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So far Glen D'Souza has created 11 blog entries.

How a telecom distributor brought efficiency in daily reporting

By | 2018-08-29T09:28:16+00:00 August 9th, 2018|Blogs|

How a telecom distributor brought efficiency in daily reporting

“For a distributor, the objective is pretty simple – Incremental sales for our principal” says Ranjit G K -CEO and co-founder of Vaibhav Inc – Distributor to one of the telecom biggies in India.

Since 2013, Vaibhav inc. has helped the Telco biggie launch products, sustain sales and activate customers.

Our team caught up with Ranjit and learned how the team at Vaibhav Inc is using Bsharp’s platform to bring efficiency in everyday field reporting.

It started in 2012, when Ranjit was 15 years deep in the telecom industry and decided that he could use his experience to start something of his own. And so, began Vaibhav Inc.

Vaibhav Inc. believes in hiring graduates right out of college. You know, the go getters who don’t stop at anything.
But these graduates, need to be orientated quickly. Daily reporting of attendance, customer meetings, route visits have to be done from day one.

“We needed something that helped my team start collect field reports quickly. No complex engineering cycles” Ranjit says.

Vaibhav Inc. chose Bsharp’s mobile sales enablement platform to streamline the field data collection.

“Our team was able to create forms quickly. We deployed multiple forms to capture attendance, sales, happening on route visits”.

His team received notifications on their Bsharp app and just had to open the forms and send the info. No PC. No Excel. Nothing. For a young startup, with a smartphone enabled team, this saved a lot of time and cost. All submissions were sent using a mobile device and Ranjit’s backend team could download all reports in an Excel (XLS) format.

New members in the Vaibhav Inc team get on-boarded on the platform on day one.
“We just add a user, and the user gets an SMS and an email that lets them download the application” says Ranjit. Once downloaded, the forms are right there for them to submit.

Bsharp platform helps Vaibhav inc, create forms and collect responses quickly. You can too.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
Bsharp’s Mobile Sales Enablement Platform”


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Every mile counts. What sales teams ought to learn from marathon runners?

By | 2018-07-12T06:23:28+00:00 June 20th, 2018|Blogs|

Every mile counts. What sales teams ought to learn from marathon runners?

I was watching Eluid Kipochege run the London Marathon. He won the race in 2 hours 14 min and 17 seconds. The lead pack ran his first 5k run in 13 min 48 sec (insanely fast), this meant if you add another 18 seconds, the pack would finish in 1:58:59. The next 5k was covered in 14:31 (still under the world record pace) but every 5k after that could barely meet 5k standards.

Breaking the marathon into smaller 5k chunks makes it easy for me or any other enthusiast/amateur understand what went wrong. I can only imagine what it does for guys at Eluid’s caliber. Because breaking it down helps narrow it down to small factors. Maybe, derive cause and effect relationships.

Now, I would think some deals take longer to close. Multiple meetings to close one deal. Some of these bear fruit and some don’t.

Many a times, it is only the final stages (deals won/lost) of a CRM that is discussed in the daily/monthly/yearly sales meeting. But what about the tiny nuggets of information of those meeting that led to a deal being won or lost.

The meetings could be a treasure trove of answers to questions such as,

  • Why did the prospect drop out after this meeting?
  • What did I communicate in the meeting that I had on Saturday?
  • Did the customer’s profile/requirement match the product I pitched?
  • Where did I meet the customer? Was it too noisy to converse?
  • When did I last follow up with the customer?

Now, you could probably argue that noting points down in a sales journal or the notes/description system of a CRM might help. Well, it might.

But, there are some challenges with this approach:

  • Writing down in a note pad/book: Assuming that you and your team meet a lot of customers, these meetings notes are going to get lost in a sea of scribbles, addresses, customer phone numbers and if you’re like me, doodles.
  • Notes/description section of a CRM: Most often, these sections give you a time stamp of the last edited date and not the date and time at which you made each individual entry (of course, you could probably type it out before you make every entry, but do you really want to do that?)
Too many channels

What you/your team need, is an easy way to view customer/prospect details and submit meeting reports once you’re done with the meeting. This should come naturally.
You know, I am meeting a customer, so let me read about the customer.
I’m done with the meeting, so let me report about the meeting.

