cloud which has come out recently as well and selling like crazy. So really excited to be here. Joseph, thanks for having me.
Joseph Fung: And it’s a great book. I’ve got my copyright there behind me. And enjoying it thoroughly. So thanks for taking the time out of your schedule, Mark. To join us, we’ve gone through the list. I see Ezra has gotten himself psyched up. Before we hand it over to Ezra for our competitors, any last-minute questions? Anything else that we need to check? Are we good to dig in? See thumbs up, we’re good, and then from the judges, can I get, oh Nehemie, was that?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Yeah! I thought that you mentioned it would be noise for the 15 minutes. I didn’t hear it when you originally said it.
Joseph Fung: Oh let me double check and make sure that we have got that piping in. We should be good!
James Buckley: Contestant, right there holding you accountable, watch out!
Joseph Fung: That’s the best way to do it! So we do have that gong set up and we’ve got one more person joining in. So Nehemie, thanks for watching for that and I’ll be sure to chime in if there are any. I’m sure none of you are gonna hit the 15-minute limit. But we’ll be good for our judges. Can I get a thumbs up if you’ve got your scorecards? Great! Ezra, I am going to put 15 minutes back onto the clock and it is all yours. If you would like to kick us off?
Ezra Sohn: Hi! My name is Ezra and I am an AE at HyperComply. It’s a start-up and we offer solutions to filling security questionnaires as quickly as possible and my buyer today is a sales engineer, just anyone on the pre-sale side since they typically take care of that and I just need to find my buyer here. Okay! Cool! Okay! Alright! Hi Sheila! Happy to have you here on the call!
Sheila Fung: Hi Ezra! It’s good to see you!
Ezra Sohn: Hi! Where are you calling it from?
Sheila Fung: I’m in Vancouver, actually!
Ezra Sohn: Okay! Awesome! And how’s your day going so far today! Any pleasant surprises train wrecks.
Sheila Fung: A lot of potential train wrecks! I’m moving tomorrow!
Ezra Sohn: Oh my goodness! So yeah, your schedule really is packed!
Sheila Fung: Yes! Yeah! It’s been kicked!
Ezra Sohn: You’ll have a lot going on actually. Aileen did mention that you had a lot going on this week and that you only had 15 minutes just to really squeeze some time in. But that you’ve had it like up to here with security questionnaires and I totally get that you’re moving the everyday.
Just the work schedule of sc is just maddening chaos. But I think this will be plenty of time to figure out if. It makes sense for us to work together here and so just for the sake of time. I’ll just jump right in then. And if you could just let me know if you could see my screen okay?
Sheila Fung: Not yet! Yeah! Am I looking in the wrong place?
Ezra Sohn: Okay! Sorry! About that! Just give me a second here! Okay!
Sheila Fung: Here we go!
Ezra Sohn: Okay! Sweet! Alright okay so just in terms of our call here I’d love to hear about your team’s current process for filling out security questionnaires and then I’ll just share briefly about what we offer as a solution and then if it makes sense we can discuss exploring a full demo. How does that sound is there anything else here that I should add?
Sheila Fung: No! Right I think that sounds good just sort of digging into how we do it and maybe give you an idea of what it is that you guys do differently than how I’m currently doing it. I’m hoping it’s better.
Ezra Sohn: Yeah! Okay! Cool! Perfect! Then, yeah do you want to just kick this off by just sharing what your current process looks like at spark?
Sheila Fung: Yeah, I’m going to say it’s pretty. The process itself isn’t ad hoc but it’s unpredictable. So any given week I can anticipate. I’m gonna have to spend somewhere to six to ten hours filling up questions. But I don’t know when they’re coming and that’s kind of part of the frustration. It’s fairly easy to anticipate that they’re gonna come up during any given deal.
But it’s unpredictable how many other people are going to be involved, what other you know pieces need to be pulled into the picture, and at what stage in the process somebody’s going to ask for it. And then I’m sure what always happens with this, it’s if someone’s requesting it they need it right away because that’s one of the last things that yeah exactly so it’s a high pressure annoying
Ezra Sohn: Yeah! Everyone’s excited to close the sale. But you never know when it’s gonna come in. it is super unpredictable. So when the security questionnaire does come in so you have some of that coverage six to ten hours a week. Are there other people on your team that eventually get brought in to answer some of these questions?
Sheila Fung: yeah there’ll be a couple and I can’t give you like a number for every deal. But sometimes I’ll have to bring them it depends on the product. And it might be bringing someone in on the legal side as well but I can say maybe three to five other people, not all of them, on one but like pulling from that pool
Ezra Sohn: Yeah! Okay, so I mean so for you personally it’s taking six to ten hours a week. that’s a lot of time especially when you have to pack and get ready to move there’s a lot going on if you could get those six to ten hours a week back just in terms of your workweek I mean what would you rather be doing with your time?
Sheila Fung: Well, I would be packed by yeah there’s so many other things I could do at the time of course and I’m not just me it’s my team as well I’m gonna say that I, I’m saying if it comes to me, it’s last-minute if I’m pulling someone else in its last-minute for them too so. There are so many other things we could be doing and I know that would be a lot less griping. It’s just not good for feel.
Ezra Sohn: Yeah! Definitely! You know I hear all the time how because these security questionnaires are unpredictable and it’s not scheduled in the workweek. It actually intrudes into our own family time, our own social life which is terrible. So I mean but in terms of your role there like on the pre-sale side like what are you doing, when you’re not bombarded with these security questionnaires?
Sheila Fung: What do I do with my time?
Ezra Sohn: Yeah, in your pre-sales role, yeah.
Sheila Fung: Yeah! So it’s a lot of just making sure everybody has what they need. There’s the occasional product demoing stuff that goes on depending on where we’re at lining up the pins for the rest of the team to knock down as well. It’s literally my least favorite part of my job. I’m gonna flat out and say that I’m not talking to a person or dealing with a product when I’m feeling at a questionnaire.
Ezra Sohn: Yep I hear, yeah I hear that all the time. That it is a pain in the butt, what’s part of their job. So you’re also providing coverage for demos and you’re also working on these deals also just in terms of understanding. You know the scale of your sales cycle there at spark, like on average, what’s your annual contract value? Just a ballpark.
Sheila Fung: Oh actually, I don’t know, if I’m supposed to disclose all that stuff to you at this point.
Ezra Sohn: That’s totally fine! No problem no problem. I think I think what’s important though is that instead of those six to ten hours, right. There are far more important opportunities like real growth value opportunities that you could be spending time in your team needs you gotta move you know all of these things are going on right.
And so it seems like a part of what motivated you to seek out a security question or solution is the desire to save time. Is that the primary reason? Is there anything else about the security questionnaire process that?
Sheila Fung: So I’m going to say if the time is huge, I’m going to say time is top number one, put that at the top of the list. If there’s a way to make the process smoother predictable realistically, I don’t know if that’s a thing, that you guys can do, because it’s all part of our own process as well. And if there were a way to make the collaborative aspect function smoother I want to say less just less friction to it. Not just time but like the actual process, it takes to fill them out.
Ezra Sohn: Yeah definitely! Okay! Awesome. There’s a lot there. So save time, make this sales cycle more predictable like for your sales team, that they can have a better idea of when you’re gonna be done with the security questionnaire, right? And then to be able to collaborate with, you said two or three other people who are also going to be filling security questionnaires in with you. Is that right? Okay, awesome! And in terms of tools are you using anything right now?
Sheila Fung: For the questioners?
Ezra Sohn: Yeah, yeah, are you doing most of them through Google.
Sheila Fung: So most of them are Google documents or sheets or whatever format works best for, whatever the questionnaire is. But yeah that’s primarily what we’re using nothing else that’s specifically for the questioners, we store them sometimes in at lasting but or confluence. But that doesn’t really help with the questionnaire part is just where we put them.
Ezra Sohn: Okay! Sweet! Okay awesome all right. So I mean in terms of what you’re looking for in a solution have you had a chance to like if there was a genie and you could just conjure up a perfect solution for security questionnaires and I don’t know if you have you’ve had time to like shop around a little bit but like what’s something that would be important to something that you’d be looking for?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! So I haven’t actually shopped around or even really looked at what your solution does. So I’m sorry if I’m wishing for things that aren’t possible, but my best-case scenario would be something that is everything’s all in one place. We can all access it at any given time. If one of the team members does their part and updates it.
We all see it and have access to it and it’s not like I have to go get it from them if you know what I mean. And ask about it and having multiple copies of things that are out of date. And ideally, something set up that they could schedule it ahead of time like just knowing once the deal’s open that was going to come up. Just put that into the system and so we know in advance is going to be coming down the pipe, I don’t know if that’s realistic.
Ezra Sohn: Yep! Okay! Awesome! Okay! Great! So one thing I’m also hearing a lot from you is that it really seems like you care about your team you care about the team process, you care about their morale, you don’t want them spending time doing this and then you want predictability, right? I mean so I mean this is all really encouraging to hear.
This is something that we hear from our customers all the time and saving teams’ time and helping them to work together. That is like at the white-hot core center of our mission. So maybe I could just jump in just share briefly about what we do at hyper comply and how we can help you with that? So again you know my hope is just that you know I can share enough that you might be interested in a full demo. But just to give you a quick idea of what we do.
So we do provide a platform. This is where everyone can come together and collaborates but what we do before the collaboration is, automate the pre-fill we automate the process. And so if you’ve ever had questions that you’ve answered before, your team will never have to answer those questions again because we’ll automate that for you. So you know you’ll simply send us your security questionnaire whenever you receive it. And then we’ll pre-fill it for you.
And then we’ll give it back to you we’ll let you know Sheila we filled out ninety percent of it take a look at it and then the remaining ten percent but you can collaborate on our response platform and do it together as a team. And so typically we’re saving teams about ninety in terms of time spent on these questionnaires. And in terms of predictability, you were mentioning how you know you wanted more predictability in terms of the sales cycle; typically you can get back the pre-fill within 24 hours.
