What Features You Need In A Sales Team Collaboration Software

Sales is one of the few departments in an organization that is considered a profit center – that is, they bring money to the company while other departments like HR, operations or IT is mainly focused on sustenance and operational  activities.

Not surprisingly then, business managers seldom think twice before investing in software applications that can make their sales team better. While this inevitably helps your sales teams do better, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

New software tools come with their own learning curve. Investing in multiple software applications would then mean a lot of time that is spent in learning how to do stuff. A lot of times, the software you invest in may not be the right one for your team. This means a lot of time is also spent in unlearning and relearning.

Why your software tools is not the right one for your team

There are two reasons why business users change their software tools. The first and the most common reason is poor needs assessment. Decision makers in the company use internal surveys to gauge needs and pick a tool accordingly. However, the results of these surveys are heavily influenced by the questions you put up. Consequently, this is a case of ‘Garbage in, Garbage out’ – poor surveying results in misleading results which cause the team to pick the wrong tools.

The second reason is evolving business needs. Let’s take the example of a startup team that has grown from a dozen SDRs (Sales Development Reps) to a 100 in over a year. Software tools that are handy for a small team does not work for large teams. If you have signed up a lengthy contract with the service provider, you are likely to be using apps that are ill-fitting to your business needs. The result is an inefficient sales team that does not perform to its potential.

Finding your business needs

There is a reason why many businesses fail to demonstrate results even with the best and most expensive apps. The first rule of business is to pick software applications that will complement your processes and not supplement them.

To put this in other words, the software you pick must help you carry out processes much in the same way as you normally do; only more efficiently. Expecting your sales team to change their ways or processes in order to use an app can be a disastrous decision.

There is another reason why this is important. As we pointed out earlier in this article, there are several reasons why a business has to switch from one service provider to another. Picking an app that requires your sales team to change their working process would mean disrupting their routine each time and this requires a lot of unlearning and relearning. This is a productivity sink.

That being said, what features should your sales team collaboration software need? Here are a few points.

Conversation consolidation: This is by far the most important feature that your sales team needs; especially big ones where a prospect talks to multiple contacts over the course of the sales cycle.

For instance, a prospect may have left a message on your website and may have talked first to an inbound sales agent. They may have passed the contact to a sales associate in charge of gathering requirements. Once the requirements have been gathered, the prospect may then be transferred to  the Operations rep in charge of proposing a solution.

Your CRM application must serve to consolidate conversation across all these different stakeholders. This allows anybody in the team to track progress and plan the cycle for your client.

Process alignment: Your sales team is just one cog in the wheel of all business operations. As such, it is important to ensure seamlessness between the processes followed by your sales team and those followed by other departments in your organization.

The core objective of using a business process management application is to take a step back and ensure business process alignment among various teams. Ensure you pick a BPM software that allows this alignment to happen without a substantial change in processes.

 

Remote working: Sales teams across large enterprises are spread over several zones and geographies. A lot of  these teams in smaller zones operate remotely with no real “office”. Collaboration among team members in such a setup needs to be planned after considering the impact it has on remote workers.

An ideal digital workplace is device agnostic and can help sales teams effectively collaborate over any device through a multitude of communication channels like chat, email, video conferences and phone call.

Centralized document management: Sales processes come with a lot of repeatable tasks like creating proposals, sharing product samples, sending follow up emails, and so on. Efficient knowledge management processes would require organizations to create optimized process and templates for each step of the journey. This way, an individual SDR does not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating a sales pitch that converts the best.

In addition to this, it is also important for an organization to have a centralized document management system for all departments. This allows a marketing team to share content that will aid an SDR in closing the deal. Similarly, this helps a sales  team member transition the prospect to the team in charge of onboarding a customer.

Pick file sharing tools that are on the cloud and work across different devices. They must also let users quickly search for specific files and folders from across the entire repository. Most importantly, you should use a tool that integrates with your existing home directories so that it does not disrupt your current work process.

We are merely scratching the surface here in terms of the features that a sales team might need for collaboration. However, they establish a strong fundamental for collaboration which is essential to a highly productive workforce.

