The consumer durables sector has grown phenomenally in the last few years. And what has also changed in this digital era is the customer mindset. Today, customers can compare various prices and products at the click of a button.
At Eureka Forbes, there are two primary channels through which we approach customers – one is through direct sale and the second is the retail sales. With the marketplace also moving to the e-commerce platforms, we have also focused on the e-commerce space by hiring specialized talent to leverage all online marketplaces. This change in the customer mindset and the rise of the online marketplace has necessitated the need for an agile workforce. And the agility that businesses drive is directly correlated to the talent that the company attracts.
From a direct sales standpoint, it is no longer easy for a sales person to knock on a person’s door. One has to have an appointment and depend on data from CRM (customer relationship management) tools to approach new customers through referrals. To enable our direct sales workforce that is roughly 7000 employees spread across India in over 200 towns, we launched the ‘joy of selling’ application to all the employees working on the field. Here are some of the transformative changes that the use of technology has enabled:
Embedding Intelligence: Through the application, each of our direct sales employees is empowered with product knowledge. They also have access to water maps and can suggest whether the customer should buy an RO or a UV water purifier. Apps for service technicians help them see orders placed in real time and in the retail segment, applications are useful to track product sales and secondary sales from the distributors.
Simplified transactions: The use of mobile based applications has simplified the company’s transactions since an auto form is generated on the spot. The customer can then make a payment either through an online transaction or a cheque. Customers can also check for product availability in their vicinity through applications.
Supervision and management: Technology tools like the application are also enabling the company’s employees to leverage on gamified incentive platforms to stay motivated. And the information about sales transactions is automatically populated by the system and is mapped to back-end performance management tools. Access to online training material along with structured certification levels is also accessible to all employees and it is further tied to the back end systems of performance management.
From an engagement standpoint, the company runs ‘climate surveys’ modeled after Gallup’s 12 questions, which is measured every quarter to assess the morale of the employees. The results of this survey are then taken to a ‘people senate’ which is constituted of required to address concerns and take corrective measures.
One of the transformational shifts for Eureka Forbes has been the link between business and HR. At Eureka Forbes, 25 percent of the KRAs of the HR professionals are linked with the net promoter score. And among professionals dedicated to training and development and helping direct sales employees, the retention and productivity of these employees are measured and reviewed thereby ensuring that they have a stake in driving required business results.
Read the digital transformation agendas of other leading companies in our annual "State of HR technology" report here