And so that’s something that we backed by SLA. And so that’ll just give everyone from your team to you know the account executives you know those who are like super eager to hit their quota, you know by a certain time, they all know exactly when the security questionnaires are going to be completed. and before we get that started this is just what the onboarding looks like.
Basically, we’re just creating a central library and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time from you your team would simply send us your policy docs and several of your previously completed questionnaires and then we’ll manage everything from there. So we’ll upload all the questions and answer sets and we’ll create that centralized library and then let you know when it’s ready to go.
So everything that we’re trying to do is around saving you time. Just wanna make sure that we can do everything possible so that your team is spending as little time as possible on these questionnaires. So do you have any questions in terms of the onboarding? Or just how our solution works?
Sheila Fung: So I do have and actually my colleague Mark. Mark, are you still there? I know we were talking earlier you had some concerns about just onboarding being done poorly, I don’t know if you recall the conversation. Did you have a question for Ezra about that? You’re muted right now!
Mark Petruzzi: I’m sorry about that! But yeah!
Sheila Fung: There we go!
Mark Petruzzi: I had a double mute going on but yeah Ezra can you just tell us more about how generally that process goes and what you can bring to the table to make that go more effectively?
Ezra Sohn: Oh! Yeah absolutely! So typically with other solutions, you’re in charge of creating your own centralized library. So you know you have the platform you have the tools but then you’re doing it yourselves and sometimes that could take 50 to 100 hours. But with us, we’re actually managing that entire process for you.
And I’d love to show that to you guys when you know we have the full demo. You know I would love for you guys, both to be there. You know for today, I just wanted to give like a quick overview. So how does that sound? I mean are there any other concerns that you have or do you feel like you know this might be a good time to maybe schedule in like a full demo. So that I can answer some of these questions and we can also jump in the platform and I could show you how everything works.
Mark Petruzzi: Yeah, I don’t think we’re ready to go to a full demo. But you know that was helpful. So thanks for answering that.
Ezra Sohn: Sure! We’ll just for the sake of time Sheila, should we just schedule in another time then and maybe mark and join us, and maybe we could take some time to answer some questions before we jump into a full demo?
Sheila Fung: I think what I’m going to want to do is talk about pricing and see how it works, that those two things together. Because I know my team’s concerned about what it’s going to look like if we implement something like this, like I know I’ve already mentioned the moral aspect.
The last thing I want to do is put them through you know a grilling onboarding with a tool that doesn’t actually help us. So I do want to see it, but then I would also like to have the pricing discussion at some point as well.
Ezra Sohn: Absolutely! Happy to talk about pricing you did just miss cyber Monday here at HyperComply. Just kidding, but we do have some awesome end-of-year pricing that will make available. Can we schedule this sometime next week, maybe Thursday afternoon to discuss pricing and some concerns that you have?
Sheila Fung: Before I schedule it if you could just offer a little bit of reassurance about the morale aspect. Because I know I don’t know I’m really digging on this. But like how do I know that I’m not going to put this in front of my team and then use it some other time and then you know the onboarding is terrible. Maybe some reassurance there?
Joseph Fung: Ezra, I’m sorry to interrupt.
Ezra Sohn: No problem!
Joseph Fung: But we are at 15 minutes. I know Sheila and Mark asked some tough questions there bidding you into going over right at the end.
Ezra Sohn: Yeah! I tried to get out I couldn’t make it.
Joseph Fung: So we’re going to put we’re at the end of that 15 minutes so you can wrap up your screen share. I’m going to put a couple of minutes on the clock for our judges to fill out their judging score sheets. But let me tee it up for the next presenter first. Tanpreet, you’re up next. You’ve got a couple of minutes to prep while our judges are filling out their scorecards. Ezra, you’re done, you’re out of the hot seat. How are you feeling about it?
Ezra Sohn: I mean that was fun! I mean that was a rush and yeah just excited to have this opportunity. I follow a lot of the judges on LinkedIn. I’m really excited to be able to learn, from their feedback. So and I’m thank you so much for letting me go first.
Joseph Fung: Letting you!
Ezra Sohn: I love that!
Joseph Fung: I’m glad you think about it, that so exciting!
Ezra Sohn: I do! I do!
Joseph Fung: Nice I see some of our judges kind of heads down, filling in some notes. as you finish out your scores, can you give us a thumbs up. Sheila, saw young mute, all yours.
Sheila Fung: I didn’t hear a gong sound again, I was really surprised.
Joseph Fung: I am just going to double check my audio settings. I can see our folks on YouTube heard it loud and clear. But I am going to switch my mics for a moment and come back. So give me one moment.
Sheila Fung: It’s almost gonna mention it because now you’re just gonna be pushing it over and over.
Joseph Fung: I know it’ll be every single meeting we’ll wrap that up. So we’ll give one quick text check and just see if that gong is playing for our folks in Zoom. I’m sure this is going to bother all of you on YouTube while you’ve you know bear with it but let’s see. Now I see some blank faces so maybe that’s not coming through on Zoom. Well we will resolve that for our next one.
Thanks for bearing with us. Folks on YouTube you get all the glorious sound effects Zoom. You’re missing out. But we’ll get that running. I saw a couple of thumbs up from our judges. For the others did you get your scores in. We’re all good. Okay got our two minutes. Tanpreet it’s gonna be yours. I’ll be keeping an eye on the timer and I’ll interject if you’re running long I’m sure you won’t but the floor is all yours.
Tanpreet Anand: The timer starts after I introduce my company, right?
Joseph Fung: That’s right! Yeah!
Tanpreet Anand: Okay! Cool! So guys my name is Tanpreet and I work for a company called WatrHub. We are a data intelligence company, focused on U.S public, U.S and Canadian public infrastructure markets. So we provide a predictive data intelligence which is powered by AI to big infrastructure companies all over North America.
And the buyer persona, the buyer for me would be you know VP of business development who handles infrastructure market development. So yeah. And the company’s huge, so I probably 40 or 50 000 employees and we work with such big companies, so it’s going to be a pretty interesting pitch here. Cool, awesome, hey Sheila hi!
Sheila Fung: Hey Tanpreet! How are you?
Tanpreet Anand: I am good how are you doing?
Sheila Fung: I’m good! It’s been a day, let me tell you.
Tanpreet Anand: I can totally understand that all the work from home and like you know everything happening. It’s pretty crazy for us as well. How are things going on I know that you know things restricted in front of covid. But our infrastructure you know how’s everything going for you guys? It’s much tougher for you guys more than us, because I’m selling technology you guys are more in the market and like doing you know projects, so…
Sheila Fung: Yeah! And it’s interesting just the way everything’s categorized, most of us who can work from home just are and that’s totally fine. But there’s so much of us who can’t. But for the most part most of our projects are good to go. Just that whole when you’re building a thing deemed essential. So there’s a lot of projects that are still being able to move forward so it’s hectic but we’re all kind of doing our best.
Tanpreet Anand: That sounds great! Yeah. So I know that you have 15 minutes scheduled for this call. Does that still work for you and do you have a heart stop at 15?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! 15 is good! It is a hard stop. But I am curious to hear about what you guys do.
Tanpreet Anand: Okay! Perfect, yeah so the goal for me for this call is to basically you know obviously give you a product overview and you know to see how it fits into your use case and then discusses the next steps. Is there anything you want to you know change in that goal like that’s something which I came up with and the agenda for me is to obviously you know understand your business for like five to seven minutes and then walk you through the product, to like you know to show you what we have to offer.
And then discuss the next steps which are going to be creating a sample report to show you real opportunities which we gather from you before you actually make a purchase. So do you want to add anything to that agenda?
Sheila Fung: No that sounds great. And I’ll have more questions about that sample report. But we can get there when we get there.
Tanpreet Anand: Okay! Perfect, so I know that you had a conversation with one of our BDRs. And you didn’t mention that you know you have good expansion plans and obviously currently you guys work only on the west coast and but you have expansion plans all over the US and Canada.
So why don’t we like you know start with that like you know what kind of expansion plans do you have. I know like looking at your website you definitely do a lot of water wastewater and like bridges highways kind of projects. But is there any state or province you are currently targeting?
Sheila Fung: So it’s a little bit too directional right now. We’re going to continue down the coast. I’m actually when it’s okay. We’re hoping to get into sort of Oregon, right down the coastline there. But then location wise we’re also looking up always to expand within Canada as well. So if we can start heading east that would be great too. I don’t know if location-wise is what you meant though were you curious about projects or just sort of the directions we’re headed.
Tanpreet Anand: Yeah! I mean I think for some people it’s just that you know the kind of projects you want to chase and what kind of bandwidth you have, in terms of your operations you know internal operation expertise and in certain states. So that is the reason I asked you that question. Because that will affect the kind of intelligence we give you right. So yeah.
But that’s good to hear. That’s a good starting point, so when you say that you do have expansion plans, let’s start with how are you currently gathering you know intelligence in your current market as well as if you have any plans to gather intelligence and like you know your future markets as well.
Sheila Fung: So it’s a lot of research and I’m just going to say flat out that. I think this is how everybody’s doing it. And everything your SDR raised was frankly a little bit confusing because I didn’t realize that this was a thing that there was an automated solution for. And its multiple team members researching you know one success story and then where can we reproduce this.
So we look at our biggest successes and then we look at the, you know, the geography, the economy, everything that’s going on in the area and we just try to find the same place that we can reproduce it. And then we just we keep repeating it. But I’m going to say that the research that goes into. Finding a new opportunity is huge like we’re talking weeks and weeks and weeks.
Tanpreet Anand: Yeah! That brings me to a great point like you. And I hear that you know like I whenever I talk to leaders like yours especially now because with covid, you can’t meet people in person, you can’t attend those conferences, you can’t do a lot of things, so it’s just becoming much more tougher.
But coming back to what you said like you know when you said weeks and weeks can you give me a time frame of how much time does your team spend, actually in spending and finding that opportunity?