Something as easy as a couple of clicks:
Choose customer>Click customer meeting forms>Fill meeting details>Submit.

Once your team submits the data, you should be able to download all the reports in an easy excel format. You get data by individual meetings. You know what went right and what didn’t. Who pitched correctly and who didn’t. Who waited too long to follow up and who was too eager.

Flexible forms

This data helps you and your team learn from every individual customer interaction. It helps you make every meeting count and learn from every one of them.

Bsharp’s flexible forms have helped customers in consumer electronics, healthcare, publishing, telecom industries make every meeting count.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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Clock 1 – Sales person 0. How fast can you pitch?

By | 2018-06-14T06:51:27+00:00 June 12th, 2018|Blogs|

Clock 1 – Sales person 0. How fast can you pitch?

Medical representatives get just 2 minutes when they meet a new prospect. 2 minutes to make a point and hopefully close a deal.

In some cases, these prospects are doctors, who have spared 1- 2 minutes of their busy schedule to listen to a pitch. So, a medical representative has to MAKE MOST OF THE CUSTOMER FACING MINUTE.

Let’s break a typical meeting down. It’s the beginning of the month and a sales person has fixed an appointment with a doctor.

The doctor and the medical rep exchange pleasantries… That was easy.

The sales person begins pitching a product using catalogs and other material. The doctor listens intently.

And suddenly, asks to talk about a different product. The medical rep begins to flip pages.

Triiiing..Goes the buzzer. Times up. The doctor has to leave as does the medical rep.

[Day 1] Clock 1 – Sales person 0.

Let us change the set a bit.

We replace the heavy-paper-based marketing materials with mobile app based platform which is powered by fluid search. It has all the marketing material a sales person would need.

Reset the clock and repeat the scene.

This time when the doctor asks medical rep to talk about a different product, he has the mobile app handy, searches for Product A + Specification B+ Body part C. The system dynamically searches for these tags. And displays the relevant data.

Our medical rep has just saved some time. Time to make his point, time to tilt try and close the sale.

[DAY 2] Clock 1 – Sales person 1

Month end is here and our sales person has continued to use this platform.

[Day 31] Clock 1 – Sales person 30

We at Bsharp with our platform that consists of a structured document repository, flexible meeting capture forms, customer/account management and fluid search to tie it all together help customer across industries plan, execute and report their sales days better.

We help them make most of the customer facing minute

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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Guesswork and hope in sales, will only get you so far

By | 2018-05-29T12:43:43+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Blogs|

Guesswork and hope in sales, will only get you so far

You’ve hired your salesperson. Put him or her through an extensive sales program during which you think you’ve imparted enough for your sales person to take on the world.

Your new sales person gets to work and is now part of a 300-person sales team. So, you think everything has gone well.

But then your customers keep raising complaints such as :

  • Your sales team does not know the product it is selling

  • Your sales team just doesn’t listen and so on

And, you’d like to know what is happening/happened during daily customer meetings. But, none of the data is reaching you.

Ultimately, guesswork and hope is what you rely on. You think that your team like and understand the training content you shared. You guess that they are well trained on the new product. You hope your clients are being met. But, is guesswork the ground reality?

Let’s go back to the time when you held that induction training.

Imagine you asked yourself these questions, things might have been slightly different.

Things would have been slightly different 4 months down the line.

You need a framework from day one. A frame work to Share and Measure.

Share

  • Share data collection forms

You need to ask for data when you want it. You need to ask for it in the format that is the easiest to slice and interpret.

These typically are data such as attendance, meeting data, sales, and store audit data.

You should not have to engineer an app specifically for this purpose. You should not have to refer to multiple communication channels to collect simple field data.

  • Share information

You should be able to share information to your field team in a structured manner, in which the information can be easily consumed and more importantly easily measured.

You will have to share new campaign information or a training for a new product that you just launched. These are really important info that your team would benefit from- IF THEY KNOW THIS CONTENT EXISTS AND IF THEY CONSUME IT.

So make sure they know it. Make sure you know they’ve consumed it.

