How did the idea of Sales Enablement Company emerge?
The genesis of the company was the gap we saw in the market of the enabler who can bridge the gap between our vision of the sales strategy that we want to implement verses what finally happens on the ground. We were a team of three people working at Microsoft- Debabrata Majumdar, R. Narayan and myself. We invested our own money and decided to go ahead with the plan and that is how the company started. Since then we have been sailing, working towards becoming a focused sales enablement firm.
Tell us how big Denave is presently and your aspirations.
We are presently about a 30 million dollar company providing services across 500+ cities and 23 countries. We are sales enablers and help customers in achieving their sales objective. We have a goal of 200 million by 2020. The opportunity we see is huge and the expansion is to reach out to the 5 continents, almost to 23 + countries and about 500+ cities. We still think that is only a certain percentage of the opportunity and we have harnessed only a 0.9% of the total potential.
Denave is a huge company which operates across 5 continents without reach centers (350 Indian cities and 500 cities globally); how do you streamline their activities given the cultural differences?
We started with the vision to be the world’s largest sales enablement firm. We set up base in India with 21 branches in the first five years along with a service line going same as sales line. We experimented a lot and decided to create the service here and reach out to the new market with local domain knowledge, be it APAC or Europe which has worked successfully in Malaysia and Singapore. We have four delivery centers- London, which caters to Europe; Middle East and the US (Latin America, North America); Singapore, which provide services in Singapore and Australia regions. Malaysia, a delivery market. While, India is the hub for new services and serves as the main service hub.
Being a global company we need to understand that there is separate custom in every market. Even in India the way I sell in Kerala is not same as I sell in Bengal. So the crucial thing to understand the market we are expanding into.
Our model is not very different from any other organization. We have CEOs in each of the centers; a business rhythm which keeps the management team in line; and a multi board and management team to look inside how we are progressing. This is where the domain comes in; the Malaysian team is different in their operations and work ethics with strong support from their government. In Malaysia, I might not have to explain the methodology to the team but the Indian work force will ask questions; whereas in Europe the entire team has to be on board before taking any action. So, the managers we hire in every place have a focused orientation and the nature of the work and business practice differs in different markets.
What all services do you provide?
We provide end-to-end sale methodology enablement. Our services are broadly categorized under five pillars focused on accruing more ROIs for our customers and meeting the company’s sales objectives:
Demand generation: This is about getting more customers for our customers generally through on-ground or tele-led hybrid models.
Channel development: These are driven by sales strategies that rely on channel partners who become the face of the brand.
Retail management: The team takes a solution-conscious approach to ensure sales readiness thereby promoting brand advocacy, achieve sell-out targets and impact market in long-term share.
Technology: State-of-the-art technology underpins every sales solution that we deliver to create significant impact product life cycle and ROI on sales strategies.
Learning: This division provides solutions for sales readiness and customer management for a variety of assignments, from large-scale classroom training and roll-out, on-the-job specialized learning to remote on-the-job support.
How sales enablement is different from marketing?
Marketing is within sales and look at the way the whole world is converging. The sales process starts when you have identified who your customer is, followed by database management. Today you have a certain percentage of data base available. To convert this whole space which is available on the internet, in an unorganized manner, we leverage technologies. However, it is not feasible to physically reach out to every customer; I then leverage my technology strategy and data strategy etc. and therefore these marketing tools are very important. One of our services is called marketing lead generation. This is where marketing comes into play.
How do you leverage technology and database framework in sales?
Technology can be leveraged to provide the customer with whitespace database to enable sales and generate desired ROIs and sales impact. Successful implementation is possible using our key technological solutions which essentially leverage a cloud environment for effective sales and ROIs. It is speech recognition which gets us to the level when the entire database gets converted into action. However, such a disciplined execution can become a challenge if you are only providing the technology or only the people or someone providing you only the method. We put these factors together and give a holistic end-to-end solution.
Future of Indian Inc. and expansion.
We are focused on driving the future of sales enablement and establish gold standards with sales technology. Today probably 10% or 20% of our time is coming in from technology. Tomorrow maybe 80% will come in. Our goal is to grow 10 times and be present across the length and breadth of the globe by 2020. Though, we feel the Indian opportunity is much larger than what we see in London, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore and other geographies. Our vision is to contribute to the global economy by creating employment opportunities and drive innovation through our delivery centres across the globe.