Sheila Fung: So I’m gonna say a really nice time frame is six weeks and then often times up to six months just on research. And I know that’s a really wide range. But it and you know the more we expand of course we try to branch out into new areas and everything. So those time frames increase as we go. But the biggest frustration with that is not just the time of course it’s the cost of what it every single deal costs. And that the more research it goes into before we find it of course that gets higher.
Tanpreet Anand: You’re right! So you’re saying that the quality of the research is not that good.
Sheila Fung: Yes! I’m not gonna say the quality is not that good, it’s not that efficient.
Tanpreet Anand: You’re finding the opportunity too late in the game, is the problem?
Sheila Fung: So the length of time it takes us to find the opportunity if we were faster at it we’d be finding them earlier on you know and then, of course, there are always other things that slow down processes RFPs and that kind of thing. But ideally, we could speed up everything at the front of it, it’s the whole length of sales cycle if you just think about it, shorten it at the beginning get out of the way. The time sync for research is just not sustainable.
Tanpreet Anand: Perfect! So I really have good context obviously you know this is a good context to obviously tell you more about WatrHub. And there’s definitely a use case, right, you mentioned a lot of things that you know you’re not able to meet people in person, you’re spending six weeks, anywhere between six weeks to six months, to find an opportunity, you are reaching like you know some opportunities you’re reaching at the right time but some opportunities are just too late in the game.
So these things are obviously a pain point that WatrHub tends to solve. And I would like to show you how we do it. So I’m just going to quickly share my screen and you know just walk you through the product. Let me know when you can see the screen. So just to give you introduction right. Like I mean WatrHub is a data intelligence platform especially meant for public infrastructure companies and we possess the industry’s largest data warehouse on the U.S and Canadian public infrastructure and this warehouse is almost 900 million documents and it covers almost 35000 utilities all over us and Canada.
So now when you mentioned initially right, the traditional sources which are not currently working for you know travel restrictions and then you know noisy bid and like you know project trackers which are like currently not working, they give you like obviously hundreds of opportunities which you have to go through and you don’t get like targeted opportunities which you can actually go and chase right.
So and then your internal databases are not being updated that frequently, because of obviously you can’t meet people, you can’t, you know, you can’t have a human look at thousands of documents and update internal documents right. So and then obviously you can’t meet people in person is also like. So all this thing has obviously like you know opened up a big scope for or for customer intelligence.
And when I say that it’s more about, you know, you’re missing sales opportunities or you’re too late in the game and like you know all those things which we already discussed right. And that’s the core of our business. So now like you know just to give you obviously the product overview of how we work and what we’re trying to solve here, is basically if you give us like you know obviously, we have a case here where you’re trying to expand into a new market, you’re trying to like you know obviously also collect data on your current markets.
So we gather one customer intelligence question from you and it could be probably like a particular product or it could be probably just general infrastructure projects you’re willing to explore right. So we take that and then we query it you know into our database of 900 million documents and then we create and get those opportunities which you’re probably targeting and then those are then verified by like you know our intelligence analyst.
So there is a human factor there because we know that you know the AI can’t do everything. So there’s a human factor which is involved. And then we you know give you this customer intelligence report. So that’s the process which we follow. And what is included in this intelligence report right? So we’ll give you the opportunities. So it will really depend on like you know how many important keys you want.
But we will give you targeted opportunities in your expansion markets our current markets which you can quickly go and chase. It will give you a timeline you know what timeline the utility has for the RFP to come out. And then what kind of opportunity is this and then you know it will also give you a source link of you know where we got the information from, so that you can like you know go and read more and then create that like you know bid which could which you could actually bring you the opportunity.
So this is how our obviously our report looks like. And these are like you know targeted opportunities. So we don’t give you like 100 or 150 opportunities to give you 14 or 15 opportunities in that meet your criteria and which you can quickly go and target. So obviously we have been trusted by a lot of people and one of my favorite is here like you know Deron, was like you know obviously he worked in his own market for almost two decades.
And we were able to gather so much information from him which he didn’t even know about. So and I like you know when I talk to leaders like you, I always noticed that that they said that we always we have a good, we know the market really well, but they like when we then when they see that what our AI can do, they get really surprised by it. So, sheila, I know that we have 15 minutes.
So, we are already, like obviously, into the time. So how our process works is basically, we definitely have this discovery meeting, where we know the pain point and we gather like you know certain criteria from you, so what I’ll be doing next is, I will be asking you a couple of questions in terms of obviously you use you obviously mentioned that you know you want to target east coast and you have some expansion plans.
Is there any kind of projects you want to like you know explore, that’s what I would want to know about. And then we will create that search plan review which we will go through where we will tell you about you know our how we how we would gather the data and then create the sample report. So does this still look like a, you know, a good like you know process to move forward? Because I mean like I mean I went through the, if you have any questions obviously I can stop and ask us. But…
Sheila Fung: So I like that you’re sharing the next steps that makes it clear. And I think it makes sense. But I’m not sure yet I have a question. But I also know that my colleague Belal has a, my first question. So, I am going to ask mine first and then Belal can jump in and clear and use his thinking. But, my first question, just a couple slides back when you’re talking about you set up everything and you go through you search over did you say nine million documents?
Tanpreet Anand: 900 million documents.
Sheila Fung: 900 million documents, thank you! Wow! So I like your customers are saying, I know my market and how has like how is that even possible and you know how long have you guys been doing this and I’m a little confused.
Tanpreet Anand: So we’ve been doing this for almost four and a half five years. So we started with the water and baseball industry to be specific. And then we now do every infrastructure project. So basically highways bridges, transit, so anything to do with like you know rail transit or metro or everything so yeah.
Sheila Fung: Okay! Belal, did you have a question?
Belal Batrawy: I did! Tanpreet, I’m just wondering is this just seems really kind of complicated. I mean, what’s this take to really make this switch and we showed a timeline, but you know it’s like it’d be nice to follow that timeline. But let’s be real like it seems kind of messy to make this switch. And there’s just a lot of other competing priorities. Just kind of walking you through, what’s it really going to take?
Tanpreet Anand: So when you say that it’s time for you to switch is, when you’re saying that, you can’t make the switch because you already have priorities. Here we are giving you opportunities, for your opportunity which you can go and chase. And actually target rather than doing your internal research which can save your sales teams and your business development teams a lot of time.
And then actually concentrate on selling rather than researching. And then when you compare that to your like you know internal amount of money you spend on the people. And it’s going to be that cost benefit which you’re going to get from these reports. So I would love to show you obviously the sample, so that you can like you know you know the value we’re gonna add.
And that’s the reason we do that and that’s the reason we you know follow that process. So that you don’t buy anything before you actually trust it. So obviously like you know I have a good amount of information right now. I would love to involve my intelligence team and create that search plan review and we can probably catch up next week you know to go through it and how we can create the sample report for you. Yeah.
Sheila Fung: Great that sounds good if that’s the logical next step I’m so curious.
Tanpreet Anand: Perfect, yeah, so would like say next Wednesday…
Joseph Fung: Tanpreet, I’m sorry to interrupt, but we are at the 15 minute mark.
Tanpreet Anand: Demit!
Joseph Fung: I know! I’m sorry! You’re close, I saw you going for the next step there. But we are closed up on that.
Tanpreet Anand: No worries!
Joseph Fung: Well done! Oh I see I see the applause from the judges. James, you like that cut off. Though I see you enthusiastically!
James Buckley: Oh he was right there man right there!
Joseph Fung: It was close and I saw Jamie you were even giving to Tanpreet the shout out to watch for it there. That was very kind. Fair free game play for you there. Oh there you go, I guess I saw, Tanpreet, you had the nine seconds left, you must have started your timer just after me. I think we still got you on mute by the way.
Tanpreet Anand: I had nine seconds left on my on my watch. I thought I didn’t anticipate that, Belal to, ask that question probably, I would have should like.
Joseph Fung: That was a good one he asked a tough one right there at the end.
James Buckley: if anybody’s gonna ask a tough question, it’s Belal!
Joseph Fung: There we go!
Tanpreet Anand: I hope I answered it well though.
Joseph Fung: I like that that was a victory pump for pushing you over the time a little bit there. So we’ve got two competitors left we’re at the halfway mark. We’re gonna take a brief intermission. Let people top up on their waters you know their caffeine. Right when we come back Nehemie, you’ll be up next. So during the break you can get yourself ready. For those on YouTube, we’re going to put you on a small break but we’ll be back in just five minutes.
Mark Petruzzi: So I think you’re just looking at a different level of individual, though when you’re buying from a senior executive they know what they want and you can banter against that a little bit to focus on your agenda. But I you know I think there is, you’ll find more success over a longer period of time if you open your mind to that.
James Buckley: Yep, below, I also think the context here is that they’ve already spoken with an SDR, right. Yeah if I would agree with you, I 100% agree with you.
Belal Batrawy: Tanpreet previously mentioned SDR, but I don’t think Ezra did, right. I don’t think the Ezra was saying that there’s an SDR conversation prior. So I think it changes between the contestants.
Joseph Fung: So by the way this chat is great! I put us back up on YouTube because, this stuff’s gross.
James Buckley: I mean we could have sat here quietly but who wants that you know.
Chris Von Huene: Yeah, to your point, I would almost just caveat this thing you just want to ensure that like I just asked like this is immediately successful we accomplished what three things but I still put my agenda in there too, put parameters that contain the conversation.
But I just want to know in my mind like I want them thinking about success already and I go back to that if I had enough time. But if not because you got 15 minutes you at least like have that general direction. And then you got to kind of pivot your sales stuff a little bit which is hard because everyone made pre-formatted slides. So you don’t have too much wiggle them here either.
Reid Anderson: With the BDR, just I’m sure you talked with a lot of BDRs what made you want to hop on a call with me today. And then you’re not seeing control of the agenda. But you’re still understanding what their priority is, yeah.
James Buckley: I think that below has a point though if you’ve sent an agenda like the agenda is there. So you should probably try to stick to that agenda. But I think he would also agree that it’s important that you get what they want to talk about out too, right? I mean maybe it’s not the best starting point but we find that it helps open the door for the conversation to start.
