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Contributors

Writers

Susan Joseph

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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.

Shubharthi Ghosh

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Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.

Priscilla Thomas

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Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.

Moulishree Srivastava

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Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.

Avanish Tiwary

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Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.

Priyanka Bhatacharya

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Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others. 

S.Sahu

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A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications. 

Prajwala Hegde

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Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others. 

Rajesh Nanarpuzha

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Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.

Designer

Priyokumar Singh Naorem

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He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.

Artists

Dyuti Mittal

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A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.

Sumakshi Singh

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She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.

Parul Gupta

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A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.

Shweta Malhotra

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Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.

Rithika Merchant

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Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.

Aniruddh Mehta

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Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.

Paramesh Jolad

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Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.

Chandrashekhar Thakur

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Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.

Concept and Direction

Nimish Vohra

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Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.

Enquiry

+91 9560509289

aishani.majumdar@regalix-inc.com

Know when a new article is published

Jessica Burdman leads Global Sales Enablement at Merkle, a performance marketing company that is part of the Dentsu-Aegis Network. A veteran of the digital marketing industry, she’s worked in media, technology and startups in roles that require operational acumen and which produce measurable bottom-line results. In her previous role at iCrossing, she developed a program that optimized the contribution margin of the top revenue-generating accounts and helped iCrossing’s successful acquisition by the Hearst Company. At Merkle, she introduced sales enablement as a capability that encompassed process, content and intelligence, and which has steadily helped boost win rates since its inception. Originally from New York, she now lives in San Francisco with her daughter and, in her spare time, pursues creative writing and advocates for prison reform.

 

Interviewed by Shwetha Mahesh

 


/ / What are the technologies/trends driving sales enablement today?

 

There are two technologies that have had, or will soon have, a positive impact on sales enablement. The first is video. One of the key challenges for an enablement team is to get and keep their sales teams educated on go-to-market messages. Training (and certification) of salespeople is a challenge in a distributed environment. It’s not efficient or effective to publish a sales deck with some written instructions and expect a salesperson to self-educate. It’s also not always feasible to fly sales leads around the country for in-person training. Enter video. Using a platform – such as O365 or a proprietary platform – you can deliver a series of brief training videos for a number of purposes: to educate the team on how to deliver the corporate pitch, to provide updates on go-to-market messaging or to even share win stories virtually. These easily digestible, bite-sized modules enable salespeople to receive engaging, on-demand training, right on their mobile or desktop. And they can do it in their own time, without having to set aside hours (or even days) to attend.

The other technology that I’m keeping an eye on with regard to enablement is AI. We are always looking for ways to reduce sales cycle times and improve the quality of our pitches. We do a lot of reactive sales activities such as RFI and RFP responses. These are often lengthy questionnaires, which take hours of time for sales and subject matter experts. AI bots and engines that can query a library of questions and answers in seconds will allow valuable resources to focus on other revenue-generating activities.

 

/ / What are the top benefits that your organization enjoys as a result of sales enablement?

 

I would say the biggest benefit is our ability to differentiate ourselves quickly from our competition, which helps in our development of win themes. In our industry, which is performance-based media and marketing, sales success depends on our ability to demonstrate our value and our differentiation in an increasingly competitive and confusing landscape. Our sales leaders benefit from having a research team as part of enablement that provides competitive intelligence and market insight in a streamlined way to help shape and guide conversations throughout the sales cycle.

 

/ / In your opinion, what are the major roadblocks in the sales enablement journey?

 

One of the biggest challenges is the alignment of go-to-market messaging for all the parts of our business. We have several buying models and buyer personas, and it can be difficult to discern the best types of sales enablement content to create. But technology is making that easier.

 

/ / How do you conduct the training and onboarding of your organization’s sales team?

 

We have an onboarding process that takes sales leads through our sales process, people, tools and enablement capabilities. This is a self-directed, virtual program consisting of meetings with key people, some discovery and some peer-to-peer coaching. We also have a corporate-wide “Merkle University” – an online skills development platform that allows salespeople to keep their knowledge current on the many services our company offers.

 

/ / What types of collaterals do you use for your organization’s sales enablement efforts?

 

We create one-pagers, case studies, battle cards, lightweight and full research packages, and we maintain a robust question-and-answer database for RFP efforts.

 

/ / What are the different channels that you use to share content with the sales team?

 

We use a suite of collaboration tools by Microsoft to share content with the sales team. Primarily underpinned by O365, we use Sharepoint with Microsoft Stream, Teams and Yammer. Of course, we still rely on email to get timely go-to-market messages out to sales and we maintain a 24-hour, on-demand email alias to provide content they may be searching for but are unable to locate.

 

/ / How do you measure the success of your organization’s sales enablement collaterals? What are the metrics that are monitored?

 

Our mission as an enablement team is to help sales teams sell more, faster. Hence, the most valuable metrics we use are win rate and time to first sale, and then repeat sales. We know we are positively impacting sales when our win rates continue to go up and our individual sales leaders continue to close deals in shorter cycles.

 

/ / What tools does your organization use for sales enablement?

 

We have built our own platform in Sharepoint for housing enablement materials. We use Salesforce for sales/opportunity management and Pardot for campaigns. We are investigating several AI-based “enablement” platforms, which bring training/coaching together with content, and we’re also looking into building our own AI-based tools to help our enablement team gain efficiency.

 

/ / What are the important features that you feel a sales enablement tool must have?

 

Relevant, intelligent search is what we’ve found to be the most important feature. This means any feature that effectively puts the right content in the hands of a salesperson when they need it. The platforms that do video well help with improving sales rep effectiveness. But to really leverage that type of feature, you must have a culture of learning in your organization. Not every organization has that. We’re fortunate that we do.

