Wednesday Mar 16, 2016

5 Reasons to Register for Modern Sales Experience

Spring is in the air, which means a few things—jacket weather, spring cleaning, and conference season. While you’re contemplating the conferences you’ll attend, consider an event that will tidy up your sales strategies for the year to come: The Modern Sales Experience.  Here are five reasons to attend the Modern Sales Experience in Las Vegas, April 26-28, 2016.

1. Sales Thought Leadership and Inspiring Speakers

The Modern Sales Experience features more than 25 sessions led by world-class industry analysts, successful global companies and Oracle thought leaders. Take a look at the conference program to search for your area of interest. 

 The conference is full of leading minds in digital and business.  The Conference Keynote will be delivered by Siva Sundaresan, Group VP of Oracle Sales Applications on Tuesday at 3pm in the MGM Grand Conference Center.  On Wednesday at 9am, don’t miss the Modern Experience Keynote presented by Mark Hurd, CEO, Oracle at the MGM Garden Arena.  This is followed by the Sales Keynote with R “Ray” Wang, Chairman and Founder of Constellation Research at 11am in the MGM Grand Conference Center.

Additional general sessions and speakers for the conference include:

  • Human Factors: Unleashing the Value of Technology: Rebecca Wettemann, Vice President of Research, Nucleus Research
  • The Quest for Optimal Sales Performance, Mark Smith, CEO & EVP of Research, Ventana Research
  • Revolutionizing Partner Engagement: Jerri Paul, Business Architect Director Federal Business, Dell, Inc. & David Claflin, IT Management, Dell, Inc.
  • Masterminding Your Technology Landscape: Rhiannon Ainge, Business Systems & Marketing Manager, Panasonic Computer Products Europe
  • The Future of Customer Experience and Digitalization at Siemens: Peter Gapp, Vice President CRM IT Transformation, Siemens A.G.
  • The Future of Work: UNLV Lee Business School Student Panel, moderated by Rebecca Wettemann, Nucleus Research

2. Product Experts

There are many ways to interact with partners and Oracle product experts to gain deeper insights and more intimate live discussions. You’ll find a number of smaller sessions focusing on Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) Cloud and Sales Cloud topics.  In addition to customer-led sessions, Oracle product managers will lead roadmap and other product sessions. There’s also a CPQ Tech Track for Technical Administrators.

Sales session highlights:

  • Industry Solution Showcase for Sales, Scott Creighton, VP Oracle CX Cloud Industry Solutions, Oracle
  • Securing Data between Cloud & On-Premises for Optimal CX Solutions: David Canellos, SVP Advanced Technology, Blue Coat Systems

CPQ session highlights:

  • Opportunity to Cash: Fully Using CPQ in your Business: Jim Toporski, IT Manager & Caroline Gillis, CPQ Senior Manager, Panduit
  • How OneNeck used CPQ to support is Acquisition Strategy: John Hein, Director, Solution Sales Architecture, OneNeck
  • How FANUC America Simplified a Complex Product Quoting Process: Zach Heuer, GM, FANUC America
  • CPQ Tech Track for Technical Administrators

Birds of a Feather: Conference attendees have the opportunity to meet face to face with Oracle product experts.  Choose from five topics of interest at designated tables in the breakfast and lunch areas for the Birds of a Feather program.  This is located in the Solution Center (MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom).

Theater Presentations in the Solutions Center: The Solution Center is where you’ll find Oracle Sales Consultants and Partners.  Visit a demonstration kiosk or a presentation at the Sales Solutions Showcase Theater.  Find your topic of interest whether it’s sales force automation, sales performance management, partner relationship management, customer data management, pre-configured industry solutions or sales analytics.   It’s all there for the taking.

Some of the most important conversations happen in hallways and some of the most valuable relationships are built face to face. Modern Sales Experience has networking breaks designed to give you the chance to network with other Oracle Sales Cloud customers and Oracle leadership. Not to mention the Customer Appreciation Event at the MGM Grand Arena, but we’ll get into that later. 