Joseph Fung: So that that’s a good pausing point. I want to make sure that for all the folks on YouTube who are missing the chance to engage, that they get to see our next two competitors. And we also don’t want to give away all the secrets before we have two last competitors in yeah. I could see you know maybe taking furious notes to make sure that he folds him into his pitch. So let’s do just kind of quick check, Nehemie, are you all set? You’ve got your gear in order?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Sorry! Mute button again! Yeah I’m good to go. I’m ready to go, how are you guys doing?
Joseph Fung: Okay! For our judges you have your score cards, you’re good, can I get a thumbs up? Okay we’re set everybody’s topped up their water or whiskey as the case may be, but we’re all set. I see okay we’re good, nice. I am going to put my 15 minutes back on the clock. Nehemie, quick reminder, please introduce yourself, the company what you’re pitching. We are good to go on YouTube as well. The floor is all yours.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay! Quick introduction before let me get my 30 seconds or so. Assurance IT, I’m gonna be BDR over there essentially, where we do cloud backup and disaster recovery business continuity solutions for aftermath of a ransomeware attack. My buyer persona is essentially going to be an IT manager. Any level of company and we’ll go from there. Okay, hey Sheila how you doing today
Sheila Fung: Hey Nehemie! I’m good thanks, how are you?
Nehemie Kankolongo: I’m doing quite well! Thank you for asking. How are the kids?
Sheila Fung: They’re chaos! Thank you for asking!
Nehemie Kankolongo: As always, they always are, but I know they love you so much. So I appreciate you taking the time out to talk with me. I’m just kind of curious will anybody else be joining the call today is it just me and you.
Sheila Fung: A fair question I told a couple of my colleagues about the call. James and Reid both, they’re listening. I don’t know if they’re gonna pop in though so they’ve got audio on but entirely might stick their heads in at some point.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay totally fair. If I remember James is the Tennessee chilli cook-off guy. And I think that you mentioned Reid, I think I did a bit of research on Reid and his growth at Panda Doc was quite impressive. So in case he’s listening congratulations on all your success Reid. Real quick I know we talked about having a 15-minute window. I’m curious if that’s a hard stop. But do we have any flexibility with that?
Sheila Fung: No we do not; I do have a hard stop. I have to finish packing.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay! Awesome! I’m gonna just make sure I got 12 and a half to give us some chance. I don’t want to get gonged if anybody out there is getting ready with the noise. So I’m just going to kind of set up the goal for us. I’m just going to introduce you to insurance IT. Oh by the way, I’m going to be looking to my left from time to time. I take my notes over here.
So you have my full attention. I’m just looking to the left for notes. Yeah I just kind of want to understand your priorities and challenges and it’s kind of at the end at the end of the call, I want to see that if we’re a good fit and then from there we’ll be able to discuss a next step which is typically a longer 40 to 45 minutes tailored demo. Is that cool with you?
Sheila Fung: Sounds great! Would there be anything else that you would want to achieve to make this call a success?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Well if my colleagues do manage to listen, I guess it’ll be helpful to have their ears so we know if next steps make sense because they can weigh in on that as well.
Sheila Fung: Okay! That’s great that’s all okay we’ll do…
Judge Voice: We’re always listening.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Somebody’s always listening and I’m aware. Okay well that’s awesome. I just want to kind of set a quick agenda to make sure that we’re on the same page of what this conversation is going to look like. I’m going to go over some things about you at first some information that I got from the SDR in the previous conversation that you had.
From there, I’m going to go over some of your concerns and learn a bit more about you. After that I’m going to give a quick snippet about our company. I know I don’t want to bore you with too many powerpoint slides. I’m sure you get them all the time. So we’ll be very short when it comes to that.
At the end I hope to learn more about your decision-making process and kind of see where you personally are in your own buyer’s journey. I’m not sure what stage you are throughout the whole process. So that’d be great to learn more about that. Does that sound good to you?
Sheila Fung: That sounds great!
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay! I’m a big questions guy. I really want to learn more about you so feel free to interrupt and I’m going to just kind of keep throwing questions at you during the process. So from there basically some information that I got about you is, I know that you’re curious about digitizing the off-site backup process. Could you tell me more about that?
Sheila Fung: So full transparency I’m pretty early on, in evaluating solutions for this. I know that it’s a thing. I need to do a better job of it’s important to have backup going regularly and to have it done in a way that doesn’t leave us vulnerable. I actually I read a, I don’t even remember who posted a blog recently just about how not testing it regularly is leaving gaps. And I’m aware and should do a better job but haven’t gotten on it yet.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Well you aren’t the only one, I’m honestly over here in Montreal. I know that you said you’re in Vancouver correct?
Sheila Fung: I am! Yeah!
Nehemie Kankolongo: So over here in Montreal actually our version of transit which is the STM it’s essentially our public transit transportation system. They actually just recently got hit with a ransomware attack. And so the hackers were asking for around 2.5 million dollars. So that’s obviously on a huge scale level that could look like for the business on a small scale level.
Recently we also worked with the city of St John out of new Brunswick and they also recently got hit with the with the ransomware attack and we were able to help them. So we know what we’re doing and I think that a lot of organizations I feel like no matter the size should be very aware of this because the business continuity issue could be quite costly.
So from there I just want to know from yeah like I said so we were there as far as data. I know that you want that easily accessible you’re currently using tape. Am I correct on that you’re backing up your data to the tape?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! That sounds accurate!
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay well that well that makes. Sense so typically with that the data isn’t typically easily accessible after a ransomware attack and that’s where we’re going to be kind of able to help you with that. So certain things that I wanted to kind of let you know is that what we do here at Assurance IT, we’re going to be able to help you reduce operational costs.
So I kind of want to go over some of your concerns that you talked about with the previous conversation you had with the SDR. As far as cost I could tell you right now that our option is going to reduce operational costs. It’s going to facilitate your backups and it’s also going to ensure that your data is readily available for you at all times, oftentimes some people I think that you might have said that you use AWS Glacier, is that correct?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! Can I ask a quick question just you said about reducing operational costs? Can you tell me a bit more about that?
Nehemie Kankolongo: I can definitely tell you more about that. The issue with that would be more it’s a question of how many virtual machines and terabytes that you use. So that’s kind of where the technicality would be. So if you’re a bit new to it we have to talk about virtual machines and how many terabytes they use up as far as space from there we can really start to talk about the nitty-gritty when it comes to pricing. But I like your curiosity and if you’re already there, that means that we’re heading on a good start. So I appreciate you asking…
Sheila Fung: I just I like to know if somebody promises me they’re gonna reduce my operational costs my first thought is, well, how?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Well, Exactly! Well! that’s a great question and we’ll get definitely deeper into that. One thing that I wanted to follow up on that question is when we since, we’re already here we’re talking about costs let’s take it there. I can guarantee you that a ransomware attack is going to be quite expensive. We can agree on that?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! That’s fair!
Nehemie Kankolongo: So from based on our research that we found we found that average ransom request is around nine thousand dollars. And typically what that does as far as cost of average downtime for an organization. We’re looking at around sixty to seventy thousand dollars in cost operationally. So a pretty decent amount of money depending on how much revenue you guys are bringing in. I’m kind of curious. If you were to lose 70-80000 dollars in the business, how would that affect you?
Sheila Fung: I would not be happy. I might lose my job if it was my fault.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Right and I mean I saw your social media, would you spend a lot of time with your kids, we wouldn’t want you know to have to have to you know have to go deal with you know dealing with unemployment or anything like that but these are the kind of situations that have happened especially at the city of St John. So we wouldn’t want that.
So I must let me keep asking a few questions. If that was to occur, how would that affect kind of your status in your own boss’s eyes? I know that you’re the IT manager. So you take care of the whole technology service system. Would you lose any type of status any type of credibility to your boss if that occurred?
Sheila Fung: Oh 100%. And I’m being tongue-in-cheek about being fired immediately but that would be a huge problem. And yeah…
Nehemie Kankolongo: So we could both agree we probably wouldn’t want that. I’m kind of curious I know that you work with other people under you. Do you feel like if that was to occur would there be any kind of mistrust as far as like your essentially your authority when it comes to your ideas on IIT at that point?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! I’m gonna say that’s a real risk. I think not just for myself but company really for the entire company, there’s a credibility issue there.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay so yeah. So essentially we’re trying to help with that. The data break would be quite expensive, obviously a loss of customers would be quite expensive as well. I just want to let you know that we work closely with Veeam to provide an easy and affordable cloud storage solution. So I think we’d be able to help with cost when it comes to that. You mentioned that you are using AWS Glacier. I’m curious; you mentioned something about testing how often do you guys test not that often correct?
Sheila Fung: It’s not that often I’m just gonna say not often enough.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay! so one of the things that we’ve learned with people who have moved from AWS Glacier for example we did have a company out Toronto who we helped kind of back up outside away from them, the issue with AWS is that they do a good job of storing the data.
It’s just that after a ransomware attack retrieving that data to continue the business is where they really kind of hit you with, a big fee. So what we’re able to do with our cloud system, is you would have access to your data at all times. So I think we’ll be able to help with that, does that make sense to you?
Sheila Fung: It does! Yeah! Okay!
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay! So I’m just going to take some time to just show you a little bit. Let me share my screen here, give me one second. Just to give you a quick little info, what we’re doing, can you see?
Sheila Fung: I can! Looks good!
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay so essentially yes assurance city this is who we are. You yeah you’ve seen this thing. So yeah we’ve been around since 2011 or we’re a very Canadian company, your data would never leave the country, essentially we have around 700 plus VMs that we protect which is a conversation that we could have later when it comes to specific pricing.
And like I said we’re one of the first Veeam cloud connects partners. So that’s how we’d be able to handle the clothes. So to go back on some ransomeware statistics that we spoke about like I said the cool, well the really kind of urgent thing which kind of brings up to mind the urgency of the situation is that 88% of the companies have been attacked in the last 12 months.
