How to Win Big-Name Customers Like Wal-Mart and Disney with Giant Blue Roosters and Disco Balls
If you walk through the doors of Domo, a cloud-based business intelligence company, you’ll see a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, blue lights spread throughout the building and a giant 9-foot-tall blue rooster sitting next to the desk of that month’s top salesperson.
If you happen to walk in following the close of a sale, you might witness a laser light show, music of the closer’s choice playing and the disco ball spinning.
This is an example of a sales-driven culture. “Sales-driven cultures can really differentiate you from the majority of your competition,” said CEO and founder of Domo, Josh James. “That doesn’t mean being salesperson orientated, just sales oriented, winning deals oriented, smelling the blood and going in for the kill.”
How Josh James Won Wal-Mart
James said when his first company Omniture was trying to win Wal-Mart, Omniture’s competitor had a board member who was also on the board of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart indicated it wanted to work with James’ company, but because of the board member, it wasn’t going to happen.
“The next thing you know, our competitor had a problem keeping up the website, and they were going to lose Wal-Mart as a customer. We had the potential to win it,” James said.
To inspire his team, James went in to the office one evening and carpeted the floor with several thousand pieces of paper that said: “Let’s Win Wal-Mart! May Our Competitor Rest in Peace.”
The next day, when everyone on his team saw the message, James told them that when they won, everyone would get $50. His team was successful.
Using Disney to Get in Your Face
James had another goal of winning Disney from a competitor. When negotiations were resting on one term, Disney asked to talk to James, the CEO; they wanted a discount.
James responded: “OK, we’ll give you the discount you’re asking for. In fact, we’ll give you a little bit more. But, in return, I want a press release out that you’re switching to us, and I want my competitor’s name in the press release. Additionally, we want to send out several hundred dolls with Disney characters from the Disney store to every press person and analyst I know highlighting the fact you’re now our customer.”
James said everyone knew Disney was the competitor’s customer, and he wanted that to change.
“It was a little bit in your face, a little bit in your eye. But it was, in a way, payback for some of the things our competitor had done to us over the years, so we felt pretty justified about it,” James said.
Biggest Mistake: Ignoring the Competition
According to James, one of the biggest mistakes a company can make is to focus exclusively on the product and ignore the competition.
“You need to worry about your competition. You need to put the competition out of business and make sure you are able to get down to the final round of competitors. Don’t get me wrong, you want to really drive interactions with your customers and create solutions they want, but make sure to be able to live to fight another day,” said James.
Branding Your Organization
If you can transition to a sales-driven organization, eventually you will become a marketing organization and then a brand, James says.
“You finally win as a brand when people choose you. That’s a fantastic place to be because now you don’t have to spend so much more money generating every lead because it’s not a dogfight,” James said.
Not to mention, winning with giant blue roosters, disco balls and light shows is fun.
Inside Sales Virtual Summit
Josh James’ entire presentation at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit, “Killing It with Data,” is embedded below and on XANT’s YouTube channel.
Photo Credit: Domo