How Bsharp does it: Product launch day sales team readiness

By | 2018-12-05T13:29:51+00:00 December 5th, 2018|Blogs|

How Bsharp does it: Product launch day – sales team readiness

Product launches take place with a lot of fanfare. But how does an organization make sure its greatest ambassadors- their sales teams, are equipped to communicate a product message correctly. Training a sales team requires times, how do you make sure your field sale teams all well versed with the product and all the while maintaining your competitive edge?

A consumer internet major decided to hold a surprise launch to the public and its field sales team on the same day. That meant, the field team members had to be trained on the same day and be ready to interact with customer in a matter of hours.

That’s 580 field sales personnel across 40 cities to be trained on 2 products.

One way to do it would be to hold route-trainer led training sessions across cities while another could be to group training sessions a few days prior to the launch. Obviously, both these methods are not cost effective or the organization ends up losing it competitive edge.

What’s required

A mechanism to train the entire field same team on the same day covering aspects such as a 60 second pitch, product features, objection and competition handling and offer details.

Bsharp delivered

A combination of technology, content and program helped announce the new product and train the entire field team on it.

Content

A pack of HTML5 based training material and assessments supplemented by reference material which included product brochures and videos.

Platform

All this content was delivered through Bsharp’s sales enablement platform. Every field sales personnel received a notification on the mobile phones announcing the launch. App, email and SMS notifications also helped nudge the team to complete the training modules. The platform helped drive engagement using app-based discussion sessions which helped connect the corporate to the field team and acted as platform to share customer queries.

Program

To help stitch the content and platform together, Bsharp developed a bespoke program which included the following elements.

Communication

stream of email, SMS and app notifications were deployed to keep the team engaged.

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Managerial support

Based on the adoption/training completion rates, team managers could drive adoption.

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Team engagement

The customer FAQs were shared and the entire team was given clarifications.

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Follow-up assessments

At the end of week 1, the entire team was assessed to understand knowledge retention, strengths and weaknesses.

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Impact

  • 100% of the sales team were trained on day 1 with over 80% assessments scored.

  • The team was well equipped to handle a surprise launch

  • The entire team was geared with product knowledge and were ready to face the hectic festive season.

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


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How Bsharp does it: Collect flagship product merchandising info

By | 2018-11-28T12:53:15+00:00 November 27th, 2018|Blogs|

How Bsharp does it: Collect flagship product merchandising info

The success of organisation’s flagship product determines their market leadership and margins.

A particular PC market leader was about to launch one of their key products. It was going to be one of their most important launches of the year. The retail execution had to be just right.

The merchandising plans were drawn up. In initial market feedback said that customers were excited about the display and were willing to pay a premium for the product. The product manager had to make sure that all 800 stores had the right merchandising based on the store format.

Bsharp-metric

What’s required

A mechanism to help report merchandising implementation quickly.

Bsharp delivered

Training program:

Basis the format of the store that the sales person was in, the sales person received training on planogram and merchandising plan.

This was a mix of app based and route trainer driven training sessions.

Capture field data

Platform:

  • Mapping stores to field personnel: Stores were uploaded as accounts and assigned to individuals.

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  • Flexible forms:  Bsharp’s sales enablement platform hosts a flexible form builder. This flexible form builder helps creates data collection forms to capture data such as store name, store location, videos, images, date and time stamps, multiple choice and numeric fields. These forms were great to captured detailed merchandising reports from each and every store.

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Impact

  • All stake holders (Merchandisers, Sales Reps) had a clear understanding on the deployment standards. They knew how to evaluate if the deployment is good and complete.

  • Reports from 800+ stores with status and images. This led to confirmed deployment of merchandising.

  • Reports from 800+ stores with status and images. This led to confirmed deployment of merchandising.

in-summary-bsharp

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Case study: Inducting field sales personnel of a major consumer durable organisation

By | 2018-11-19T10:15:04+00:00 November 15th, 2018|Blogs|

Case study: Inducting field sales personnel of a major consumer durable organisation

Consumer durable organisations often have sales personnel across multiple geographies. This particular organisation has 1000+ field sales people and has a 30 percent attrition rate.

A 30 percent attrition rate means that the organisation has approximately 25 new sales personnel joining outlets that are spread over 100 cities every month.

That’s 25 new sales people to induct into the organisation. Now, employee induction is easier said than done. You’ve got to worry about assembling new joiners in one location, make travel arrangements for the trainer, handle course material. And this is just the beginning of the long list of worries.

Every day of delay in being floor ready has a cost attached. A sales person is ambassador for a brand in front of the customer. A ill-prepared sales person would not be in sync with the corporate’s messaging, product and therefore is not able to have quality interactions with the customer.

What’s required:

A mechanism to seamlessly induct new joiners and share with them the knowledge about the organisation, processes, products, management expectations and KPIs.

Bsharp delivers on two fronts. A combination of technology and content to accelerate induction.

Content

Bsharp develops content which cover essential elements required to induct a field sales personnel. Basically, any key information to a sales person would need to know to get field ready.