Measure

  • Field data shared by your team

Field data such as attendance and sales you’ve asked for, is going to come in the hundreds. You need an easy way to segregate and filter data the way you want and export them in the format you need.

  • Information consumed by your team

You’ve shared a lot of important information with your team. You ought to measure everything from open rates, knowledge levels and feedback on the content you share.

  • Measuring content open rates

You should be measuring how many of your sales folks opened/consumed the content and if they’ve opened it for how long did they view it.

Lower open rate. Lower product/service knowledge. Lower sales.

Reward people who consume content regularly and motivate those who don’t.

  • Measure knowledge levels

So they’ve consumed the content but have they understood it or spent time to understand it.

Measure knowledge levels my deploying a steady cadence of assessments or quiz module.

Maybe, initiate a steady drip of a question a day.

These question forces your team to continuously learn and helps you asses how much they’ve learn. It also helps you tailor content to focus on the team’s weaknesses.

  • Measure feedback

The content you share is only as good as its relevance in the field. If your team thinks your content is not helping, it might not be helping. Best way to understand this, is asking for feedback as soon as they view the entire content. Make you collect feedback from only those who have viewed your content.

Key takeaway: Measure. Measure what your team shares. Measure what you share. Measure it quickly. Measure it without friction.

Get rid of hope and guess work based decision making.

Measure.

Bsharp’s platform gives you the ability to ask for field data using flexible forms, share data in a structured format, measure content consumption and has a quiz metrics to let you measure knowledge levels.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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Easily capture barcode data on Bsharp

By | 2018-05-22T09:53:14+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|Blogs|

Easily capture barcode data on Bsharp

Need to capture sales/merchandising info quickly but don’t have the budget for a complex point of sales (POS) system or custom software? Not able to stay on top of your market?

Relax, we’ve got you covered.

Bsharp’s platform hosts a flexible form builder to help you capture sales data in the way you want it. All you need is a team, the Bsharp mobile app and an idea on the format in which you want to capture data.

Your team can view your entire product code/SKU base

Here is everything you need to know:

Bsharp’s platform lets you deploy your product code base to your team. Your team can search for any code or specification and use the feature as a ready reference.

You can upload your code/SKU base in bulk. Got multiple specifications/attributes than define your code? No problem, we let you define your own code base.

Now, you can design and deploy flexible forms

Capture sales or other SKU related data using a drag a drop feature to build your sales/merchandising capture form.

Have a barcode to capture and want to reference it with your code list?

No problem. Just check the barcode option and the system will help you capture the barcode. If your SKU code is the same as the barcode, the system will also help throw errors for incorrect matches.

Plus

You can set quantity and discount limits to help reduce human errors and keep your data squeaky clean.

There’s more.

  • The app works great on Android and the iOS

  • The form builder has a variety of data fields to help you capture field data. Fields such as text, image, audio, GPS and multiple choice can be dragged and dropped to build your form in minutes.

  • You can use the flexible form builder to capture field data such as attendance, customer feedback, complaints, and event info.

No more lengthy engineering cycle or expensive software to capture sales/barcodes/merchandising info. Just drag and drop and deploy.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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Questions. Questions. Questions. An easy way to arrive at the answer.

By | 2018-05-11T07:42:21+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Blogs|

Questions. Questions. Questions.
An easy way to arrive at the answer.

How much have they learnt? What do we need to teach them? Do they know what we do and what we sell?

Are just a few of the question that sales or learning and development managers worry about.

Sales people are also pondering on questions such as how do I sell? The product I am selling, how is it any different from my competition? Am I supposed to pitch this feature over the other?

It seems easy, doesn’t it? But often, these questions remain hidden. Either the manager has no means to get to the answers or the sales person seems to think it doesn’t matter. And sometimes, these questions get lost in daily transactions.

Now, these questions could be categorized into 2 broad buckets. First, the questions related to learning and assessments and the second, questions related to everyday reporting. Let us now understand them a little more.

Category type 1: Everyday reporting.

A lot of such questions remain unanswered. Now, unanswered could mean two things. One, the questions were asked but not answered and two, the questions were answered but were lost in transit.

