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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

As Senior Director of Global Sales Effectiveness & Enablement for Ellucian and an Experiential Adventure Learning Consultant, Dan Carusi helps people improve performance both in and out of the workplace. With 30 years of experience, Dan is responsible for overseeing Sales Effectiveness & Enablement for the Ellucian Global Sales Organization, where he oversees all aspects of the sales methodology, strategic planning, territory development, leadership development, organizational design; performance, talent development and sales transformation – often using what he learns from his outdoor adventures as tools for teaching, with the end goal of making people uncomfortable and accelerating performance. 

Prior to Ellucian, Dan held leadership positions with Learning Tree International, Verizon Business, MCI, AT&T Government Markets and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, offering a unique blend of industry experience to include hospitality, telecom, technology and training.

 

Interviewed by Shwetha Mahesh

 


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

 

One of our key drivers supporting a globally dispersed sales organization is to increase efficiencies to deliver results through technology, tools and content. We follow a three-legged stool methodology – People, Process, Technology – to determine sales enablement activities and priorities. Salesforce and Tableau are key technologies to manage sales activities, sales processes, reporting, pipeline health and opportunity management. Other technologies focus on performance support tools providing just-in-time knowledge when salespeople need it. Access to content via a sales portal using mobile devices is also provided. We also use technology to increase our options for communication vehicles, allowing various channels to reach the audience across the globe.

Trend wise, there is a shift from traditional enablement activities to sales effectiveness. Effectiveness means a greater focus on strategic planning, performance improvement, business management, talent and leadership development, coaching and change management. Traditional enablement activities will continue to be critical and continue to focus on product enablement, tools, process, onboarding, communication, events and sales process. However, different skill sets are required for the two roles, forcing a shift in how enablement teams structure themselves.

The enablement function is expanding to all customer-facing roles across the ecosystem versus only sales. This is especially important as the complexity of the buying process continues to increase. Another trend is greater focus on leadership development and coaching. Existing training programs are not scalable to coach each individual account executive, so the coaching focus is now on training the leadership team on how to better coach their teams. Driving the right behaviour and buy-in at the leadership level is expected to cascade transformation down across the field.

Meanwhile, buyer enablement is quickly becoming a top priority for many enablement organizations. Understanding the complexity of the buyer’s journey and then aligning marketing content and tools will help prevent opportunities from stalling in the pipeline. Account executives continue to have less time to sell directly to the buyer, so the alignment of the sales process with the buyer’s process will accelerate the procurement process.

 

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

 

  • More value to our customers through better business conversations and solving our customers’ challenges
  • Increased win ratio
  • Shortening the average length of a sale
  • Increased bookings and revenue
  • New hires to ramp up faster and perform better
  • Reduced turnover and higher employee engagement
  • Acts as one voice for sales across the organization
  • Training, learning and development is easier and streamlined
  • Increased solution knowledge
  • Easier to develop markets – territory planning, addressable market, account management
  • Access to better-qualified opportunities and lesser amount of time required by supporting resources

 

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

 

  • Organization change management: Making the right or new behavior stick long-term will always be one of the biggest challenges.
  • Leadership buy-in for the programs and methodology: If sales leadership does not see the value or if we cannot demonstrate the success, the programs will struggle for adoption.
  • Effective communication: Finding the right communication vehicles and competing for the attention of the salesperson will continue to be a challenge.
  • Competing priorities: Aligning sales priorities with ecosystem priorities so that efforts are placed where they will deliver the biggest impact.
  • Organizational buy-in: Structuring the organization around sales effectiveness and enablement as well as finding the right talent for the appropriate roles.
  • Potential traps: Not falling into the trap of overtraining on products and solutions. The customer conversation needs to be a business discussion and not a feature/functionality presentation.
  • Accountability: There needs to be an accountability mechanism in place to ensure sales methodology is followed, tools are used, behaviors are reinforced, processes are properly followed and resources are aligned.