So ever since the rumors covid had to move to work from home. Folks haven’t really been testing all that and they’re really kind of vulnerable to fishing attacks. Really vulnerable to other types of ways that hacker gets into the system. So if you don’t have anything backed up off-site, that’s where it can really hit. And we both agreed that 70 you know almost 70 thousand dollars in downtime costs could have an effect on both the business and you personally, we could agree on that?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! 88% is a lot.
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay! 88% is quite a lot like I said ever since working from home there’s been a really big shift into moving everything to the cloud. Unfortunately folks who aren’t really involved in the details of tape backup are you know vulnerable because they’re not testing it. Which is why I’m really big on making sure that you test it so we can protect your organization and that.
I’ll send you this link after our conversation to learn more kind of the bigger high-profile techs that have occurred this year. And essentially yeah so this is essentially what we do, the data is valuable. We’re going to help you out through the multi-cloud and we’re very flexible when it comes to that. Our two biggest products are off-site data backup and off-site replication and this is kind of the list of all the things that we do.
When it comes to a SAS model you know so you could pay on a yearly or monthly basis based on what we work on. We have cloud backup, backup as a service, infrastructure as a service, tape as a service and all that jazz. So I’m kind of curious when it comes to all of that, sorry, I’m having a bit of a…
Sheila Fung: Can I ask you like I get, this is what you do here in this in this sphere all the time. How often would you recommend testing?
Nehemie Kankolongo: We would say at least quarterly.
Sheila Fung: At least…
Nehemie Kankolongo: At the most maybe by annually, at least maybe by annually. But we would prefer definitely quarterly. So with all those things that I’ve just mentioned, it seems like we really kind of hit the nail on the head what kind of issues that you were having. What would kind of get in the way for us to move forward?
Sheila Fung: Just sort of getting my team mobilized behind it, right. I see it’s an issue. I know it’s a thing that I need to do better on and just everything you’ve outlined about all the potential losses. I didn’t realize the percentage was as high as 88%. I heard that there had been a steady increase. So for me it’s just what’s my team thinking and then how do I get them aligned.
Nehemie Kankolongo: That makes a lot of sense. Well we’re coming up close in time and I really want to answer a lot more of your questions. I’m curious is anybody else in the in the chat have any questions for me?
James Buckley: What can you tell me about the onboarding process? What does that look like?
Nehemie Kankolongo: That is a great question. And that’s going to be a very technical question. That’s going to be based off how many virtual machines that you’re dealing with? How many terabytes that you’re dealing with? So that if you’re interested in that, would it make sense for us to have a longer a bit of a deeper deep dive, maybe the next few days or so?
James Buckley: What do you think based on, what you’ve learned here, what do you think would it be worth it?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Are you asking me are you asking, Sheila?
James Buckley: I don’t know! I mean what do you think after everything you’ve learned today; do you think we should schedule another call?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Well absolutely, if you’re not if you’re not testing it as often as you should. And if you’re also you know you’re not really aware of kind of the hit that you could be taking financially, and obviously personally. If it comes to you know obviously if the business is not doing well. Everybody’s stressed and we want you guys going to work feeling good.
And also for you personally Sheila I just think that your stature to your colleagues into your boss is going to be really important. We want to make sure that you’re never put in a situation where you’re vulnerable to a ransomware attack. So I want to make sure that everybody looks at Sheila as the number one person to reach out to, when it comes to any it measures. So I do think that we should move forward
Sheila Fung: Okay, Reid, did you have any thoughts or questions on this?
Reid Anderson: Yeah! I did have a question we’re I mean we’re obviously doing our due diligence and looking at a lot of looking at a lot of your competitors. I know one of your bigger competitors comes in at about half the price, why do folks go with you guys over them?
Nehemie Kankolongo: That’s a great question! And I can’t guarantee that all the folks go against with us than against them. I would say that the fact that we are smaller we are more available to them. We are definitely more personal. You would be able to talk to our CEO tomorrow if you wanted to we’re definitely big on this creating a relationship we’re all about building rapport.
So we can’t give you some of the big flashy highlights that the bigger guys can’t do. But what we can do is talk and ask about. How the family is going how the business is going and all that because we believe in creating it building rapport with our customers and really having that relationship but really it comes down to protecting your data.
We definitely want you to digitize everything to the cloud so you have less storage room for tape and all these things and safe costs. If we’re no longer going to the office, we might as well get everything in the cloud as well and save some storage space as well.
Reid Anderson: Awesome!
Nehemie Kankolongo: Well before I let you go I know I’m about to get hit with a gun fairly soon. I’m sure I’m kind of curious would it make sense for us to talk next week?
Sheila Fung: I think it does. I want to bring these guys in as well and we’ll probably have one or two other team members that want to chat as well.
Nehemie Kankolongo: That’s awesome! I’m going to make sure I send you an invite for next week. We typically do custom, we typically do Microsoft teams. are you familiar with that. Are you okay with that?
Sheila Fung: That works!
Nehemie Kankolongo: Okay! I’m sending you an invite right now for Tuesday afternoon. Can you let me know when you get that?
Sheila Fung: Yep!
James Buckley: Got it on my own.
Nehemie Kankolongo: You got it on your own. Awesome! Well, yeah, if you just check that off to the yes or confirm that you can be there. We can both get in our calendars. I appreciate you guys taking the time out for me. It really means a lot and all I’m really trying to do is kind of educate you guys on kind of the really kind of misfortunes that can happen. If we can have a test.
Joseph Fung: Nehemie, you’re right there.
Nehemie Kankolongo: I closed it though. I got that they sent it, they confirmed.
James Buckley: Nice job man!
Nehemie Kankolongo: That mine’s going up too now! thanks you guys appreciate it.
James Buckley: I can’t believe you talked about somebody’s kid’s.
Nehemie Kankolongo: I was, I guess I don’t know what my concept. Was I was trying to build the rapport because I do know Sheila as a mom. And I do know we spent time talking about her kids. So that’s where I was going it was on a personal relationship not just with anybody.
James Buckley: That was really real!
Joseph Fung: There we go! So two minutes on the clock for people to finish their notes judges that had some comments Jamie you’ll be you’ll be up next. So you’re getting yourself ready. Nehemie, how you feeling? Now that you’re out of out of that hot seat. How you doing?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Well it’s just annoying when I’m trying to talk. And I can see the notes on the chat. Then I’m like ah okay well that’s long gone. I’m moving not from that. So yeah I guess I was just trying to make sure that I try to keep it as professional. But I think that I’m not sure everybody else my people before me did the right amount of building rapport.
So I guess my concept was to try to come in and build some rapport, especially because obviously I know Sheila and I know a lot of the people that Uvaro. So I was hoping to build some rapport that kind of stand out before Jamie takes my tips and tricks. And but that was kind of what I was trying to do to differentiate myself from the rest.
Joseph Fung: Well there you go! Yes playing up to the differences between the other competitors. That’s some strategic, thinking I love that there. I’m seeing most of the judge’s eyes coming up from their machines. Do I have thumbs up on kind of scores and ratings? Okay I think Chris is finishing his notes. So I’ll give him one, okay got the thumbs up there. This is exciting man, there’s been a lot of commentary.
We’ve had three for three running out of time. Jamie are you gonna be on time or are you gonna get gonged out as well. Man this is tough. I gotta share usually when we’re running these things. We’re kind of pretty on point but I think everyone’s digging in deeper today we’ve never had this many gongs. I confess I’m enjoying the new gear. I’m having a lot of fun.
So let’s get ready let’s dig into our last. A thumbs up from our, Jamie, it’s yours. I’m resetting my timer here. Again for everyone’s benefit, once we wrap up we’ll give everybody a couple of minutes and we’ll jump into some comments some feedback before we announce our winner. Jamie I’m gonna kind of, mute myself. The floor is all yours.
Jame Zalyouna: Sure! Good evening everybody! Jame Zalyouna here. Happy to be a part of this once again. What you guys are doing is lots of fun. So I’ll just dig right into it so the background for today is I’ll be showcasing Shopify and Sheila you are a general manager for a small but growing toy manufacturer/wholesaler based out of Kitchener.
You’re looking to grow your online presence. You’re having some issues with shipping and your website as well. You know there’s lots of rising costs with covid deliveries these days. And I heard some notes from the SDR that you’re looking to potentially change over.
Sheila Fung: Great!
Jame Zalyouna: Okay! Ring Ring!
Sheila Fung: Hi! Sheila here!
Jame Zalyouna: Hi Sheila! How you doing? It’s Jame from Shopify.
Sheila Fung: Great Jame! Thanks for calling me back!
Jame Zalyouna: Yeah absolutely! We had seen that you guys had some interest in switching over to Shopify. And I just kind of wondered initially you know what brought you to our website, what, you know, what are you looking to accomplish through having this conversation?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! So, I’m just hoping you to speak your phone. I have a couple colleagues Drew and Chris. I think kicking around so you might hear the yelling of questions at some point. But I started looking into you guys because it’s the name the minute you start searching for e-commerce stuff and trying to take things online.
Of course I’ve had to adapt pretty hard just in the last few months. Just adjusting to the changes, the slowed down walk-ins and having to kind of not just figure out how to maintain business, and sort of recoup business remotely. But now that I’ve kind of got a handle on what that looks like, I would like to go back to generating growth. So next steps right.
Jame Zalyouna: No, that’s perfect and that’s exactly what we’re here to do. And I was also kind of checking out your website and there’s a couple of toys my son actually turns four wow time flies. In a couple of days so I’m getting a couple of good ideas from your site. I’ll definitely share with my wife.
So that’s definitely a good place to start. So if I wouldn’t you know I’m just going to kind of set an agenda for today. So we’ve kind of introduced ourselves and I’d like to better understand your businesses. Your short-term pains and your long-term goals.
