Vikram Sathish Asokan on Sales Force Effectiveness

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January 20, 2011

Vikram Sathish Asokan explains what it takes for sales force effectiveness. Listen in, and understand why multi-stakeholder buy-in is critical, and how it is achieved. Examine key success factors to win in any market.

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See Summary and Notes Below:

Conversation Overview:

0:00 – 0:40 min – Intro, Why sales success?

3:41 – Leveraging low-costs in Asia.

5:17 – Trust is key to long term accounts.

9:30 – 3 Keys to an Effective Company.

10:50 – Entrepreneurship is not easy.

11:50 – Success philosophy, all stakeholders

13:50 – Keeping a competitive advantage.

Q #1:

Why have you been so effective, when it comes to sales force effectiveness?

Vikram: 0:40 - The objective is to increase profit longterm by acquiring new customers on a new scale. To meet goals, you must plan backwards. Rely on making sales to drive revenue and profit. Without sales, you don’t make revenues, you don’t take care of your investors.

1:35 – Beyond selling, it’s about building relationships between the customer and client. This ultimately ensures long term revenue.

2:30 – It is in your best interest to retain customers, it is more cost-effective than acquiring a new customer. Approach everyone as a potential long term customer.

Q #2:

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of? What did you learn?

Vikram: 3:41 The Asian market is unique. Unlike Europe and America, where people focus only on their core competencies, people in India and Asia are effective at multi-tasking. People can play diverse roles. This can be leveraged to lower costs. This fuels growth.

[Editor’s Note: Alok Kumar mentions this in his interview. Indeed, he goes as far to mention that market access relies on a great Jack-of-All-Trades].

Q #3:

How do you ensure that the customer remains satisfied over the long-term?

Vikram:5:17 You need to keep up the trust, first and foremost by understanding the requirements of the customer. Relationships are built on trust. You must be honest and realistic in matching the customers needs with your skills, and ability to add value. Value-addition is critical for trust, relationship building, and long term success. Figure out how to add value.

“Put yourself in his position and say, ‘How can I solve this problem using this company.’”

7:12 Ongoing customer engagement and periodic communication allow for continued understanding of needs and a successful relationship.

Q #4:

What is the key to ongoing success in start-ups and business?

Vikram:There are three things: You must be very technologically adept. You must be adequately financed. You must have good human interactions with all stakeholders.

10:50 Being an entrepreneur is not easy.

11:50 Family are important stakeholders. And you must keep all stakeholders informed and aligned with your goals.

12:30 Success in life requires success in all aspects. You must have goals and priorities aligned.

Q #4:

How do you stay current and ensure that you are always capitalizing on new opportunities?

Vikram:13:50 – Report recommendations. We listen on forums and watch trends carefully.

We partner with people around the globe to increase profit and decrease cost.

Asia and India will continue to thrive for the next 20 years.

Lister & Berg is capable of scaling up effective pilot-projects for cost-leverage.

Thank You!

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