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]

Monday May 19, 2014

Oracle Sales Cloud – How Implementation Training Can Help You Meet Your Business Needs by Jim Vonick

With an Oracle Sales Cloud deployment, the ultimate goal is to accelerate the implementation and adoption of your applications so that your business can start realizing all the benefits that this rich solution offers.

Implementation team members need to have the skills and knowledge to ensure a smooth, rapid and successful implementation of your Oracle Sales Cloud applications. During set-up, you want to optimize the configuration for your business, and you may want to extend the as-delivered applications.

In order to do this, you need to understand the foundation and configuration options of your applications so that decisions can be made during set-up that best align with your business. To that end, product level implementation training is recommended for Oracle Sales Cloud deployments.

Training For Administrators and Implementers

Oracle Sales Cloud: Implementation: This course is ideal for implementation team members, who need to learn how to perform the tasks involved in an initial implementation of Oracle Sales Cloud. 

Oracle Sales Cloud: Incentive Compensation: Learn how to implement, configure and use Incentive Compensation, including how to manage performance-based compensation and explore incentive compensation setup and management tasks. 

Training For Developers and Implementers

Oracle Sales Cloud Extensibility: Learn how to alter, customize and extend the as-delivered Oracle Sales Cloud applications.

Learn More: education.oracle.com/salescloud

Friday Apr 18, 2014

Customer Relationship Management Simplified – Why User Adoption is a Key Metric

"Out of all the CRM project problems reported, we found the most significant threat to be slow user adoption."

— Bill Band, Principal Analyst, Forrester

So you’ve purchased a state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for your Sales organization. Your goals: better forecasts, closing more deals, and ultimately increasing revenue. But are people using it?

Read on and learn about:

  • The three primary challenges that can get in your way
  • Oracle's take on addressing user adoption challenges
  • The benefits Oracle Sales Cloud customers are experiencing
[Read More]

Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

Your Guide to Oracle Sales Cloud @ Oracle OpenWorld 2013

Are you going to Oracle OpenWorld? Last week I sat down with Mark Vito a Senior Director with the Oracle Sales Cloud Product Management team. Mark is the guy responsible for “everything Oracle Sales Cloud” that you’ll see at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.

If you're going to San Francisco and are interested in learning more about Oracle Sales Cloud read on. Even if you're not going find out how you can hear about what's happening and stay connected.


[Read More]

Monday Mar 25, 2013

What Are Your Sales People Doing On The Road?

When your sales team is in and around the office you’re working to make sure that your people are tracking to goal, focused on the right opportunities, and closing deals. It’s your job. It’s their job. It’s sales.

For sales reps—especially sales reps who are on the road and in front of customers—every minute counts. But a mobility gap in some Sales Force Automation (SFA) systems may create behaviors that diminish the impact of your investments at the most critical point of a sales process.

[Read More]

Thursday Dec 06, 2012

BYOD-The Tablet Difference

By Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, and Jennifer Rossbach, Sales Consultants

Less than three years ago, Apple introduced a new concept to the world: The Tablet. It’s hard to believe that in only 32 months, the iPad induced an entire new way to do business. Because of their mobility and ease-of-use, tablets have grown in popularity to keep up with the increasing “on the go” lifestyle, and their popularity isn’t expected to decrease any time soon. In fact, global tablet sales are expected to increase drastically within the next five years, from 56 million tablets to 375 million by 2016.

Tablets have been utilized for every function imaginable in today’s world. With over 730,000 active applications available for the iPad, these tablets are educational devices, portable book collections, gateways into social media, entertainment for children when Mom and Dad need a minute on their own, and so much more. It’s no wonder that 74% of those who own a tablet use it daily, 60% use it several times a day, and an average of 13.9 hours per week are spent tapping away.

Tablets have become a critical part of a user’s personal life; but why stop there? Businesses today are taking major strides in implementing these devices, with the hopes of benefiting from efficiency and productivity gains. Limo and taxi drivers use tablets as payment devices instead of traditional cash transactions. Retail outlets use tablets to find the exact merchandise customers are looking for. Professors use tablets to teach their classes, and business professionals demonstrate solutions and review reports from tablets.

Since an overwhelming majority of tablet users have started to use their personal iPads, PlayBooks, Galaxys, etc. in the workforce, organizations have had to make a change. In many cases, companies are willing to make that change. In fact, 79% of companies are making new investments in mobility this year. Gartner reported that 90% of organizations are expected to support corporate applications on personal devices by 2014.

It’s not just companies that are changing. Business professionals have become accustomed to tablets making their personal lives easier, and want that same effect in the workplace. Professionals no longer want to waste time manually entering data in their computer, or worse yet in a notebook, especially when the data has to be later transcribed to an online system.

The response: the Bring Your Own Device phenomenon. According to Gartner, BYOD is “an alternative strategy allowing employees, business partners and other users to utilize a personally selected and purchased client device to execute enterprise applications and access data.” Employees whose companies embrace this trend are more efficient because they get to use devices they are already accustomed to.

Tablets change the game when it comes to how sales professionals perform their jobs. Sales reps can easily store and access customer information and analytics using tablet applications, such as Oracle Fusion Tap. This method is much more enticing for sales reps than spending time logging interactions on their (what seem to be outdated) computers. Forrester & IDC reported that on average sales reps spend 65% of their time on activities other than selling, so having a tablet application to use on the go is extremely powerful. In February, Information Week released a list of “9 Powerful Business Uses for Tablet Computers,” ranging from “enhancing the customer experience” to “improving data accuracy” to “eco-friendly motivations”. Tablets compliment the lifestyle of professionals who strive to be effective and efficient, both in the office and on the road.

Three Things Businesses Need to do to Embrace BYOD

  • Make customer-facing websites tablet-friendly for consistent user experiences
  • Develop tablet applications to continue to enhance the customer experience
  • Embrace and use the technology that comes with tablets

Almost 55 million people in the U.S. own tablets because they are convenient, easy, and powerful. These are qualities that companies strive to achieve with any piece of technology. The inherent power of the devices coupled with the growing number of business applications ensures that tablets will transform the way that companies and employees perform.

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