Ankesh Kumar Interview Banner

Q: SHOULD SELLING BE VIEWED AS A BUYING EXPERIENCE AND WHY

ANKESH: In any relationship, business or personal one needs to understand the perspective of the other party. This is how we develop an understanding and more importantly a stronger bond with our buyer. 

This is especially true when the buyer has a lot of other distractions internally within their organization, externally, with other salespeople reaching out to them as well as personal distractions.

Once you put yourself in your buyers shoes and realize you are competing for their time you’ll be more inclined to make the buying experience about them.

Q: WHAT ARE THE TOP WAYS COMPANIES CAN TRANSFORM SALES TO IMPROVE THEIR PROSPECTS' BUYING EXPERIENCE IN THE NEXT 12-24 MONTHS

ANKESH: This dovetails nicely from the first question. Understand the buyer and their specific imperatives and business objectives. Align the buyer journey based on their needs. This involves research into the company and consultation to ensure milestones align.

Q: HOW SHOULD COMPANIES DECIDE WHICH BUYING EXPERIENCE IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES TO START WITH - ASSUMING THEY CAN'T DO ALL AT ONCE? 

ANKESH: I would always start with the easiest ones to implement. It’s better, in my opinion, to get going with a simple initiative, in that way everyone can see some progress and the process of implementing these initiatives is created. 

I would list the initiatives with two values, time to implement/train and value. Clearly, if you have an initiative with high value and low time to implement that should take priority. It’s not always that obvious, but it’s a good exercise to help you identify where the opportunities are for quick wins.

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR ENSURING THAT TECHNOLOGIES CONTRIBUTE TO THE BUYING EXPERIENCE IN MEANINGFUL WAYS? ​

ANKESH: I’ve found the best way to ensure technology improves or decreases buyer experience is to be on the other side.

How would I feel if I was a buyer that was exposed to this technology?

Would I want to be exposed to a cadence of 12 touches?

Is that a good buying experience? 

Q: HOW DOES YOUR SOLUTION HELP SELLERS IMPROVE THE BUYING EXPERIENCE? 

ANKESH: In these days of social distancing, ensuring interactions are personal is all the more important. People want to know they’re not just a name on a prospecting list. 

Our solution provides ways to connect with buyers in a personal yet professional manner which improves response rates and helps differentiate sellers from all the others vying for the buyer’s attention.

When you take the time to research your prospect it shows you’re looking to build a relationship you’re not looking for a transaction. 

Sharetivity significantly reduces the time it takes to research your prospect allowing you more time to build meaningful business relationships. 

We take a very simple approach to achieve, we replicate the manual functions that a successful sales rep would normally do, i.e. from Google searches, social sites research, financial disclosures, company website research, etc. 

Q: Is it better to reach out with a social or a business ice-breaker?

ANKESH: An outreach can be a social icebreaker, that talks about this personal to the prospect, e.g. school, they attended, hobbies, interest, etc. or a business related icebreaker, i.e. strategic imperatives of the company, which is more powerful,  social or a business outreach.

The first step would be to assemble all your potential icebreaker options, social and business, then evaluate those options. It becomes a subjective decision based on what you have on hand, but generally speaking it’s safer and more powerful to use a business related icebreaker. 

Ankesh Kumar circle

Ankesh Kumar

Founder, Sharetivity

As an inventor, entrepreneur, leader, husband, father and friend, it’s important for Ankesh that he is bettering the lives of the people he encounters.

Ankesh, was born in India, grew up in London, started numerous companies in Silicon Valley. ATSystems, 0-$22m in 4 years. Sold to TMP, the parent company of Monster. Personic, 0- $25m in 4 years. The company was merged with Kronos.

Sold patents to Google for “Sharing as a “Page Ranking Mechanism”, a year before Facebook’s “Like button”