19th May, 2020
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Corona in its wake has brought global health danger at our doorsteps. This hurricane is not only poised to bring the global health index down to dumps, but it has also started impacting the job market and we are a step away from the looming job crisis. The labour market hammering has its downfall – social unrest, demands for reservation, downward spiral of demand – the list is only the beginning. Total of 136 million jobs are at risk stated renowned Human development economist and professor. The question is which category of jobs in this 136 million is the worst-hit? The answer is field agents – the Feet-on-Street (FoS) employees who front end with customers and bear the lamppost of brand visibility and sales conversion. Yes, an impact on these jobs is only the tip of the iceberg. Once the dust settles on this Corona hurricane, it may lead to many smaller companies drawing down their shutters and big companies balancing and adjusting their budget books.
Denave, a service company providing end to end sales enablement to a variety of clients across IT, Telecom, Oil & Gas, Lubricants, Sanitary wares, Paint, FMCG etc has maximum Feet-on-Street employees. And you would think the anxiety-ridden beginning is stemming from this fact. However, think again and revisit the headline. Denave started posing as hurricane shutter to prevent the damage to its band of employees as soon as the hurricane raised its head.
Denave’s FoS Team is completely engaged in customer and partner interaction, case follow up, update, new account profiling and online demos. All this via online demos via tools like WebEx, video conferencing. For a leading technology company, our FoS team conducted 3 demos per agent over video conference till April and more are in pipeline. For the world’s leading and largest search engine company, our FoS team has transformed into virtual agents helping remote onboarding of publishers on the platform ‘Navlekha’ via various tools like regional WhatsApp Groups and remote query resolutions over calls. The FoS team has already onboarded 156 new publishers, trained 327 new publishers, helped upload 600 articles per day and we are estimating an article ratio to increase to 70% in April against 60% in March!
For the world’s largest technology company, Denave has been conducting webinars and giving demos on the usage of the software solutions that are available for free or trials. For a software making company, while there is free download offers, Denave is amplifying the messaging through digital mediums. We are using the funds to ramp up digital marketing tactics and onboarding new partners for leading laptop company.
Nuking via Remote Training
For the world’s leading and largest search engine company, our FoS team is undergoing remote training through google hangout. Our leading laptop company’s FoS team strengthened by tele profiling is busy identifying new channels and while they are at it, team readiness is underway with product training and territory potential planning. The world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company’s field team is undergoing rigorous technical & sales training while ensuring daily engagement activities between field force and client stakeholders.
The world’s top advertising agency and leading mobile phone company are taking easy for the visual merchandising and marketing collaterals deployment as the FoS team is undergoing upskilling training and refresher training on Standard Operating Processes (SOPs) like deployment guidelines, reviews and assessment. The team is also and optimising the slowdown period by identifying errors in earlier deployment and revising the SOP for visual merchandising deployment for better results.
Nuking via technology solutions
Aimed towards improving FoS productivity and engagement Denave has been working on technology solutions and some of the areas that we have already covered are
Planogram effectiveness Management. Leveraging Data Science to quickly update existing planogram and quickly implement planogram automation for stores as soon as they open
Sales Force Automation (SFA) App with Self-serve questionnaire setup’ to bring down the questionnaire setup time from the traditional appx 7 days to 2 days. This shall help FoS team in quickly engaging and shall also bring the TAT up on audits and reporting.
Build Gamification in our SFA tool – To ensure that FoS have clarity on target vs achievement and see their standing in the team. This goes a long way in building stickiness and improving productivity.
HR process integration in SFA – This integration shall help track attendance, it reconciles with HR systems in place and ensures faster invoice reconciliation.
Expense Claims – Implemented as a 3rd party tool and integrated into the SFA tool, this shall help in curtailing time spend in submitting claims by field agents for work on the field.
Nuking via Business Continuity tactics
The B2B account management and Trade Marketing Services which are the worst hit at this time, Denave is working on a variety of innovative tactics to keep FoS engaged and fruitful and ensuring at the same time that client’s business faces least possible impact. For the world’s largest and leading e-commerce website, the team is neck-deep in data mining and closing buyer profiling in the event of product launch post lockdown. The team is also investing in identifying profiles of negative buyers to focus on engaging with ratified and existing buyers for a better outcome.
Partner mobilization plans aimed towards closing low hanging deals, monetizing plan from the free trials, and mass email marketing to increase contactibility of customers are some of the strategical approaches that Denave’s FoS team has taken up for world’s largest technology company.
Offering free downloads at this time to help prospects get on board and raise dependency on the tools are not so subtle marketing tactics yet its usefulness cannot be ignored for customers. That’s exactly what our FoS team working for the world’s largest software corporation is doing. While the adaptation of free downloads is underway, the team with the tele-support has taken up selective customer connect. At the same time, going beyond the set service contract, we are enabling the world’s largest software corporation to conduct webinars on whitespace discovery model, leveraging our competency to establish the world’s largest software corporation as a thought leader in the space. Audience generation for these webinars has been on full swing and Denave has helped generated 3X audience for 9 webinars conducted in this lockdown period. For largest Indian multinational conglomerate holding company, Demand generation for core products in terms of the upgrade has been devised as the team is comfortably within the target accomplishment zone and as attempts for fresh sales at this time are not a good idea.
The aftermath of the hurricane
Readying for the new normal which falls tomorrow has been in the process since the hurricane hit us. Sure, there will be a rejig in the job landscape and role realignments. According to analyst firm KellyOCG gaming, over-the-top (OTT) services, work-from-home virtual team, project management software, e-commerce and edutech segments shall bear an uptick. The core point is the digital medium shall have a stronger role to play but at the same time, humans shall remain the focus of all interactions. After all, we are still not willing to buy from robots, are you? The FoS teams need to think innovatively their sales & marketing tactics and leverage digital medium for riding to the moon
For more business continuity insights read Business Uninterrupted – How Corporates Are Navigating Through Covid19 Crisis