3. A Unified and Seamless CX Approach

In addition to sales sessions, attendees are encouraged to attend cross-experience sessions. These sessions will reveal how every experience with your brand matters and why it’s critical to strive for a unified and seamless CX approach.  Sessions will cover topics ranging from Industry Solutions, CX Platform, CX suites and integrations, the CX Marketplace, social CRM, CX Cloud for Midsize, and Cloud user experience. These sessions hit upon the hottest trends and challenges customer experiences professionals are facing in 2016. Highlights include a session by Social CRM influencer Paul Greenberg on “Social: the secret Weapon for Customer Experience Success,” and Oracle Application and User Experience GVP Jeremy Ashley will lead a session focused on “Cloud User Experience: The Way Forward.” Take a look at the full program and start planning your schedule.

4. The Las Vegas Experience – Networking and Entertainment

Need we say more?

Cirque du Soleil themed Dinner & Party at the Ling Ling Club at Hakkasan Nightclub: It’s “Fire” at the Ling Ling Club at Hakkasan Nightclub for all Sales conference attendees.  Come prepared for an amazing experience themed around “Fire”, surrounded by performing artists, music and great food on Tuesday from 7-9pm at Hakkasan in the MGM Grand.

5. A Customer Appreciation Event for the Books

Because it wouldn’t be Vegas without a night of world-class entertainment, we’re excited to have booked Goo Goo Dolls to perform a private concert for attendees. Goo Goo Dolls will play in the MGM Grand Arena on Wednesday evening at 10:30pm. The Oracle Customer Appreciation Event is our way to say thanks—we hope you enjoy the night of food, drinks, and amazing entertainment. 

See what attendees are already saying about Modern Sales Experience by joining the conversation on social. Use the hashtag #SalesX16.

Planning meetings with Oracle Partners while onsite? Find the list of sponsors and exhibitors here. Thank you to our Silver Sponsor, Config Consultants!

EXCITING UPDATE: We’ve extended the Early Bird Rate for Modern Sales Experience. Take advantage of $200 off the conference price by registering before March 20. 

See you in Las Vegas!

Friday Feb 26, 2016

Deliver the Grand Slam with Sales Performance Management

The annual 6 Nations Rugby Championship involving England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales, dates back to 1883, when the four home nations played a round robin event, France joined in 1910, Italy in 2000.

The game of rugby has evolved so much since the start of the Championships, moving from the amateur game of pure power and passion, to a professional era of strategy, intelligence and leadership. Head coaches now enjoy a media spotlight far beyond that of most players, with critical eyes on every aspect of the game. Tracksuits are replaced by something more businesslike and similarly the expectations are all on performance. 

Wales coach Warren Gatland has some big decisions to make

Going into the 2016 Championships England and Wales are joint record holders, with an incredible 26 titles each. What does it take to command this kind of dominance and continually drive high performance over 80 punishing minutes, game-after-game?

Wales’ Gatland is one of the most admired coaches of his generation, with an impressive record at club and international level. During any game, he’s in the stands with his team of staff scrutinising performance data in real time. This is rugby’s knowledge economy where the players take the role of hardworking muscle and await instruction from the brain in the stands.

“In the modern game there has to be a focus on detail as we aim to give the team every possible advantage over all opponents,” says Gatland. "The environment has to continually evolve to embrace all the available advances in game analysis, conditioning, nutrition, rugby skills and medical care."

Gatland's focus on the game of rugby is a lesson for all Sales Leaders. There is no doubt that much of his success comes from his playing and coaching career. He has real experience in the art of the game. But like any art form, there is a science supporting it. 

As with rugby, building a high-performance sales team takes tactful management, constant motivation and targeted mentoring. These qualities come from years of experience, and as a leader you are valued on these talents. However, alongside this experience, you need the intelligence to compete on the world stage, and to do that you need to make well-informed decisions. Only with this insight can you identify the imperfections in your performance and make the move to the big league. 

This is where Sales Performance Management (SPM) technologies come in. They make it easy to design, develop and reward a high-performing sales organization that drives the right behaviours and aligns sales execution with corporate goals. These tools help to coach, incentivize and uncover previously hidden insights, so management decisions can be based on accurate information, not guesswork. 

Oracle tops the tables in Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management. Gartner highlight strengths in analytical capabilities, industry specialization, handling complex workloads and an increase in successful cloud deployments.

Get some science into your game plan with the tools to Manage, Motivate and Mentor your sales teams more effectively. As Gatland says, you need to give the team every possible advantage over your opponents. It’s the difference between the Wooden Spoon and the Grand Slam!