 

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

 

  • An enablement resource is assigned to a new hire on the first day, who trains them through our New Hire Bootcamp program, which includes technology, sales process, product knowledge, ecosystem, Salesforce, territory, etc.
  • Each new hire is assigned a mentor/coach to assist with knowledge transfer.
  • New hires are assigned an online training curriculum focused on product and solution knowledge. The training can be accessed via our LMS.
  • The New Hire Bootcamp and the Sales Methodology Bootcamp (in-person classroom training) are scheduled within the first three months.
  • Sales Methodology Bootcamp (in-person classroom training) is scheduled within the first three months.
  • Field ride-alongs are conducted by enablement to coach on sales methodology.
  • MOR (Manager’s Operating Rhythm) – one-on-one sessions between a new hire and the sales manager are organized.
  • We measure the average length of time from day one to first booking to determine the success of the program.

 

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

 

  • Powerpoint presentations – company story, value proposition, products/solutions
  • Whitepapers, testimonials (print and video)
  • Business cases and TCOs/ROI models
  • Readiness assessments for path to cloud technology
  • Thought leadership – industry challenges and publications of trends
  • Online and/or virtual product demos

 

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

 

  • Email – high-level and basic messaging (Global Sales Operations Announcement)
  • Sales Portal (Sharepoint) – a one-stop shop to find all the content about the company
  • Company intranet
  • LMS – access to product training and content
  • A weekly publication, “In the Know,” provides fresh content and product release information
  • Box folder – contains the Sales Development Toolkit, which has all the content and tools for the field (can also be accessed from the sales portal)
  • Weekly 30-minute webinar to share knowledge and solution content – “Solution’s Spotlight 30” via a Zoom meeting
  • Brainshark recordings available via Sales Portal and available in the Sales Development Toolkit

 

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

 

Ultimately, we tie everything back to lead generation, pipeline development, an average length of sale, win ratios, booking and revenue achievements.

However, specifically to the collaterals, we solicit feedback from the salesperson on how often they use each piece of collateral. What was most effective? What are the gaps? What would be nice to have? At the same time, we also solicit feedback from our customers and our advisory board.

 

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

 

  • Sales playbooks – specific to either a solution or a campaign
  • Opportunity plans – strategy documents for a specific pipeline opportunity that help to ensure proper discovery and qualification, with visibility to the ecosystem
  • Strategic plans – regional plans that drive strategy/tactics as well as accountability and behavior
  • Pre-call plans – completed prior to a customer meeting
  • Discovery checklists – guides the conversation and questions during the qualifying phase for a specific solution
  • Battle cards – competitive differentiators and solution comparison
  • Territory plans – helps the salesperson manage his activity, identify targets and develop strategy
  • Tableau dashboards for pipeline management
  • Salesforce for opportunity and account management

 

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

 

  • All tools must have the sales methodology embedded in them for them to be of value.
  • The tools must improve efficiency and be easy to digest. The more complicated the tool, the lower the adoption of that tool.
  • Must be accessible via mobile or directly through Salesforce, if possible.
  • Taking into consideration a global salesforce, tools must be customized at the regional level – LAC, EMEA, APAC, North America.

 

/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive sales enablement in the future?

 

  • Data-driven decision-making will become increasingly important for enablement teams. Technology that can provide real-time reporting, dashboards and analytics will be critical to better prioritize enablement activities as well as measure effectiveness.
  • Navigating and managing the complexity of the buyer’s procurement process will continue to be a trend. Capturing the process in a CRM tool so that the sales process can be aligned with it will be a challenge. Also, traditional and digital content will be required to help the customer navigate through their own buying process. How they access the content is the question – social media, company website or industry websites.
  • Better account management functionality, either through the CRM or integrated software, is needed. The increased complexity of the buying process has resulted in a significant increase in the number of stakeholders involved in the decision. Better technology is needed to support account management and nurture decision-makers.
  • Performance support tools – Just-in-time knowledge for when and where these tools are needed and accessibility via mobile technology are essential. Additional technology will be needed for hosting content, updating and managing libraries.

 

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

 

I see future investment going mostly towards sales effectiveness with an emphasis on strategic planning, territory planning, account management and market development – all supported by CRM, reporting dashboards and analytics. There will also be continued investment in talent development and training to include new-hire onboarding, skills development, sales methodology, product training and enhanced industry knowledge via online learning, LMS and experiential learning.