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I am in this job to make money and ideally I’d like to save the world but mostly I just want to make a ton of money.

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The Story of the installation of M5’s services for Amnesty International and why the phone still matters.

Written by Brian Klansky

I am the Vice President of Sales at M5 Networks and I love selling.  I love the feeling of winning someone’s business.    I love the feeling of beating out the competition.  I like getting chosen.  I like selling a product that works and that I can feel confident about.  I like feeling pride about what the product I am selling can do and love the idea of my product helping an organization achieve its goals.

There sure is a heck of a lot of “I’s” in that.    I know this all sounds corny but I thought of this recently when I was part of the sales team that sold Amnesty International.  I have always been amazed by the people who choose careers based on helping those who can’t help selves.  I feel pride that our President is encouraging public service in our free time but there are people who do this for a living…who knew?

Over the last several months, M5’s project management team has been converting all of Amnesty's offices in North America to our hosted business class phone system.  They threw out their old Avayas and Nortels and are now on a common platform.

Amnesty can now dial from anywhere by extension.  They can set up a nationwide conference call in seconds and add on a reporter in the Congo just as easily.  And they can measure the effectiveness of their fundraising efforts easily, judging which campaigns are working and which ones aren’t, a critical measurement in an economy where people are giving less.  This is just the beginning of what they can do with our service.

I honestly had been a typical sales guy with this one.  Once the joy of selling such a prestigious organization had gone, I left it to the experts we have here, checking in now and then to make sure the project went well.  Last week, their final office (the corporate headquarters in Manhattan) went live and M5 trainers were on site.  They asked me come.  They said I had sold them on the vision of what throwing out your phone system could do.  They wanted me to see what it looked like in action.

I am so glad that I went on this sales call.  Seeing these noble people get excited about a tool as “Flintstonesque” as the phone was amazing.  They couldn’t believe what this thing could do and more importantly, the head of technology couldn’t believe that it could do what I said.  Salespeople say a lot of things but product doesn’t always meet the promise.  People were thanking me.  These people fight tirelessly with limited resources all over the world for people who don’t have the resources to fight for themselves, and they were thanking me.  I never realized the fear they had - that this wasn’t actually going to work.

How cliché you are thinking?  A salesperson thinking he can save the world with his product and not just trying to make a commission.  But isn’t this the promise of technology?    “Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us” (Dan Brown, Angels and Demons).  The phone has been bringing us together forever.  It’s intimate.  Do you really understand someone’s tone in an email?  What as their motivating reason for posting that on Facebook?  And were they nervous about what everyone would think about what they tweeted?

The phone cuts through all of that.  Amnesty International is fighting for human rights for all of us.  Give what you can.  They will be calling you.  I guarantee the call will go through.