Coming from from two great days in Singapore. I just completed some LinkedIn sales training for the third team of sales leaders, it was the best season yet. We had a group of about 20 from the APAC area.
This group was great because they were at high level financially going in. Their test scores averaged at 60%, remember the US average is 38%. So this led to lots of good discussion and debate. The attendees learn the income statement and some cash flow concepts and then populate a spreadsheet with real numbers from one of their clients. It’s a really nice exercise, a great way to understand your customer is to learn more about their financials.
Another part of the course was looking through their publicly available information. We emphasize looking at the annual report CEO letter and listening to the quarterly conference call. From this information you can see what parts of the business are being emphasized. There is usually good information on the risks facing the business. We found information on many of these businesses related to their investment in capital and their goals in recruiting. This is all great information for a sales team coming from LinkedIn. In fact I think it would be a good idea for a lot of sales reps calling on public companies.
In this class I played clips from the last Microsoft conference call and as a class we discussed what we learned. For example, we learned that Microsoft is really pushing their cloud business and prefers to sell it products as a service through annuities rather than by transactions. This is really where all software companies are going but we were able to confirm that through reviewing the call. We also picked up some insights from the call surrounding Microsoft’s latest acquisition of LinkedIn which was very interesting to the group.
Getting to Singapore is a bit of a chore, it’s about 26 hours going out and 22 coming home with layovers. The jet stream helps on the trip home. So if you are keeping track that is over 40 hours of travel for a two day visit. Can you say jet lag? Actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I’m going to call the trip a success, plus I had great food. Singapore is a great, clean and nice place to visit and LinkedIn was a great host. Two great days for finance. One more thing since Singapore is basically right on the equator, the temperature is always between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. We were guaranteed two perfect days for finance.