Tuesday May 21, 2013

June 13 Webcast - Siebel: Solving the Next Generation of Business Challenges

Today’s customers are social, mobile, and more demanding than ever before. That’s why Oracle continues to add new capabilities to Siebel CRM – helping you keep pace with rapid technological change and growing customer expectations.

Register now for our live Webcast on Thursday, June 13 to discover how the latest enhancements to Oracle’s Siebel CRM can help you:
  • Increase productivity with new features for improved usability
  • Harness social media to understand and engage your customers better
  • Service and sell via mobile solutions to meet new customer demands
  • Deliver outstanding customer experiences every single time
Don’t miss this chance to see how you can solve the next generation of sales and service challenges!

Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

#SocialResponsibility

Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, Jennifer Rossbach

The first Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, 1970, focused on the emerging consciousness, channeled the energy of the anti-war protest movement and brought forth environmental concerns.1 The idea was initiated by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and a staff of 85 who worked to protest environmental destruction and support progress and change. Since then, the Earth Day Network and community activists have created a worldwide effort to build a clean, healthy, and diverse world.1

Earth Day 2013 is focused on The Face of Climate Change and the effects of our behavior on the climate, humans, and wildlife throughout the world. This year we can use Instagram and Twitter to share our photos depicting The Face of Climate Change to spread the word via social media using #faceofclimate. Like the Earth Day Network, your company can make its own social initiative using Social Relationship Management (SRM). While we are all working to take control of our planet, make it your #socialresponsibility to take control of your company’s social footprint and CX efforts. With Oracle Social Relationship Management you can capture, market, monitor, and engage with your customers to understand what is important for your business.

Social Marketing
In the growing age of digital and social media, marketing tools such as infomercials, fliers and billboards are less effective. Ten years ago
, these expensive tools might have been the majority of a company’s marketing budget. In this day and age, your fans can support your online marketing efforts, often for free. Through their social media influence level, your top fans can bring you new customers: 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, versus only 14% trust advertisements.2 By promoting a new product or sale through social media channels, the word can spread more quickly than if you had advertised it in a commercial, and you won’t bust your budget in the process!

Social Monitoring
One million people view customer service tweets every week, 80% of which are critical or negative towards a company or brand. Are you aware of problems your customers are experiencing with your product or service? Once you’ve marketed an event online, can you tell if the post was effective? How do you know who is seeing your post, and if there could have been a better time for you to post it to gain a broader audience? With SRM, you can see how many people view your marketing efforts and whether your messaging is effective. Additionally, you can measure your customers’ reaction to your promotions, products, and company.

Social Engagement
38 million people in the US say their purchasing decisions are influenced by social media, but only 10% of marketers actively monitor their social media ROI.2 Customers will be more loyal to your brand if you show them that you care about what they have to say. You can do so by interacting with them to make social media channels operate two ways, instead of just one. If your focus isn’t on improving your customer satisfaction through social media, then you could be missing a large portion of potential revenue. SRM will allow you to become a transparent company that engages with your customers. By doing so, you will better understand your customers’ wants and needs and ensure they are satisfied with your products or services.

The Social Revolution is only just beginning; Instagram has gained over 50 million users in the past two years; Twitter has over 140 million active users; and Facebook has 222 million users in North America alone. A Social Relationship Management strategy is necessary in order to effectively and efficiently monitor these 412 million accounts and create meaningful relationships with your customers.

The mission of Earth Day 2013 is to “highlight the solutions and showcase the collective power of individuals taking action across the world.”3 The collective power of individuals is stronger than ever, and with Social Relationship Management, your company can make the effort to improve your carbon and social footprints.

Don’t forget to share your #faceofclimate photo and join us for our #socialresponsibility webcast on April 5th at 10am PST, 1pm EST. Register here today!

Check out Oracle’s sustainability mission at http://tinyurl.com/oraclemission

1.

1.     1  http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement

2.     2  http://www.viralblog.com/social-media/2013-and-beyond-the-social-media-revolution/

3.     3  http://www.earthday.org/2013/about.html

Friday Feb 22, 2013

The Winner's Playbook

The Winner’s Playbook

Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, Jennifer Rossbach

“We do one thing right in this country: the NCAA tournament. It is, from start to finish, the best sporting event in America.” – Mark Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated

With 68 teams, over 1000 players, and 98 referees, March Madness takes a significant amount of time and energy to plan and execute. The tournament is successfully executed every year because the coaches, players and referees each work hard to successfully perform their respective duties. Coaches lead their teams effectively in order to win, players work hard to achieve recognition for their team, and referees manage the games to create a successful and well-spirited event. Coaches head teams similar to how sales managers lead their teams by effectively aligning sales reps and territories. Just as players work hard to achieve recognition, sales reps work hard to meet and exceed their incentive compensation plan. Like referees managing and regulating March Madness, sales managers establish quotas to increase revenue for the company. This month, while you watch March Madness, think about how this sport’s philosophies impact your business in a similar way.