 

/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive sales enablement in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?

 

I think it’s going to be AI and its ability to help speed up many of the tasks that currently slow sales and sales enablement teams down. Time is money. Businesses should gear up by understanding where the drains are on their reps’ time. Identify the business process that needs optimization, map out the steps and then look at tools that could help automate some or even all of it.

 

/ / In which areas of sales enablement does your organization plan to invest over the coming years?

 

In terms of new technologies, I would say AI tops the list. Onboarding and training are always in stages of continuous improvement and thus need investment. There is no ideal state – businesses change so quickly. In enablement, we must understand what’s changing in our services and messaging, and quickly equip our salespeople with the tools they need to succeed.

 

/ / What are the technologies/trends driving sales enablement today?

 

There are two technologies that have had, or will soon have, a positive impact on sales enablement. The first is video. One of the key challenges for an enablement team is to get and keep their sales teams educated on go-to-market messages. Training (and certification) of salespeople is a challenge in a distributed environment. It’s not efficient or effective to publish a sales deck with some written instructions and expect a salesperson to self-educate. It’s also not always feasible to fly sales leads around the country for in-person training. Enter video. Using a platform – such as O365 or a proprietary platform – you can deliver a series of brief training videos for a number of purposes: to educate the team on how to deliver the corporate pitch, to provide updates on go-to-market messaging or to even share win stories virtually. These easily digestible, bite-sized modules enable salespeople to receive engaging, on-demand training, right on their mobile or desktop. And they can do it in their own time, without having to set aside hours (or even days) to attend.

The other technology that I’m keeping an eye on with regard to enablement is AI. We are always looking for ways to reduce sales cycle times and improve the quality of our pitches. We do a lot of reactive sales activities such as RFI and RFP responses. These are often lengthy questionnaires, which take hours of time for sales and subject matter experts. AI bots and engines that can query a library of questions and answers in seconds will allow valuable resources to focus on other revenue-generating activities.

 

/ / What are the top benefits that your organization enjoys as a result of sales enablement?

 

I would say the biggest benefit is our ability to differentiate ourselves quickly from our competition, which helps in our development of win themes. In our industry, which is performance-based media and marketing, sales success depends on our ability to demonstrate our value and our differentiation in an increasingly competitive and confusing landscape. Our sales leaders benefit from having a research team as part of enablement that provides competitive intelligence and market insight in a streamlined way to help shape and guide conversations throughout the sales cycle.

 

/ / In your opinion, what are the major roadblocks in the sales enablement journey?

 

One of the biggest challenges is the alignment of go-to-market messaging for all the parts of our business. We have several buying models and buyer personas, and it can be difficult to discern the best types of sales enablement content to create. But technology is making that easier.

 

/ / How do you conduct the training and onboarding of your organization’s sales team?

 

We have an onboarding process that takes sales leads through our sales process, people, tools and enablement capabilities. This is a self-directed, virtual program consisting of meetings with key people, some discovery and some peer-to-peer coaching. We also have a corporate-wide “Merkle University” – an online skills development platform that allows salespeople to keep their knowledge current on the many services our company offers.

/ / What types of collaterals do you use for your organization’s sales enablement efforts?

 

We create one-pagers, case studies, battle cards, lightweight and full research packages, and we maintain a robust question-and-answer database for RFP efforts.

/ / What are the different channels that you use to share content with the sales team?

 

We use a suite of collaboration tools by Microsoft to share content with the sales team. Primarily underpinned by O365, we use Sharepoint with Microsoft Stream, Teams and Yammer. Of course, we still rely on email to get timely go-to-market messages out to sales and we maintain a 24-hour, on-demand email alias to provide content they may be searching for but are unable to locate.

/ / How do you measure the success of your organization’s sales enablement collaterals? What are the metrics that are monitored?

 

Our mission as an enablement team is to help sales teams sell more, faster. Hence, the most valuable metrics we use are win rate and time to first sale, and then repeat sales. We know we are positively impacting sales when our win rates continue to go up and our individual sales leaders continue to close deals in shorter cycles.

 

/ / What tools does your organization use for sales enablement?

 

We have built our own platform in Sharepoint for housing enablement materials. We use Salesforce for sales/opportunity management and Pardot for campaigns. We are investigating several AI-based “enablement” platforms, which bring training/coaching together with content, and we’re also looking into building our own AI-based tools to help our enablement team gain efficiency.

 

/ / What are the important features that you feel a sales enablement tool must have?

 

Relevant, intelligent search is what we’ve found to be the most important feature. This means any feature that effectively puts the right content in the hands of a salesperson when they need it. The platforms that do video well help with improving sales rep effectiveness. But to really leverage that type of feature, you must have a culture of learning in your organization. Not every organization has that. We’re fortunate that we do.

 

/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive sales enablement in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?

 

I think it’s going to be AI and its ability to help speed up many of the tasks that currently slow sales and sales enablement teams down. Time is money. Businesses should gear up by understanding where the drains are on their reps’ time. Identify the business process that needs optimization, map out the steps and then look at tools that could help automate some or even all of it.

/ / In which areas of sales enablement does your organization plan to invest over the coming years?

 

In terms of new technologies, I would say AI tops the list. Onboarding and training are always in stages of continuous improvement and thus need investment. There is no ideal state – businesses change so quickly. In enablement, we must understand what’s changing in our services and messaging, and quickly equip our salespeople with the tools they need to succeed.