Monday Feb 15, 2016

Oracle Named a Leader for Sales Performance Management Solution by Virginia Lo

Sales performance continues to be a top objective for sales executives, and investment in Sales Performance Management (SPM) technology supports this focus.  In January, Gartner released its 2016 Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management and named Oracle’s cloud-based version of its industry-leading Sales Performance Management solution as a Leader.  Oracle has risen into the Leader quadrant by demonstrating completeness of vision and strong ability to execute in the Sales Performance Management market.  

Gartner evaluated 13 vendors for its latest Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management evaluation. SPM vendors provide integral technology components to align companies’ go-to-market efforts to drive improved sales execution through incentive compensation management (ICM), territory management, quota management, gamification, sales coaching, sales appraisals, sales onboarding, and sales training.

In the 2016 SPM evaluation, Gartner cites Oracle SPM’s strength in the delivery of its end-to-end product capabilities, analytics, and customer experience as the reasons for its strong position in the Magic Quadrant.

Companies around the globe leverage Oracle SPM to better manage performance, better motivate behavior, and better mentor best practices – ultimately helping to maximize the performance of the sales force.

Tuesday Sep 15, 2015

3 Reasons and 12 Ways to Attract and Retain Millennial Sales Reps

A quick google search serves up almost two million articles directly related to Millennial-focused sales and marketing. This up and coming generation, aka Gen Y, is a highly coveted one—some estimates value current buying power at $1.3 trillion in the US and $10 trillion globally. Every day, more than 10,000 celebrate a 21st birthday. It’s no wonder brands want to crack the code on what appeals to the group.

As Millennials mature, the conversation has expanded beyond selling product to “selling employment.” By the year 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers will be Gen Y. When it comes to recruitment and retention, business leaders need the same mindset as marketers. In the workplace, a “lost customer” means an employee resignation. We all know the costs of attrition, especially in sales. Rep turnover is the enemy of sales productivity.

But do Millennials, sometimes branded as “lazy, entitled, narcissists,” even make good sales people?

[Read More]

Monday Jul 06, 2015

In Sales or with Fitbit, You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure by Greg Swender

My wife bought me a Fitbit bracelet for my birthday.  My experience has been really positive so far. The iPhone app is easy to setup, and tracking meals, calories and exercise is simple.  The Fitbit has also shaped my behavior.  I have transitioned to baked chips for lunch, plain bagels with no cream cheese (most of the time), and “hold the mayo” on my sandwiches.  It has also pushed me to take the stairs more often and walk more frequently to hit my daily distance goal.  These are all good things.  On the other hand, tracking sleep habits has proven slightly challenging—only because the tapping motion to put the bit into “sleep mode” is awkward and honestly the routine really irritates my wife.  Picture this at bedtime: tap wrist repeatedly, but device fails to “sleep”… REPEAT (this time with harder/louder taps)… nope… REPEAT… you get the idea.

Nighttime tapping aside, this simple device and app show the amazing power of two things: metrics and user adoption.  

  • Metrics: The daily and weekly report in the app that make my eating habits and exercise very visible, along with any improvements or decline over time vs. my goals.  
  • User Adoption: Did I wear the device today?  Did I enter my meals today?  If either answer is no, I haven’t adopted the tool and there’s no hope it will help me.

[Read More]

Friday May 01, 2015

Overcome User Adoption to Drive Sales

Driving Sales Systems

The use of technology to drive sales organisations has been a focus for many sales leaders over the past twenty years. In that time, software vendors have struggled to balance business complexity with speed of implementation and change. Sales leaders have struggled to balance user adoption with the burden of data entry. We have seen, as a result, large numbers of “CRM” projects fail to deliver the promise. What many companies have ended up with is a glorified address book, diary and list of opportunities.

So what can we do to address this?

A key inhibitor to successful technology use is user adoption. Most companies have spent time improving sales processes, driving sales performance, and increasing efficiency but they have not really tackled the issue of user adoption. Without good user adoption of sales systems the real value from them is merely a dream. Good user adoption drives the data upon which the remainder (marketing, analytics, workflow, decision-making, forecasting, win/loss, quoting, ordering etc) rely.

So is user adoption really that difficult?