 

10 Best Induction Cooktops In India For 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Are you searching for the best quality induction cooktop? You have reached the right platform to make your choice. Induction cooktops have turned out to be the superior choice to contemporary kitchens in Indian households. Compared to other electric and gas cooktops, it is a better option, as it relies on magnetic induction. Some of us choose this appliance for energy efficiency. What’s more, the availability of induction cooktops at a reasonable price is another reason to buy this gadget.

Induction cooktop follows the principle of magnetic induction to heat your cooking pan. As the heat starts conducting to your pan, this innovative technology works faster. Your cooktop remains cool while you are using it. The absence of any flame for heat generation is another advantageous trait of the induction cooktop. Within a very short time, it produces a lot of heat. 

We have read the reviews of various customers who have bought induction cooktop. Based on those reviews, we have picked the best induction cooktops for you.

  1. Philips Viva HD4928/01 Induction Cooktop 2100-Watt

Philips has offered one of the stylish and perfectly designed induction cooktops. This sleek cooktop is made of the durable microcrystal plate to ensure consistent heating. This 2100W induction cooktop makes your cooking process faster. Moreover, electromagnetic induction technology helps in retaining the nutrients of your food. After your everyday cooking activity, you may easily clean the cooktop.

This cooktop panel includes six preset menus, helping you to cook Indian recipes. You may use oil-boiling pots, stainless steel pots, water jugs and rice cooker with this cooktop. The touch-start button enables you in activating the cooktop. In addition, you can find a push-button for controlling the system. This lightweight cooktop is easy to move and store at any place. 

The surface is cool to touch, and you can easily manage the cooktop. The system comes with a cord of about 1.2 meter. Electricity flows smoothly through this cord.

Pros

  • Auto-off program for cooking foods safely
  • Time setting system (0 to 3 hours)
  • Easy to program
  • Comfortable to cook food

Cons

  • Sometimes can vibrate
  1. Pigeon by Stovekraft Cruise Induction Cooktop1800-Watt

The Pigeon Cruise, another induction cooktop model of 1800W, has become popular to several customers. This elegant looking cooktop has a trendy design, and it does not consume much space in your kitchen. The LED display is highly advanced, as it includes temperature and power settings. Control the power and temperature with the use of this LED screen. For busy users, this induction cooktop is the right choice. Set the time and then let the system properly cook the food for you. The system automatically becomes deactivated as per your timer.

The panel also includes options for increasing or decreasing the mode level. The dual heat sensor is a special technology, used for the induction cooktop. The technology also helps you in saving more than 90% of energy.

The cord, included in the package, is 1.3 meter in length. The high-standard electrical elements of this package prevent the risk of short circuits. The top plate is capable of enduring high temperatures.

Pros

  • High heating efficiency
  • Easily portable
  • Hands-free cooking
  • Automatic switch-off 

Cons

  • Sound issues
  1. Prestige Omega Granite Induction Cooktop 3 piece set 

When you are looking for a comprehensive package of the induction cooktop and cookware pieces, you may choose this product. With 230V of current, this cooktop performs its function smoothly. The push-button, present in the panel, helps you to control the appliance.

For saving power, the manufacturer has integrated an automatic voltage regulating system. Another positive trait of this induction cooktop is the aerodynamic cooling technology.

The vessel to be placed on the cooktop must have an induction base. Its diameter should be at least 12 cm. While you have chosen the wrong vessel, you may find an error message.

Now, the cookware pieces also provide you with long-lasting value. They have a spatter-coated, non-stick surface, making it easier to clean. You may use a metal spoon with them. You can place the cookware not only on the induction cooktops but also on the gas cooktops. 

Pros-

  • Provided the guidelines for troubleshooting
  • German technology-based cookware set
  • Dishwasher Safe cookware
  • Granite-finish coating applied on the cookware pieces

Cons-

  • Glass lid is not very durable 
  1. Prestige PIC 16.0+ Induction Cooktop 1900- Watt 

We have chosen another reliable induction cooktop from Prestige. The consistent and faster heating capacity is one of the notable aspects of this induction cooktop.

