India is a growing hub for the retail and consumer market. It contributes to 5.8% of global consumption market, making CRM absolutely essential for its market. Government initiatives of allowing 100% FDI in single brand retail and 51% FDI in Multibrand retail, has helped the booming market expand even further. Technological advancement have allowed for easier access and have helped direct disposable income of the young population. With all these facets, it is worth noting that the rural penetration is still just about 5%. There is immense opportunity in the rural area where the FMCG growth is expected to touch US$ 220 billion by 2025.
These factors make India extremely lucrative. But it is also worth noting that sales representatives, Distribution system, Retail and Value added intermediaries help run the entire market. There is a huge workforce which drives the fourth largest sector of the Indian economy– the FMCG sector.
Consumer products being in the nature of constant consumption offer long term growth to the FMCG sector. Low penetration and possibility of value addition in most product categories makes FMCG a bankable bet. This has also excited international players entering the market. In such a scenario, companies who look at shaping the industry through innovation, efficiency and intelligent distribution system would survive in the long run.
Along with all the opportunities, there are some very peculiar characteristics that the Indian market portrays. Some quick facts are listed below:
- Unlike the western counterparts, a lot of data collection, data entry, business transactions, and processes are done on paper. A ledger book is maintained for debtors, creditors, inventory, cash collection, etc.
- An average frontliner spends his day visiting shops, manually writing down the orders on a piece of paper which they then transfer to another sheet analogous to an excel table.
- His daily visits include all the nooks and corners of an allotted area. Many such places don’t have internet connectivity.
- On average, he may cover a 10-20 km radius in any given day.
- In a diverse country like India, a salesperson may have to travel 50-75 km one side to reach the designated territory.
- They travel back the entire span to deliver their spreadsheet filled with orders taken that day and the beats covered. The orders are consequently dispatched the next day.
- If the salesperson should quit his job or be transferred to another locality, there is a chance that a newcomer may not know all the outlets hence losing some customers to the competition.
- There are many touchpoints that go amiss and no reliable data can be collected. This creates a murky landscape.
This is the average scenario.
There is a market gap for a reliable CRM to create and manage workflow. Current CRMs in the market are failing since they are very rigid, complicated and have data overload which does not translate into any meaningful insight. Especially in a country like India that does not have defined processes and super structured data, big CRM systems fail to deliver results.
What makes Peri different from the clutter?
1. User Centric UX/UI
Peri CRM was designed with the sales frontliners in mind. The customer-facing representatives are mostly young blood with basic high school or graduate education. Tedious data entry had been slowing them down. Having spoken to many such sales representatives and over many trials and tribulations, the core of Peri was designed around usability and adoption.
The main tenets kept in mind when designing the interface were:
- Cutting down information overload.
- Removing friction from user action
- Right balance between aesthetic and usability with minimal clutter
- Match between system and the real world, making it intuitive
- Faster Navigations
2. Indianized software
The brain behind Peri CRM has marinated within the Indian Market with a combined experience of 15 years. Experience in the Indian market helped in understanding the Indian version of doing business and handling internal processes. The conclusion is that there aren’t any clearly defined processes. For Example, Inventory management takes place using a periodic inventory system with an occasional mix of the bin and perpetual system. This does not guarantee control of inventory and siphoning of inventory may take place anywhere in the supply chain.
Excel still directs most decision making and planning. This is a cumbersome process and gnaws away resources from the sales manager.
Peri understands these nuances and has been designed for easy adoption. Adopting a holistic approach, each data entered into peri is captured into a relational database. Every order is linked to a dispatch which affects the inventory at the warehouse at each system integrator, value added reseller and distributor and all such intermediary points.
3. Memory efficiency
Ask any salesman and he would have some version of android on his phone. They may not be very advanced but a basic version is used by most field force workers. With this in mind, Peri CRM was designed to work efficiently on any basic android without demanding much from the ram.
This renders the app independent from the choice of phone and helps save battery with no performance issue or lag. Just a tap on “sync” will update all the data with the central database.
4. Works offline
Internet penetration in India was just about 10% in 2011 and has grown to 29% in 2018 (statista). We can see growth but at a slow pace. There is still a vast geographical area to cover and to bring under properly functioning network connectivity. As such, a large number of sales representatives have to work through low connectivity issues. Many chose to cut corners and blame network unavailability to explain their inefficiency.
Peri CRM has smoothened that bump by being available offline. A salesman would visit his routes as he normally would and his logs would be registered along with time stamps. The system syncs automatically with the tap of a button when connection reestablishes. This helps control movement and activities.
5. Real-time data management & Report creation
Reporting is a tedious job for any Sales Manager. A lot of time which should ideally be spent managing, motivating, strategically planning, and optimizing processes, is spent recording, reiterating manual sub-processes, data entry and presentation making. This deters away from the main revenue generating job at hand—sales.
Peri CRM helps in instantly recording data such as order taken, beats visited, new outlets registered, and helps real-time comparison with set targets. To add to the benefits, all this data can be retrieved and exported. Peri also has a robust analytics integration that provides meaning to the madness.
6. Minimal data entry
Peri CRM allows for easy entry of required data. To cut down the tree of data piled with the salesperson at the end of the day which he manually writes afresh or enters into a spreadsheet, it was important to cut down all the unnecessary and stick firmly to the crux. Peri CRM helps manage workflow by distilling actions to the basics hence reducing cognitive load on the workers.