Friday, April 18, 2014

How many sales people does it take to have a Million dollar year in India selling to Indian customers?

10

That's the answer, up there. The rest of the blog post is going to be gyan from me with some links of our products interspersed hoping some of you click and visit our websites :)

Gyan Start:

Well each company will have a different number. But for our products which primarily concentrate on voice products and contact center solutions selling to businesses, this is the number which has worked.

For a long time, sales was a process which was alien to us. We first got Rajiv on our team. He has been phenomenal so far in setting up the sales process etc. He started off by hiring the right sales guys in different circles. We followed a top heavy approach. Get the best sales guys with good salaries. It was risky at the time for us as we were facing a cash crunch and it was tempting to go for low end sales guys and take in more numbers. But we wanted to showcase a professional outfit to our customers and we chose to get the best guys to represent us. After all, in many ways, the sales team is the face of your company on the field. Now slowly we have a pretty well defined sales process and a sales team slowly building.

Learning:
So hiring a dedicated sales team was the most important thing we did for this venture. It's always a tough call to make as you have to invest upfront in setting up the sales team. We spent around 40-50 lakhs before we started seeing sales trends from the sales team. But from our experience we would say it was well worth it.

What did we do differently?
Well actually, nothing special. We have just followed the time honored principle of doing direct sales. Identify an opportunity, assign a sales guy to make a visit, do a pre sales demo, follow up and close the deal. I guess, at least in our domain, India is still predominantly an offline market. Our customers are online, but they seem to compare the products online whereas most of our sales are happening offline. We do not track our website analytics diligently. We have also not done any AB Testing and I would be the first to say that there are 100 ways in which our websites can be optimized. We have just not concentrated on that. So far our emphasis has been on trying to reach customers directly and sell to them face to face. Lot of people say that will not scale. But its been working out fine for us so far. This year, we may look at all the new age growth hacking techniques. But for now, we are just happy to build a business the old fashioned way :)