Lead your team effectively to win it all

In order for a team to win, it needs to have participants developing, directing, and delegating consistently (Forbes). Coaches know that teams perform better when each player understands their particular role as well as the roles of their teammates. Because of this, coaches speak to their teams as a whole instead of individuals. Similar to athletic coaches, sales managers need to ensure that their team understands everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Correctly aligned territories spread high potential opportunities equally among reps and eliminate wasted time and resources. With a territory management system, managers can delegate responsibilities to ensure that everyone knows their role and is working in sync with the rest of the team to achieve the best results.

Work hard to get rewarded

Whether an athlete or a sales rep, everyone wants to be a top contributor to their team. This desire is often driven by incentives of recognition, money and success. With an intelligent incentive compensation plan, managers can select the best method to maximize their team’s performance. In some cases, incentives can be assigned to an individual rep or player, but ultimately, a team’s performance is only as strong as its weakest link. Often it is better for a sales manager to incentivize individuals based on the performance of the entire team or company to ensure the best overall performance. With continuous incentives and motivation, managers can push their team to perform to their highest potential.

Manage the game to achieve success

Basketball leagues use foul quotas as one of the tools for evaluating performance, according to the NBA's Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson. The point of these quotas is to “improve the flow of the game” (WSJ). Just like referees manage the quotas of player fouls in a game, sales managers manage sales quotas to improve overall business performance. Establishing quotas and requiring teams to attain quota is an easy way to monitor achievement of the organization and determine who is a large contributor of success.

With territory, incentive, and quota management capabilities, organizations can run as smoothly as the NCAA basketball tournament. This year, as you fill out your brackets and watch March Madness, remember that with strong leadership, hard work, and effective management, your sales organization can have the same success as the skilled coaches, players and referees.

Want to find out more about how your sales organization can work and perform like top basketball teams? Join us in our Winning Team webcast on March 8th at 10am PST, 1pm EST. Register here today!

Sources

Sports Illustrated

Forbes

Wall Street Journal

Sunday Feb 03, 2013

Find your Match!

Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, Jennifer Rossbach

Card stores, jewelers and florists are preparing for their busiest season of the year. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you are giving extra attention to your loved ones. Your loved ones are the people who bring out the best in you, similar to how territory management systems are designed to bring out the best in each territory. Without a territory management system, chances are you wouldn’t know where to focus your attention, you wouldn’t be pairing the right rep with each territory, your expense account would be larger, and you would close fewer deals. You wouldn’t spend Valentine’s Day focusing on people who don’t bring out the best in you, so why spend time creating territories that don’t provide the best results? Instead of spending your Valentine’s Day thinking about the deals that got away; adopt a territory management system to find your match.

Get the most out of your relationship with better territory alignment

Today, over 40% of sales reps have a schedule that is either overbooked or under-scheduled. Even worse, those reps that are overbooked in the last three quarters of a fiscal year are often not busy during the first quarter. This first quarter lull, which many companies experience, is because reps haven’t been assigned a territory yet. An effective territory management solution allows sales reps to start their fiscal year running. When reps have all 52 weeks in the year to achieve their quota, the bottom line will increase. Correctly aligned territories spread high potential opportunities equally among reps and eliminate wasted time and resources.

Love deeper than the surface with advanced formulas

True love is certainly more than what you see at surface level, and a territory management system is no different. Leonard M Lodish, Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, created a mathematical model to determine maximal profit solutions. One way this model increases total profitability is by “taking sales time from territories with small marginal value and adding it to those of high marginal value”- i.e. changing territory boundaries. Every company has a unique set of best practices that wouldn’t work for another company the same way. Similarly, one standard territory assignment wouldn’t work the same way in multiple organizations. The advanced formulas working beneath the surface of a territory management system ensure that the territory boundaries are as effective as possible. These boundaries can apply not only to state lines, but to industries, product lines, and additional unique methods. Sales reps spend about 20% of their time traveling, often in an unorganized manner. Selecting a geographical territory alignment, for instance, would reduce the amount of time reps spend in cars and on airplanes, and in turn, increase the amount of time they spend selling and generating revenue.

