“We train customers to sell”
In a one-on-one conversation with PC Quest, Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO & Co-founder of Denave, talks about how his company has evolved to built multi-industry cross-geography expertise
Give us some insights on Denave journey of 18 years in the industry? We are an organization that is focused essentially on sales – the only thing that will never go out of fashion. The company was founded 18 years ago to fill the gaps between strategy and execution by providing end-to- end sales enablement solutions. We believe in measurable impacts and hence, we never lose focus of the final ROI optimization which we garner by leveraging people, processes and technology. Over the years, we have built multiindustry expertise partnering with global businesses and adopting a solution-focused approach to deliver best practices in sales. With delivery centers in India, Singapore, UK and Malaysia, Denave has a reach spanning 5 continents, 23 countries and 500+ cities globally. With focused sales methodologies, we are generating incremental revenues for some of the largest brands in the world. Denave has traversed the evolution from an Indian to an Asian to now a global entity – in sync with the evolution of the concept of sales enablement. With technology- backed services and offerings, our bigger goal is to become world’s largest Sales Enablement organisation. As for a near-term goal, when we look at 2020, we are aiming to become a USD 200 million organisation, while growing almost 6 times our current size.
How do you define your market and what is your present share in the same?
Given the nature of our service, we cut across industry sectors and are not bound by the geo boundaries as
well. Hence, the market potential is huge – After all, sales is a common element across business entities.
However, there is no player in the industry which really addresses all aspects of sales enablement in its entirety. Despite that, the fact remains that we operate in a market that has a huge potential for sales enablement, particularly owing to the diverse set of offerings which it encompasses. According to us, globally the Total Addressable Market ( TAM) is as huge as over USD 600 billion. Looking at the Serviceable Accessible Market (SAM) which looks at the industries we operate across markets where we are present, the opportunity is over USD 250 billion. Even the Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) presents a potential of USD 30 billion globally – which reflects that we are currently only leveraging a miniscule market potential that exists.
What are the verticals you are present in? Are you planning to tap any new verticals recently?
We are a self-funded organization that has grown completely on its own without any external funding. We started with technology as our focus, however, with time, we have evolved and forayed into multiple industry segments. Going by the sequence, with technology as chief focus, we first got into telecom, churning out decent traction in past 8-9 years. After that we also moved into FMCG and Retail, wherein we have a fairly large consumer base and recently we have also entered into ONG sector. Apart from the existing verticals that we have, this year in India we are also looking to target BFSI and Automobile, focusing on SMB penetration as one of our new offerings. Even in technology domain, which is our strongest vertical, we are already working with 7 out of 10 major technology brands already.
Brief us about your R&D centre?
Our R&D centre is in Noida itself, a team of 30 technology individuals, headed by Mr. Prashant Rohatgi, who is leading the technology vertical at Denave. We have several tools for carrying out sourcing, probability mapping, driving sales engine with internal CRM platform and also for experiencing sales automation (mobility platform based on sales force automation for real-time reporting, information capture and disbursal) - all of these act as our internal enablers. Our Tech team’s charter is to – connect all the dots and streamline these tools into one platform in order to build in those futuristic technological capabilities for us which will in turn help us reduce the manual intervention.
“We are a self-funded organization that has grown completely on its own without any external funding. We started with technology as our focus, however, with time, we have evolved and forayed into multiple industry segments”
How important is domain knowledge for Denave? What are your thoughts on sectors like e-commerce?
Domain knowledge is certainly important as you can’t strategize or act in an environment where you are unaware of the environmental dynamics. Having said that, if the core sales enablement competencies are in place, acquiring domain knowledge is not that difficult to act as an entry barrier. Entry barriers are entities like platform and processes, which we have already acquired over the last 18 years.
We have had customers in the e-commerce segment in the past and now also, we are working with most of the emerging E-commerce players to enable their sales processes. This we do by helping them acquire merchants and acquire customers, while making a difference in their sales function.
How many customers do you have on the existing verticals? Also have you identified industrial clusters?
Our customer base cuts across multiple industries. In the past 18 years, we have worked with 700-800 big customers. Typically, on an average, we work over 100 customers who are live with us at any single point of time. Also, when we start working with any big organization, their subsidiaries automatically become our customers. That way, we have huge opportunities in terms of customer base. We work with the some of the biggest industry names and we take pride in establishing best-selling practices through the entire value chain which in turn drives incremental and optimal returns for them. With competencies such as SMB penetration, driving cloud adoption, geo-expansion, partner management etc. we cater tailor-made solutions to companies across the industries globally.
Being a highly service-led organization, currently we are working with every other small, medium or large size organisations. However, right now we
do not have great service offerings for the startup organisations wherein the ability to fund the customers are low. Our major clientele focus remains Fortune 500 companies.
When you talk about tools, are there any training sessions for the customers? Is the training relevant for sales people?
As of now, the tools that we enhance the sales processes with are our enablers i.e. people, process, technology and innovation – all of them helping us in enabling sales throughout the business ecosystem. For people or the employees (internal), we have an in-house developed platform, i.e. DenQuest, which is predominantly our own e-learning portal, catering training to our own ecosystem. This, in turn, speeds up and train our employees upon the intricacies of various services, in order to enhance the delivery of those services.
For customers, we create the strategy and then implement that strategy. For the same, we have a training team onboard in order to train the sales people and enable the partner ecosystem so that they can become capable and equipped enough to deliver to the customer’s commitment.
How do you create and implement strategies for customers? How do you achieve revenue targets on basis these strategies?
We are global sales catalysts addressing the real
world problems in the sales domain. In order to enable sales for our customers, we ensure that the brand’s whole ecosystem becomes empowered. For the same, we offer a full gamut of Sales Enablement solutions, right from the strategy to an impeccable execution and everything that comes in between.
In order to create and implement the right strategy, we have identified certain core competencies necessary for a flawless execution within the market that we address, for example: Net new customer acquisition – a universal concern area for brands, Cloud sales and adoption – no player can afford to ignore this aspect, Market expansion/ geo expansion and SMB penetration – ultimate quest for every player, Revenue Maximization and Revenue Retention – Aspirational for every brand , Partner acquisition and development – more of a need than a choice, for survival, Sales ecosystem development, Brand activation, Retail intelligence and Sales automation – for a holistic and impactful sales journey.
For our own self, revenue retention and maximization formulates a significant aspect of the overall strategy. On an average, every year, we carry forward about 85% of our revenues through long-term contract or constant renewals. This ability to build on existing base helps us in geo expansion as well since we replicate that across the globe and this practice has helped us in expanding our customer base in those geos as well. This stepup contributes to almost 200-250 crore worth of revenues. Also, by giving our sales team a target of 30% - 40% new business every year, we are able to achieve our target growth.
Sankar Nagarajan Co-Founder and CEO, Denave