First Few Customers

Bootstrapped Companies Emerging Stage Outside Sales Software Products

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Ramani Ramachandran, a banking veteran of 19 years, now leads the global operations of both CI.COM (P) LTD and CI Global Technologies LLC. Ramani is a visionary and developed a Software Product in India way back in 2003 and has made the mobility product entity, a global corporation. He was able to diversify his software export company into a product company that is a pioneer and now a leading mobile extension of a large ERP product (other than its own version) and also got CI the “Bright Star” Award for the product. He received the Special Awards for Establishing Indian Brand in Foreign Markets from Electronic and Computer Software Export Promotion Council of India (ESC), He believes in continuous education and has undergone many courses including an Executive Program with ISB and is currently doing an Executive MBA at Great Lakes Institute of Management.

Ramani recollects memories of the year 2003, when he went to meet his prospects with limited features of his product. His prospects liked the futuristic concept of mobilizing their sales and service divisions but were apprehensive because of the limited choice of devices and about being able to conduct their business on small screens. They were apprehensive about their employees changing their mind-set to adopt this solution.  He then understood that there are only three words to convey the value proposition of his product ,i.e.,  Accuracy, Efficiency, Productivity. To elaborate on this, the sales people needs Accounting Accuracy as many of them carry a paper & pen and the inaccuracies of data entry is huge. With the competition being very tough, every organization looks at building efficiencies into their business process to be able to have the sales/service/delivery person to do more with less and hence reducing the non-value adding activities.

To convince the prospects , he developed a simple collateral which had just two lines  “Passed 3 vital tests – CIO/CFO/CEO”, the three key people who would evaluate/approve any new purchase in terms of Technology/Financial /Business Viability in any organization. He also positioned the product as an end to end sales-fulfilment solution for remote sales. To create, communicate and deliver value, he demonstrated to his prospects with live data that there is a minimum 15% reduction in a sales person’s effort leading to  each sales person selling atleast 10% more. This way of articulating the value dispelled all concerns the top management had and they enforced the employees to adopt the solution and all resistance were overcome. He quotes one example where one of his customer said that their sales and service people were the envy of their equivalents in the  competing companies who were overworking to do the same job while their employees were working less to reach the same goals.

Ramani advices startups not to be overconfident that their product is adequate in satisfying the customer’s requirements and hence they need to have only one single code base. The customers, because of their constantly evolving business process will want the software to suit their processes and hence there will be a lots of change requests. Many product companies put their technology limitations of handling multiple versions and hence puts limitations in customization. Ramani has around 50 plus versions of the code base to support global implementations and now the Mobile product for the Sales/Service/Delivery Force (MSP – Mobile Sales Person) is currently the sizzling application in mobilizing enterprises for many users with more than 300 clients globally. The Mobile Sales Person has been prominently featured in Nasscom’s Product Excellence Matrix on Accelerated Growth Path report.

 

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