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Contributors

Writers

Priscilla Thomas

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

Avanish Tiwary

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An independent journalist who writes on business strategies.

Priyanka Bhatacharya

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She has been covering the Indian information technology industry since its early days.

S.Sahu

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Sahu was with TCS as the editor of their house magazine before he became a freelance content writer.

Prajwala Hegde

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An independent journalist who has worked with The New Indian Express and City Today.

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.

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 9916326475

venkatesh@regalix-inc.com

Know when a new article is published

Ravish Kamath is VP Products at Regalix , and Sharedemos is one of his pet product. Ravish also confesses to being a serial entrepreneur. He was instrumental in building MetricStream’s ComplianceOnline.com, the world’s largest online GRC community that bagged the 2009 Forrester Groundswell award for Best Social Marketing Program in the B2B Spreading category. “I am passionate about building winning products, working with kick-ass teams and developing sustainable business models,” says Ravish. Here’s a recent chat with him about Sales Enablement (SE) tools.

Interviewed by S. Sahu


// CSO Insights Research Director, Tamara Schenk, has articulated a comprehensive definition of SE:

"[SE is] a strategic, cross functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople and front-line sales managers along the entire customer’s buying journey, powered by technology.”

// So how come there are so few true-blue SE tools in the market?

There are quite a few SE tools/platforms/solutions in the market today. Most of them cater to the technology (hardware/software), healthcare (life sciences) and financial services verticals. There may be a few verticals, such as automotive and manufacturing, that are possibly underserved, as of today.

// How critical is it for organizations to adopt an SE solution? Why?

The objective of SE is quite simple – to provide resources to salespeople that enable them to sell effectively. So companies that roll out an SE solution generally see an uptick in selling efficiency, shorter sales cycles and higher closure rates per rep.

Another benefit of rolling out a SE solution is content consolidation, wherein the number of pieces of content is greatly reduced.

And yet another is better alignment between marketing and sales teams, as marketing teams now have a home where they can define and explain the processes and programs used to generate leads.

// How critical are playbooks in the B2B sales process?

A sales playbook is the source of truth for all potential customer interactions. It should contain everything your team needs to thrive in the fast-paced world of business: knowledge of your competitors, your own value proposition, best sales practices, and more. Above all, the playbook should be a living document whose contents should never be static. Companies that use playbooks have a far more aligned sales organization and are able to instrument and make changes in a shorter timeframe than others.

// How can an SE platform facilitate the authoring of sales playbooks?

As a general rule, an SE platform that allows easy structuring of content and creation of bite-sized content can be an enabler for authoring playbooks.

However, there are a few SE solutions that are emerging, which provide out-of-the-box templates for easy content creation. Such solutions can go a long way in improving authoring time and also help authors think of content topics they may not have thought of earlier, for example, a chapter on objection handling, another on value-prompting conversations, and so on.

// Is ease of authoring a key element for an SE tool to be effectively used?

Absolutely. Authoring is not a one-time activity. Content, more often than not, has a life cycle and needs frequent tweaks. This is the nature of agile marketing and sales organizations today. Imagine an experience that requires you to jump through hoops to publish a single update. You might do it once or twice. But would you bother the third time? Considering this, it is of paramount importance that authoring experiences are designed well and are drop-dead simple to use on a daily basis. It doesn’t end there. Being able to collaborate with multiple authors, isolate changes and revert to previous versions of content are all critical in the overall authoring journey.

// If a customer already has a CMS, do they still need an SE solution? Why?

Web CMSs today are morphing rapidly. They are attempting to throw off their shackles and become more agile. This is, overall, a big plus for the industry. However, their content architectures are still woven or based on philosophies that treat content more at a page level. Contrast this with SE solutions, where SE content is treated more as first-class objects and not an afterthought. Bite-sized content, the ability to restructure content, re-use content, leverage apps that are native to the platform, rather than custom-built – all of these make an SE solution a much better bet in starting a company’s SE journey. Add to this the ability of SE solutions to provide you with real-time reports on content consumption and visitors – this means you are able to react and make changes in real time.

// What is the right way to go for a sales org: implement a CRM platform first, and then look at SE, or vice versa?

CRM first. A good CRM is something that allows sales reps to do work in the least number of steps, has an intuitive UI and does not add cognitive load in a sales person’s daily journey. In many ways, these embody a philosophy of user experience design that has been gaining momentum in the past few years.

The SE solution comes next. Companies that have had some success in SE often dedicate a significant portion of their SE content to CRM workflows, CRM usage, a day in the life of a sales rep and similar CRM use case models.

SE solutions that integrate with a CRM solution and are able to surface relevant content recommendations for a given opportunity have a major competitive advantage.

// What are the pitfalls that sales orgs should be aware of when choosing and implementing an SE solution?

To answer this question, I would like to quote some industry facts:

Sales reps spend, on average, 25 percent of their time every month searching for content.

65 percent of reps cannot find relevant content to promote with their prospects.

While most of the industry agrees that the average ramp-up time for a sales rep is 3 months (90 days), there is a significant representation of companies that take 6-plus months to on-board their sales reps.

Most companies take about a quarter or two to roll out SE solutions.

Looking at these facts, a few things emerge:

One of the key criteria in SE solution evaluation needs to be the platform’s ability to surface content via different mechanisms – navigation, search, tagging, Pathfinder, auto-recommendation and more.

Of the above, search is #1. It just has to work, instantaneous and relevant.

Solutions that do not offer insights into content consumption and user behaviour are bad. Insights are critical to drive effective behaviours or changes within sales orgs.

Solution rollout times are, at times, a function of the company’s processes. But a solution that has pre-built systems/processes, especially around content ingestion, single sign-on readiness, and ready-to-use templates can go a long way in making the rollout a smooth and seamless process.