India’s Small and Medium Business (SMB) sector has the potential to revolutionise India’s economic growth trajectory by growing at a rate of 23% per annum. It has already outpaced the industrial sector’s growth rate. According to a KPMG report, there are around 51 million SMBs in India, of which only around 32 % operate online. A large portion of the SMB market is yet to be digitalised. Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO and Co-Founder, Denave, spoke to BE’s Ayantika Halder on how sales enablement techniques provided by his company are empowering SMBs in resource fulfilment and other technological upgradations.
Q. Tell us about Denave.
A. Denave is an 18-year-old global sales enablement company. We can be best termed as global sales catalysts. Our focus remains on providing sales solutions to our customers. We emphasise bringing in measurable business impacts by providing end-to-end sales enablement solutions. Sales are a horizontal function and that’s why we have developed multi-industry expertise through partnering with global businesses. With delivery centres in India, Singapore, UK and Malaysia, Denave has a reach spanning five continents, 50 plus countries and more than 500 cities globally. We are generating incremental revenues for some of the largest brands in the world.
Q. How do you view the SMB sector in India as compared to the global industrial landscape? Also, in terms of tapping that pool, how do you see the current outreach?
A. The SMB sector in India holds high potential. Yet it remains one of the least penetrated industry segments in the developed as well as the emerging markets. The current outreach is way less in comparison to the potential available. Irrespective of the market (developed or emerging) the typical penetration percentage into SMB ranges from single digits to early double digits. A large part of what is categorised as SMB falls into the micro SMB space with typically a 1-10 employee base and need different handling. While it remains a lucrative space, there is a constant quest on how to penetrate this segment. With our technology-backed sales enablement solutions, Denave’s expertise in SMB penetration fills this gap.
Q. What are the elements of a winning SMB penetration strategy?
A. The traditional sales approaches are losing their sheen owing to the rapid process modernisation and it is critical to inculcate new-age tactics in the approach to carve a successful SMB strategy. The outreach base that involves the database is an important aspect of any strategy involving SMBs.
The SMB segment is dynamic and under constant change. Constant augmentation of the database is the only way to avoid getting stuck in a non-relevant, non-contactable database trap. Also, considering the scale and extent of changes occurring in this segment, it is imperative to work out a technology leveraged database updating strategy.
Fine-tuning the market-outreach regularly for different types of SMBs would require varied treatments. Requisite customisation of the strategy plays an important role. Another important element is developing a strong support network is by leveraging the domain expertise by associating with specialist partners. Lastly, the time frame is important to draw a strategy. Keeping a realistic time-frame in mind and then aligning other elements of the plan in accordance to that time-frame is essential.
Q. What role does sales enablement play in formulating and actualising such strategy and where does Denave fit in?
A. We understand that a traditional approach is not going to facilitate the in-roads to the SMB segment as it used to and it is imperative to adopt newer strategic approaches. New-age sales enablement techniques make full-use of technology and modern sales tools to strengthen the strategy application at each step. Replacing the random reach-out with a targeted approach where identification of the right set of SMBs with the help of intelligent database management is the first step. It includes application of AI and data analytics. Identifying purchase probability is an important step. After connecting the dots between the data, trend mapping and purchase history mapping the probability of positive selling remains more. The dynamism is brought in by moving beyond the static database platforms. Identifying the right partner to equipping them with sales tools to even conducting regular assessments – it is all about closing the loop.
Q. Where do the SMBs intersect with the large corporate?
A. The Indian economy is expected to emerge as one of the leading economies in the world with statistics predicting a $5 trillion mark by 2025. In such optimistic times, we can see SMBs emerging as the backbone of the economy in terms of sheer count, potential contribution to the GDP and even job creation. This further validates the increasing attention this sector commands today.
The intersection point between enterprises and SMBs lies in the latter’s ability to create great products or services that solve a real-world problem without compromising on the efficacy. For example, a new age e-payment bank can give a run for the money to a well-established retail bank. In fact, the technology revolution is even removing the entry barrier which was ahead of SMBs whenever they attempted to take on large corporates. This especially stands true in the services segment. Today an entry level CRM product can compete with a well-established CRM product in the market as long as the product fits the requirement well. With cloud and mobility adoption, SMBs with a fraction of an enterprise investment, can potentially disrupt the market with their optimised solutions. With such scale of potential opportunities, it becomes imperative for enterprises to re-align their strategies in the right direction and leverage this opportunity well-within time.