Srividhya V.S.,  Global Head – Sales Effectiveness & Enablement at Infosys, stopped in to share insights about Revenue Enablement in India and share insights on programs like her Sales Leader Simulation and Development program.

In addition to the gamified sales leadership training program, which is leading to better trained leaders, Srividhya and The Collaborator discussed:

1️⃣ A cognitive search platform that they created to better surface the right information, at the right time, to their sellers

2️⃣ The role of relationship-based, and social, selling has on their business’ ability to close large deals.

and so much more.

Audio Transcript

The Collaborator
Can you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?

Srividhya V.S.
Of course, I am. The I had the global sales effectiveness. And at Infosys, I this is a global team focused on ensuring sales process efficiency, and enabling frontline sales. So by being connected with the right tools, resources, and analytics, our sales force actually impact the lives of our clients each day. And some of the key initiatives that I lead are around digital sales, transformation, social selling, live enterprise, people and productivity as well as expert data management. And if you look at, you know, I don’t know whether you’ve heard of Infosys,

Unknown Speaker
I have Yeah.

Srividhya V.S.
Okay. Okay, just so that, you know, so that, you know, audience knows, it’s a trusted transformation partner and an industry safest pair of hands, as told by head office research, indicates that reason report. And we are a global leader in the next generation digital services and consulting. And we enable clients across 46 countries, and help them navigate their digital transformation.

The Collaborator
That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful. You get to experience a lot of different companies and projects and see what’s happening across the globe, which might tell me a little bit, you know, you’re the first you’re the first person to ever join my show from India. So you’re not the one you’re number one srividya.

Srividhya V.S.
To nothing will change that. I’m sure there’ll be many more, but nothing’s gonna change that

The Collaborator
best right at the beginning. So tell us a little bit you know, what, how do people view enablement in India? Tell us a little bit about that place.

Srividhya V.S.
Indians the fountainhead of IT services and products, right. And also one of the world’s largest marketplaces. So we have the world’s largest talent pool, a lot of our research and innovation hubs dotting the big city. So it’s very logical that sales and sales enablement get a foothold out there. So at Infosys, we believe that sales enablement is a huge and compelling driver to enable sales to win more, win faster and win bigger. So if you say sales enablement, maybe about a year or two back, people will just wonder what it is, right? So we’ve given a whole new meaning to it now. So at India, in our Infosys offices, you know, we have a lot of strategic programs going on, one of the key things is about building a live enterprise. So this is our vision for how the future of an enterprise could be almost like a living organism, which seeks, you know, kind of senses, yeah, and responds, and learns and evolves. So my team actually works very closely with sales. And we are the primary contact for the sales organization from everything right, from the planning stage, to prospecting to work closing a deal.

The Collaborator
That’s so cool. Do you think beyond Infosys is, do you see the overall awareness of enablement growing as well beyond beyond your company as well?

Srividhya V.S.
Yes. And in and I think, you know, Indians big on learning. And we got enablement. So it’s kind of in our DNA, you know, so, you know, there’s a very common, saying here that this the only wealth which actually doubles or triples when you actually shared. So knowledge is the only one which actually doubles or triples when you share it.

The Collaborator
That is that is a lovely, that’s a wonderful way of looking at it to improve it. Yeah. I love that. I love that. Talk to me a little bit. Tell us a little bit about how your team is structured. You know, how, how many people how many people do you support, organizationally, how do you report in tell us a little about that, if you don’t mind?

Srividhya V.S.
We have about 250 1000 employees spread across four to six countries. Yeah, and we are a services company and our sales force has business development associates, engagement managers, hunters, farmers, research teams, and of course, the sales leadership. So We support this entire ecosystem as a strategy, cross functional discipline, driving this, go to market transformation. And I’m very proud to say that I directly managed 14 people, and indirectly about 150 people across various functions. Well, they’re very vibrant, diverse and extremely talented, and also my partners in crime. So they compliment me, and we have a great vibe going every time.