And then you know through this kind of conversation I’ll take the last kind of couple of minutes and just kind of show you the back end of the platform, just to see if something it would be something that you’d be able to kind of use and do so successfully. How does that sound?
Sheila Fung: Yeah that sounds great. And I know that when I was poking around, I saw some stuff on there just about shipping and sort of the back end of things, if we have time to get into that as well.
Jame Zalyouna: Sure absolutely and if we run out of time I’ll certainly send you all the information. So you know there’s no pressure for us to kind of ram it through this conversation.
Sheila Fung: Okay!
Jame Zalyouna: Shopify does a lot of stuff. We actually started 10 years ago when the founders wanted to start you know selling snowboards online. And they couldn’t find a good platform to use. So they ended up building Shopify. And now you know they’re you know we are supporting about a million businesses across the globe. And you know we like to say we’re you know commerce for good.
You know it’s the place where people can grow their businesses locally regionally or internationally. And you know we’re here to be able to help provide the backbone for the infrastructure that you may need for your website or the shipping needs. Or just the intelligence in terms of analytics from your sales or how long people are staying and looking at your website.
So things like that nature, so if I’m gonna just jump into a couple of questions for you. So you kind of mentioned that shipping is a bit of a pain point for you. Do you mind walking me through the process so for example if I were to purchase something at your store or online? What does the shipping process look like for you?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! So we’ve just shifted we just kind of settled into something that’s kind of working. But really what it’s covering is local. And because I’ve been pushing so much for our online presence, we’re starting to get more traffic from on a more regional scale. And so I’m thinking like if this is already feeling clunky it’s getting worse.
Because we’ve established good relationships with a courier service locally, which works really well. I’ve been trying to keep it local just because of everything that’s happened. So right now the way it works is on our website you can purchase and it all goes through the website. I’ve got it connected to PayPal its super simple.
Okay. Once that happens we have an automated triage where the order it gets sent as a ticket over to our shipping department who manually goes through the process of setting up shipping. So it at least gets sent to our team automatically, but everything from there is a person. Okay! And well I say a person, it’s a person in charge of a couple. But it’s not sustainable.
Because if we start increasing traffic to the regional scale, then one the courier service is not going to be big enough. We’re going to have to figure out different partnership see what that looks like. And you know I don’t want to restrict ourselves as much as I want to funnel as much as I can locally. I don’t want that to restrict our growth.
Jame Zalyouna: That’s a really good thing. I’ve tried my hardest to buy locally as much as I can. But you know if you’re a business you’re trying to grow. There’s only so many your market in Kitchener is only so big, right. So if you want to expand into the GTA or Ontario, Canada or go South of the Border, we can help you with that, right. We can definitely help you with that. And then in terms of your kind of your long-term goals, like what are you hoping to be able to get from this?
Sheila Fung: I, well, if I were going to pipe dream it, I would love to be all the way across Canada. Like that would be amazing.
Jame Zalyouna: Okay! And right now there’s a bit of a tangent here. But how do you guys market your business right now?
Sheila Fung: So that’s changed a lot too. Previously we relied heavily on really good location and a lot of walk by. So just we’re set up with the main shopping center. So it’s you know the shops I can’t remember, the road now, but you know there’s a lot of walk by. So we would do that in combination with a limited online presence and some social media presence. Now we’ve shifted pretty hard to the social platforms as well as just boosting our website as well.
Jame Zalyouna: Okay! That’s perfect! And you know other than talking to us you know are you taking any other steps to kind of alleviate your issues?
Sheila Fung: No this is the first crack at research really looking at platforms. I have in the back of my head to research other shipping options. But if that’s something you can help with maybe you can point me in the right direction.
Jame Zalyouna: Yeah! Absolutely! And okay well why don’t we just jump into it right now, I’m going to just share my screen and we can kind of walk through that if you don’t mind. bear with me, so I’ve got a couple of tabs, oh you can’t see it yet, I’m talking to myself here. There we go, can you see my screen okay?
Sheila Fung: I can now, awesome!
Jame Zalyouna: Okay! So I’ve got a couple of tabs open. We’ll just dig into this one. So this is kind of the 10 common shipping problems. I don’t know if any of these resonate with you. But it sounds like it potentially does. So you know you mentioned doing stuff locally. Why going across Canada versus into the U.S is, why is that more important to you? Do you want to just grow Canadian in Canada? Or
Sheila Fung: Yeah! That’s a fair question. I guess yeah, the simple answer is logistics because right now. Why would I focus on you know trying to get into cross-border shipping right now, seems a little out there. But I think if you want to take it to a deeper more principle and concept based level. I feel like the pandemic hit pretty hard. You know just in terms of what values are what really matters.
I mentioned that whole trying to keep things as local as possible. I have so many friends and family who’ve been devastated in this pandemic small business owner is just trashing them. So the idea of expanding for sure I want to start locally and I want to funnel as much growth into this area as I can. And then if I’m going to continue that it’s going to be in Canada for a while.
Jame Zalyouna: Yeah! No this is something we can certainly help you with. Like I mentioned we operate kind of globally. So we can help you kind of scale organically, right? We have the tools and network of local shippers; I’ll actually show you here, you can actually get a discount based on where you’re shipping. It just depends on where you’re shipping, how heavy the products are and whatnot. But essentially we can help you kind of with anything that you may need.
Now, I can send you these documents. You can take a greater look. We don’t have enough time to get into all the different shipping optionality available to you. So I’ll flip you a number of things that may be to your benefit. Now you talked about IFM. Let’s go backwards a little bit. You talked about not having a system in place that would help you further your growth potential in the future. So I would recommend to you and I’ve created something that you would, can you see this as well? I’ve now changed…
Sheila Fung: The, yeah, switched over to the winter collection!
Jame Zalyouna: Yes! okay. So essentially this would be your back end. You’d be able to track all your different orders and obviously this is kind of what you’d seen we’ll have to create a more content and fill it out for you. But you can kind of track all the different products, see who’s returning what, have the analytics to determine, what’s making you the most money and what’s causing you the most problems. And then in terms of an online store, you can actually build your website right in here and you can actually customize everything in here.
So this is kind of just a fictitious website, you’re able to kind of move stuff about and adjust things it’s fairly straightforward. So if you have someone internally that can kind of play with this you know you’d have no problem building out your website and it you know all of it kind of sits on the Shopify backbone which can help you grow your business where you don’t necessarily have to worry about having a fire sale where your server crashes.
Because you guys have had such you know had an excellent marketing campaign and you guys might overblown your server. So this should certainly be able to help you. Does this look like something that would be kind of useful to you? Is there anything that’s standing out to you?
Sheila Fung: Yeah! So I love the idea of being able to access those reports at the same place that I’m accessing my website. And the store that’s pretty cool, I like that a lot. I can see it being useful for just keeping track of all the things.
Jame Zalyouna: And not only that you could do blog posts, you could create marketing campaigns like it’s a one-stop shop truly. So it’s you know you could add all your different social media accounts to this and all kind of stream from one location. So everything is populated.
Drew Williams: Sorry! Just a quick question Jamie. Did you mention we have to have someone internally to kind of manage this back end?
Jame Zalyouna: It’s not it’s more kind of, I shouldn’t say this is technically your website’s back end. But this for you would be front-facing is.
Joseph Fung: I am gonna jump in there Jamie, I just paused my timer and there were two seconds left. Well done! You brought it right down to the wire there! I’m impressed! So good job! You can let go your screen now! Because we’re good! But yeah we’ll give everybody a couple of minutes to kind of finish up their notes.
That was a great job. You had to you had to make that call, answer the question, run the timer. But yeah, I didn’t get to use that gong, you know missed it out on the fourth time. We did spend so much time talking about how hard that 15 minutes was. Yeah, those were some great tough questions. There’s a lot on the go there! So I see some notes firing in.
While they’re taking care of that. Jamie, how are you feeling now that you’re out of that hot seat? Is there is a lot of the go there. Nice, so while scores are being finished up. typically what we do at this stage is we’ll slide in to a little bit of feedback, hop in. There’s been a lot in the chat for those that have been following along there’s a ton of gold feedback in there.
This is like a course in and of itself. So this is awesome! Sheila, I know you’re keeping an eye on the scores and the process. Would you like to kick us off with the kind of feedback and commentary for the competitors?
Sheila Fung: Yeah so I won’t take too much time with actual feedback but I did want to say to the group, holy spokes. Thank you so much guys for participating. I’m so impressed. And this demo day had a slightly different flavor because all of you have already been through this before. And it took some deliberate effort on my part to be a little bit more resistant. And that was hard, because I enjoy speaking with them.
Good job all of you! Dealing with a lot of last-minute tough questions at the last second. In addition to the pressure of pulling in our guest judges on the fly like that. Awesome job! And then in terms of triaging, I am going to ask our judges to weigh in. And Joseph did you have a preference between going recruit, by recruit or did you want to go judge by judge? Awesome! Right on! I’m going to pull my list up and James are you in a place where you can offer a little bit of feedback to the group?
James Buckley: Yeah sure! So what do you want me to start with like feedback on the commentary or do you want to know who I thought, who had the highest score for my score?
Sheila Fung: Like I’m going to ask you to share a general overview commentary and then I’ll ask and actually let’s make sure that every recruit gets really solid feedback in general. I’m going to go from the bottom up because Jamie just went did it’s fresh in the mind. So I’ll ask you to share general for the group. And then specifics for Jamie. Things he did well, things he wanted to improve on feedback. It will go through.
James Buckley: Yeah! Sure! So overall, I felt like there were a couple of themes. I felt like everybody kind of struggled for the next steps. With the with the exception of Nehemie. He got the next steps with some seconds to spare and then. For Jamie specifically I’m not a fan of short-term pains and long-term goals. I don’t know why I just feel like that rubs me the wrong way maybe that’s just me.
But hey just being honest with how I felt with that language, we can help you with that. You said that a couple times but then never said how, so I was like kind of left in the breeze like okay you can help me with that you know and we’ll talk about that. But only 15 minutes. Talk about it now, how are you gonna help me with that right. Moved right to the long-term goals, right after she said that.