Test your relationship before you commit with territory proposals

The future is scary to think about, especially for a sales organization with a volatile market. Finding the right territories for the present and future can help alleviate these fears. With Fusion Territory Management companies can manage their territories before they become permanent with live information and real production data. Eliminating ‘the guessing game’ allows users to evaluate territory alignment ideas and compare them to see which would be more productive. When managers have free time, they can formulate a territory proposal, and save it until they wish to use it days, weeks, and even months later. With a valuable territory management system companies can be sure all their customers are receiving the attention they deserve. Just like Valentine’s Day is for focusing on loved ones who bring out the best in you, territory management systems are used to bring out the best in each territory. This Valentine’s Day, don’t rely on a manual alignment of territories and risk letting a customer get away. Adopt a beneficial territory management solution to find your match.

Want to find out more? Join our webcast on February 15 from 10-10:30 am PST / 1-1:30 pm EST

Friday Jan 18, 2013

New Year, New You

By Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, Jennifer Rossbach

 It’s inevitable-every January 1st, we make our New Year’s Resolutions. We look back on the previous year and evaluate what we could have done better. The improvements we resolve to make include “get in better shape”, “spend more time with family”, and “save more money.” We use apps to constantly track our progress on those resolutions. Good data and relevant analytics help us understand what we've been doing well and what we need to improve. The gyms are packed, our grocery carts are full of vegetables, and friends and family are our number one priority.

 But what about professional resolutions? This year challenge yourself to make over your business with a few resolutions and still have time and energy to commit to your personal goals. After all, the New Year is the time for a New You!

Resolution 1: Run Faster and Further Unsuccessful people are busy being busy while successful people are busy being productive. It’s your decision; your success depends on how you spend your time. Everyone has twenty-four hours in a day, so why does your neighbor have the opportunity to fit in a five-mile run after work and you’re lucky if you make it home for dinner? Chances are your neighbor is using his time and resources in a more effective way.

Today sales reps have the opportunity to be more productive and successful than ever before. With mobile access to business information anywhere, anytime, reps can be productive on the go. Adding mobile access to CRM applications boosts sales productivity by 14.6 percent1. Sales reps that leverage the mobility aspects of their CRM system have more time to focus on selling, and spend less time computing and preparing data.

Resolution 2: Eat Right to Fuel Your Body Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does breakfast give you energy, but it is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance2. You cannot eat a Pop-Tart® and chocolate milk and expect the same health benefits as if you were to have made a healthier choice. Similarly, not all leads provide the same positive results. It’s important to have accurate historical data and qualified leads in order to effectively fuel your sales pipeline. This will result in opportunities that have a better chance closing, which means not only more revenue for your company, but also a bigger paycheck for you!

Robert Griffin III, quarterback for the Washington Redskins said in a Gatorade commercial, “When the weak and the distracted are resting on their reputations, take what is yours.” Companies understand that leads are necessary for sales-focused organizations to succeed, but not everyone understands that it’s the quality of the leads, not the quantity that matters. This resolution is your chance to take what is yours. In order for CRM applications to develop valuable leads, you need to start with accurate information. This includes recording information from all customers, such as what is being purchased and when. Although this may seem like common sense, the majority of your competitors are lazy in this area and you can leverage their laziness by getting ahead and taking what is yours.

Resolution 3: Shed Some Email MBs When was the last time you collaborated with your team and had ALL of the information you needed at your fingertips? If you’re struggling to remember, encourage your business to take the next step and go social in 2013 with a CRM solution.Companies with social collaboration tools are 12% more productive than those without any way to collaborate as a team3. With a social CRM tool, users can access information easily, reducing the excess emails that clutter inboxes.

While you’re using those apps to track your personal resolutions, add in the right CRM tools to make your business resolutions a reality. Your sales people will be more productive, your sales information more accurate, and your email inboxes will thank you. This year, resolve to improve your business and help yourself along the way.

Want to find out more? Join our webcast on January 25 from 10-10:30 am PST / 1-1:30 pm EST

Sources:

1 Gartner

2 http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/many-benefits-breakfast

3Nucleus Research Report

4M2PressWIRE

Friday Jan 04, 2013

Sell More, Do More, and Grow More with Mobile

 

Now that the holiday season is over, I could not help noticing that tablets were a top holiday gift, far more than smartphones or PCs.  From Apple’s two iPad models to the new Kindle Fire HD as well as the Galaxy Note Tab 10.1, tablets are becoming increasingly a household item

In the enterprise world, businesses are also realizing the importance of leveraging mobile devices to increase productivity and efficiency. 

A Nucleus Research survey of CRM decision makers found that organizations can significantly increase returns on their CRM investments by adding mobile and social capabilities, particularly for salespeople. Nucleus surveyed 223 CRM decision makers and found an average productivity gain of 14.6 percent from mobile capabilities and 11.8 percent from social CRM.