The Collaborator
I love it. I love it. You know, one of the things I’m going to note to the audience that you mentioned, before we got started, right after we finish, this video is going to have some ice cream. So I’ve had all of the partners in crime are doing the same thing right now. What they listen. What are the things you were telling me about that? I also saw on your on your profile was had to do with the cognitive search platform for sales teams? A lot of big words, that can mean many different things. But what does it mean, in terms of what do you what are you doing there for your sales teams in terms of that search platform and all that?

Srividhya V.S.
JOHN, I mentioned to you about the live enterprise a little while ago. Yeah. So now the digital brain is a concept of this living, breathing organism of the enterprise. So this helps sales to be resilient and also respond to market disruptions effectively. And it’s almost like trying to predict things before they occur. So this cognate of search, which I told you about, it’s called hint. And it’s a mobile search platform for sales, much like Google for our salespeople.

Unknown Speaker
Okay.

Srividhya V.S.
Okay, so it provides an intelligent search across all the organizational content. And if you’re looking to go pitch something you want to see, you know, something like, have you done a deal like this before, right? So you want to quickly search. So what happens is that this is a very learning kind of platform. So it kind of senses what you could be looking for. It also senses what could be the right answer. So it kind of bubbles up those. So instead of a salesperson actually sending in a lot of mails to a lot of people calling people up, do you know this? Have you done this before, this just gets you in your fingertips in a jiffy. So it becomes a very powerful tool. So this is something that, you know, we’ve put together. And this is something that does say it seems to find a very huge productivity jump because of this.

The Collaborator
Now, is that something that your team, does your team? Or did your team develop and coat this? Or did you buy it

Srividhya V.S.
somewhere? No, it is completely developed by Infosys.

The Collaborator
Very cool. Is it doesn’t sort of learn based upon, you know, past deals, what’s worked and all that kind of stuff as well.

Srividhya V.S.
Yes, yes, completely. So it keeps, you know, getting better with every search. And it learns, as you search more, the more you use it, the more closer you will get to what you were actually trying to get to

The Collaborator
know that’s awesome. And I know, you know, one of the pain points, and sales is never having enough time to talk to customers to actually do selling. So I’m guessing this gives sellers more time by helping them find what they need faster. How are you measuring? If you do measure, how do you measure the impact of tools? Like hint?

Srividhya V.S.
Yeah, so I spoke to you about hint, we have seven such apps, right as part of the sales cycle. So in the last one year, john, we’ve been able to solve most challenging problems plaguing sales. And we saw record growth in our business, both from existing as well as new clients. And despite the pandemic, we were able to grow our business. The net pipeline growth was commendable. And also the revenue from proactive deal saw a huge jump. And in the news, you would have seen that we recently signed the biggest audit in our history with Pennsylvania based financial services company, and it’s worth about a billion and a half. So if you see also, things like the large deals, total contract values, it’s almost grown three acts over the last two years. And digital services revenue as a share of the overall sales has also doubled to about 45%.

The Collaborator
That’s, that’s amazing. It really is. So you need to get a bigger house. They need to give you more money.

Srividhya V.S.
Absolutely. So I can go anywhere in the globe. And I have, you know sales people, you know, telling me that which is the Good, you know, locality to buy? I guess.

The Collaborator
Exactly. That’s how you should do. Did you? Have you? So the revenue is certainly there, and you’re seeing some great business games? Are you? Do you measure in terms of the individual sellers? How much time they are able to set spend selling? Or do you do anything at that micro measurement level?

Srividhya V.S.
Yes, yes. So we do measure how much time they used to take earlier versus how much they take now, for various functions, right. So we see a good improvement in productivity. And I think one of the other key things that I want to say is that it takes you to world of virtual selling right now with, you know, things having changed so much, with a combination of tech process, everything, the salesperson actually gets new ideas, and you’re able to identify new buying centers, discovered, sales catalogs, and so many things, beyond just plugging a few process gaps. So we are able to impact the core systemic issues much more broadly.

The Collaborator
Like that. So it’s actually been not that there’s a positive and a pandemic, but there’s been some positives as a result of it as well. Yes,

Srividhya V.S.
which is digital vaccination has really been pitched. Folks, if you can say that, because of the pandemic.