You were like okay cool thanks for that. We can help you with that now, let’s talk about long-term goals. How do you market your business, right? Now you asked that question and my immediate thought was like shouldn’t you have done a little research before this call to like know a couple ways we mark it so that you could bring that up. And then maybe ask if you missed some things.
I don’t know just kind of like felt like that might have been a thing. And then some of your answers were a little bit vague. And you even dodged a couple because they were a little bit out of your range. Dude there’s nothing wrong with saying, that’s a little out of my range. When we set up the demo, I’m happy to give you that answer with somebody that’s an expert, right. That’s a good way to get to those next steps super linear. And then I really like the no pressure approach.
We’re happy to work at your pace. People buy shit on their own time. So like when you said that, I felt like even if there was some level of pressure. It would have all been relieved in that moment. So I really like how you wrap that up with. Like hey this is your show you want to fix this problem, we have a solution, we’re not going to force it down your throat.
But if you want to solve it. We’re here to help you solve it. So I really liked that ending. And then the other thing was I would I would have felt comfortable setting up the next call to get a game plan like a plan of attack. So I felt like that was the close that I was missing there.
Was like hey on Tuesday of next week at three o’clock in the afternoon, let’s connect for an hour and really draw out a detailed game plan, of how we can change the game for you. Instead of being like what’s my next steps, tell them what their next step is.
Sheila Fung: Thanks so much James. I’m gonna keep going through this list then I’m gonna throw recruits at you. Guys so I have Mark. Are you in a place where you’re okay to give a little bit of feedback general. And then I’m gonna ask you if you’re ready for it to speak to Nehemie because he was just before Jamie.
Mark Petruzzi: Yep! I am so and I’ll tell you I echo a lot of what James just said James you’re good at this. So you know I think there are a couple things. I mean there’s some simple things that I always love to see right up front and a couple of you did. I think a couple of you may have missed this. Right from the beginning confirming time, you know confirming that this is the time we have together and you know, as I work for you know confirming agenda, I know some of these things when you have such a short period as 15 minutes, may be harder to do.
But that procedural stuff is really valuable. I think in general, the, just the idea of, you know, and this is a big challenge in this type of a role that that you all have. And that is balancing the, there’s things I need to accomplish in reaching out to you to really starting to serve a prospect as you would a client right from the beginning. And people just I mean you want to make we can make it very selfish.
It doing that and viewing it that way works. It drives bigger deals; it drives bigger connections right from the beginning. So I think those are the general things I’d like to share you know I’ll dive a little bit into Nehemie. Nehemie, did you know you all did a really good job. And we all know this is not easy. So congratulations for that. Nehemie, did a really good job in a few areas.
I think you know his confidence came out you know during these 15 minutes which I think is important. Another tricky feat you know the confidence versus the, you know, being overly cocky or just you know kind of you know not again focusing on serving the other individuals on the call. But the confidence was there, rapport building was really strong.
And also I just love kind of making it just pulling out a joke or something that makes everybody laugh every single time you can. And hey we all do this on Zoom now. Nehemie, you’ve got this big giant smile that everybody could see. and you know what goes a long way you know and you know share that part of yourself you know whenever you can in these kind of situations.
And Jamie even better. He’s got a very handsome you know CEO sitting next to him right there. So that you know I think in general the all of that is just showing who you are now where we’re all doing you know calls out of our, you know, our offices and our bedrooms. You know don’t hesitate to share that side of you because it helps build rapport and it helps you. And your client gets to where you all want to be.
Sheila Fung: Thank you Mark, thank you for so much depth with that feedback. I have next on my list Drew. And if we keep going up the list, Tanpreet, you’re next. So it’s Drew overarching and then straight to Tanpreet.
Drew Williams: Yeah! That sounds good! Jimmy, trying to get bonus points there by bringing the kids in. I like that at the very end, a very sneaky move. It’s I’d definitely be doing that sort of thing for the all-stars edition. Because it’s literally it’s a razor thin. Oh man you drew that ahead of time. And then brought it in at the end. I know this is this is all I can see how it’s all unraveling right here at the end you’ve been here before you know what you’re doing.
Yeah great job everybody. That was awesome! I had like kind of nervous the whole time. It was pretty intense. This was like one of the most intense like well the most intense demo days. I’ve been a part of. But I’m not sure, if it’s because you all have been a part of a demo day before or because it was just like your own product that you’re demoing. And it was like your livelihood and like what you do day in and day out. But it felt a little bit more like revved up. It was like it was like the speakers were at 11 today than before they usually had a 9 or a 10.
So I think that was awesome. And also the, your prospects were a little bit more challenging this time. So it was a great job to get everything done in 15 minutes. So some overarching feedback, I think number one I didn’t hear a whole lot of like social proof. So like referencing existing customers. I know Nehemie you did a good job of doing that kind of casually dropping existing customers and that sort of thing.
I think that’s always nice to like build some credibility from a sales reps perspective especially if you’re not from that particular industry. But you’re able to leverage some case studies, testimonials kind of talk as if you were sitting in the shoes of your prospect. Another thing too like when someone books a demo with you, like they came to some sort of like inflection point during their let’s say discovery of researching tools and options that sort of thing where they literally like they’ve actively booked a demo, they’ve did one demo before with within an SDR or they’ve just kind of gone to the website and booked a demo.
So there’s a reason why they did that. And I didn’t really hear I didn’t get that kind of coming out from the prospects of like why now. Like why are you interested in learning about, what we’re doing today. And that can be that can come up in a few different questions. But I think it’s important to understand why they’re speaking to you today at this particular time in their career, in their in their life.
Another thing is yeah the 15 minutes is always tough. But at the end of the day, like we get on calls all the time I was on a call earlier today where someone jumped on they were like five ten minutes late to a Zoom call. And they said that today they’re just like back to back to back to back to back call. So 15 minutes seems like a short time, 30 minutes seems like a short time. But that’s reality and people are like bouncing from meeting to meetings.
So being extremely aware of that like time frame whatever it is super important and I think sometimes you have to adjust your clothes accordingly. So maybe the point is not to get a confirmation for an order on that one on that first meeting. Maybe it’s you kind of have to change your goals as you’re going. Because that time frame changes and to understand and also to like relate to them and understand that they’re going through a different day and that just that time frame changes.
So it’s it seems short but it’s also it is a reality. One last thing for everybody, you notice when James jumps on and starts talking especially on video in this Zoom world, it’s like when you’re the salesperson you’re there it’s like part of your job is to like kind of command attention and talk and be enthusiastic and like just genuinely care and really be curious and excited about what you’re doing.
And that really like that gets your prospect engaged, they get excited about it, you get excited about, they ask they say something you ask a detailed question because you’re genuinely like excited about learning about it. not just because it’s on the next checklist. So like bring that energy, bring that excitement to the table because that resonates.
And especially in todays like video selling world, it’s important to kind of bring that energy and make that make that contact. Okay Tanpreet, let’s jump in here. Yeah so definitely great at the very beginning rapport setting or sorry nice report setting the stage. I always like the idea of just kind of pausing asking if the prospect in this example. Sheila was she wanted to add anything. I like doing that just in case there’s any other priorities that have come up before.
You kind of jump into your discovery call. You mentioned use case a couple times. I feel like use case a little bit of a sales jargon. I’m not a fan of using it. I would kind of really try and understand exactly what her role is the language that she uses in her role and then like feed that back to her so that you’re speaking the same language.
Because every prospect you speak to is going to speak a slightly different language even though you’re going to be on the same kind of talk track. So I’m important to kind of listen to the words she’s using feed them back to her. You did an awesome job! At referencing previous conversation that sort of thing you’re kind of like getting in front of where she’s going.
So it’s it almost made Sheila feel like she had to keep up with you as if you were like already part of the team. so that was super awesome and there’s a couple questions where she asked questions like I didn’t know I didn’t know that I didn’t even realize there was an automated solution for that. Or the quality of our research is not efficient or something like that.
And those are opportunities when someone asks you a question just like throw a question back at them to dig deeper like. I didn’t know there’s an automated solution for that. Okay well why is that exciting to you? Like would you love an automated solution? And that might get a little bit more feedback a little more detail in terms of what she was actually interested in, what she’s actually asking.
And let me just see a couple more things. Right. Yeah at some point you mentioned that the current that the current situation wasn’t working for them and you tried that back into the demo which was nice I always liked taking notes during the discovery and then I kind of might not reference them right away. But bring them back during the demo, so that was that was awesome there. Good job!
Sheila Fung: I’m so grateful that we’re recording this because we can come back and revisit all this amazing feedback as well as what’s going on in the chat. Belal, if you’re ready for it I was going to ask you to speak to Ezra?
Belal Batrawy: I am! Let me just say great job to everyone that participated. Very tough construct, very short time. I want to even ask, did you guys have a chance to see the score card that we were using to score you guys on? So you didn’t even know that man that made that exponentially harder then. So really like fantastic job considering the construct of the situation.
Like big pat on the back you guys are legendary for doing this. I think the Meta feedback, I want to give is, at the end of the day realize that status quo is your number one competitor. The easiest thing any prospect can do is nothing. Right. You’re pitching something that’s changed and no matter what change is it’s hard. There’s a learning curve to it.
It’s easier not to do it. And I think all of you really want to think about how you challenge status quo, because at the end of the day, if you don’t have people who have a willingness to change you don’t have a sale. It doesn’t matter what you sell or what price point or what it is. And in some of the scenarios that you guys had, you had opportunities to really say it won’t work the way you’re doing it now.
Just to be blunt, like manually shipping, just won’t work. Not running those tests, quarterly or on a regular basis, just won’t work. You’re just walking down a path of danger. And you just don’t put your don’t willingly go into danger, don’t risk your business. You can’t do this. The question is what are you going to do next.
