Solving Problems with Sales: Karishma Porwal, the 2020 winner of the Great Canadian Sales Competition

Posted in: InterviewsLast update: 19/04/22

When the Great Canadian Sales Competition was born there was no stopping its success. Like most new initiatives it began small but made a big impact. Backed by a driven, determined and talented team the event blossomed into the multi-year success it is known for today. In the past two seasons, Easypromos had the fortune to be a proud sponsor of the event as well as coach to the 2020 season GCSC winner.

Editor’s note: The Great Canadian Sales Competition is a contest running each year that attracts thousands of university and college students. The participants must showcase their sales skills in front of heavyweight employers for a prize money and the opportunity to get a job in the sales industry. The winner of the 2020 edition was Karishma Porwal, who presented a winning speech about the Easypromos tool. Throughout the whole process, she was supported by Brian McNeil, the General Manager of Easypromos in North America, who was her coach during the competition.

Having lived in 4 different countries, then planting roots in Canada at 16, Karishma Porwal has a tremendously global perspective on her professional career and life for a woman in her mid-20’s. Her diverse geographic background, combined with her keen insight into business and how businesses use tools and strategies as well as a spark for a challenge was showcased in feverish competition rounds. A contestant is paired with a company for the competition and from there the contestant dives deep into the brand, its product, and then pitches.

“I believe a great product has to come from a great problem. By “great”, I mean a persistent, thorn-in-your-side problem that a considerable amount of people experience. In my eyes, you’re not really selling your client a product, you’re selling them something along the lines of “imagine a life without this problem”.

“From the start of my research, I discovered quickly the interactive features such as Easypromos’ games, Spin the Wheel, giveaways, and more. I was impressed by the range of businesses that could benefit from a platform such as this. In fact, I look back on companies that I have worked at in the past and think about how useful Easypromos could have been in their digital strategy.”

Porwal had heard about the Great Canadian Sales Competition (GCSC) prior to enrollment in a sales class and was intrigued by the sheer scale of the competition and all of the established and up-and-coming companies that were involved. Her professor, Eric Janssen encouraged the students to apply. Janssen taught the first “Sales Foundations” class at Ivey Business School and taught in a way that, quite literally, threw students into the field.

“Entering the GCSC, in our professor’s words ‘throwing our hat in the ring’, was one of the ways in which taught us to be unafraid of rejection, and to just keep shooting our shot. This is so important in sales strategy today. One of the most important things is to step into your client’s shoes entirely. Understand why they would want/not want what you are offering, understand their pain points, and then prepare accordingly. I think this advice isn’t just limited to sales or business, but to life in general.”

“One of the most important things is to step into your client’s shoes entirely. Understand why they would want/not want what you are offering, understand their pain points, and then prepare accordingly.” Click To Tweet

The competition starts with a short video for Round One. Those selected through into Round Two were then paired with a company. Porwal was paired with Easypromos. For preparation into Round two, Porwal attended a seminar hosted by Easypromos, useful in learning about what is Easypromos’ bread and butter and what makes the company unique.

“After making it to the finals, I had a few calls with Brian where I really picked his brain about how he handles a client’s needs – to talk about more than just features or “feature dump”, but rather how the features benefit users and having a toolkit of answers for common questions. I got a peek inside the Easypromos user interface so I could have a deeper understanding of exactly how intuitive the platform is – and convey it to the client.”

Porwal presented about three key main points. The first point on how the platform was well suited to large, multinational companies like the client Porwal was given – easily adaptable in different markets, with translation and training features.

“Connecting Easypromos’ offering to the client’s overall strategy was essential.” Click To Tweet

“I think for large organizations with large turnover rates, this is an overlooked, yet important feature. Then I focused in on examples in which I could see the client using Easypromos. I used the example of a giveaway and then honed in on Easypromos’ targeting functionality – and the ways in which the program could gather valuable data for its clients. I think connecting Easypromos’ offering to the client’s overall strategy was essential.”

“One more thing I would add here is that in my final pitch, I mentioned how important it was to reach consumers on social media. In an increasingly digitized world (exponentially more so following the outbreak of coronavirus), it is important for clients to reach their consumers ‘at’ their most frequented places. Easypromos provides an interactive, “thumb-stopping” way to show up.

“Strange to think I won a sales competition— I am still over the moon and trying to process it. In fact, ‘Sales Foundations’ class was my first venture into anything Sales-related. To be honest, I had to break the “sales stereotype” that existed in my head: that sales jobs were less “respectable”, that sales was a trickster’s game etc. But really, I have learned that sales is the lifeblood of any business, and can’t be seen as “lesser” than any other function.”

Porwal has taken her experiences from the competition into her professional career and daily job duties. The in-depth client side understanding that was an integral part of her success at GCSC has impacted her approach to business solutions. 

 “I love to carry all my experiences of living in different countries with my family and my learning into everything that I do. My dream job when I was younger was to be a professional whale-watcher!”

For now, Porwal is focused on all things business relations and sales, but with her determination and understanding, a successful whale watching venture might not be too far in the distant future. 

Easypromos Team

Content produced by Easypromos Marketing Team

Publication date: 2020-12-09