The Collaborator
Yeah, no, no, that makes sense. You know, I’m going to switch gears a little bit, because I always think that our sales leaders are probably the most important place for us to focus energy. And one of the things that you that I know you’re you’ve invested time in is this sales leader, simulation and development program. What on earth is that?

Srividhya V.S.
I knew that you would get to it. JOHN, no, we taught that, you know, Gone are the days when you know, you sit in a classroom, you get people over and talk about relationship building, and making that pitch and the storytelling, we thought we’d do something different. So my, my team has a lot of fun and very creative, and we have a lot of iSight partners in crime. So we actually put together a beautiful simulation program, where what we do is we do a business development simulation. And we want to kind of see how the sales person would react to multiple situations. And we give them scenarios, and they are able to actually, you know, say which of the options they would decide. So then we see whether they take the best possible next action

The Collaborator
that’s closest, almost is so it’s, um, is it almost like a course where they’re answering a question? And based upon that answer, you give them something else? Or is that how it works more of a guided learning path?

Srividhya V.S.
Yeah, it’s almost like that. It’s like a, you know, it’s like you play a game, right? It’s almost like that. So you keep getting, you know, better and better scenarios, depending on what you answered. So it’s, you know, development for sales. And we also have enablement programs like mindshare sessions. And these are webinars on sales topics by external experts, and we get cxos from outside to share best practices with, with, you know, with us, in fact, I want to invite you, john, to actually come and have a cup of coffee with our sales team. And we’d love to have you, you know, host you there,

Unknown Speaker
anytime, anytime.

Srividhya V.S.
We also have something called the full stack sales leader program. So what we realized is sometimes sales, you know, kind of miss out learning the behavioral, or sometimes the technical or the domain kind of skill. So, we kind of put a full stack of what all are required to kind of sell services like our companies, so that, you know, our sales is fully equipped, the digital skills are there, and they are able to actually talk the language of tech talk the language of the client, also, you know, be able to come across as a very trusted advisor, and our sales team has enough jobs to give, you know, anyone that run for their money,

The Collaborator
you and your team, and I’m sure this extends to your sales team is doing some amazing things. I mean, this this isn’t an amazing program you’ve built and put forth. You know, I didn’t ask you about this beforehand. srividya. But how have you prioritized? You know, how have you partnered or collaborated within the organization to prioritize what you’re going to work on next. Because I know that we all struggle with how do we prioritize?

Srividhya V.S.
So, see, I’m big on feedback and trying to get the pulse of the people. So I spend a lot of time talking to people. And, you know, that gives me a sense of what is really frustrating them, or what is the need of the art or they are really hungry for something, because if you give it to them what they need, then it makes your task much more easier. Because you know, it’s going to be received very well. So that is one angle. And I do this not only to the sales, but also, I spent a lot of time talking to leaders, trying to guess what could be better. We have a lot of partners and vendors who work with us. Yeah, as part of our work. So they give a very fresh perspective, because they work with other clients as well. Right? So they give a very good hence that what are some of the best practices? So it’s not that no, we are best in everything. So there’s hunger for knowing what’s best, constantly benchmarking ourselves. And also overlapping with what our leaders and sales team wants, I think, kind of gives an idea of what I should prioritize

The Collaborator
great advice for anybody listening in. You mean, if enablement, guesses what to build or what to deliver, you’re going to you’re going to fail, you have to have those conversations with your partners. And really listen carefully. I love that advice. Your video, I love that advice.

Srividhya V.S.
What you know, because there are many programs where you know, you design everything? Well, you think that it’s going to go well to send out all the communication, you wait, and then nobody shows up? Or maybe you just a handful of people.

The Collaborator
And the thing is, I know a lot of people in enablement. At first, their initial reaction is, Why didn’t anybody show up? And the reality is, it’s probably not what they need it, you know, so you have to be able to listen to that, and respect what they need, because that’s our job is to support them.

Unknown Speaker
Tell me a little bit. You know, I’m

The Collaborator
always curious when I talk to people around the globe, about social selling, and their views on that, what, how big is social selling in India? And how do you support it from an enablement perspective?