Technology

For this program, Bsharp leveraged the following key features from its sales enablement platform.

  • An easy invitation system: This removes any friction in user onboarding. Immediate managers can now add or remove users from the system.

  • An easy invitation system: This removes any friction in user onboarding. Immediate managers can now add or remove users from the system.

  • Course path: Every new employee has a defined course path that he/she need to navigate before being certified. They first need to learn about the organisation, then the products followed by processes and finally their KPIs. Their learning paths are controlled with section locks and minimum document viewing time.

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  • Certifications: Once an individual navigates through the various sections of a course and pass the assessment, they receive a specially designed certificate that they can share with their peers or managers to announce that they have completed the learning requirement.

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  • Certifications: Once an individual navigates through the various sections of a course and pass the assessment, they receive a specially designed certificate that they can share with their peers or managers to announce that they have completed the learning requirement.

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  • Discussions: The app-based discussion feature helps new joiners interact with induction group moderators to clear any doubts. Moderations use discussions as a portal where they can motivate the new batch of employees and nudge them to ramp up quickly. Also, queries from discussions are captured to form a list of FAQs that can supplement any future inductions programs.

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  • Content by user groups: New joiners are all invited into an induction group and receive only induction content. This content is a mix of videos, weblinks and presentation and also contains regular assessments.

  • Content by user groups: New joiners are all invited into an induction group and receive only induction content. This content is a mix of videos, weblinks and presentation and also contains regular assessments.

Impact

  • The time required  for a sales person to be floor ready is reduced to 3 days. That’s 12-17 days quicker when induction was treated as an ad-hoc process.

  • Sales teams are now aligned to the corporate’s message, are able to have quality customer interactions, are more engaged and are involved in more purposeful sales.

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We did our bit, did you?

By | 2018-08-25T14:45:42+00:00 August 24th, 2018|Blogs|

We did our bit, did you?

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

The recent floods at Kerala and Kodagu have created a lot of havoc to both humans and mother earth.  #savekeralaandkodagu campaigns have been taking rounds on social media and triggered call for action.

@Bsharp, we decided we had to do our bit.

It was on Thursday morning, we discussed on how to go about the whole donation drive. All Bsharpians, wanted to contribute from their salaries. A cap of Rs. 1000 was fixed for the salary contribution. Bsharp decided to match the amount collected with an equivalent amount.

By Friday late evening, we had collected enough funds to buy the items.  We rushed to the nearest Metro Cash and carry with a short shopping list:

  • Sanitary napkins

  • Baby diapers

  • Baby food

  • Biscuits

I am absolutely thrilled to have lead the whole process of shopping and shipping the items on behalf of the Bsharp team.

It was a mad rush at Metro Cash and Carry. I made way to the counter with  six carton boxes of each of the items in two jumbo-sized trolleys. I was exhausted when someone at Metro handed me with a tetra pack juice. With a smile, he said, “When you are doing so much for the flood victims of Kerala and Kodagu, this is just a bit we can do for you.”

I thought, “those who help will be helped”.

I handed over the items to the NGO “Amrutha Bindu”. They collected from other contributors, filled up the van and were on their way to Kodagu and Kerala relief camp in a short while.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
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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.

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AI in Retail

By | 2018-11-09T17:16:03+00:00 July 25th, 2018|Blogs|

AI in Retail

Virtual assistants are a growing area of interest worldwide. For most customers talking to a device and getting tasks done, seems to be out of a Sci-fi. A few years ago it was only a concept, but today we have Siri, Alexa, Google Home and Cortana in our homes and offices to assist us. Businesses are gearing up to embrace AI in their daily life.

Imagine the scenario, you want to buy a laptop, you walk into a retail store. You are greeted by a voice service:
“Hello, how can I help you today?”
You “I want to buy a laptop”

You are asked a series of questions like “For what purpose are you looking for a laptop, professional / academic / family” , “what is the typical usage” , “What is the price range” , and so on.
And at the end of it, you are shown couple of recommendations, you select the one you like and get all the details of the product along with the product video streamed on to Smart TV in front of you. If you want to buy, you will be taken to the Order menu or if you want the details to be sent to you, the product information will be sent to your email id or texted to your mobile. A voice based smart device doing all this for us. Astounding!

Virtual assistants will completely transform the retail buying experience by providing hyper personalized interactions. The virtual assistants will be able to pick up right products for the customers using complex AI algorithm to provide latest product information and visualization. This will provide most comprehensive Omnichannel experience for the customers which will include voice, text, video and touch.

The underlying technology of Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition, Elastic search, and pattern recognition have improved significantly over the last couple of years. The leaders in this technology Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana and Apple Siri are providing open API to create third party applications which can be build and deployed in quick time.

At Bsharp, we have polled our clients, and saw immense interest in the concept. Some of our clients are already working on it while some are in the ideation stage. We believe that sooner than later that we will start seeing Virtual Assistants in our neighbourhood malls.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp 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.

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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

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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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