Moreover, the system has an anti-magnetic wall and aerodynamic cooling system. The engine performs in the best way. The fan continues its function although you have switched off the appliance. Thus, the cooktops cool down very fast.

The appliance is compatible with Induction base cookware, and the diameter of the cookware base has to range from 12 cm to 26 cm. Like other induction cooktops, it also has dual heat sensor.

Integrated with timer, the cooktop also includes a pause function to provide you with the convenience. You can turn off your cooking hob temporarily. While you have turned it on, it will resume the cooking temperature very fast. Furthermore, Prestige PIC 16.0+ comes with the power-saving technology. It can control the level of power based on your vessel size.

Pros

  • Best for cooking Indian dishes
  • Pause and restart anytime
  • Regulates voltage
  • Computer controlling system

Cons

Power button is a little hard to press

  1. Havells Insta Cook RT 1400 watts 

It is now easy to prepare tasty foods with Havells induction cooktop. The stylish looking cooktop is full of innovative features. You can conveniently cook your everyday meals with this appliance. The panel of this induction cooktop includes four cooking options- Manual, gravy/dal, deep fry and boil.

You may use the timer to preset the time while cooking the foods. The time can range from 0 to 2 hours. Also, the soft-touch buttons simplify the operations. There are controls for adjusting the power level.

Intelligent and in-built programming mechanism has made this cooktop unique. The appliance will control the temperature level based on your cooking purpose. Some dishes need variable cooking, while others must have a fixed cooking style. For every case, you will find this induction cooking to be much useful.

Pros

  • User-friendly digital LED screen
  • Black, attractive induction cooktop
  • Eco-friendly choice- No flame
  • Special sensor for auto-pan detection

Cons

  • No negative comment from customers
  1. V-Guard VIC-15 Induction Cooktop 2000-Watt

V-Guard VIC-15 can be one of the best additions to your modern kitchen. The digital screen is easy to read, and it displays four digits for showing the status of cooking activities. The innovatively designed cooktop protects its mechanism from the fluctuation of voltage and other electrical effects.

You may use the induction cooktop for preparing dosa, idli and chapati, for heating milk, for boiling water and slow cooking purpose. For cooking any type of dish, you can choose to rely on the timer feature. You may set the timer of up to 4 hours. While the set time is over, the cooktop automatically becomes deactivated.

The power level is easily adjustable. You will get eight options for setting the power. For various types of cooking activities, there is a need for varying power levels. That is why the manufacturer has integrated this feature to the induction cooktop.

The crystalline glass, used for the gadget, endures the high level of temperatures. Besides, it has a quality finish, helping you to clean the surface very easily. The copper coil for running the cooktop is also durable.

Pros

  • Made of high-grade materials
  • Energy and voltage consumption indicator
  • Preset cooking functions

Cons

  • Hard-ionized utensils do not work with this cooktop
  1. Bajaj Majesty ICX 7

Bajaj has offered one of the feature-rich induction cooktops. This 1900 W cooktop is best for all types of cooking purposes. For its compact design, lots of customers have chosen it. Although it is a compact model, it has a spacious heating surface. You can place the bigger pans on it.

The Tact-switch control is one of the features, helping you to adjust the cooking time to prepare various dishes. The touch panel of this cooktop is very stylish. The stainless steel pots, water jugs and rice cooker, grilling iron plates and cast iron pots are safe with the cooktop.

The Bajaj Majesty induction cooker has 8 Pre-set menus that simplify your cooking process. You may only press one button for preparing the favorite dishes. The preset menu includes- stir fry, hot pot, fry, deep fry, boil, braise, soup and stew. This menu performs the best function, as it helps you in saving your effort and time. 

Pros

  • User-friendly design
  • Automatic shut off within a minute in the absence of any vessel
  • Warm mode available 
  • Power button indicating the amount of power consumed at the time of cooking

Cons

  • Button materials must be of better quality
  1. Sunflame Sf-Ic09 2000 W Induction Cooker

Sunflame has manufactured high-quality induction cooker, having high power efficiency. This cooktop does not consume high amount of electricity. However, it still produces much amount of heat, needed to cook foods. This 2000 W Induction Cooker has the potential of preventing unnecessary heat generation due to the presence of Aerodynamic Cooling System. Thus, you can use the system safely.

