Sales Trends to Keep Up with in 2021: Productivity

February 2, 2021 | 3 minute read
Kayleigh Halko
Principal Product Manager
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As Larry Ellison so aptly put it during the Oracle Cloud CX Virtual Summit, “Sales automation software should help you actually sell more, not just provide better forecasts to your manager.”

Our customers tell us that often. Selling more comes down to helping reps spend less time searching, doing data entry, and completing sales activities with fewer clicks, so they can focus their valuable time on actual selling. CRM should help you sell more, not create more work.

We know this is a common challenge. Our recent study with Beagle Research found 90% of digital sellers complain that certain aspects of their job take longer than they should.

In 2020, we released a number of UX enhancements to make Oracle Sales a system of recommendation, not merely a system of record. And this year, we’re taking them to the next level.

Digital Sales Experience is prescriptive selling for always-on, always-available reps

Our study found that digital sellers regularly use eight tools on average to do their job. That’s way too many, especially for high-velocity sellers who manage multiple leads or opportunities per day. When you consider how these sellers typically spend their time – email, phone, video calls, task management, appointment setting, etc. – they really need something more effective.

Yes, these activities do need to get done, but digital sellers shouldn’t have to structure their day around them. Enter Digital Sales, a new user experience coming in 2021.

Built with a specific sales persona in mind, Digital Sales also follows the same principles we’re applying to the enhancements coming to our productivity tools this year:

•    Personalized. Delivers plenty of context, allowing reps to quickly qualify good opportunities and move on from the bad ones
•    Action-oriented. Incorporates automation, smart shortcuts, and an embedded assistant that eliminates data entry and clicks
•    Relevant. Helps reps stay focused on sales activities that make an impact
•    Proactive. Offers reminders, real-time updates, and prescriptive guidance that makes reps too relevant to ignore

Read about how we’ve worked with our design partners like Ricoh to develop the new Digital Sales experience.

Native AI and machine learning aid transactional sales insights

Our study also revealed that 98% of sellers wish they had superpowers to do their job. Sales reps are asking for help to be effective in their virtual selling reality.

Artificial intelligence may not be a superpower or silver bullet, but it can unlock significant latent sales potential. The tough part is figuring out how to deploy it as a cohesive element of sales technology. You can’t just slap an AI label on every feature, add a few flashy machine learning computations, call everything ‘intelligent’ or ‘smart,’ and simply say, “All of our sales problems are fixed. AI to the rescue!”

AI must be designed as an inherent characteristic of sales technology

When we think about AI, we always strive to aim it at the problems it’s best suited for. We shouldn’t use AI when automation will do. AI for Sales should help increase CRM adoption, improve the already superior data discipline in our product, or help drive sales productivity.

We’re building in AI and machine learning as a native and pervasive element of Oracle Sales, fully embedded at the database layer and complete with a set of accessible data science tools. That means that in 2021, AI for Sales will just become inherent sales intelligence.

CX Sales Mobile will enable a next-generation mobile experience

2020 presented new difficulties while working from home and finding a clear delineation and balance between work and personal life. Contrary to popular belief, digital sellers aren’t working from their desks all day anymore. They’re checking in while running errands, helping their kids with virtual learning, or making dinner. And mobile tools have helped make this transition possible.

But mobile is more than just a field sales tool. It drives everyone’s expectations for how they work with all technology and will continue to be a major area of focus for 2021.

This year, we’re adding many exciting enhancements to our CX Sales Mobile application. Users will be able to view real-time news signals and scores to prioritize outreach, manage service requests, and much more!

Learn more about Oracle’s mobile solution in “Why Your Rep Needs the New CX Sales Mobile Application.”

Additional Resources:

•    CX Sales Mobile Implementation Guide
•    Oracle Sales
•    Oracle Artificial Intelligence


Kayleigh Halko

Principal Product Manager

Kayleigh Halko is a Principal Product Manager at Oracle.

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