It was January of 2007. I had woken up at 4:30am. Drove to San Jose airport. Parked my car, took the shuttle to the gate, checked in. Bought ham cheese bagel with cream and black coffee. Boarded my flight. About 3.5hrs later, I landed in Dallas. As I waited for my connecting flight to San Antonio, I had a Doppio with egg sandwich. 1.5hrs later I was in San Antonio. Took the shuttle to Hertz rental, took charge of my ride for next 3 days and drove to the Marriott, which was to be my sojourn for the next 2 nights. 2 hours later I was parking at my client's location in San Antonio.

This was my bi-monthly routine for 12 months. I made about 20 trips to the client location that year. The receptionist and I knew each other by first name. I walked the corridors unaccompanied. The VP's knew me well and looked forward to meet me. The CXO would meet me once a quarter.  

In Feb 2007, we had planned a grand event at the client location, flying in our CEO from India. When our CEO came down, the client VPs and CXO couldn't praise me enough for showing up every other week. They told my CEO, that I was like one of their own employee, who they saw every 2 weeks.

In the next few years, we grew this client to a multi-million dollar account and became the largest partner for this client.

Winner-Takes-All Effect

As James mentions in his post, about 1.4% of tree species account for over 50% of trees in Amazon forest which has over 390 billion trees of 16000 different species. How can only 1.4% of species account for approximately 200 billion trees among 16000 different species?

Imagine two saplings next to each other and one that grows just 1% faster. This difference gives this sapling the advantage of more sunlight, more rain. The next day, this accumulated energy gives it more power and the difference starts to grow over the period of time, till this plant captures most sunlight and rain and outshines the other plant.

And this "Accumulative Advantage", what started as a small 1% advantage increases over time and winner takes all.

This accumulative advantage is easily noticeable in humans where we compete for the same resources.

Best Seller - Most authors compete for the same award. An author of a previous best seller, is likely to be more successful in the near future. More publishers will be interested in their books, more readers will like to read their book. All this leads to more visibility and paves the way to another "Best Seller". How many times have you bought a book, which stated on the cover "From the best selling author of ..."

New Technology - If a business has a good technology/ strategy and they start to win business; they invest the money back into building better technology and strategy and keep winning. Over time, this lead becomes massive and they become the best in the world.

Just by being a little better, little faster, can become a massive advantage with massive outcomes. The difference between a gold or silver medal, the difference between winning a deal or not. We can see examples of this in real life.

  1. Sports - Remember the men's 100-meter butterfly in Beijing, where Michael Phelps beat Milorad Cavic by only 4.7 millimeters (To put it in context, that's possibly size of a pea)
  2. Politics - Democrat Rita Hart lost by only 6 votes to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks in the House of Representatives elections in 2020
  3. Corporate world - 5 similar companies might bid for a project. Everyone has similar capabilities, but in the end only one gets the deal.
  4. Sales - There is only 1 Salesperson of the Year. You might win the award because you closed a deal on the last day of the FY, but that win helps you get that all expense paid trip to Hawaii.

The difference may be small, but the results are massively outsized. The winners are not massively different from the runner ups, they are just a little different. Be it 1 millimeter, 1 vote, $1, 1 deal - but, the winner takes it all. Being slightly better everyday leads to winning.  

Thats what I did continuously, for 12 months. I did that 1 extra trip, every other week. The client saw me walking the corridors, and noticed I was there for them.

Organisations that do the right things repeatedly maintain the slight edge over the competition leading to massive gains over a period.

Invest in the right tools for your sales team to give them that advantage. Relatas helps Sales Professionals be better everyday.

  1. Give Management the visibility on what's happening with the sales team to help improve top line
  2. Help Sales professionals close important deal by giving them the visibility
  3. Understand where the team is lagging and where they need to focus
  4. Gives Sales Reps the super power based on near 'no-data-entry CRM'
  5. Helps Sales professionals improve every week.