Last five years or so, technology has evolved to a great extent and it has impacted how humans perform their day to day activities. But if you bump into an FMCG sales representative at a “Kirana” store (the number of such stores is estimated to exceed 12 million), you would see him taking orders either on a shoddy bill book or on a cumbersome mobile application which he unwillingly uses because it is mandated by his company. Peri CRM, a Gurgaon-based SaaS startup is attempting to fundamentally change this by providing an Indianized, easy-to-adopt, mobile-first sales automation platform. It has been designed for the front-liners with a clear goal to transform a smartphone into a sales competency building tool.
When asked what drives this mission, their founder Harsh Kohli answered “improving the lives of salespeople is in our DNA, that’s the sole purpose why Peri exists. We serve the sales heroes on the street to the CEO of the company”.
Peri CRM is a product of years of observations, interactions, training and improvement projects with sales representatives across India. Peri’s team started their journey back in 2015 with generation 1 of their platform while diagnosing sales processes in the medical devices industry.
Through years of iterations and transitions, the team’s effort culminated when they launched Peri in September 2018 and acquired their first customer Mrs. Bectors Food Specialities Limited (biscuit brand Cremica). At the time of launch, Peri only had FMCG essential features like attendance, stock and order management while the major focus was directed towards user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and adoption by the average Indian sales rep. This was a great start as Peri had replaced a market-leading SFA platform Bizom which had been struggling with user adoption for the past 2 years.
Since then, Peri CRM has been continuously innovating on the product with best-in-class features. The result is a sales force automation (SFA) application that is super easy, visually appealing, learnable with minimal data-entry but at the same time feature-rich, scalable, innovative and tailor-made for the FMCG industry. With these features in their bucket, Peri calls themselves as a sales consultant and trainer not just as a technology partner. They want to focus on helping companies achieve strategic sales objectives like entering new territories, increasing retail universe, pushing retailer throughput, maximizing sales efforts on key brands, achieving sales discipline and more. They are targeting 1000 monthly users by Mar 2020. Currently, Peri CRM is limited to sales automation but wants to venture into marketing, logistics, and service automation in the future
Let’s delve deeper into the top functionalities of Peri:
Here are Some Top Functionalities of Peri CRM
1. Easy Accessibility
Peri is perhaps the easiest software in India in terms of adoption. It does not require any username or password. Users can log in using their mobile number registered with the company’s HR department.
2. Flexible structure
Peri adopts as per the company’s internal structure (not the other way around) so that the transition to automation is seamless. For example:
2.1 Sales branches and sub-branches: Peri allows companies to break a state (say Punjab) into sales branches and sub-branches depending on how resources are spread and reporting preferences.
2.2 Direct and indirect reporting: Peri maps every frontline to a reporting manager up to the CEO of the company. Peri also allows indirect mapping with view-only capabilities to non-sales functions like HR and marketing.
3. Accurate master data
Peri works together with the company’s MIS team to extract, clean and upload the master data from various sources like MS excel sheets, ERP, legacy CRM or HRMS. For example:
3.1 Products: Peri provides a complete visual representation of products that sales representatives must sell. This feature reduces the burden of heavy backpacks filled with catalogs, brochures, and handouts. Besides, digitized products make conversation with the retailer easier as users can show their entire portfolio in a single tap.
3.2 Distributors and Stockists: Peri integrates with the company’s ERP or stock management software to pull dealers data and assign to sales representatives. This gives clear visibility of stock movement and payment updates for effective servicing of these partners.
3.3 Retailers: Peri has made it super simple to onboard a retailer. Users need to take a picture of the retailer’s facade with name board (which comes handy during retailer audits), type retailer’s name without special characters and 10 digits unique mobile number. A welcome SMS is triggered for trust and future engagement.
Example of Peri’s super-easy user interface (UI)
4. Actionable mobile dashboard
Peri’s mobile home screen consists of a pie chart and top business KPI’s with color-coding that allows users to analyze their monthly performance. This dashboard provides a schematic representation of the monthly target, achievement, focus product categories and other leading indicators. The primary objective is to enhance user motivation at work. The users can set their work schedule accordingly so that they reach the desired target without any hassle.
