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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.
At a time like this when technology is being rapidly adopted by organizations, enabling sales teams with the right kind of tools that empower them on the field is more important than it ever was. Various sales enablement tools are promising to do just that.
We got in touch with Arvind Saxena, Group Marketing Head of data hosting and cloud services company Sify Technologies, to talk about sales enablement tools. He talked about their viability and discussed how technology adoption has changed various facets of the sales process.
Interviewed by Avanish Tiwary
Over the last decade or so, the sales pitch, from being a lengthy script, has evolved into a sharp elevator pitch. With competition getting fiercer and buyers becoming smarter and more aware, it is inevitable for this evolution to take place. Never before has there been such a deep alignment with the client’s overall organizational goals.
Earlier, while selling to a single stakeholder, a sales pitch used to be “direct” and “unidimensional” while the decision-making cycle was short. However, with multiple decision makers involved in the buying process in organizations today, the sales pitch needs to have a consultative approach with a multidimensional structure to cater to the needs of the organization at large and not one single function. An alignment with the core business objectives of the organization is key. The sales pitch needs to touch the right cords with the needs of the stakeholders (be it the CFO, CTO, CIO, CMO, or the end-user), and all have varied aspirations and one common goal of performing their tasks better. All functions today are under immense pressure to contribute to the top-line of the company and are equally responsible for maximizing the ROI of every buying decision they make. The sales pitch has evolved to help this audience see clear benefits and ROI for their business, while keeping the end user in mind.
Today, technology is disrupting every industry and transforming organizations. Typically, selling high-tech products in a B2B environment is complex and the sales cycle can be significantly longer. Organisations are constantly on the lookout for tools that can help improve productivity, profitability and provide a competitive advantage. Use of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies can help get more visibility into the sales process and accelerate the funnel.
Big data analytics allows organizations to make sense of terabytes of data in real-time. Automation tools allow sales teams to carry out mundane, time-consuming day-to-day activities faster, with increased precision. Access to real-time data and reports allow managers to have complete transparency in projections. CRM technology
integrates inputs from all three functions – sales, marketing and customer service, to provide a holistic view of the customer relationship and opportunities therein.
Access to this information in real-time, on-the-go (thanks to cloud technology) allows sales teams to be more agile and effective with respect to identifying opportunities and making informed prospecting efforts. An extension of cloud-CRM to mobile devices offers a significant competitive advantage to the sales-force, enabling instant, easy access to critical data and documentation. They hugely benefit from unified communication and collaboration technology with a view of current and future opportunities in any account. Sales teams can update the status of their meetings in real-time, remotely, using mobile devices for managers to track.
The proliferation of social technologies today empowers buyers right from the stage they begin exploring solutions to their business problems, through a comparative study of various competing products, to what their peers are recommending. Influencers and perception-based decision-making, play an important role in the buying cycle. So, businesses need to understand that no matter what they promise or aim to achieve, the value will always lie in customer experiences which will be validated by new-age digital peer-networks over which companies have no control. Social media is also helping the sales function target the most relevant prospects across industries.
For us, classroom learning, PC learning and mobile learning are three important components of the learning process. Game-based or experiential classroom learning sessions complemented by instructional step-by-step videos make for hands-on capability building. Complete training modules are made available online, as well as on mobile apps for the sales team on-the-go to access anytime, anywhere and learn at their own pace.
It is crucial to not complicate the learning process so as to ensure the effectiveness and adoption of technology.
For a fast-growing organization like ours, the tools need to help make teams more productive and the sales cycle easy, while demonstrating readiness and flexibility for future loads. Such a tool needs to be mobile-enabled for a workforce which is always on-the-go. Therefore, ease of use, scalability and mobility will be primary to adoption. Integration capabilities with existing CRM and sales automation systems will ensure that the tool provides a holistic view, rather than an isolated one.
We use multiple in-house and proprietary tools for enhancing the productivity of the sales force, accelerating the funnel progress and mapping customer journey – to get deeper visibility into the buying patterns of our audience for a more accurate sales forecast and funnel.
Multiple tools makes it very complex for the sales team to keep up with technology and adoption thus becomes a constant challenge. A lot of these tools need to focus on becoming more user friendly and work on the User Experience (UX), keeping the end-user – a sales person on the field, in mind. These tools need to sync functionally across sales, marketing, product development and also through the complete customer journey to provide a holistic view of the customer lifecycle.
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 brings predictability
Sanjeev Sukumaran, Founder and Head of Marketing, ForceFulcrum
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.