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Sales Super Saturday Rocks !

The InfoStretch Sales Team is one rocking team – a team that believes in excellence and raising the bar….Sales Super Saturday is a cult now….

Please find the view by Team Members on the latest SSS ! They are reproduced verbatim to highlight the energy and the passion of the team.

Three Cheers to InfoStretch Sales Team:


Sales Super Saturday (SSS) @ Aug 6, 2011
This time, Sales Super Saturday was conducted at InfoStretch office, due to some rain and festive occasion. The sessions picked for this time were more focused on Sales (as the current quarter stands more important than the next one).

Agenda for Sales Super Saturday on Aug 6, 2011

10:00 AM: Keynote Topic
11:00 AM: Sales for Emerging Companies
12:00 PM: European QA Strategy of ISPL
12:30 PM: Lead Generation Best Practices
1:00 PM: Lunch
3:00 PM: Recent Sales Closures – Experiences – Open Discussion
4:00 PM: Sales Superstar Biography
4:30 PM: Sales Movie / Videos

My viewpoints to this SSS:

I personally liked the “Sales SuperStar Biography” session that speaks about Mr. Phaneesh Murthy – Sales Super Star & Unsung Hero of InfoSys. The session touches upon his contribution to InfoSys and not on other sides of his story. It was this champion so called “The Other Murthy” (of course, the one that we all know Mr. Narayana Murthy) that pushed InfoSys’s revenues to $700M USD in over next 10 yrs of his working. Indeed, A BIG number, before he left InfoSys in 2002.

Mr. Phaneesh Murthy’s working principles are quite simple – Always look to build the sales organization – No unlimited clauses – agree on targets – no loss of integrity – initial watch, then full autonomy. With strong sales numbers, he is very sharp with his memory, persistent, patient and open for extensive travelling. He likes reading mystery books, fond of Golf (“If you don’t golf for business, you just won’t get it,” – Phaneesh Murthy often says), pure vegetarian & teetotaler. Currently, he is MD & CEO of iGate Patni.

Rests of the other sessions were quite informative too! Due to lack of time, we skipped the Sales Movie which is always inspiring!

Idea b/h covering SSS on blog

Cover those learning from the session(s) that might be informative for others
Try to collect thoughts from other viewers
Spread the word of this event (as something similar always helps to any organization)

About Sales Super Saturday

At InfoStretch, at third week of every month, there is an event called “Sales Super Saturday”. It was initiated about 1 year back from Business Strategy Head @ InfoStretch. And motto behind this event is to come, participate, brainstorm, learn and enjoy. It’s more likely to be a team building exercise with a right to express their ideas/thoughts/learning in their own way, irrespective of any person’s designation, job profile, his/her influence at management level etc.

No Laptops! No Work! No Late Coming!

Content Delivery Mode:
Powerpoint Presentation, Games, Whiteboard learning, mimicry/drama, plain vanilla speech

Mostly India BD/Sales Team.

It varies. Sometimes at office or organize the same at some resorts/camps, hundred kms away from office.

Sales Super Saturday is “Learn with Fun”… Sales Super Saturday ROCKS!!! … I don’t like to miss any SSS.


My first SSS with InfoStretch

When I joined InfoStretch I was under the impression (like most of you) that it is a 5 days/week culture. Sadly it isn’t so and since I have never worked on Saturdays in my professional life so far (of course with some exceptional days), it was extremely difficult to cope with the situation. However, I was told by HR that there are some activities which happen on every Saturday but I did not know about SSS.

During my first interaction with team, I heard this term SSS quite a few times. Everybody was excited to discuss SSS and to plan for the next one. My curiosity levels increased with every postponement of the SSS until 19th August’11 when it finally took place. In the below paragraphs I have tried to pen down my experience of this highly happening event called SSS.

The start of SSS wasn’t great for me as I was late. What Ashok says about Murphy’s Law is always correct. The day you have to be on time you will be late and same thing happened with me as well. It was raining and I was unaware about the fact that the auto ricks do not come on Saturday to the society auto stand. (Even they work 5 days a week☺) So I had to walk almost a km to find one. But then I really apologize to everyone for being late.
SSS started with Ashok ’s presentation on some new updates and discussing few things of the past month. At the same time emphasis was made on some key principals and qualities that are expected to be inculcated in our Sales Team. I learnt a new word ‘Utopia’ (which again emphasized on the fact learning new words is like a bottomless pit, never-ending.). There was a discussion about the sales activities of the past three weeks and how to make it more effective.

After the first presentation, it was Jayendra and Parag who gave us an interesting presentation on Sales strategies for emerging companies. It was quite informative and at the same time short and effective. I would also like to thank them for my pictorial representation in their PPT!

