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A content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
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.
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 is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
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.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
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.
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.
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 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 (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 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 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.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Though the definition of sales has evolved dramatically over the years, the relatively new practice of sales enablement is adding a new dimension to the entire process of marketing, by leveraging technology to reach out to the right customer at the right time, with relevant content.
Sanjeev Sukumaran, Founder and Head of Marketing at ForceFulcrum, speaks to us about the challenges organizations are facing today, along with the benefits, of implementing sales enablement within a company. While he speaks about the various tools being used for adopting sales enablement, he feels that the need of the hour is a single unified platform.
Interviewed by Prajwala Hegde
We do use tools that enable the entire sales organization to better present, engage and wow the customer. We have an in-house ForceFulcrum (FF) platform which we have designed that helps in this. The following is what the tool does:
A. Inside-Sales: The tool enables the pre-sales team to organize content for potential prospects. This would include competitive information, best practices, and various knowledge resources. This is integrated with the in-house CRM system. The content is arranged in a pre-defined format that has been agreed upon with the frontline sales team depending on whether it is a displacement account or a new account. The tool also uses a unique 'Tagging' concept that enables the inside sales individual to tag researched content.
B. Pre-Sales: The pre-sales team, with information on prospects provided by the CRM and FF platform, prepares the pitch deck and the demo system (depending on the customer). Our pre-sales efficiency has considerably gone up with the FF sales enablement platform.
C. Sales: Sales teams are seen to be better prepared and much more effective with the use of these tools.
We are a sales enablement organization that not only strategizes but also enables organizations to grow their revenue multi-fold. We have been hugely successful since our entry into India and have worked with the Automobile, Manufacturing, E-Commerce, IT/ITES, BFSI, Healthcare and FMCG sectors to name a few, and have seen unprecedented growth. A large factor in this is the sales enablement that we bring in through automation and tools that are available and some custom made. This technological intervention helps us win customers and also helps our customers win in the marketplace.
Yes. The FF platform organizes all our sales content. We also use this as a Knowledge Management tool for our sales teams. This platform acts as a unified customer communication channel.
Tagging in the FF tool helps connect all relevant information together for the sales teams. Any content can also be manually tagged to an account, vertical or product.
We currently do not use this as a training platform for the want of security. However, the usage of the tool is provided once the on-boarding happens.
With respect to any implementation of sales tools, and we have seen this both within our organization and outside, the adoption is very slow. The reason is this.
No sales individual wants to be policed around, whereas sales tools often do that. Today, thanks to GPS and mobile connectivity, I can sit here and measure a sales person’s effectiveness on the field, which is probably not to their liking. Previously, sales was considered to be an art; whereas today sales has become much more scientific and can be measured. Hence, one of the primary challenges in adoption is change management. It’s important that the salesperson looks at these tools as enablers of his success rather than the success of the organization alone. Another challenge is the response of senior sales people toward technology because they feel the tools can’t replace the need to meet the customer in person. On the other hand, organizations want these interactions, which we call ‘moments of truth’, to be minimal.
What is missing today is a single tool that helps companies connect to the end customer, right from identification of prospect to closing the order. Organizations struggle with multiple tools that capture different sets of information and then consolidating it doesn’t give you the right insight into what is the predictability of a sale. So consolidating all these tools into a single open source platform is probably what is missing in the environment today. That’s what’s probably going to be the future of any sales enablement tool including analytics and predictability – which would mean using Big Data or Artificial Intelligence.
The benefits are plenty. The most important one is that it brings predictability into the business - which is critical for any organization’s success.
The second is that it ensures that follow-up with customers happen on time, especially when the number of consumers runs into thousands.
Thirdly, it provides for a unified communication channel - which means all communication that goes out to customers is unified in nature. So if my sales team changes and there’s a new account manager or sales lead who’s come in, communication still remains predictable.
Lastly, it helps us understand the background of the customer (his likes, dislikes, holiday preferences, etc.) through social media integration, which we call ‘social sentiment’ analysis. It provides us an insight into the profile of an individual that helps start a conversation and keeps it going, which makes the sales process easier. Sales is about making an emotional connect, and technology tools are helping companies in bringing that element into the process which was missing in the past.
Introducing new tooling is a nightmare as it is perceived to add on administrative overheads rather than make the process effective.
We all know that sales is a process that is defined by the ability to connect with the end customer in a way that keeps him engaged and see value. Content plays an important role in this and that’s where sales enablement tools play their part in making things happen. Incorporation is done by us in a staged manner. We often use it ourselves and showcase the value addition it brings while we are in front of the customer. Early adopters are a rare breed in the sales vertical.
State of Sales Enablement 2017: Report Summary
Only a little over half the number of organizations with a sales enablement function had a sales playbook as part.
Sales Enablement provides better lead flow
Sayee Bhuvaneswari, Senior Vice President, Sales & Solutions, Hitachi Solutions India
Understanding the customer’s buying behavior is critical to the success of a sales enablement tool
Soumendu Ganguly, Marketing Head, Sulekha.com
Preventing burnout through sales enablement
Sales enablement has largely been equated to a set of tools, aimed at improving salesperson effectiveness.
Things you always wanted to know about Sales Enablement but didn’t know who to ask
Ravish Kamath, Vice President - Products, Regalix
The marketing to sales handoff - a digital approach
The author has a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad. He is currently working as a marketing analyst.
Sales Enablement helps you have more meaningful conversations with your customers
Lee Levitt, Managing Director and Founder, Acelera Group
While sales enablement is an overall goal, CRM is a tool
Vibhav Vankayala, Product Marketing Manager, Zoho CRM
Why businesses need to embrace sales enablement
Data, analytics, insights and timely content should equip client-facing teams.
To ensure technology adoption, it’s crucial to keep the learning process simple
Arvind Saxena, Group Marketing Head, Sify Technologies