Srividhya V.S.
social selling is at the heart of digital transformation journey for any sales organization, because the current digital world should be able to connect the dots and enhance your network. Right. So there’s a saying that your net focus, your network determines your net worth. So your personal brand, your personal profile, all these actually add on to the value that you bring to the table. And I think, you know, if you have to penetrate into large organizations, it’s going to be very tough with the traditional way of selling. And what we’ve seen is that the ROI of some of these social platforms is immense and extremely impressive. We have a very good program going with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and it’s one of the most favorite in our sales organization. So we’ve seen good success, and not to miss the opportunity of the value proposition that if you can integrate many of these things combined with your CRM and outlook. So now the question that you asked was about how big is it in India? Yeah, so India is a very, very vibrant and a very outgoing, gregarious kind of country. So with that, naturally, people tend to relate a lot more people tend to reach out, you’re also very emotional and very helpful to each other kind of company. So country, so people do maintain connects. So you have a lot of connects with your, you know, if you’ve worked in many organizations, you have friends from the past, you have College School, you have just about, you know, so many different networks and then network of networks. So India’s just, you know, huge on social, and it’s, it’s fantastic, actually,

The Collaborator
nice for LinkedIn, do use. Does it help you connect with are you finding that you’re connecting with more people in the buying process? Or is it more of a branding and marketing exercise in terms of how you see it, helping the business most?

Srividhya V.S.
If you ask me personally, I think I connect with my stakeholders here on LinkedIn. If you look at vice stripe on the Salesforce comm B support, they directly connect with your buyers. And they directly connect with their decision makers. So we have a program where we try and guide them to make the connections with their decision makers. And if you see recently, we benchmarked ourselves and our social connectivity in only the top accounts of ours is one of the best and market leading in terms of how our sales folks have connected to decision makers. So we are absolutely thrilled with that. And that really shows in many of the projects we win, and also being able to even engage, right, it’s not that every connection translates to a win. But having so many contacts and having the brand established is very, very important.

The Collaborator
I love that answer. And I bet Let me ask you, did it help you win that big? You know, one and a half billion dollar deal? Didn’t work? For me at all there?

Srividhya V.S.
Yes, social and relationship selling actually played a good part. And across all the large deals. And I think, you know, this was one of the biggest deals that we won. And, you know, I think it’s something that we should feel very proud of, you should

The Collaborator
know, that’s, that’s a big deal. And that’s something you’re you and the entire company should be proud of. Take a minute to brag, tell me, you know, something that either you your team or something that you’re just so excited about and want to share.

Srividhya V.S.
I think might probably take 30 seconds for three things that I’m proud of, I think first I connect I can I worked in different roles before coming here. So in my previous role, some time back, I converted my costs, and I was in a risk function. It was a cost center, and I was able to make a revenue generation mechanism or machine. That was something that I’m always proud of, you should end the Thank you. A second one is I successfully led a SWAT team. And together we were able to deliver 200 plus process and policy changes across the entire own organization. And it made a huge impact on the employee experience. In fact, it got quoted in some of the leading dailies here. That was something and most recently, as I said, My favorite is about, you know, our sales folks reaching in a benchmark on social connectivity.

The Collaborator
Wonderful. That’s a lot to be proud of. For sure Vidya that’s a lot to be proud of. What What did we talk about? We covered a lot of ground in our conversation. What is there any last points that you want to make that we didn’t cover?

Srividhya V.S.
If you asked me about what is my favorite place to be on social media this week, I would say it’s your LinkedIn page. To to your name the collaborator, I see a huge value of the way you assemble so many sparkling stars from sales enablement across companies. And there were on sharing stories I, you know, attended a few of them. And they were kind of giving best practices in their business. So, which I think is really very positive and the need of job because everyone is looking for some sucker. Some ideas in this confusing times. Correct?

The Collaborator
Correct. srividya Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing with us. I learned a lot. I’ve gotten feedback in the comments from people that learned a lot as well and just really appreciate you, your team and everything you’ve done here today. Go enjoy your ice cream. Have a wonderful weekend. And I hope you all do that or listening as well.

Srividhya V.S.
I really wish you could come here for like ice cream and thanks and shout out to everybody out there and sales enablement.

Unknown Speaker
Bye. Have a great night.

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