Crystal Glass Plate, used for the cooktop, helps in producing the consistent amount of heat. You will get perfectly cooked food. Thus, Sunflame has offered highly reliable appliance, performing at a superb level. 

The preset menu helps you to cook various Indian dishes within a short time. In addition, the system also includes Dual Heat Sensors to ensure the right amount of heat, applied to your food. The soft push controls are easy to use, and you can adjust the temperature and power. Moreover, the system includes an auto cut-off feature.

Pros

  • Quality glass plate
  • Cooling mechanism
  • Elegant and sturdy design

Cons

  • Vibration and sound problems
  1. Preethi Excel Plus 117 1600-Watt 

Preethi induction cooker is one of the innovatively designed appliances for a modern kitchen. Cook your food with one simple touch on the menu. You can find separate controls, including boil, slow cook, idli, roti, fry, milk, tea, gravy and manual. You may place the bigger vessels on the heating base. In addition, the induction cooktop is highly durable, and its ceramic plate has the capacity of enduring the high level of temperature. However, make sure that you have used the flat bottom vessel. The cooktop will not be able to heat up other types of vessels.

The system needs 230 volts for operation. The cord, included in the package, is very long to give you convenience in connecting it to the plug. 

The customer service from Preethi is also good, and you will be able to solve your queries on the cooktop.

Pros

  • Safe to operate
  • Lengthy cord
  • Easy to use
  • Preset menu

Cons

  • No complaints
  1. Bajaj Popular Ultra Induction Cooker 1400-Watt

In the world of electronic appliance, Bajaj has earned a high status. Thus, we have chosen the best induction cooktop model from Bajaj. This 1400W induction cooker with stylish design is easy to use. The novices would face no challenges in dealing with it. The LED screen clearly displays the control. The menu includes 7 preset options. Touch the right option on the menu to boil water, cook rice, prepare soup, idli and curry, heat milk, deep fry anything and pressure cook the ingredients. Thus, you will get fun in your everyday cooking activities. Among other controls, you can find timer. Preset the time for cooking the desired food. In addition, there are tact switch controls and a separate on/off button.

The crystal glass with the semi-polished surface has a dimension of 250 mm by 250 mm. You must not touch the plate after cooking anything. This plate remains hot and can injure you.

Pros-

  • Preset menus
  • LED screen with clear controls
  • Low energy consumption

Cons-

  • Few users have found it tough to use the system 

Guide to buy the best induction cooktop

Buying quality induction cooktop is not easy. You have to check out the following features while buying the appliance. 

Features that enable you to cook food safely and properly

  • Safety sensor

It helps in assessing the temperature level at the base of the cookware. When you have left the empty pan on the cooking zone, this feature performs its function. The safety sensor also helps in adjusting the power output for avoiding your cookware damage. 

  • Automatic switch-off

It is one of the special features, effective for turning off the element automatically while there is an overheating issue. Most of the models have this special feature.

  • Automatic heat-up

It is another innovative feature, intended for heating the cooking space to some higher setting. It automatically follows the preset option. This feature is helpful while cooking different foods. For instance, at the time of cooking rice, you can initially boil rice and simmer it later.

  • Safety cutout

Safety cutout is another important feature to let you cook food without any risk. While you have switched on the cooking zone for a longer period without adjusting the temperature, the system becomes deactivated automatically. The lower setting means cooking zone, remains activated for a longer period. Thus, when you think of cooking continuously, you can choose the cooktop, having longer safety cutout time.

  • Power management

Some cooking zones have a higher wattage, and thus, power manager helps in splitting power level between different cooking zones. You can set the optimum power level only for a particular cooking zone. For another zone, the power level has to be low.

