Traditional CRM solutions have forgotten about sellers. Historically more focused on record-keeping and leadership tracking, they may help managers plan and forecast, but they don't help sellers sell.
It’s no secret that CRM software is failing sellers—making them devote precious time to tedious tasks and generally work harder to achieve their goals instead of helping them get there faster.
In his post on the topic, Rob Tarkoff, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience, acknowledged that "CRM was supposed to help sellers sell more to new and existing customers, and to close more deals with prospects in a shorter timeframe by guiding them through the sales journey. But it doesn't do that. Instead, what it does is force salespeople to update the system at the end of every month, just to satisfy their managers."
A recent survey of 200 sales professionals from B2B or B2B2C businesses revealed that nine out of ten sellers use their CRM daily. But don’t be fooled by this result. Just because CRM is a necessary part of selling doesn't mean it efficiently or effectively helps sellers do their jobs. Often, it's the opposite.
If you lead a sales organization, are involved with selecting your next CRM, or are responsible for driving sales tool adoption, take a moment to ask your sellers this question:
"Does your CRM help you work, or does it make you work more?"
You may be surprised by the results. CRMs often take more from sellers than they give back, but we believe there's a better way with Oracle Sales.
As B2B buyers shift more online, CRMs can either help or hinder seller success. On the one hand, businesses can capture more customer interactions and deeper engagement data that they can use to create a more complete customer view and enhance both the seller and buyer experience.
Did a customer attend an event? Download an asset? Request a demo? Or recently speak with a seller? All of these are valuable data points that could help organizations offer relevant, personalized customer experiences.
Unfortunately, many CRM systems often don’t take full advantage of this new data due to disconnected and siloed applications. Instead, sellers are forced to jump between screens—and maybe even their notebooks—as they try to consolidate data and get a good understanding of their customers and their needs.
Keeping up with customers shouldn’t be a guessing game. Oracle Sales helps sellers quickly get up to speed with a comprehensive foldout view that provides critical information on every account, lead, and opportunity. As sellers drill into a particular customer profile, they can also search and scroll through an activity stream with tracked engagement history to get a complete picture of each buyer. They can even complete tasks and connect with customers directly from the feed, thanks to embedded email and outbound dialing.
According to our recent survey, two in five enterprise sellers want their CRM to automate manual data entry processes.
More specifically, nearly 80% of sellers would trust AI to identify relevant content and 65% would trust AI to identify qualified prospects, while half would trust it to generate quotes and proposals and direct their next customer action.
When not done properly, though, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can feel out of place, forcing sellers to work harder to avoid irrelevant pop-ups and distractions that don't align with their overall objectives.
But while some organizations crave more AI in their sales processes—and have the customer data to support it—they may not think they have the right resources or enough time to take it on. That’s why Oracle is on a mission to make AI more accessible to our customers.
We've taken on the burden of model selection so our customers don't have to—giving you an AI framework to fine-tune and deploy on your own. Sales operations can take advantage of the out-of-the-box models or customize their own, verify the model results, and make adjustments. The models can be adjusted based on clearly defined business attributes, such as a customer's industry or size, to deliver relevant insights and recommendations unique to your sellers’ needs.
With AI built into our systems and processes from the start, sellers can rely on instant updates to accounts, leads, and opportunities, fast recommendations, and secure data.
Sellers can instantly take advantage of the system’s recommendations as soon as the model is deployed. For example, it may flag customer engagement levels to help keep the deal on track or surface new or additional contacts your seller should speak with to increase win probability. These insights guide sellers to help increase their deal success across accounts, leads, and opportunities—all with no extra cost.
Most sellers are willing to go the extra mile to win a deal, no matter how much time, effort, or frustration it takes. They find ways to manage and get the job done. But with only 29% of sellers admitting to using their CRM for prospecting, deal progress, opportunity management, and lead tracking, they’re left to manage many critical sales activities without support from their sales technology. Their CRM becomes more of a system their leadership holds them accountable to, not a tool that helps them sell.
Instead, Oracle Sales Force Automation (SFA) offers the next generation of sales and CRM technology with a new consumer-grade user experience. Sellers no longer need to feel accountable or required to use their CRM; they’ll want to use it.
For example, with a conversational sales assistant, every seller has access to their own digital helper—reminding them of upcoming responsibilities and even completing tasks for them. With CX Sales Mobile, sellers no longer need to adjust their schedules around their CRM. They can take it with them wherever they go.
We commonly hear CRM vendors talk about the value of hitting, tracking, and reporting sales goals to leadership, but you rarely hear about the seller’s path to reaching those goals. It’s usually about the destination, not the journey.
That’s why Oracle is investing in a CRM solution that works for sellers—not the other way around. With easier access to complete customer data, helpful recommendations, and a better user experience, sellers can work smarter, not harder. They can spend more time selling and enjoying their job—and even their CRM.
For more information, check out these related resources: