It was summer 2006. I was working in inside sales for Datastream Systems, which had recently been acquired by Infor. Infor was a company that grew from acquiring many legacy enterprise software companies, and their portfolio of companies included ERP systems like BPIX, MAPICS, BAAN, as well as production management systems, ingredient systems for food manufacturers, and all kinds of other weird stuff.
In an effort to make the employees feel more connected and increase collaboration between groups, they announced the “Wired 2 Win” sales training. A WebEx session for each product would be offered, along with a corresponding test. The prize for the person with the highest score was going to be a plasma entertainment center package. Each sales manager assigned their team 3 sessions to attend, and we could attend more if desired.
The guidelines were somewhat vague–for example, it was never really specified what “highest score” meant. I smelled an opportunity.
- .I knew that they could not just go with average score–if someone attended 3 sessions and got 100% on one session, his average would be higher than if someone went to all 25 sessions and got 100% on 10 sessions.
- The sessions would be recorded, and tests could be completed “open book”
- The contest was held over 4th of July, when many people take vacations.
Following my motto “If you can’t do quality, do quantity,” I attended all 25 of the sessions, and I won the contest. In the process, I also ruined it for everybody, because people tried my method the next year, and it didn’t work.
Almost exactly 8 years later, the pixels in the Wired 2 Win television have started to die.
To some, she is just a 720-p 42 inch plasma TV. To me, she will always be the sweet taste of victory.
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