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4 Ways to Make Sales Teams Customer Obsessed

Samantha Hausler
Samantha Hausler is a Senior Marketing Manager for Oracle

Considered radical at the time, Nicholas Copernicus pushed the theory that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the universe. The idea of a heliocentric universe was initially rejected because it went against everything the church believed–people didn’t want to accept something other than what they knew. Featured speaker John Bruno, Analyst at Forrester Research, used Copernicus’ theory to parallel the rise of the customer and how it’s affecting sales organizations’ strategies during his general session at Modern Customer Experience.

Oracle’s Takeaways from John’s presentation

Businesses have been increasingly investing in technology to improve the sales process, but often their specific strategy for serving today’s customer remains decades-old. They’re hesitant to change despite the fact that we’re living in the age of the customer–the customer now needs to be at the center of everything. To stay relevant and get closer to customers, businesses must embrace customer obsession.

Bruno discussed the results of a recent Forrester survey about customer centric attitudes and practices. Forrester found criteria that correlate with customer obsession and after further analysis, honed in on four tiers of maturity in customer obsession: Customer Naïve, Customer Aware, Customer Committed, and, the ultimate aspiration, Customer Obsessed.

The reality is most organizations are stuck in an internally-focused, 20th century way of executing sales strategies. They’re building armies of sales “storm troopers,” which increases adoption of customer relationship management CRM tools and standardized processes, but ultimately impersonalizes the customer experience. With digitization and mobile accessibility now empowering customers to have bigger demands and higher expectations, businesses need to rethink the sales approach–the age of the customer has tipped the scales.

So, what do modern sellers need to be successful in delivering better value at each step of the buyers’ journey? Bruno suggested organizations should provide four things to empower their sales forces: adequate time to focus on selling, effective messaging and content, down-funnel automation, and actionable, data-driven recommendations. Building these into your sales strategy on the foundation of CRM will bring the future of intelligent selling to life and help sales teams stay ahead of modern customers.

Here are four key pieces of advice for sales leaders looking to modernize sales processes for today’s customer and grow revenue:

  1. Don’t be afraid to break out of the well-established paradigm of internally focused sales strategies and investments.
  2. In order to put your customers first, you must deliver against the needs of your sellers.
  3. Just because your salespeople may not currently be involved in the technology decision-making process, doesn’t mean they don’t want to be.
  4. CRM and sales force automation are the right places to start, but the wrong place to stop.

To learn even more about how your sales teams can perform better, download this ebook: The Path to Sales Performance: 6 Ways to Win.

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