Ashok presented to us the Biography of Phaneesh Murthy. Like most of us, I also knew him for all the wrong reasons but after the presentation my perception about him changed. I realized that he is a much bigger person that what he has always been projected as, which reaffirms the fact that how negligent and ignorant we are. We believe what is shown to us by media without trying to get into the reality of the facts.

Rajesh bhai presented a real life case study which he encountered in 1997. It was really interesting to hear that case study and also to participate into the discussion with our views. The learning point out of that case study was that one should know the right time to use the right cards. Something that helped Rajesh bhai took the order from HP at the last moment. Also, we should realize the importance of maintaining the relations with everyone we have come across while doing Sales. I have also mentioned the same thing as one of the points in my Presentation, the importance of Key Contact Management.

So finally after all the presentations, came the lunch time which of course meant Gaurav’s party!! We all reached Sankalp thanks to the cars of Ashok and Jayendra. Before I go into the details of the party, I would like to emphasize here that we all missed Premal and Rupal at the party. So, as we all know Sankalp is a south Indian food joint (My favorite cuisine), it added to the fun I had that day. We all settled down and placed our orders and then Ashok shared our Delhi trip’s experiences. Then we ordered the famous 4 feet long dosa and while we were hogging on it, Gaurav had the honor of asking everyone a question. His question was, “When (Day and year) did you propose your first girlfriend/crush/love interest?” And the answers were very interesting from everyone, I wonder how does everyone (including me) doesn’t remember a thing of last week but remembered the day and year of the first proposal!!

After the lunch, we came back to the office for the second session. Jay and Anjeel got the birthday cake for Chirag and Gaurav. The cake was cut followed by birthday bumps to Gaurav and Chirag (pheww…the man is real heavy!!). The session continued with Ashok ’s presentation on “how to improve your presentation skills”. The session was very helpful as we learnt basics of presentation skills and it was a useful addition to our existing knowledge about effective presentations.

Finally, it was my turn to present InfoStretch’s sales strategy for UK and Europe. My presentation was pretty quick as it quite was late in the day and I could see that everyone wanted to go home (Including me☺). My presentation was followed by a presentation from Hiral who focused on the best practices for lead generation. Her presentation was short and quick followed by a very appealing video on social media.


Sales Super Saturday
An overview: Sales Super Saturday is not just another Saturday in the office. Well Saturday in the office, doesn’t sound good but that’s the way it is and I believe that’s why we need some super activities on Saturday to keep it interesting. Super activities? Everybody gets a chance to become champion, expert star, etc. for example some time you are ISO champion, star performer, etc. It’s a platform created to share updates, learn different skills, open up and give your ideas and most importantly collaborate with team members.

I greatly our TL for bringing this concept in InfoStretch and successfully implementing it to save us from dull and tiresome Saturdays ☺ in fact, the entire team looks forward to SSS where we get opportunities to Learn and Lunch together. After all, Asli Maza To SAB Ke Saath Aata Hai.

This time we covered the following topics:
• Morning Keynote
• Sales For Emerging Companies
• Sales Superstar Biography
• Case Study –
• Lunch
• Presentation Skills
• Sales Superstar Biography
• European QA Strategy of ISPL
• Lead Generation Best Practices
• Recent Sales Closures – Experiences
• Sales Movie / Videos

Key learning points:
– Presentation Skills – Great start and great end, to the point and precise, attract and engage the audience
– Sales For Emerging Companies : Focus on identifying the pain areas of the target market and then pitching the right solutions accordingly to increase success ratio
– European QA Strategy of ISPL : Motivating Stats and figures for going after European market for QA & Testing services
– Sales Superstar Biography on Phaneesh Murthy : Stay hungry, be strong with numbers and memory any stay vegetarian ☺
– Lead Generation Best Practices: Be persistent, exploit all the sources of lead genration and focus on the one that you are really good at.


We missed couple of Super Sales Saturday (SSS) in two months because of something or other reasons.

Today’s SSS was usual as always – Inspiring, Team Bonding and something new to learn.

Ashok started with updates on new projects. Later we had a presentation on Sales for Emerging Companies by Parag and Jayendra. It was not specific to IT industry but one can related to it as sales fundamental remains same in every industries. This presentation stretched a bit because of long Q&A by everyone. There were questions on how to identify right pain areas for any industry, how to pitch InfoStretch services, how to show the value to prospects etc. It was also humorous as Parag and Jayendra had few images showing InfoStretch live sales scenarios.

Ashok then had a inspiring biography of Phaneesh Murthy mentioned below –

Phaneesh Murthy is well known personality in Indian IT industry. Studied at IIT, IIM he chose the toughest profession – Sales and that too in newly born IT industry. As a pioneer of the Indian software giant Infosys’ first stumbling steps into the US software outsourcing market, Phaneesh rode an unbroken upward sales curve for the last decade. He possessed selling and leadership skills even from his academics where he negotiated and doubled the sponsorship amount for an event.

