Commercial Operations Manager

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Date: May 12, 2022

Location: Gurugram, IN

Company: AkzoNobel

We’ve been pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life for well over 200 years. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of our products. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.

Job Purpose Statement


To be the regional owner for professionalizing Commercial Operations across BU.

This role requires proactive identification, definition and solving of complex problems that have impact on the direction of the business or work effort, where analysis of situations requires an in-depth understanding of various processes across functions and countries; having an innovative and transformation mindset to identify improvement opportunities to optimize processes, decrease costs and increase value.

The role will be responsible for -

Partnering with Global SFX (Sales Force Excellence) & MSSS in implementing sales & process initiatives.

Driving Sales Enablement through effective implementation of CRM (Retail, Project & Case Management), DERP and system integration (IBP: DART and External feeders like MMIT).

Driving Ways of Working - prospect/lead management in the CRM for all the countries and ensuring that every customer queries and complaints are recorded in the CRM.

Documenting of every process and guideline sign-off by the respective BU Stake Holders and implementing and driving them in the countries.


Critical Accountabilities

Sales CRM & Case Management Implementation:

  • Ensure readiness of Sales CRM; via single creation from the business and doing bulks uploads.
  • Ensure readiness & usage of CRM Case Management by countries for all types of complaints.
  • Coordinate with Global CRM team for BU specific customization requests.
  • Liaise with external agency (MMIT) to capture market opportunity to reflect ~70% of the market (SSO & Project)  
  • Align country Leadership for roll out of Sales CRM & Case Management and new features like Customer 360 in the BU.
  • Develops, pilots and fully implements CRM Adoption agenda and methodology, focused on achieving business success.
  • Continuously and relentlessly drives for decisions that support adoption.
  • Measures progress and effectiveness of change management activities and business readiness.
  • Supports employees and the business in adoption of change, new tools and new ways of working, coaches and supports the functional users to accomplish business success.
  • Contribute to practice-building efforts such as knowledge sharing, training and consolidates good practices.


CRM Operations:

  • Define CRM governance for countries.
  • Manage access, permission and authorization for SESA.
  • Ensure all required functional users have the roles assigned as agreed with the country Leadership.
  • Facilitate trouble shooting & handholding of CRM users – all functions.
  • Prepare business case for new developments & issues using Jira with regular tracking & enrichment.
  • Consolidate country specific change requests for alignment at BU and represent BU business case at Global forums for sign-off by all BUs using Confluence
  • Work closely with the country CRM manager in conducting the UAT and managing the Go Live
  • Work closely with the country CRM Manager on ensuring 100% usage for CRM for projects and case management
  • Have monthly calls on reports and user adoption
  • Monitor the pipeline, prospects and key accounts management in CRM for each country along with the respective CRM Managers.

Sales operations:

  • Drive operational excellence in the Sales organization through process improvements.
  • Identify opportunities to add value to the Sales teams by effective use of systems and tools
  • Enable SESA Sales teams to leverage new and existing technology solutions and provide guidance and direction to help teams meet their objectives
  • Be the transformation champion for operations.
  • Encourage a cultural change in commercial teams to follow agreed procedures/process and to maintain latest information in appropriate format in Global/regional solutions like SAP, DERP, CRM, MDG, Barcode program, Analytical & reporting tools etc.

Service development and operations:

  • Align with local representatives to gather requirements for proper definition of Business Service Levels with respect to technological solutions
  • Monitor organizational readiness and align with countries to ensure adequate timing of change deployment in geographical areas
  • Ensure knowledge network is properly set-up and functioning

Strategic communication:

  • Partner with Global Process Owners and IM teams for strategic alignment of BU objectives
  • Act as a communications advisor within SESA region to ensure alignment with regional objectives
  • Drive the adoption of data-driven enablement & sales readiness solutions that enable the country sales team to achieve their goals
  • Assess business needs and align training activities as well as define a learning strategy to achieve business objectives and establish a learning organization

Automation Initiatives & System Integrations:

  • Integrate multiple sources of information – DERP, SAP, DART, CRM for management decision making (Performance Management)
  • Work on harmonization of data fields & structures to prevent data conflicts.
  • Evaluate, facilitate development & roll-out of country system request [Retailer Portal – 2020]
  • Drive User Acceptance Testing & signoffs

DERP Operations:

  • Ensure DERP governance at countries.
  • Review technical solutions offered by vendor, country’s change requests & initiate solution improvements to align with business strategies and goals.
  • Upgrade & introduce new functionalities in alignment to country Leadership.
  • Liaise between vendor, country team and coordinate with functional heads & IM to capture various scenarios in User Documentation for sign-off.
  • Facilitate prioritization of assigned task in conjunction with product and change owner & country Leadership.
  • Help in rollouts, coach on updates & new features and troubleshooting.
  • Ensure master data consistency between DERP & SAP.
  • Drive – e-ordering Global initiative

Major Challenges


  • Engagement with senior management & global team for resources & approvals.
  • Complexity of dealing with markets and teams at varying maturity levels to deploy standard processes & tools.
  • Working with multiple functions in the BU and with countries to help deploy ways of working.
  • Understanding all the activities to be able to align/harmonize with Global processes.
  • Onboarding other functions like R&D, ISC, Finance and Marketing in the master data and CRM initiatives.
  • Following with the functions on projects sign-off and governance.
  • Lack of involvement from the business in the initial stages & push back around WIFM.
  • Managing urgencies from the business.


Key Decisions and Dimensions


  • Input on process challenges & opportunities & partner in process stabilization & improvement.
  • Governance and adoption of CRM as the key tool for bottom up sales planning process.
  • Roll out CRM 360 and DERP full functionality (as per business need)
  • Standardization & reporting of data (actuals and plan) by integrating DART, DERP, SAP & External sources (pipeline)
  • Drive usage and adoption of CRM and periodic training of Sales & DSR teams
  • Drive Customer Experience & e-ordering initiatives for BU.

Skills and Knowledge


  • Post Graduate degree/diploma – preferably in Business Management, or similar with minimum 15 years of experience in managing Sales & Distribution, Commercial Operations, Process Management and Analytics.
  • Strong understanding of Business Process Management, Project Management and Sales Application change management.
  • Prior experience in sales is mandatory.
  • Work experience across multiple countries with cross-cultural exposure will be an advantage
  • Superior Microsoft Office skills (PowerPoint, Word and Excel) and strong understanding of ERP (SAP), CRM and agile web/cloud-based programs & functional aspects.
  • Must be a self-starter, highly organized with good project management skills; ability to multi-task effectively with cross functional teams and meet deadlines
  • Clear communication skills (written and verbal communication skills) and strong interpersonal and influencing skills.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age or disability.