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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 is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
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.
Purna Chandra Mahato
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.
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
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Brenda Dwyer is the Senior Director of Sales Enablement at Mountain View, California-based Omnicell, a healthcare company offering solutions for transforming medication management, from hospital to home. In this role, she works collaboratively across the organization to help the sales organization run effectively and efficiently in support of business processes and objectives.
Brenda has been with Omnicell for 13 years, during which she has gained extensive experience in the areas of talent development, process improvement, sales operations and other field enablement activities. She initiated a college hire program for sales professionals and is passionate about helping individuals and organizations unlock their potential. Previously, she founded and led the Sales Enablement functions at McKesson and Aesynt.
Brenda received her Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Cornell University’s ILR School and her BA in Economics and German from the University of Notre Dame.
Interviewed by Shwetha Mahesh
/ / What are the technologies/trends driving sales enablement today?
It may first be helpful to share a couple of points of background on how Omnicell defines sales enablement. Although I’ve worked in the field for over a decade, I find that sales enablement is still not widely understood and varies from organization to organization. Simply stated, I view sales enablement as sales strategy execution. How well equipped is your sales organization to execute effectively in front of customers? To that end, we blend traditional sales operations functions (territory design, quota and compensation setting, analytics) with sales enablement (training, talent, content management) to deliver sales effectiveness. Because these are intertwined, we try to think through all drivers of sales team effectiveness. If we’re achieving our growth targets, if our sales team engagement is high, if customer loyalty is strong, we’re hitting the mark.
As far as trends are concerned, I suggest studying the customer’s buying patterns. When is engaging with a sales professional a value-add for the customer? Many sales transactions can and should be automated through e-commerce or different channels. When do clients value sales engagement? What guidance are they looking for a salesperson to provide? Those questions help drive what sales enablement strategies we should deploy.
/ / What are the top benefits that your organization enjoys as a result of sales enablement?
Prior to sales enablement, the sales organization at Omnicell was rapidly growing without centralized support, standardization or resources. As a result, the sales team created their own documents and spent a lot of time on non-customer facing tasks. First, sales enablement has provided a sense of having an internal business partner who shares the same vision for success. We obsess about making the numbers as much as the field. Second, there are resources who can provide expertise along all paths of the customer’s journey: from content creation to technical support, training and communication. And lastly, the training enables our sales team to quickly adapt to new products in the portfolio, new messaging and shifts in the market. The best sales organizations continuously invest in skill development and we strive to innovate our training to develop those skills most effectively.
/ / In your opinion, what are the major roadblocks in the sales enablement journey?
Sales executive support is crucial. I’m fortunate to work for a head of sales who is a sales enablement advocate. We’re included in strategic planning, ongoing advisory and receive a significant amount of investments. Without total buy-in at the highest level of the sales organization, enablement initiatives will always be in jeopardy.
/ / How do you conduct the training and onboarding of your organization’s sales team?
For external hires, we use a framework that spans the new hire’s first nine months. As soon as they are hired, we start with online learning to get baseline knowledge before attending their first in-person training sessions. After time in the field following a guide of experiences, they return to our offices for additional training. Throughout this time period, the new hire is paired with a mentor and regularly communicates with our sales training team. We certify the knowledge through job simulations and use feedback from internal business partners and sales leadership, not just the sales enablement team. Getting a new hire up to productivity truly takes a village.
We have found another path to onboarding success outside of hiring traditional candidates with 10-plus years of industry experience. Many of our sales openings are filled through our rotational sales development program. This is a program where we hire high-potential talent directly from the university. These program members matriculate through a two to a three-year rotation, engaged in all aspects of sales. Program “graduates” are fully productive once they assume their field sales roles. Because of the decreased time in onboarding and our track record of these program graduates achieving their sales quota plan significantly quicker than external hires, program participants are in high demand amongst our sales leaders. We’ve found that having a ready “bench” has helped us achieve our results more effectively.
/ / What are the different channels that you use to share content with the sales team?
Our marketing organization takes the lead on developing customer-facing content (white papers, messaging, etc.), whereas the sales enablement team determines how it will be used to engage customers.
For internal collaterals, the sales enablement team takes the lead. One example is playbooks for our various sales roles to clearly outline performance standards and expectations.
Content is shared via various channels; our current go-to platform is Brainshark. We selected Brainshark initially for video coaching and content creation capabilities. However, we found it’s also terrific for sales communication. Our weekly sales update is now pushed out to our sales and customer operations functions via Brainshark videos with links to collaterals.
/ / How do you measure the success of your organization’s sales enablement collaterals? What are the metrics that are monitored?
Customer feedback, whether external or internal, is our best indicator for collateral effectiveness. It’s challenging to correlate whether collateral alone impacted the outcome of the overall sales opportunity, especially in complex sales with long sales cycles and multiple stakeholders. What we can do is solicit customer feedback: Did this messaging resonate with you? What tools/collaterals do you need to sell this to your C-suite?
/ / What are the important features that you feel a sales enablement tool must have?
Buy-in from the sales team that they find value in the tool and will use it is number one for me. In my experience, a sales enablement tool must be simple, fit into a sales person’s daily workflow, and not be a burden to use. And any tool that we add, we think through what could be removed.
Brainshark, as I mentioned earlier, is a terrific example of a sales enablement platform that has worked for us. We selected it using a panel of sales team members who chose it over other options. We piloted it in a few regions before deploying it in the entire sales organization. The mobile capabilities work for a sales team that travels Monday-Thursday. And it has multiple applications for us – content creation, video coaching and training certifications. Our head of sales even uses it for his weekly video communication to the field. It’s worked so well that our customer operations and service teams are now using it as well. Overall, it’s been a great investment for us.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive sales enablement in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
I believe the customer will set the trends for how they wish to buy. The role of the traditional sales professional has changed significantly over the last 10 years and will continue to do so. Our customers want a sales partner who will be embedded in their organizations as a long-term advisor – collaboratively planning on long-term investments and remaining with them as technology is implemented and adopted. Those skill sets and capabilities are very different from a transactional sales approach. The earlier that businesses can predict future customer-buying trends, the better so that the talent strategy can evolve as well.
/ / In which areas of sales enablement does your organization plan to invest over the coming years?
There are three areas where we’re making significant investments. To stay in front of industry changes, we’re investing in our sales analytics function and hiring data scientists. The insights used to drive decisions from territory planning, customer segmentation, predictive forecast modeling and sales rep productivity help us become better. We’re also investing in strategic account management – from tools to training. And lastly, we will continue to invest in our college-hire rotational program as it continues to provide benefit to us.
Paradigm shift from traditional to modern sales enablement methods
Dan Carusi, Senior Director of Global Sales Effectiveness & Enablement, Ellucian
SE tools must develop seller’s empathy for, and understanding of, the customer
Kevin Strange, Vice President of Global Sales and Channel Sales Enablement, Verint.