On a recent business trip in bright and sunny Mumbai, I caught up with a long lost friend of mine a business conference. We decided to meet over coffee and learn about our old & new happenings in our lives… Rajeev Kaul, my friend was on the phone/mails throughout our 1 hour of coffee meet! After a quiet observation, I couldn’t resist ask him
What’s all the hullabaloo all about?"
His silent reply to it was "I work as VP Sales in a top-notch pharmaceutical and those were my national and regional sales head reporting the monthly and quarterly targets and updating me about the maximum sales… I get daily 100’s of emails for all the daily order booking of sales individuals… I sit replying to emails till around 4am each night and hit back to office at 8am daily! Here I’m sitting miles away from my USA office and keeping a keen eye on the Sales happening. Moreover I’m responsible to report all the P and L’s daily, weekly, monthly, annually for each individual… region wise… if only I had automated dashboard or solution which can somehow make me get information on my fingertips!"
The frustration was eating upon Rajeev…his flailing health and flabbergasted looks spoke it out loudly. What could have been a nostalgic moment for us instead turned into ‘Discussing Innovative Technology Solution’. I was at work again!!!
And this started off a seed trail in my mind, what Rajeev was suggesting was a just a small part of the problem being faced by major Sales heads globally. Deeply analyzing the situation, I concluded:
Rajeev’s was the exact reflection of every Sales head :
- who had to keep track of all their sales representatives on the road
- Scrutinize & plan travel route maps for each sales representative
- Monitor individual sales person performance
- Order Management
- Keep a keen eye on the most highly sold products
- Update manufacturing and manage the supply chain cycle
- Daily Sales Productivity
- Complaints about each product, track records, archive data
- Survey Management
- Easy to understand Reports
- Addition to the problem was being a Sales head made Rajeev travel 24 days a month globally meeting up with new and old clients, attending conferences and managing the sales cycle smoothly
- Direly dependent on office remote desktop when travelling global
The Blame Cycle
With the position Rajeev held, he could easily blame his National or Regional Sales Head for menial calculations and reports or losses, Rajeev wasn’t responsible for each sales person’s role but Rajeev was accountable for a larger target. His companies National/Regional Sales head could easily pass the blame to their subordinates for lack of orders from allotted region, no updates of retailers, lack of redressal of complaints, poor survey reports…and the vicious cycle continues.
COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) solutions basically miss out on sophisticated analysis, lack of detailing of Distribution Channels, lack of grievance redressal…all summing up to a costly affair like Rajeev’s! Analyzing the situation, I feel Rajeev should have:
- Given the ready-made solutions a miss
- Chosen a dynamic sales solution which addresses promptly to increased pressure faced by sales teams daily
- Real time data management software which minimized the hierarchical channels
- Robust network which consisted of a real-time GPS tracking… everything on fingertips!
I exclaimed,” What better than mobilizing your sales Rajeev?!! “
And the puzzled look Rajeev gave me like I was stealing his precious piece of cake…
Stay tuned to learn what measures Rajeev strategically take to drive past the perilous Sales steep.