How to have a winning game?

June 28, 2024

The winning game for product companies

The Winning Game

To win more often, you need to have the winning game. But more importantly, you need to turn up to play and often.

You will not win all games but you will win more often. Watch how Afghanistan and the USA pulled way above their weight in the ongoing T20 WC (cricket).

That’s what we tell ourselves everyday. When you play, first thing to do is turn up. When we go to market, the first thing to do is turn up prepared.

Respect your opponent – do not be casual.

No matter who your opponent is, don’t be casual. Pakistan paid the price for relaxing their guard against USA- an opponent they would be expected to beat 10 times out of 10. But, it happened. Pakistan turned up to play but without the intent. And lost. Seemingly learning nothing from that match, their batsmen almost botched a chase against another much lower ranked opponent- Ireland.

Enjoy this analysis of the winning game mentality – if cricket means a lot to you

If someone is playing against you, he’s won the right to be there.

Don’t fear the outcome- play freely

At the same time, play your game. You can’t be paralysed with fear of the outcome. Then you choke.

Winning game is a mindset more than muscle memory and skills. Afghanistan showed it repeatedly- by turning up and playing fearlessly. A team with no great batsmen, they knew their strength was in bowling, and they did the job well. They knew when the conditions were favorable to their brand of cricket, and they seized the opportunities.

Having a winning game is about recognizing when your opponents have their eyes off the ball or is discomfited about the conditions.

Lessons for entrepreneurs

For a product entrepreneur, this has huge lessons. If you are a small vendor, find your niche; understand your own winning game- where you can hold your own against the best.

Try to narrow down the focus- in our case it is a service CRM that is for small and medium sized businesses who do not want the hassle of setting up a call centre. And our winning game is our customer facing app- which allows our customers to bring their customers into their platform.

Benchmark against the very best

If you are selling ERP- think how to beat SAP. If you are selling CRM- think of beating Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics. Have a goal which is bold and audacious. Your game improves. And, always bring your “A-game” to the table- polish your deck, ensure your demo is rehearsed and calibrated to what the customer needs. Turn up; and present your best side.

In real life the benefits are many. Unlike a machine- your opponents are real companies run by people. They have priorities, resource constraints and sometimes they suffer from lack of focus or interest. You might even win- one at first and then a few later. USA prepared for the T20 WC by playing a series against Bangladesh. Which they won. It allowed them to discover their winning game and refine it for the tournament.

Don’t think you won’t win- you can and you will

You might discover this opponent does not handle a particular market very well or have a half baked solution for a certain need- or, may not have a good presenter on the given day. Or might just make a blunder. Miracles do happen.

You do not need to win ALL the games

Not every game is a knockout game. In sales, you may not win all deals; you and that is okay. You just have to win some. And as you keep winning, the frequency will increase.

And even if you do not get into the knockouts, it is okay. There is a place for you even beyond the top 4. You are still a player.

Know your strength and amplify it. 

Just like in cricket, a sales deal is a multi-player game. The “players” are the product, price, UI, benefit presentation, reputation, the person across the table. Know your strengths. If your product is on the table, then it could be for a combination of any of the above. It is upto you to figure out what is the one thing that you do that your rivals don’t. Or don’t do half as well or at a much higher cost.

Talk that up. Our winning game is our app on the PlayStore that allows your customer to establish one-on-one connection to you – for all service requests. Your benefit? No need to maintain a call center or even having to spend time on the phone answering queries on the state of the repair. Simply C2 is a Single Platform for Customer Service– to be used by you as well as your customer.

Play your game– if it is simplicity rather than comprehensiveness, talk about it. We aim to build a compact and simple service CRM. Not every customer can work with complex products and huge challenges in set up and customization. Simplicity is our winning game, that is the brand promise of Simply C2 and that is what we are selling. And, we are giving away upto 30 licenses for FREE; in perpetuity.

Above all- be fearless. Fear is always there- when you are a startup. But, when you are playing a grandmaster like Salesforce, Microsoft, Sugar or Zoho- you leave that behind.

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