February 7, 2023

Nick Sanschagrin’s $800k Deal Was Just the Beginning

Written by Karli Stone


The Loch Ness Monster.

El Chupacabra.

Myths. Legends. Fairy tales.

Or are they? 

Hang around salespeople long enough, and you’ll hear whispers of another one.

The $1m commission check. 

The private jet to Bali after closing a $50m deal.

Somewhere out there, maybe nestled amid the Manhattan skyline, or the teeming crosswalks of Tokyo, or the dusty mesas of Arizona, is the World’s Best Seller.

Perhaps with a luxury watch on their wrist, red lacquered shoes, diamonds on their fingers. Or maybe totally anonymous, in flip-flops, shorts, and scratched metal-framed aviators. 

Who can say?

Only one thing is certain. Unlike those other mythical creatures, this legendary salesperson is out there. And we’re going to find them.

I’m Karli Stone, and in this series, the Apollo team is out to find the best salespeople in the galaxy.

The first stop in my journey took me to an Ontario-based salesman whose hunger for challenge is leading him to loads of sales success in one of the world’s newest industries.

Nick Sanschagrin and His Infectious Smile

Our interviewee flips on his camera.

Nick Sanschagrin is dressed in a sharp black blazer, surrounded by colorful frames of preserved insects (surely a callback to life as a biology major in university). 

He introduces himself with a wide and infectious smile; and almost before I realize it, I find myself smiling too.

The beginnings of a successful career

Nick started his career as a junior account executive at Entrust, an established cybersecurity firm. 

“I was really the pointing tip of the spear,” he said, “Finding new clients, taking inbound opportunities, converting them, nurturing them, and growing them.”

It wasn’t long before he distinguished himself. 

A remarkable ability to create authentic relationships fueled his rapid rise up the sales ladder.

“I tried to be the consultant, I tried to be the support guy, I tried to be a friend…and I think my clients have always felt that,” he says.

He had big plans for his family and himself, and he was willing to work harder than anyone else to make it all happen.

“I had a standard of living I wanted to grow and build on and I consistently wanted more for myself, my family, the business.”

The results? Success.

First, it was a $100k deal. Then $200k. $350k. He was carrying a multi-million dollar quota, and hitting it. 

That’s when the big one came.

An $800k net-new deal. Here’s how he did it.

Closing an $800k Behemoth

First things first: it didn’t happen overnight.

Nick worked this account over the course of months.

“It was a lot of different meetings, working my way through the organization, building trust, and just being an open and honest person”.

First, he met with a senior engineer. Then their team. Then their executive sponsor. Then, the whole executive team. Throughout, Nick added value — he wasn’t just there to sell. He was there to provide an insider’s expert perspective on the industry.

“I was like a quarterback,” he says, “I managed the entire deal cycle and went above and beyond where others might take a backseat.” 

Rather than calling in sales engineers or solutions consulting to run his deals, Nick took the driver’s seat.

“I talk to a lot of sales reps who’ve never logged into their own platform, they never lead trials or demos, they don’t know anything about what they actually do for a living. They rely on technical sales consultants…I don’t go about it that way, I try to do it all myself.”

With his product knowledge dialed in, Nick took it a step further. Paying out of pocket, he bought subscriptions to competing solutions, and learned them inside and out.

“Usually you’re displacing a competitor. Be honest with yourself that you’re not the only game in town. Understand a lot about their platform, how they do things, their value prop.”

By the end, the client wasn’t just buying his solution. They were buying him, Nick, as a valuable consultant to their business. 

The customer’s internal conversations went something like this. 

“Nick knows the five competitors. He knows how their value prop is pitched. He knows how their platform works. He knows where the gaps are on his platform. He knows where his value add is. And he allows me to make a decision based on true real-world value. We trust Nick, we did the trial, we know the value”.

“From there, it’s an easy pitch,” Nick said. 

I believe him. It’s something that’s come up a few times in my conversations with great salespeople, something that Nick has correctly identified and mastered.

Provide enough value — not by showcasing features, but by really understanding their business, the other offers on the table, and genuinely help them make the best decision for their business — and the deals will close themselves, and even grow over time. 

Nick takes establishing a relationship with his customers so seriously, spends so much time diving deep into their needs, that 98% of his accounts retain or expand, an astounding number.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Nick closed an $800k net-new deal.

Selling to People Who Don’t Want to Be Sold To

Nick racked up success after success at Entrust.

“I had been there for 10 years, I’d reached the top, and I was looking for a new challenge,” he says.

From there, he took the plunge into a radically different world. Nick went just about as far from the steady, predictable business of cybersecurity as he could. 


An industry where things change so fast, and so dramatically, that traditional sales techniques and technologies just don’t cut it. 

Ever tried to build a list of 500 blockchain or web3 founders in ZoomInfo? Good luck.

“The pace of development, the change, you have to be on your toes and there are no dull days,” he says.

A quick look at his numbers will tell you this is where Nick thrives. Instead of being stymied by the challenges of selling to often anonymous buyers (who want to stay that way), Nick took a methodical approach. 

First, he bought Apollo.io — the one provider, he says, that had the data he was looking for.

Then, he set about creating a robot version of Nick. One that could work every day, every hour, every minute, without taking breaks.

“I like to think ‘how can I multiply Nick and reduce the effort that goes into getting a good output’,” he says.

By adopting email and prospecting automation (tools that currently have little to no buy-in within the world of crypto), he soared, once again, to the top of the leaderboards.

“I am leading the team in emails, sending out 2,000-3,000 emails every few weeks. In terms of meetings booked, I’ve met with 350 different prospects in the last six months. All of this translated to nearly one million dollars in net new revenue last year.”

He’s been so successful that his company decided to make his sales process the standard across the entire sales organization.

Now, 15 years into his sales career, Nick still isn’t done. 

“I’d love to figure out how to get to hundred million dollar deals, billion-dollar deals,” he says, in the same cool, calm, and friendly tone as the rest of the conversation.

And, you know what?

Something tells me he might just do it.

Nominate A Seller

Know someone who deserves the title “World’s Best Seller”? Send them my way! Email karli.stone[at]apollo.io with your nomination and we’ll get them on the calendar.

Tune in next week for the next issue of World’s Best Sellers, only from your friends at Apollo.io.

Nick works at Chainstack.com, the global leader in Web3 and Blockchain Infrastructure, offering the burgeoning Digital Asset & Crypto industry access to high-performance, reliable, and cost-effective Blockchain Nodes, RPC endpoints & APIs.

Want to learn more? Here’s a link to his calendar.

Karli Stone headshot Karli Stone