These are everyday questions with respect to sales data, field sales person attendance, retail merchandising and other such scenarios. Generally, these are asked through a variety of channels leaving the questioner scuttling to probe the respondents to answer and later collating the answers (heads up, you’re setting yourself up for data loss) and the respondents turning into octopuses because that is the only way they can manage all these channels through which their manager thinks they can respond.

Nope.

Category type 2: Learning and assessment.

These are questions that could directly affect the way your teams sell or the way you teach them how to sell.

Your sales team is only as good as the message you give them. And for the message to sink in, it ought to be given continuously. Continuous learning.

And continuous learning must involve assessments. And assessments should be frequent. To test whether your message to the team is relevant. To test whether your team is learning.

Your team also learns from the question they ask you and the answers you give them. Questions they ask through the day. How to do this? How to sell that? Questions about the product.

So, we’ve uncovered the source of the questions, now what does it take to,

  • Ask questions to get daily field data,

  • Ask questions to assess your teams, and

  • Respond to frequently asked questions.

You need a platform that is flexible enough to let you ask questions that help you capture field data the way you want it. Make edits to suit your business imperative and redeploy the data-collection forms. No lengthy engineering cycles.

You need a platform that helps you deploy content in a structure that is measurable. And deploy quiz modules to assess the team continuously.

You need a platform that provides your team with a direct route to you to ask questions and to browse through FAQ repository for everyday solutions.

You need a platform that brings it all together.

Bsharp’s flexible platform lets you deploy content and tag them to act as answers to FAQs. Its discussions platform helps you solve your team’s queries quickly. With the Bsharp platform, you can deploy various types of quiz and also deploy flexible forms to capture field data in real time.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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This is what retail store managers ought to learn from soccer

By | 2018-03-21T06:15:34+00:00 March 16th, 2017|Blogs|

If you missed the clash between Barcelona and PSG on 9th March 2017, this is what the score card looked like…

Barcelona 1. PSG 0. Barcelona 2. PSG 0. Barcelona 3. PSG 0. Barcelona 3. PSG 1. Barcelona 4. PSG 1. Barcelona 5. PSG 1. Barcelona 6. PSG out of the champion’s league.

So, what have we learnt? Keeping score is fun and helpful to. Because sometimes, giving out participation certificates might just not cut it.

Especially, when you have a retail stores all over the country and you need to step up your game against your competitors.

So this is how you can approach this,

You will obviously have to audit your stores to see which of your stores are doing well. To see which of them are at par with the standard you and the industry sets, you will have to grade them on parameters that you think are important.

So, you can send out a bunch of auditors. You know, people with legal pads, pencils and cameras. They audit the store using their questionnaires, fill them out and then mails them to your team. Your team then collates. Happily through the night. Excel sheets. Assigning scores to answers. Then begin tabulating the scores.

Multiple cups of coffee and several hours later, you finally know which of your stores is doing better that the other. You now, finally have your best store and your weakest link.

Ok, now let us note down the various things that could have gone wrong.

The auditor might have not found the store and yet audited it :).

The hand filled questionnaires could have got lost in transit and if you received them by email, they might not have been scanned properly.

Auditor’s hand writing could be illegible

Data entry and collation can help a lot of errors to creep in.

A bunch of rogue pigeons could attack the mailman/woman en route your office.

You could do all this. And account for all of the above points. Or,

You could just,

Voila, analytics ready audit data in 7 steps. You now know your strongest store and the ones that need to improve.

Aren’t points fun?

Let us know what you think.

PS. No PSG fans were hurt when this blog was being written.

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What everybody ought to know about retail store audits

By | 2018-03-21T06:16:51+00:00 March 6th, 2017|Blogs|

Field visits are great. Especially, when the audits require one of your audits/you to audit each of your stores, paper and pen in hand. Also, you need a smartphone to capture images of the store.

You then need a collator (machine/person). Let’s call this collator, Sam.

Sam then takes the images and your paper-data. Collates the lot. And give you data that you can analyse.

Time to get analytics ready data – Not defined

Data integrity – Not defined

Possibility of data loss – Extremely high

Isn’t that fun?

No. It isn’t. You should be turning into the Hulk just thinking about this. If you aren’t..Yoga?

Field data collection should be easier. And it is. Just follow these easy steps.

