Node Technologies aims to make mobile salesforce enablement more efficient and take on industry giants
Node Technologies is an Indian startup focused on mobile sales enablement solutions. It was founded by Tito Vatapilly and Amabrish Chaudhari in February 2010 as a spin off from Einstix Technologies India. They were both directors on the board of Einstix and are now looking after the same division in Node with a focus on enterprise mobility for the Indian market.
Tito says, “Einstix was essentially into mobile services developing products. Many companies in the US had outsourced some of their work to us. So we had done interesting work in mobile payments, blogging and publishing sectors. In 2010, we realized the potential of smartphones in India and started Node Technologies.”
They had an idea for a mobile ordering menu for pizza restaurants. So they did some R&D and approached Pizza Hut and Dominos and got a pilot from one of them. The startup realized that this sector would pick up in India, and B2B was the way to go. So they moved from services to products and from global to Indian clients while making the transition from Einstix to Node.
Node is headquartered in Bengaluru with sales offices in Delhi and Mumbai. Tito functions as the CEO and comes with a background in marketing and advertising with work experience of more than 14 years. He has worked with companies like JWT, Lintas and TOI in account planning and management functions. Ambarish functions as the CTO and has been in the mobile development technology space for more than 17 years. He is one of the early developers in the mobile-based product development scene in India and has worked with companies like Philips, July systems, and E-vector.
Node specialises in providing solutions in the enterprise mobility space with a focus on salesforce enablement. Through their product suite titled ‘SalesGo’, they offer four modules to help clients make the sales processes more efficient and effective. These include facilities to generate leads, detailed seller ratings (DSR), visits and knowledge hub. Their main focus is on sales persons on the field and they aim to help them perform their tasks better through their mobile app, which has a touch point on the PC as well. Ambarish says,
Sales persons mainly have leads that they have to go and convert or key accounts that he or she needs to visit on a regular basis. SalesGo acts as a connection between the company and the salesperson. The primary purpose of our app is to empower people.
They also feel that mobile is the future. Also looking at current trend where e-commerce companies are focussing more on mobile. But they feel that enterprise companies haven’t been fast in making the transition so far for various reasons. Node’s key focus verticals include banking, financial services and insurance, specifically asset management companies, telecom, IT hardware and software products, retail and electric automation.
Pain points they are solving
Node found that as India is a consumer and demand driven economy a lot of leads are generated in sectors like home loans, retail, and real estate etc. Companies pump money into advertising and marketing to get more and more leads. Most of the focus is on generating the demand. The ROI for marketing team is number of leads but the sales team has to convert these leads and this is where the problem lies.Tito adds,
Even though the volume of leads is extremely high, some companies still use Excel sheets to follow up on clients. For a company that has multiple points with many customers and need to track different metrics this becomes inefficient and labour intensive. SalesGo aims to make it easier and also give managers an overview of how their salesforce is doing.
Nodes services are available across all major platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry and even mobile browsers of features phones and desktops. They aim to do justice to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) principle.
According to Ambarish, “We have included a mix of all technology from SMS for feature phones to push notifications for smartphones so architecturally our product is functionality oriented keeping users’ productivity in mind. Our aim is to keep distractions away and help people focus on the work at hand. We had a buy-in from some of the best sales organizations in India at an early stage that have helped Node to shape the product better.”
Business model and clientele
Node realized that the adoption rate of Customer Relationship Management (CRMs) systems is low, about 40-50%. So they aim to solve this pain point with a customer service layer. Node takes shared responsibility with its clients to ensure that its product delivers to the intended objective and shows tangible results from day one. So their business model includes a monthly management fee which is a combination of subscription and a service management fee.
Node has a team of 27 members and recruits more people on a temporary basis as needed when new clients are being on boarded their platform. While Node’s employees help their clients in managing and following up on their tasks, no sensitive data is shared. Node monitors certain metrics to measure performance. For example, Node has intelligence only on how many leads an organisation has and how many have been followed upon and how many are still pending, without knowing any finer details about the leads.Tito says,
Each of our clients has seen a direct business impact in the first month itself in terms of sales conversion improvement. So they have appreciated our customer service model and the fact that we are sticking our neck out to help them. SalesGo is modelled on both product and delivery aspects to suit the Indian market and sales behaviour.
Node’s list of clients includes IBM, Airtel, Samsung, IDFC Mutual Funds, Lenovo, Schneider Electric, LIC Nomura, and State Bank of India etc. They have a user base of 12000 enterprise mobile users on the field.
Talking about their technology, Ambarish adds, “Our philosophy in general has been to focus on functions and keep things simple, without compromising on targets. We can provide services to clients with 50 employees or even 5000. Our cost doesn’t go up proportionally because of the way software is designed and it is easier for us to get into an auto pilot mode.”
Others in the sector
Node considers other CRM companies such as Microsoft Dynamics, salesforce.com and IT companies that custom build these solutions as their competition. Node also integrates with their competitors on occasions as they also provide customer support, lifecycle management etc.
According to Tito, “The problem that we are trying to solve comes under the CRM domain. Our differentiation is that our solutions are very problem centric. But we do integrate our solutions with others when needed. Our APIs are open, so for leads and visits we use SalesGo and for other services like lifecycle management we help our clients integrate and use salesforce.com etc.”
Node Technologies is currently bootstrapped but is not actively looking to raise funds at this stage.Tito says, “We’ve had paying clients from day one and did not need to invest much on technology as we had a strong team from Eintix. So, we have no immediate plans to look for funds.”
Node currently has one or two clients in each vertical that they are active in so their plan is to go deeper and in next two to three years add more clients across these verticals and on-board more small and medium scale enterprises as well.Their long term 10x10 vision is to be among the top 10 companies globally in this sector in the next 10 years.
Website: Node Technologies