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Writers

Priscilla Thomas

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

Moulishree Srivastava

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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

Sales enablement has largely been equated to a set of tools, aimed at improving salesperson effectiveness. However, with an excessive focus on technology, the term ‘sales enablement’ risks becoming a synonym for a technology-assisted magic pill, focused on driving sales increases. Here, I argue that sales enablement should be viewed in a broader context, and needs to be respectful of the salesperson’s considerable challenges on the field.

As part of his/her job, a salesperson is constantly subjected to high levels of stress. For a salesperson, as Yoo and Frankwick (2013)1 point out, this stress emanates from challenging interactions with customers, co-workers, and supervisors. Over time, this could lead to job burnout – a gradual process which includes emotional exhaustion, a feeling of reduced personal accomplishment, and a tendency to depersonalize people and situations (Maslach and Jackson, 1981)2.

Salesperson burnout, in turn, can lead to organizationally undesirable outcomes including deviant behavior, absenteeism, and higher turnover. Preventing salesperson burnout, therefore, has important positive implications on salesperson well-being, organizational performance, and organizational culture.

In this article, I delve into academic literature related to salesperson burnout to identify potential interventions. I propose that such interventions could have a significant positive impact, and need to be considered within the broad ambit of sales enablement. I discuss potential interventions next.

An organizational support structure for the salesperson

Organizational support to the salesperson is the first critical component in preventing salesperson burnout. Of this, Lewin and Sager (2007)3 consider supervisory support to be the most important. The authors argue that supervisors have a key role in reducing salesperson role ambiguity, improving salesperson confidence, and in equipping salespersons to better manage their work environments.

Second, improving job content has an influential role in preventing salesperson burnout. Within this, Darrat et al. (2016)4 advocate that salespersons should feel that their jobs are meaningful within the organizational context. Additionally, Grandey et al. (2005)5 suggest that greater job autonomy, specifically in work behaviors, is critical. Finally, Lewin and Sager (2008)6 stress on the importance of timely and effective feedback to salespersons, as a means for preventing salesperson burnout.

Required managerial interventions

The broad objectives for sales enablement interventions aimed at reducing salesperson burnout need to be operationalized effectively at an organization level. Academic literature provides potential pointers in this direction.

Workshops and training programs

Well-conceived training programs aimed at increasing product knowledge, improving the understanding of value creation processes for the ultimate consumer, and emphasizing the importance of salespersons in achieving organizational goals are considered important interventions (Darrat et al., 2016). Additionally, the authors stress the importance of conducting personal interviews with satisfied customers to demonstrate to salespersons the impact of products they sell on customers’ personal and professional lives.

Communicating clear expectations

Lewin and Sager (2007) argue for clear and unambiguous communication to reduce potential for salesperson burnout. Clarity of communication should include clarity on sales related goals, performance metrics, and expectations from the salesperson. With regard to setting the right expectations, Boles et al. (1997)7 suggest that a smart working salesperson could be held up as a role model rather than an 80-hour-a-week worker. Another potential intervention could involve streamlining of communication channels, thereby reducing scope for ambiguity (Lewin and Sager, 2007).

Tools and techniques

Potential for salesperson burnout could reduce if salespersons are provided information on relevant tools and techniques for their day-to-day job. For example, Lewin and Sager (2007) suggest that salespersons should be taught techniques to improve scheduling and time management. This would help to reduce perceptions of job overload. Another useful technique that could help in reducing job related stress is the ability to segment the selling process into a series of sequential steps (Lewin and Sager, 2007). This again, can be taught, and has the potential to prevent salesperson burnout.

Summary

In the quest to constantly increase salesperson productivity, it is important to note that salesperson burnout remains a pressing problem across sales organizations. If left unchecked, instances of salesperson burnout could affect organization performance, organization culture, and salesperson well-being negatively. However, the right intervention at the right time, is sometimes all that is required to prevent salesperson burnout. There is a need to codify and standardize such interventions, and to include these within the scope of sales enablement. Only by doing so can managers have the awareness and the tools to make decisive interventions.

References

  1. Boles, J. S., Johnston, M. W., & Hair Jr, J. F. (1997). Role stress, work-family conflict and emotional exhaustion: Inter-relationships and ef- fects on some work-related consequences. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 17 (1), 17-28.
  2. Darrat, M., Atinc, G., & Babin, B. J. (2016). On the dysfunctional consequences of salesperson exhaustion. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 24 (2), 236-245.
  3. Grandey, A. A., Fisk, G. M., & Steiner, D. D. (2005). Must" service with a smile" be stressful? The moderating role of personal control for American and French employees. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90 (5), 893-904.
  4. Lewin, J. E., & Sager, J. K. (2007). A process model of burnout among salespeople: Some new thoughts. Journal of Business Research, 60 (12), 1216-1224.
  5. Lewin, J. E., & Sager, J. K. (2008). Salesperson burnout: A test of the coping-mediational model of social support. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 28 (3), 233-246.
  6. Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1981). The measurement of experienced burnout. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2 (2), 99-113.
  7. Yoo, J., & Frankwick, G. L. (2013). Exploring the impact of social undermining on salesperson deviance: An integrated model. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 33(1), 79-90.