Sangeeta (name changed) is the VP of a large business unit in a large enterprise. Around the release of the first version of iHire, in Nov’14, I could get a meeting her; my first sales call. I have been an engineer for 20 years of my professional life and a darn good one at that. I have never done sales and marketing, so I am like sweating all over. Two weeks before that fateful meeting, the preparation had begun – skimming through several “how to sell” books, real good ones actually, like – . . These are all great books and there must be many more. Then I said to myself, well you need to know that selling is just a technique and that could be learnt. Can it be learnt fast enough, can I close any deal, what will I close, how, what is close – thousand questions and one answer – read more books, read more blogs – here are theses other greats that I went to – http://www.inc.com/author/geoffrey-james, http://davestein.biz/, http://asalesguy.com/. Believe me, no answers; only more questions. As nature would have it, time never stops for anyone, more so when you are unsure of yourself.
D-day! 20 minutes before time, waiting in the parking lot, the wall in-front had been imagined to be the mirror at home, rehearsing my product pitch – “We are developing a Big-data platform in HR space using which companies like yours could ….blah, blah, blah”. I went through the rehearsal 5 times over, then get onto the elevator and finally, escorted to the meeting room. Good Morning. Hello VP, Hello CIO, Hello Architect, Hello Recruiter, Hello Data Scientist… “Thank you all for joining me, from this discussion, my hope is, we will all come out winners” – a pickup from somewhere. Then started the 4-minuter blah, blah, blah. The VP, that sounded complex but what do you do? All my recently acquired sheen was now showing red on my face. All I could muster was “we save you time on the job, so that you can perform better”. So how do you do that? “The faster you can find the information you need, the better you’re going to be at your job”. So you think you are Google. “No, I think, I would like to be google for HR”.
“I can demonstrate that, if you could give me a job-description”, which the recruiter happily and promptly sent to the email address on which Recruiter’s Delight was listening. Within 2 minutes, she gets 10 resumes in her inbox. Being human, she sends out another JD and this time RD returns in less than a minute. All of this happening in-front of full-audience. The CIO, what technologies do you use? You were saying something about Big-Data…? “We apply machine-learning and deep-learning on top of big data to predict on the best fit for the given job”. “What goes unnoticed is our passion for HR”.
So we are “HR Mojo + Machine Learning + Big Data”. Did I mention Spark? Well some other time, to a more technical audience.
That day, I learnt why these chieftains of sales and marketing have been calling it an art. Circumstances cornered me to shed the veneer and then on my susceptible, vulnerable self, I could stand on my strength SmartHire.