So that’s just a tip of like always attack the status quo. Really dig into why. If they have that willingness to change and polarize around that. Because that’s what’s going to get you momentum and that’s what’s going to reduce your loss rate. And not have deals go dark and ghost and end up in no decision. Which is the number one way deals get lost across all industry.
So just think about that, in terms of feedback Ezra, so I like your composure, I like the control you did, I like even just the minimal slides that you were using, the areas I want you to think about improving are when you’re delivering these points, I think a really more usage of customer stories was going to help you quite a bit. Like I didn’t really hear a lot of that.
And it goes so far, because those are the things we really remember. I mean think about like the forgetting curve, people forget about eighty percent of what you said after three days, what they’re going to remember in that 20% is the unusual things that maybe stood out like you used the word train wreck and the way you built rapport. I thought was really good the way you were taking the live notes is probably something that Sheila might remember three days from now.
Because it’s unusual so we remember those unusual things and everything else kind of just falls flat. So stories, is a great way to increase that and combat that learning curve, that forgetting curve. Because I will remember how you made me feel. And if you give me a good story and I can relate to it, that kind of emotional cue will stick in my mind. So definitely think about how you’re going to use stories because they’re even more powerful than that demo that you show.
Because that’s the stuff that people are going to retain, three days and beyond. When she said we use Google docs, you actually said awesome. Which I think is like a classic like maybe a bit of nerves but also kind of the seller thing. It’s awesome for you, it’s not for her. So that kind of language, we do that as sellers it’s like part of the social paradigm when we get into a sales call, we kind of say things like that.
We also say silly things like I’d be happy to answer any questions for you and things, when we would never say that like to people we like normally speak to. Because we don’t talk that way. So those little things like catch yourself on that because that’s part of your composure again you’re a professional seller, they’re not necessarily a professional buyer.
So when you hear something that you really like that’s a great time to actually slow down and stop and really like bite your tongue it’s a hard thing but concentrate on that. Because you’ll find more opportunities in those moments when you do have that composure and kind of circumspection. I think also when she when you drop big numbers like we save teams 90% up to 90% of their time, that’s huge.
I mean what a stat right pause, check in you know let that see what the impact of that is. does she think that number is crazy, does she think it’s awesome, something in between, none of that, right, like those are your magic moments and every demo has it every product has it and when you unleash the magic moment you know let it be like the Disney fireworks.
You know at the end of the day like let it light up the sky and enjoy it for a moment and like sink in and be like you tell me like what do you think of this right so take that as an opportunity to really dig into that and see if they’re on the same page are they agreeing do you are you getting buy-in from that. Because that you built up really well to that moment she really hammered in about, how it’s just inefficient and you did a lot of disco on that.
So then when you drop the big stat it was just like boom then she didn’t say anything and then you moved on. I was like wait that was the whole point was it the whole like saving time. So just keep that in mind. The other thing I’ll say is when she pushed back around the annual contract value and not wanting to tell you. I think you got caught off guard, we all kind of did. It was it’s refreshing right, our prospects do that to us. You had a point to that question.
What was the point? Right? Like drill back and be like actually you I know you might feel that here’s why I’m asking you it’s because of this. So if you can’t give me an exact number can give me a range are we talking hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, like I just I really do need to know because I’m shooting in the dark without that. It’s another kind of like salesy thing to ask a question and not get the answer and let it go.
Because that’s part of the social paradigm right. But like you legitimately want to know you’re curious and obviously it was going to impact something in your sales cycle. so when people push back like that push right on back in, be like hold up, you know don’t close the door on me just yet. So I think there’s just some areas you’ll get used to that and obviously the construct of this was tough. So you didn’t have a lot of time to dig into these things. So like but just some food for thought on some of those things.
Sheila Fung: Yeah! Plus one to the construct.
James Buckley: Oh dude! That was amazing though.
Sheila Fung: Yeah! I am so grateful that each recruit has gotten detailed feedback in this format. We’re also going to collect the feedback and notes and make sure they have all of what you’ve said for all of them. And just because I want to keep this on track, Reid and Chris, I’m going to have a different ask for you. I’m going to ask if you can share with us just the primary piece of advice that you would give to this group to take their careers to the next level. And Reid, if I can start with you first, I’m sticking to lists here so I throw that question at you.
Reid Anderson: Yeah! I would say I mean and this is something that because I’m obviously on your guys. I’m not on this side of the table very often being an AE as I am so I’m giving demos every day. And I know something that helped me a lot was just a pretty easy fix maybe easier said than done. But it’s just engaging whoever it is you’re talking with more and simply by asking open-ended questions, rather than something that can be answered with a yes or no.
They’re going to give you more information that you that you need to close a deal. And also if you’re asking them yes or no people don’t like to tell you no. so even if they tell you yes, it might not actually be truthful. And you’ll find that out because they’ll go dark on you or something will happen and the deal won’t end up where you want it to.
So I would just say infusing more, take the yes or no question, make it a what or how or tell me more or even just pausing, letting them think, reversing their questions and getting them engaged more, checking in rather than as we’re all prone to do just going on monologues and then asking a yes or no and then going on another monologue.
Sheila Fung: Right on! I can’t stress that enough. Thank you so much. And then I was gonna ask Chris, the same question if you have any advice for these guys for taking it to the next level.
Chris Von Huene: Yeah I mean 15 minutes is hard. But I really am a believer in layering questions like you need to answer the so what. Like so I have a pain, so what. So if you can’t build that out into how that impacts my business, it goes back to Bella’s point of challenging status quo. Like it’s great that you found pain. But pain without impact is not going to get me to sign. So I was just buying you know sales tools right now and I have all kinds of pains cheers.
But we really need to dig into the impact of my business and then what does success look like for me. So help me kind of world build a little bit more, as in where am I, at today, how’s this impacting my business, where do I want to go, and is there alignment there and can we get to that together. Because if you can’t bring me to the “promised land”.
We’ve just wasted a lot of time and I’m really pissed off and instead you could just give me like a referral to somebody else and that could refer business back to you which is what I do a lot, you wanna do fast. And that’s why I think that world-building is so important to make sure there’s an actual fit there. Instead of just jamming them through the sales process, because then they’re going to ghost you when it comes to pricing and signature of contract. You’re going to get really pissed and then management gets mad at you for the forecasting.
So I think if you kind of get that piece out front and you get my agreement to it as well not just like, hey I think I understand your current state, it’s like if I don’t confirm it, you don’t have anything from me yet, I need to confirm it, if you can’t get it in the meeting at least get it in the email follow-ups. But once we have all that buy-in once, we’ve agreed all that now your project managing is pretty smooth but until you got that point like I just think there’s always more work to be done there and you want to de-risk that deal by understanding that, the entire world environment.
Sheila Fung: I have literal butterflies thinking about how many of our recruits from the other cohorts are listening, to these to the stream and to the feedback and I’m just I’m so happy right. Now, Joseph, I’ll pass it to you. Are we in a place where we’re announcing yet?
Joseph Fung: Just about it looks like all those scores are in. And we do have a winner lined up. Just so that everyone knows the process we’re going to kind of announce our winners that we got a couple of housekeeping items and we’ll let everybody go. So this is a great use of timing. Absolutely awesome feedback! I have an, ask for everybody that’s in the Zoom room. If you could all take off your mute, so that when we’re applauding or cheering for the winner, but we’ll actually be able to hear that.
I know earlier we said that it’s good to mute yourselves, this is the moment where you can unmute yourselves. And yes, you can gong me, if things go over. Sheila, are you, it you’ve, you know, who your winner is you’ve got that lined up? Okay! I’m gonna get a drum roll going. And because the sound effects aren’t working in Zoom everybody here and Zoom you’re gonna have to imagine that that’s happening. So as we get ready to announce our winner, there is, Sheila ears…
Sheila Fung: Nehemie!
Nehemie Kankolongo: Thank you guys so much! I wish I could have a rematch with and tell her to come on all star part two. I need a rematch with her. I didn’t forget.
Joseph Fung: There you go! You got in the second run. How you feeling there, Nehemie?
Nehemie Kankolongo: Man, just honoured, blessed. I mean obviously the judges are people who are either just way past what I would even dream of or specifically at the positions that I would love to be. I did a lot of research on a lot of the people and I appreciate kind of you guys feedback it actually means quite a lot to me.
As I’m kind of beginning my tech sales career. Personally, yeah just, I’m lucky because being I got to do a decent amount of practice because I really wanted to win. So thanks to Uvaro and the connections that I made through just the sales community. I did spend a decent amount of time practicing to try to get this done. So five P’s of success Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. So I’m happy that I can follow through and help you guys out.
Joseph Fung: So thank you guys that! That is awesome! And forever everyone that’s here thanks so much for, I love the music for it. This is good. I want to make sure I don’t get gonged myself. So I’m gonna pull up a couple of housekeeping items. For those on YouTube, let me get kind of our housekeeping items, signed up and for those in Zoom, let me get my screen shared for you so that you can see what I’m sharing. A couple of points here that I’d like to kind of bring home.
If you’re following into this, you’re checking our recording of this afterwards, if you’d like an introduction to any of our competitors or grads, let us know happy to make that introduction. You can get notified of our upcoming demo days just like this one by going to uvaro.com/demoday. Our next event is actually coming up on Thursday January 7th that’s 9 AM eastern.
So that’ll be really fun. The last thing as well is, if you are hiring and you like to get access to our grads as they graduate. We do have a live hotsheet you can sign up for there. And the URL is of course uvaro.com/hotsheet. But the last thing that I want to share before we wrap up and give everybody a few minutes back before this time is a big congratulations to everybody who joined us, everybody who made it this far.
All of the competitors who came back in, that was wicked. And then a huge big thank you to everyone for joining us especially to our all-star panel of judges, this was huge your feedback was amazing. I know we’re going to save the chat, we’re going to save the recording. Chris, Belal, Drew, Reid, James, Mark, thank you so much for being so generous with your time, your advice, your feedback, for those that joined us on YouTube.
We’re wrapping it up here. So we’ll let you go. Thanks so much. Happy selling and we’ll see you on the next demo day.