[Note: This article is part of The Junction Series. We will be covering the EnterpriseTech sector in detail at\u00a0The Junction 2017\u00a0in\u00a0Jaipur. Learn more about\u00a0The Junction here!]\r\n\u201cStop selling. Start helping.\u201d - Zig Ziglar\r\nIt seems this same thought crossed Arunabh Das Sharma's mind in July 2016, when, after 25 years of a successful stint in companies like Coca-Cola India, ITC, Whirlpool, Bennett & Coleman and Co. Ltd. (Times Group) etc., Arunabh realised the annihilation, which the front end sales segment had been facing for long.\r\n\r\nFront end sales that usually take place in a highly-negotiated pricing environment require the sales personnel to take prompt decisions. However, the existing decision-making hierarchy causes unnecessary delays in finalising the deal most of the time. This leads to a fall in personal credibility and the relationship-building ability of the sales personnel, further affecting future leads as well.\r\n\r\nAlso, growing competition, technology advancements, and aggregated buying, have been putting pressure on net realisations (yields) or margins for the companies and sales managers in particular.\r\n\r\nArunabh realised that by correlating all his local and global experience, there lies an opportunity to create a sales guidance product - a system which would give them insights about the clients they are supposed to meet, and insights about the right amount to be quoted for their product.\r\n\r\nThis led to the conception of Sagacito - a B2B, cloud-based, mobile-first enterprise products startup backed with data analytics. In this endeavour, he was joined in by Ravi Dhariwal, Ex-CEO of Bennett & Coleman and Co. Ltd, and Meeta Sachdev, Ex-Head of Ad Sales Strategy and Pricing at BCCL.\r\n\r\nWithin just four months of launch, the founders claim to hold a monthly revenue of $200K and are backed by Star India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch\u2019s Twenty First Century Fox Inc. The company has, to date, raised $9.2 Mn ($1 Mn for 10% equity and the rest as an ongoing revenue for next five years).\r\nUsing Predictive Analytics To Deliver Intelligence, Acumen, And Insight\r\nSagacito offers a Business Intelligence (BI) solution for revenue management services that deliver \u2018value\u2019 creation and \u2018margin\u2019 expansion. It works with both structured and unstructured data to create machine learning-based algorithms to positively impact business outcomes.\r\n\r\nThe team aims to maximise impact on profit margins and market shares for a range of industries like media, entertainment, healthcare, logistics, hospitality, and travel.\r\n\r\nAs explained by Arunabh, \u201cIn most businesses, front-line ad sales have to be strongly guided. This guidance has to be both easy to understand and apply. This is a non-trivial challenge that requires sophisticated data science, scalable technology, and adaptive algorithms behind the scenes to create simple actions that impact business bottom lines positively.\u201d\r\n\r\nSo, how does it work? \u201cWe allow for managers at all levels of the organisation to make informed decisions and create processes that allow for \u201cPre-Fact\u201d intervention and \u201cPost-Fact\u201d analysis,\u201d he tells.\r\n\r\nIn simple terms, \u2018pre-fact\u2019 implies that every approval comes before the transaction, thereby helping sales persons make immediate decisions. \u201cMost BI systems are \u2018post-fact,\u2019 based on historical data, and waste a lot of time. And wasted time is wasted productivity in today\u2019s age. This maximises every single transaction that happens,\u201d said Arunabh.\r\n\r\nAll this is manifested through data visualisation dashboards using their own "RIVET" philosophy, which implies that the dashboards are Real-time, Interactive, Visual, Easy and Touch-enabled.\r\n\r\nAs Arunabh stated,\r\n\u201cIn today\u2019s age, a lot of technology is being used. But how that technology is being experienced by the user, that is where I think we can create some disruption. People who are not tech-savvy - how do they use it and how is their experience with the technology - that is where Rivet comes in.\u201d\r\nP-Mod, Y-Max, P-Gov, Rev-X: The Four Pillars Of Sagacito\u2019s Foundation\r\nSagacito offers four products to enterprises to help combat the challenges faced by their sales teams. One can opt for the complete suite or even individual product, as per the requirement.\r\n\r\nUnder P-Mod, the Sagacito team first look at the company\u2019s data and creates a whole planning tool for them, wherein they can do the real-time sensitivity analysis on any number of \u2018what ifs,\u2019 etc. \u201cFrom here we can also have a very strong deployment plan to the field. So, this is meant to be used for the senior management,\u201d explained Arunabh.\r\n\r\nAnother product, Y-Max is a data science-based predictive pricing engine which takes into account the multiple factors such as client\u2019s behaviour patterns, dynamic ad inventory, etc. For example, the consumer\u2019s pattern of buying can help judge the most-likely price he is willing to pay. So, it does \u00a0away with the clients to create pricing for every category of the product and tries to create the most likely price for every single transaction. This helps in getting faster quote time and optimisation of proposal.\r\nNext, comes P-Gov which takes care of the final discounts\/negotiations to be made at the table. It makes sure that the approvals come before the transaction happens, to make the best out of the current deal.\r\nAll things said, the one prime concern for any organisation is its revenue. As per a basic marketing principle, there are only two ways of maximising revenue - either one can get current clients to buy more or make sure that they don\u2019t stop buying the product. Or else, find new customers every time.\r\n\r\nFor this company has developed another product, Rev-X or the revenue multiplier that rescues companies and does real-time churn management. Arunabh explained this as, \u201cIt tells you real-time cross-sale and up-sale recommendations so that you can sell more to the existing clients. It also tells you which of your current clients are at risk.\u201d\r\nOf India\u2019s Nascent Outsourcing Environment, Unrealistic Expectations, And More\r\nDespite several startup initiatives, Arunabh feels that the most difficult task is still to set up a company in India. As he said,\r\n\u201cThe paperwork, the number of things you need to take care of - taking it all into account - the ecosystem is still not very well-developed. To get a company started, you can very easily get a lot of things outsourced. However, I think that outsourcing environment in this country is still quite under-developed and not fully professional.\u201d\r\nAlso, because of the startup boom in the last three or four years, expectations have become completely unrealistic, thereby making it difficult to ramp up the team size, he stated.\r\n\r\nIf we talk about the competition, then there are international counterparts like PROS, VISTAAR, zilliANT, vendavo, syncron, FICO, and more.\r\n\r\nHowever, Arunabh does not count any of them as a direct competition. He further added, \u201cThe supply ecosystem is still nascent, especially in APAC and EMEA region, with clear white spaces in media and healthcare sectors and only few incumbents offering predictive, fully-mobile, SaaS solutions.\u201d\r\n\r\nFurthermore, the Sagacito team looks forward to doing a few, strong pilot projects in industries such as hospitality and consumer products, with an aim to make its products better. The immediate priority is to make sure that the team delivers according to their contract.\r\n\r\nThe founders are also looking first at industry expansion rather than going for geographic expansion, with internal priority on developing technology leadership.\r\nEditor\u2019s Note\r\nWith business intelligence and analytics dominating SaaS investments, media addressable market (which includes digital advertising, cinema, tv advertising, audio entertainment, etc.) size is forecasted to reach $2 Tn by 2019, as cited by Arunabh.\r\n\r\nIn the words of Philip Kotler, an American marketing author, consultant, and professor, selling is only the tip of the marketing iceberg. \u00a0What is unseen is the extensive market investigation, the research and development of appropriate products, the challenge of pricing them right, of opening up distribution, and of letting the market know about the product.\r\n\r\nHow and with what efficiency will the current solutions such as Sagacito and its ilk, be able to justify the client\u2019s need, is yet to be determined.