  • Protection from overflows

The best cooktop produces the beep sound or shuts down the system while the water, milk or any other liquid is overflowing the controls. You have to wipe out this spill and restart your cooking activities. However, you must treat the cooking surface thoroughly by cleaning the gaps and cracks. 

  • Pan detector

While there is no pan, your induction cooktop won’t perform its function. Similarly, if you have removed the pan from the cooking surface, the system will stop its operation, and you will find an alert notification. Conversely, this alert goes away while you have put back the pan to the right place. You will also see the symbol for using the wrong cookware. After displaying the sign, the cooktop deactivates itself.

  • Touch controls

Instead of the conventional style control knobs, there are touch controls on the induction cooktop. Those cooktops enable you in altering the temperature level with the simple touch on the glass-made surface. Touch controls work best while you are merging your kitchen benchtop to the cooktop.

  • How many cooking zones do your cooktops have?

An induction cooktop with a width of 60cm provides you with more than 3 cooking zones. Thus, you will have much amount of space for preparing your everyday meals. Moreover, the wider induction cooktops have more cooking zones. You may prepare much amount of food at a time.

What’s more, the wide cooktop is capable of accommodating the bigger pans and pots. Hence, it is best for growing families.

  • Automatic detection of pan size 

The sophisticated induction cooktops have this unique feature, and they can quickly identify the cookware shape and size, used by you. It is a unique feature, enabling the cooker to have energy efficiency.

  • Choosing the size of induction cooker

Size is one of the most critical factors to the induction cooktop buyers. The smallest models have a width of about 30 cm. However, the biggest one can be almost 90 cm. Although you may find a difference in the cooktop models, most of the buyers look for 60 cm induction cooktop with 4 cooking zones. 

When you need to replace your older cooktop, you have to take the measurement of the space. While you are in search of one cooking zone, you may invest in the compact models. These models are highly portable, and you can move them from one site to another. 

  • Child locking system

It is one of the safety features, integrated to most of the models. The child lock option prevents your children from dealing with the buttons or controls in any way.

  • Timer

The automatic timer is best for busy users. This is present in most of the sophisticated models. You can activate the timer feature for switching off the system automatically. There is no need to observe the cooking process a number of times. However, you must specify the right time with the timer. You may read the instructions of the manufacturer.

  • Pot Compatibility

The use of right pots is highly important to get the optimized benefit from the induction cooktop. You have to check out the compatibility of the pot with the chosen cooker. The vessel and pot, placed on the cooktop, must have magnetic conducting design or ferrous bottom. It ensures the proper conduction of heat. The stainless-steel cookware with cast iron base is best for induction cookers. It is also essential to find out the minimum size of the pot base that works properly with your induction cooktop.

  • Does induction cooktop produce noise?

Induction cooking process is noiseless, as the system’s electrical coil generates energy silently. The device has no moving part. The cooktop also has a cooling fan in its interior side. However, the fan may cause some noise. Moreover, while the power level is high, the lightweight vessels have slight vibrations. 

  • Power Ratings of the cooktop

While preparing any dish, you need to adjust the power level for heating the ingredients precisely. You have to check the power levels of the modern induction cooktops. Thus, you must choose the right power setting for cooking the food. For instance, 1800 W induction cooker has 10 power levels, and the lowest level can be 200 W.

  • Pre-set Menus for Induction Cooker

The menus are intended for definite dishes. The common options, included in the menu, are – boil, heat milk, deep fry, fry, idli, grill and stir-fry.

Now, it is the right time to purchase the best induction cooktops of a reliable brand. Read our above guide and choose any of the products to make your deal.

How To Pitch Your Tech Startup

Want to successfully pitch your tech startup to get that funding? Well, memorizing mission statements, highlighting groundbreaking features and displaying impressive 3D models won’t be enough. Instead, you need to work on your storytelling strategy to inspire those willing to participate. Use this as a guide to know how to be a good storyteller and shine during your pitch.

Since their purpose is to bring technology to people, tech startuppers often focus on the innovation factor and tech details. Though this is, of course, relevant for your product or service, information may get lost in a sea of numbers and specs. Your audience may not be so excited about getting a ton of data since it may feel cold and unappealing. 