You could argue that in the early days of Sales Force Automation (SFA) it probably was. In the early days of SFA there were no mobile devices, analytics was crude, and, at that stage having a single address book and diary was probably a major step forward for many sales organisations who still used paper based call reporting. In those early days many sales reps were simply not used to using technology to sell.

But we have moved on and today recording those things is simply commodity SFA. It is the nice bed in your hotel room. It is the three-year paint warranty on your car. We just take those things for granted. Solutions that allow you to simply record basic information are not delivering what a modern sales organisation needs.

What drives user adoption?

Well, I would suggest that the following elements drive user adoption in the SFA world:

· Simplicity

· Mobility

· Compliance & Gamification

· Good Sales Management

Simplicity: In order to compel a sales team to use technology it has to be simple, fast and easy to use. We all know that reps want to be out selling and not keying in information. Let’s give them the software help them do this. Let’s ensure they have access to all the information they need, when they need it, and ensure they feel that others are feeding the solution to make their life easier not the other way around.

Mobility: Today there is no reason to stop reps being almost entirely field based. From core SFA to quoting, pricing, contracting, forecasting, and communications; empower your reps to operate remotely, at speed and successfully.

Compliance & Gamification: Increasingly sales organisations are under pressure, both internally and externally, to comply with procedure and/or legislation. Compliance can be mandated through software solutions using workflow, procedure and gamification. Ensuring that a rep complies with lagging measures such as quota attainment, revenue and invoices paid is key to hitting your sales numbers. Do this using Sales Performance (SPM) tools. Ensuring your reps comply with softer leading measures such as forecasts, quote quality and discount management are key to your profitability and growth. Do this using Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) tools.

Good Sales Management: This is the hard part. Good sales management is key to the success of sales solutions. A manager that can explain, motivate and continually drive the use and benefits of the solution will ensure success. Back away from this and the sales reps will happily return to their ways of working.

If you are looking to improve your sales organisation then look for a software vendor that can help you drive the user adoption of your systems.  A vendor that can deliver the basic requirements (SFA1.0) but also the other key areas of Simplicity, Mobility, Compliance and GamificationThis will ensure your teams exhibit the behaviours you need to get the most from your SFA investment and hit your targets.  Those elements, aligned with your Good Sales Management will be the drivers to your sales success.

Friday Apr 17, 2015

Productivity – A Priority for Every Business Leader by Caesar Peter

Oracle CloudWorld was held on the first week of April in India. Interestingly, the summit coincided with the new financial year in India and hence performance strategy was top of mind for almost every business leader with whom I met.

Generally, the most popular discussions during these events are about setting a higher sales budget, IT application, project status, economy etc., On contrast to this popular approach, it was wonderful to note that most of the business leaders spoke about improvising the employees' productivity, spearheading the change right from their sales folks.
[Read More]

Friday Feb 27, 2015

Are Your Sales Interactions on the Road to Nowhere?

How many innovative or disruptive products do you encounter regularly? Probably more than you think. An interesting article in BusinessWeek a few months ago shared the 85 most disruptive ideas of the past 85 years. When reviewing the list, number 16 seemed a bit out of place: a relatively obvious invention from 1956 – the first container ship followed by standard dimensions for shipping containers. While this idea may be obvious in hindsight, the impact has been astounding.[Read More]

Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

Upcoming Webcast with Hitachi Consulting and Bain & Company: Modern Sales in the Cloud

Don't miss this upcoming webcast featuring industry thought leader Bain & Company and Oracle Sales Cloud adopter Hitachi Consulting on October 30th at 2 pm EST. Learn about the latest trends affecting sales organizations and why Oracle Sales Cloud became a strategic platform for Hitachi Consulting’s Oracle field-sales organization.

[Read More]

Tuesday Jun 10, 2014

How Does a 724% Return on Your Salesforce Automation Investment Sound?

Oracle Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud customer Apex IT gained just that, a 724% return on investment (ROI) when they implemented these Oracle Cloud solutions in their fast-moving, rapidly-growing business.

This achievement just helped them win the Nucleus Research 11th annual Technology ROI Awards. The award, given by the analyst firm highlights organizations that have successfully leveraged IT deployments to maximize value per dollar spent.

Read more to get the details on what Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle Marketing Cloud are doing for Apex IT's business and why they won.

[Read More]

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