Phaneesh refused offer from TCS, HLL and joined Sonata to seek challenging roles and responsibilities. He connected with Infosys in 1991 to sell IT services in the US market. Narayanan Murthy interviewed him and found Phaneesh is vegetarian, did not smoke and drink. He liked the fact that Phaneesh was a numbers-driven, facts-oriented marketing guy. Phaneesh set a target of $1 million for himself. Nordstrom was first million dollar project for Infosys under sales leadership of Phaneesh Murthy. He took bold move to match the Cambridge System estimation of $8 million for a project where they can afford to provide services for $4 million. He successfully got the project and then started getting many multimillion dollar projects.

Phaneesh is energetic, love to travel and manage the time very well. He took Infosys from $2 million to whopping $700 million in a decade with his passion and persistency. He advised his team agree on targets, not to have an unlimited clauses in the proposals and never loss integrity in the deal.

Next, Rajesh had shared a real time sales case study and showed how he managed to compete with a giant competitor like HP. This case study was a pure example of in-depth market research, dedication and never say die attitude of Rajesh .

Post lunch we had a session on Presentation Skills by Ashok . Here it is –

Presentation Skills –

Presentation is a kind of communication between the speaker and the audience. Presentation helps an individual to overcome the world’s greatest fear – Public Speaking. In today’s IT arena, power point presentation is a good medium to convey the visual message to the audience. People come to see what is new, interesting and learning in the presentation. Presenters must keep a fact in mind that power point (PPT) presentation only assist them in conveying the message, but star would be presenter himself. Creating clean, nice PPT is good but deliver it to audience is equally important.

Every presenter required home work on understanding its audience, message to convey, in-depth research on topic and plan the logical flow of the presentation. Each slide of the presentation should bound its audience and relate with the practical scenario to create interest. Real time examples works best in explaining the difficult concepts and ideas. As we all know, communication happens verbally and non-verbally. Presenter should dressed-up neatly and see all the audience and not to stare at only one section of audience. He should stand upright, with pleasant gestures and body postures. Being relax, cool and confident helps to reach the audience in no time.

There are few rules which presenter must stick with while creating power point PPT –

1. Design Template should match according to decorum of the group.
2. Color selection must be dark on light background or vice versa. Presenter must be aware that colors might appear different on projector and screen.
3. No grammatical and spelling mistakes
4. Content should match taste of audience – If it’s for management then they might be interested in numbers, graphs, bottom-line etc. For advertisers, students etc images, videos works best.
5. Presentation must not have long sentences. Less is More !
6. Follow 7*7 principle

Then it was Anand turn to share his plan for Europe QA strategy. He was too fast and reason might be the soccer match was going to start. He put a lot of figures for number of campaign to run and number of emails that suppose to send for 2011.

Hiral was the last one to present his experience with Leads Generation techniques. The best part of the presentation was video on Social Media growth.


Sales Super Saturday @20th August 2011

When I was in a school, I always love to have free period, some may call it proxy. This is the official time to do what we really love to do.. and to me SSS is the same.

It was a long awaited SSS for me as I was out of InfoStretch for 6 months and this SSS was after almost 1 and half month after I re joined InfoStretch.

Play is a thing which a man likes to do and work is a thing which a man has to do. If you take your work as your play, you will love to do it and will surely become passionate for the same. SSS is the place where we learn how to make the work passionate by sharing each other’s experience and expertise..

There are many sessions like ;
• Morning Keynote
• Sales For Emerging Companies – Parag & Jay
• Sales Superstar Biography – Ashok / New PM Introduction
• Case Study – Rajesh
• Lunch
• Presentation Skills – Ashok
• European QA Strategy of ISPL – Anand
• Lead Generation Best Practices – Hiral

Parag was as usual and passionate about his presentation and always comes out with something new like some funny pictures and slides in presentation. Jay is also picking like seasoned player now.

The biography of Murthy was really good. A simple common man can reach to new heights if mission and vision are clearly defined and work with passion. I like his staring playing Golf just to be in touch with CEO and CIO.

The idea behind sharing the case study is to show the importance of customer relationship. Sometimes relationship is more important than money and keeping such relation will surely pay on a long run.

Lunch was awesome. Thanks Gaurav for the same. The question and answers are really fun. I don’t think everybody has answered honestly.Really missed Premal. His answer would have been very interesting.

Presentation Skills was also interesting and was very informative. The sessions from Anand and Hiral were also interesting and show their expertise in their respective field.

Overall this SSS was quite informative and entertaining. I suggest there should be at least one session like Group Discussion on any one topic. The topic should be instant, not the disclosed in advance and is to be related to GK/Sales.

Eagerly awaiting next SSS…

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