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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.

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


Data, analytics, insights and timely content should equip client-facing team to optimize selling to B2B customers.

The need for sales enablement came up because of two reasons – to ensure better collaboration between the marketing and sales team to drive higher revenues, and to meet the increasingly demanding B2B selling situation. However, sales enablement still remains an under-represented term – often organizations are unable to clearly define what it means for them, or rarely take action to evolve the sales structure within an organization.

In fact, when we spoke to industry experts, B2B customers, and solution providers, it was evident that the concept was clear, and most wanted to or are already putting in place certain amount of rudimentary processes, but it was not enough to meet the fast digital transformation that is happening everywhere.

According to the Regalix report, State of Sales Enablement 20171, 55% of organizations (predominantly tech companies) had a sales playbook as part of their sales enablement process. The report states, “Given that playbooks play a vital role in the sales enablement process, we believe more organizations will be compelled to adopt them.”

Customers are more aware than before, and prefer to do their own research on a product or company before even reaching out to solution providers. Moreover, they easily disengage with sellers who provide no value or relevant information. That is where sales enablement becomes important because organizations need to understand the customer buying journey and should be able to meet the customer’s demand at every step – from marketing to sales to aftersales. So the market will see a shift, as we have already begun to see, toward patching the leaks in the sales funnel by closely integrating marketing and sales during the customer journey.

Content is key

One of the important aspects that came into focus, in the research done Regalix on Sales Enablement, was that providing quality content in a timely manner was a very important goal for businesses for a good sales enablement process. In fact, 76% of the respondents said that they would like relevant and quality content to ensure a good sales pitch and overall better customer engagement.

Here’s an example of how quality, relevant and timely content can help in pushing sales.

Sanjay Gupta, CMO, Urban Ladder says, “We feel that everything is content for us. The centrality of content for us stems from the very business we are in. Since products at Urban Ladder is not something you buy daily, we have to ensure our content is what keeps our customers engaged with us as a brand. So content for Urban Ladder is what the customer sees and not just reads.

For instance, we treat every interaction with our customer as content whether it is conventional blogs or newsletter or whether it is our interaction on Twitter or Facebook; or whether it is our interaction with them in their home when we go to deliver the product.” Today, the brand is strong enough to go ahead and open experience centers across the country.

This shows that sales content needs to become more audience specific as the sales process becomes more complex and competitive. So the role played by sales enablement tools in content personalization is very important, and something the sales enabler of an organization needs to look into seriously.

Evolve CRM into sales enablement

Even as organizations feel the need for a strong content set up, most do not understand how this sales content can be important in the overall CRM of the business. In the Regalix Sales Enablement report, only 24% of organizations felt the merit of integrating sales content into CRM.

While a CRM software is very important to manage a sales cycle and monitor the sales team, the tool rarely arms the sales team to make a sales pitch. However, the report shows that integrating sales enablement with CRM can be a powerful customer engagement tool for businesses. It improves the overall sales enablement process.

That is what Zoho Corp, a CRM solution provider to the SME segment, is trying to do – make CRM more intelligent, and sales person friendly. The company is using Artificial Intelligence to transform its CRM platform into a sales enablement one.

Focus on customer experience

The main aim of any sales enablement program within an organization should be customer experience. But this is not the case. According to an E-Consultancy survey on Customer Experience Strategy2, it was seen that 40% of companies worked in silos to deliver a customer experience. Most of the organizations focused more on short-term priority in acquiring profitability rather than building on the customer lifetime value and enhancing the buying journey.

But when a business is serious about sales enablement, customer experience is something it needs to put special focus on. Not just the engagement at a sales pitch, but the overall buying journey and post-sale involvement.

Stressing on this, Suparna Menon, Head IBM Interactive Experience, IBM India says, “Your overall business strategy, which includes marketing and sales strategies, needs to morph into customer experience. The focus has to be human centered, and the experience should be delivered by all the functions with the organization.”

Nurture data for better sales enablement

There is a business model transformation happening and you cannot do that without data. According to Bill Hartwick, VP – Cloud, IBM, data is the new currency for all business teams. “What you do with the data in terms of analysis is really going to drive your business,” he adds. It is the new resource which will help the sales and marketing teams develop strategies to build customer experience and bring to them things that they have never had before.

“It is a post-sale, on-demand, attention economy. The focus is on how to improve post-sale experience, meet the smallest customer buying demand and retain the attention. That is where data comes in. Use big data context to improve analytical insight to make better business decisions. Use data insights to transform your business,” said Ray Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder of Constellation Research, at a recent IBM conference.

He advises the sales and marketing teams to learn from each customer interaction. Take the inputs and then predict and create future interactions based on the previous results.

“Deliver an immersive experience. Analyze the data to develop insights that transform your business, but humanize the model – for your customers show the context, show the relevancy and then build the relationship,” he adds. Wang is all for using software tools that will enable the teams to collaborate and create highly personalized customer experience. “Always deliver on anticipatory analytics. Learn from the outcome and then further design the experience. No customer likes to be force-fed a customer journey. Use AI to create these,” Wang advices.

Sales team of the future

According to Forrester Research3, sales enablement is a strategic process where both the sales and marketing teams are able to “consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving lifecycle to optimize the return on investment of the selling system.”

That is why organizations now need to transform the way they sell and look at their sales team. There has to be a high level of collaboration between teams. Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO, Denave, the company that helps organizations with end-to-end sales enablement,says “In order to address the needs of savvy customers, enterprises must transform the way they sell and the way they look at sales. Just empowering the sales team is not enough.”

A Denave4 market research found that around 58% of buyers disconnect with the sales team because the team is not aligned to the buyer’s business needs. On the other hand, while the product and solution companies are investing large amounts in developing the sales team and the operations, somewhere the processes are not aligned, so the companies are not able to get a positive return from their investment in sales initiatives.

Bhattacharjee feels that to be future ready, enterprises look at sales enablement as an end-to-end process - right from strategizing plans to executing sales. “For most enterprises, driving revenue growth, acquiring new customers and changing the way sales representatives carry out their operations are key sales objectives. These objectives get challenged considering the diverse nature of markets globally, as well as the complex and vast product portfolio. No longer a choice; sales enablement has become a business necessity,” he adds.

For that, the sales enabler, within the organization, needs to have digital tools that enable delivery of sales collaterals to capture consumer interaction, analyze the data and create content that engages a customer through the entire buying journey.