CDN Sales is tough, but its also fun. Every deal you close has a story behind it. Many years ago, CDN Sales were easier to close, since there were fewer CDNs. Akamai, Limelight and Internap were the rain makers back then, but they were beatable. Here are four true stories from many years ago. Although they were stressful to deal with back then, looking back, there were actually funny. And it wasn’t the big deals that were the most fun, but the weird small deals. The stories are not for the purpose of bragging, but just demonstrate that we should enjoy the moment, when small weird deals close, because in the future you’ll look back and laugh.
1) 7+ years ago, we (sales engineer and I) closed a $7k deal with a strange comedian from the Boston area, who wanted to do a reality show online. After a few weeks and a few tries, we couldn’t get the streaming to work. He wanted a refund, we said no, especially since commission was paid out. He gets pissed, starts cussing everyone out, and we stand our ground. That’s the first time I got introduced to the word Bat S..t and the east coast curse, since I’m from LA. Then he tells us he’s coming to LA to whack us (LMFAO). Immediately, we cancel his service, return his money, pay back my commission, and our team wasted 80+ hours for nothing. 🙁
2) A Fortune 500 company calls, and it gets directed to me, since I had them in Salesforce, and been calling them for months. We do a demo, and I quote them $12K/monthly. They call back, and talk to a different rep – a rookie rep – and the rep closes the deal for $350/month. He checks Salesforce, and finds out its my account. He ask me if he could keep it, because he needs the deal to hit his rookie quota. I’m fuming at him, and feel like taking a blow torch to his cubicle. I get on the phone with customer, and convince them to spend $950/month. And I bummed out, because I lose out on a decent commission, and miss quota for the month 🙁
3) One time I sold a $1,000 live streaming package to a customer – for him to stream a 2 hour swim meet in Canada. He estimated 100 people would watch it live, on an upcoming Saturday. That following Monday, I go to work, and NOC transfers him to me. I pick up the phone, and the client cusses me out for 30 minutes straight, because the streaming event failed. I endured a lot of pain and suffering for $65 in commission. After that, I never did a small streaming deal again, I just referred them to Highwinds, and told prospects that Highwinds was the best CDN out there for doing small one-time streaming events 🙂
4) Got a call out of the blue, and closed a deal for $30k prepaid – best deal ever because commission gets paid up front. Turns out the customers is an agency handling the site for a US Presidential Candidate during the elections. In the beginning, traffic was a few MBytes per day. Then he picks Sarah Palin as VP, and traffic skyrockets to hundreds to TBs/month, a big chunk of it is small files <500k in size. Once that happened, our reporting system comes to a crawl, because it couldn’t handle the billions of hits in such a short period of time. Keep in mind, this was the pre-big data era. I called the client to apologize for not being able to offer advanced reporting to him, but I threw in another feature, and we called it a day. Just wanted to end with a happy story 🙂