You need,

One platform that lets you add users.

The ability to create and deploy field data capture forms using the fields you want, in the order you want.

View all your field data in an analytics ready format.

Our customers realised that Bsharp’s platform let you audit stores easily. Want to learn how? Reach out to us.

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3 Steps to audit your retail stores. Comfortably.

By | 2018-03-21T06:17:26+00:00 February 6th, 2017|Blogs|

Let’s imagine you have an outsourced field team. Typically people who are not part of your payroll. Field personnel who are the hard to coordinate with.

And now, you expect them, to audit your stores, send you the updates. They obviously share the audit info using communication channels such as email, orphan Excel sheets and calls.

You then pick up a nice cupa joe and sit. Sit for hours collating the data to catch market trends. Or at least hope to.

Na.. You might want to catch trends a bit earlier. Or better, as they are beginning to form.

A better way to collect retail audit info.

One of our clients were auditing their brand presence in retail stores and store personnel knowledge in said stores. . Had employed a couple of hundred freelance mystery auditors to do this.

Now here are few of the problems they faced:

Spread across the country. 3000 retail outlets to audit. Yikes.

The client wanted to let the freelancers know which retail stores are assigned to them and receive audit data by accounts.

Multiple communication channels.

Multiple communication channels meant 1-2 designated personnel just collating data. Not only is it inefficient, the market trends we talked about earlier. Yeah, forget them.

How did our client pull this off?

sec1-01-01

sec-2-01

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The Outcome:

The client could now log in to the setup platform and just download audit information in an Excel or PDF format. The data was analytics ready.

You can do the same too..

 

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Why does my top sales performer need a sales enabling application?

By | 2018-03-13T12:15:20+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Blogs|

While attending a recent sales meet where our application was being launched, I encountered the Moby Dick of all Q and A rounds.

“I have been the top performer for the past two years. I speak the local language and my sales number reflect my connect with the customers. Why do I need a sales enabling application? Is this really to help me or to monitor me? I don’t need it! I think.” said an enthusiastic attendee sitting right in the front row.

Can’t blame the audio to dodge this one 🙂

I am sure this thought has crossed your mind too. If you are thinking of enabling your field team with an app, you probably have to consider aspects such as app subscription costs, app adoption programs and user and content management.

Obviously, you are now thinking whether it is all worth it? My business is on track. My top performers have been consistent. And the non-performers have been accounted for. Does my team really need an enabling application?

The Why

Ideally, a sales person enabling application should aid the field person and the corporate team on three fronts.

Motivation through gamification

Incentive programs and multi-tiered pay structures work. Sure. But is that all the motivation one can get? Gamified mobile training applications supply positive energy for the company’s ethos.

The gamified training modules coupled with a leader board creates a bit of competitive rivalry. Rewards outside the team’s pay/compensation structure can help in turning up the enthusiasm.Info 1-01
info 2-01

Keep ’em Informed

Staying in touch with your distributed field team is tedious. We are all familiar with the large WhatsApp groups that makes it impossible to reliably share information.

A sales enabling application provides a great platform to share tactical information (like a price list, new SKU launch, new promo etc.) and take the team’s feedback on them. It also provides a great way to provide product info and share electronic versions of your marketing collateral.

Capture daily transactional data

The sales enabling application should be the one stop shop to capture all your transactional data such as sales, attendance and inventory. It should be a one stop shop for the sales personnel to get + share information.

Multiple channels lead to confusion for your sales person and more work for you (collating data is a pain)

info 3-01

The Who

Involving everyone in the hierarchy is important. The field user should not feel that it is a “policing application” – it should be positioned and activated as an enablement application.

But, make sure the contents of the application are specific for different groups of users.

Bottom line: Involve everyone. Segment your content.

The When

Deployment of a sales enabling application cannot be seasonal. This has to be an year long program with consistent reinforcement.

Constant communication helps to maintain the enthusiasm levels and increase rate of adoption.

In the end, it all comes down to the added edge. Constant learning, daily updates, and transactional data in the palm your sales person increases the efficiency of your team and brings a great positive impact to your business.

Want to learn more? Reach out to us. We have a few thoughts on this 🙂

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