“Given the relatively low price point of many mobile CRM applications and the fact that most social capabilities are bundled into CRM at no additional per-user price, organizations that do not explore mobile and social strategies are likely to lose competitive advantage...to those competitors that do embrace these technologies,” said Rebecca Wettemann, Vice President of Research, Nucleus Research.

Here at Oracle, we have invested and developed a comprehensive mobile CRM strategy that takes into consideration user roles, use cases, and devices of salespeople, whether it is road warriors or a casual mobile users, so that they can not only easily adopt the application but also connect and collaborate with others in real-time, helping them to close deals quickly.

To learn more about it, join us at the Mobile Sales session at Oracle Cloud World, a global series of events designed to help customers realize the benefits of various cloud solutions. Through a combination of best practices, unique insights and customized content, the events will help businesses leverage the cloud to drive their current and future success.

To register, please visit Oracle's CloudWorld page to find the CloudWorld event nearest to you.

For more information on Oracle’s Cloud Customer Service and Support solutions, please visit our website or contact us at (866) 630-7669. You can also see an overview of Oracle Cloud Service and Support on YouTube.


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.

Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

Learn How to Integrate Social Media into Your Customer Service - December 12 Webcast

Charlie Knapp 

Are you interested in learning more about social media customer service strategies? Then register for CRM Magazine's Roundtable Webcast, Four Social Media Support Strategies, being held Wednesday, December 12 from 11 AM - 12 PM PT (2 - 3 PM ET).

The webcast features Oracle's Charlie Knapp, Director of CRM/CX Applications, Product Marketing who will speak on best practices for social enabling your contact center and customer support.

Here is a brief overview of the webinar:

Today's customers reveal an incredible amount of valuable information through social media on a daily basis. How well is your organization able to listen and repond? Join Parature, Verint Systems, KANA, and Oracle in this free webinar and learn how to:

  • Enable collaboration across the enterprise to provide service and support in social media.
  • Enhance loyalty, drive voice of the customer listening, and reduce costs.
  • Intelligently identify, route, and engage directly with your customers through social media.
  • Integrate social media into contact center workflows to solve customer issues, protect your brand, and improve satisfaction.

Register now to join us for this free web event.

 

Wednesday Oct 17, 2012

Blink-Data vs Instinct?

In his landmark bestseller Blink, well-known author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell explores how human beings everyday make seemingly instantaneous choices --in the blink of an eye--and how we “think without thinking.”  These situations actually aren’t as simple as they seem, he postulates; and throughout the book, Gladwell seeks answers to questions such as:
1.    What makes some people good at thinking on their feet and making quick spontaneous decisions?
2.    Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others consistently seem to stumble into error?
3.    Why are some of the best decisions often those that are difficult to explain to others?


In Blink, Gladwell introduces us to the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance.
Ultimately, Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who spend the most time deliberating or analyzing information, but those who focus on key factors among an overwhelming number of variables-- i.e., those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing.”

In Data vs. Instinct: Perfecting Global Sales Performance, a new report sponsored by Oracle, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) explores the roles data and instinct play in decision-making by sales managers and discusses how sales executives can increase sales performance through more effective  territory planning and incentive/compensation strategies.

If you are a sales executive, ask yourself this:  “Do you rely on knowledge (data) when you plan out your sales strategy?  If you rely on data, how do you ensure that your data sources are reliable, up-to-date, and complete?  With the emergence of social media and the proliferation of both structured and unstructured data, how do you know that you are applying your information/data correctly and in-context?  

Three key findings in the report are:
•    Six out of ten executives say they rely more on data than instinct to drive decisions.
•    Nearly one half (48 percent) of incentive compensation plans do not achieve the desired results.
•    Senior sales executives rely more on current and historical data than on forecast data.


Strikingly similar to what Gladwell concludes in Blink
, the report’s authors succinctly sum up their findings: "The best outcome is a combination of timely information, insightful predictions, and support data."

Applying this insight is crucial to creating a sound sales plan that drives alignment and results.  In the area of sales performance management, “territory programs and incentive compensation continue to present particularly complex challenges in an increasingly globalized market," say the report’s authors. "It behooves companies to get a better handle on translating that data into actionable and effective plans."

To help solve this challenge, CRM Oracle Fusion integrates forecasting, quotas, compensation, and territories into a single system.   For example, Oracle Fusion CRM provides a natural integration between territories, which define the sales targets (e.g., collection of accounts) for the sales force, and quotas, which quantify the sales targets. In fact, territory hierarchy is a core analytic dimension to slice and dice sales results, using sales analytics and alerts to help you identify where problems are occurring. This makes territories

Start tapping into both data and instinct effectively today with Oracle Fusion CRM.   Here is a short video to provide you with a snapshot of how it can help you optimize your sales performance.  
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