Tales Aren’t Just for Children

Don’t get me wrong, information is fine but there’s a craft for talking about it and making it interesting. It doesn’t have to be a straight-up fairytale, just have the structure of a story. Let me put it this way: we hear, read, and watch stories all the time on the internet, the news, with your neighbors, next to someone waiting for the bus, during lunch at work…  but not all of them are interesting to you. 

To get that funding after a pitch, learn to master the art of storytelling by making it emotionally appealing to a certain audience and, of course, without losing the focus of selling your idea, which is essentially the main goal. 

There are plenty of marketing strategies for startups. Some are more aggressive than others, and not all of them are suitable for every kind of business. When it comes to inspiring potential partners or investors in the technology industry, storytelling marketing is a powerful, low-cost strategy that can work wonders for startup tech companies

To Captivate, Write Your Story

Everyone has their own vision of things, be sure to ask your team for ideas and powerful insights. Write down interesting facts and details that you’ve found along the way, how you found the right people to develop your technology product or service, the struggles you’ve faced, the lessons you’ve had so far, and how your team operates now. 

Pay special attention to funny, challenging, or even sad events that made your startup grow. These interesting anecdotes will be useful for writing your core story and boost the human factor of it. We’ve all made mistakes and faced adversities, and ultimately learned from them.  

Regardless of the topic, follow these essential steps every good story should have. Try to keep things organized so you know where to finish and don’t spend too much time on other narrative lines. Stick to one narrative line, remember that pitches often last a few minutes. 

Your story should be suitable for both experts and people who are not really familiar with your startup’s approach. 

  • Bring a character to life. It can be a person, a fantasy, or sci-fi character or even an object. Incorporate a few characters but keep it cool since too many may be confusing and distracting. Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to talk about your startup. 
  • Create an incident. An interesting story is built by actions and key events, not so much on descriptions and dialogue, or irrelevant events that have no connection to the goal of the main characters. Make things happen in your story. 
  • Get to the point. Explain the problem you’re solving and what your startup is doing to solve it. Why is this important for people’s lives? Highlight the reason for this marketing opportunity and how your service or product is something that’s missing or not working.

Have a clear outcome and provide a message that doesn’t leave out key information. At the same time, keep your audience wanting to know more about your startup. 

To Engage, Illustrate Your Story

Remember when you were a kid and you enjoyed going over and over the same illustrated books? Well, things haven’t changed that much in terms of visual attention. Work on visual storytelling to build the strongest message possible. 

If you’re starting from scratch, sketch a storyboard. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a professional artist, you just need to translate your ideas onto paper so they’re clear for everyone participating. You can even use one of many storyboarding apps to help you out. 

Besides illustrations and good pictures, make sure you include your graphic branding elements such as an appropriate color palette and logo. If you still don’t have one, use a logo maker, which can save you a lot of time when creating a logo design

Startup pitch

To Influence, Practice Your Story

Mirror mirror on the wall… Is my startup pitch ready? Before meeting the investors, practice along with your team, make changes, avoid overdoing it, but most of all… feel your story! A well-rehearsed pitch will feel more natural when you master every part of it and work on the tone variations as if you were telling any kind of story in front of an audience. 

Remember those days when you used to hear storytellers and they kept the kids interested in the ups and downs of a tale? That’s how you want to resonate with your audience. Define the tone you want for it: dramatic, humorous, serious… or even scary, if you’re planning on giving it a twist! 

Now You Wish upon a Startup 

Once you’re ready to pitch, it’s time to release the real magic, get inspired, and enjoy the pitch! You got this far after hours of hard work and, if you’re confident about it, the outcome should be positive.

The story doesn’t have word-by-word identical to what you first wrote. You can take little breaks, improvise and make some side comments, just don’t waste too much time on them. Keep the basic structure in your mind –or on a small piece of paper– and everything will be fine. 

In a room full of people, know that people want to be part of a story, and your future investors are no exception. Globally known successful startups have done this. Be confident about your story and you will live happily ever after… or at least get that funding for your startup!