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This homegrown CRM company is tapping AI, ML to automate sales processes

This homegrown CRM company is tapping AI, ML to automate sales processes
Snehashish Bhattacharjee, co-founder and global chief executive of Denave.

Denave India Pvt. Ltd, a Noida-headquartered sales enablement company, is using intelligent programmes to automate and reduce the time and money spent on business-to-business (B2B) sales processes, a top executive told TechCircle.

“The situation on the ground is changing as the market is becoming more competitive and companies have to keep looking out for new customers,” the company’s co-founder and global chief executive Snehashish Bhattacharjee said in an interview. “In this changing landscape, technology is the only disruptive force that will help bridge the gap.”

According to Bhattacharjee, sales managers of big and small companies alike need to think about meeting sales objectives quickly. For this purpose, they require trustworthy databases that can lead them to new customers.

The CEO described the typical flow of the sales process, which includes several iterative and manual sub-processes. First. the enterprise identifies its customers or channel partners who would be interested in buying or carrying the product. The firm then collects their contacts and reaches out to them to gauge their interest before completing the process. 

These steps would require the company to check a lot of metrics such as target audience and past purchase history, which is not easy to access and also time-consuming, said Bhattacharjee

With this in mind, Denave has devised a service to weed out these inefficiencies. 

“We have been able to leverage our knowledge of sales processes in combination with technology to come out with a three-tier sales structure which is deeply supported by intelligent algorithms that make use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML),” said Bhattacharjee, a former Microsoft India executive who started Denave in 1999 along with R Narayan and Debabrata Majumdar. 

The company deploys bots to search for sources of data that would shed light on potential customers. 

We first look at public databases for companies who would be interested in buying my client’s products. Then the extraction bot kicks in,” he said. 

The extraction bot tries to find out 15 key details of the probable customer and fills out a form accordingly. There is also a mail verification bot which confirms if the email id provided is correct.  

After this, a data consolidation engine runs an eye over the database and brings out a trustworthy list of contacts, Bhattacharjee said. Then, Denave runs this data through its analytics platform which is built on AI and ML to identify who would be the best fit for a sales pitch. 

“This platform is able to determine patterns such as purchase behaviour based on algorithms that we have in place,” the CEO said, adding that this brings down the time required to reach out to potential customers.

“Whatever data comes out might not guarantee a lead, but without technology this entire process would take six to eight weeks and now you can finish this within two days,” Bhattacharjee explained. “If your probable customer says no, you have the option of quickly reaching out to a new bunch.”

Denave currently has clients across the IT/ITes, telecom, FMCG, retail, and oil and natural gas sectors. Bhattacharjee said that the company was looking to soon expand into automotive and the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) space.

The company has also been working on a location-based sales force automation platform alongside a channel partner support platform.
 
“Managing channel partners, offering them discounts live based on real-time information of their performance or doing the same with your own stores or distributors is a norm of the day. Companies can’t afford to miss these opportunities,” Bhattacharjee said.

He said that his company was planning to combine the two and offer it as a product and service in the near future.

“Imagine a platform under which you can get live information of how all your extended pieces are functioning and also make real-time decisions,” Bhattacharjee said. 

He added that he was even planning to offer application programming interface (API) integration of its database cleaning and consolidation algorithm. 
 
If Denave opens up its API, then any company would be able to use the tools with any customer relationship management (CRM) tool from Salesforce or any one of its rivals.

Denave currently has operations in the UK, Malaysia and Singapore and plans to start a local site in the US soon. 

According to Bhattacharjee, Denave's India business has gradually moved from contributing nearly all of the group's total revenue to 74% in the financial year 2016-17.

“By 2022, our vision is to bring a parity between India and offshore business operations,” the CEO said, adding that India continued to remain the most important region with the largest team working out of the country.

Denave India reported net sales of Rs 169.29 crore in the financial year 2016-17 compared with Rs 182.84 crore in the previous fiscal. The local unit’s net profit reduced as well, falling to Rs 2.48 crore from Rs 3.5 crore in 2015-16, according to News Corp VCCircle’s research arm VCCEdge.

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