5. Sales discipline
Discipline is perhaps the most desired trait for a sales team. Peri lays special focus on enforcing discipline through its platform. For example:
5.1 Attendance for all working days: Peri has a highly effective attendance marking feature where an alarm goes off every morning at a stipulated time prompting the user to self-declare a presence or absence from work. This disclosure is later approved by the reporting manager based on contextual information.
5.2 Automated Beat Plan: Peri was clear from day one that it would not adopt the traditional beat mapping methodology where beat names are manually entered and assigned to distributor and salesman. Peri relies on the world’s best geo management platform Google to extract beat names and supplement it with a proprietary algorithm to standardize and assign it to a salesman.
5.3 Know your customer (KYC): FMCG typically has high manpower attrition which means a retail market serviced by one salesman will tomorrow be handled by another. This is why knowing your customer or retailer is very important. Peri has a fully customizable retailer KYC screen to get comprehensive details like decision-maker, preferred timings, GST number, shelves and windows, typical customer reach, credit preference and more.
6. Seamless Sales transactions
Sales can be a very demanding job. Peri ensures that there is Zero loss of sales and routine market working of a sales rep is seamless. For example:
6.1 Sales Call or TC: When a sales rep enters a retail shop, he can report a TC with just a finger swipe. Simple and efficient.
6.2 Order taking or PC: Most CRMs take about 5-10 minutes to place and confirm the order. On the contrary, Peri allows a salesman to enter a new order or copy previous and do minor edits in 1-2 minutes. This ultimately helps in fulfilling FMCG company’s primary goal, i.e. to maximize order placement and minimize data entry time. The order page displays a bar graph with monthly sales trends to avoid sales loss and push monthly growth. Peri also has the convenient feature of sending a PDF of order summary which can be downloaded and shared with the retailer over WhatsApp.
7. Stock Management
Many Indian FMCG companies especially small to mid-sized, find it difficult to implement and manage DMS at their distribution points. Top reasons being the business owners have no computer, run legacy systems like Tally or are unwilling to disclose their daily stock movement. Peri CRM offers an alternative to DMS, through its effective stock management functionality. Anyone visiting a distribution point is empowered to capture consolidated stock as well as at an SKU level or. The algorithm at backend correlates the inventory with opening and primary stock to give a great sense of secondary and retail throughput.
8. Interactions and Surveys
Feedback and surveys play an essential role in capturing the pulse of a brand in terms of product quality, service and customer preferences. Peri has a fully customizable survey module where senior managers and marketers can create detailed surveys and launch BTL (below the line) campaigns at the retail level.
9. Joint Working and Training
Peri has a unique module to help capture joint working and value-addition by supervisors, managers, and senior managers. This helps in engaging non-transactional users on the SFA platform with activities like training, problem-solving, feedback collection, market validation and more.
10. Offline working
Another great feature in Peri especially for upcountry markets is its offline availability. The salesperson doesn’t have to worry about typical issues like poor network, and low battery. They can save the transactions locally and sync when they reach a proper network area.
11. DIY analytics
In today’s fast-paced business environment, routine data analysis is perhaps the only way to get early signs of business problems, identify the root-cause, and devise effective execution strategies that can be validated with concrete data points. But analytics always must be dynamic and available. Peri is powered by the world’s leading, best-in-class data visualization platform Zoho analytics. In addition to pure visualization, Peri also gives it’s customers an AI assistant named Zia which understands data requirements in plain English and throws a set of reports and dashboards which can be tweaked as per your needs. Thoughtfully designed sales automation and powerful business analytics gives a compelling value proposition to Peri’s customers.
SoftwareSuggest believes that Peri CRM has entered the crowded FMCG automation space with a unique philosophy of keeping the core end-users’ benefits at the forefront. This is a challenge to the status quo where everyone is talking about management features like data analytics and artificial intelligence. By entering at this juncture when the need for automation is highest, Peri has a unique late-mover advantage as it has collected the industry feedback on failed implementations, nagging user issues, cumbersome data entry points and prevalent policing behavior which is counterintuitive to user adoption.
Peri is a clear winner on innovation, design, user-friendliness, adoption, customer support and data analytics. It remains to be seen how Peri gets accepted by the market – as a niche player or as a mass-market CRM.
You can explore more about Peri CRM on their SoftwareSuggest Profile Page.