Monday Apr 29, 2013
Tuesday Mar 26, 2013
Friday Feb 22, 2013
By allisonkutz on Feb 22, 2013
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!
Sunday Feb 03, 2013
By Samantha.Y. Ma on Feb 03, 2013
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
By Samantha.Y. Ma on Jan 18, 2013
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
3Nucleus Research Report
Friday Jan 04, 2013
By Samantha.Y. Ma on Jan 04, 2013
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
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
By Samantha.Y. Ma on Dec 06, 2012
By Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, and Jennifer Rossbach, Sales ConsultantsLess 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 Oct 17, 2012
Monday Oct 01, 2012
By Tony Berk on Oct 01, 2012
Wow, only one (or two) days down at Oracle OpenWorld! Are you on overload yet? I'm still trying to figure out how to be in 3 sessions at the same time... I guess everyone needs to prioritize!
There was a lot to see in Monday's sessions, especially some great forward-looking roadmap sessions. In case you aren't here or you decided to go to other sessions, this is my quick summary of what I could capture from a couple of the roadmaps:
- In the Fusion CRM Strategy and Roadmap session, Anthony Lye provided an overview of the Fusion CRM strategy including the key design principles of 3 E's: Easy, Effective and Efficient. After an overview of how Oracle has deployed Fusion CRM internally to 25,000 users worldwide, Anthony discussed the features coming in the next release, the releases in the next 12 months and beyond. I can't detail too much since you haven't read Oracle's Safe Harbor statement, but check out Fusion Tap and look for new features and added functionality for sales prediction, marketing, social and integration with a number of the key Customer Experience products.
- In the Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service Vision and Roadmap session, Chris Hamilton presented the focus areas for the RightNow product. As a result of the large increase in development resources after the acquisition, the RightNow CX team is planning a lot of enhancements to the functionality, infrastructure and integrations. As a key piece of the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) strategy, RightNow will be integrated with Oracle Social Network, Oracle Commerce (ATG and Endeca), Oracle Knowledge, Oracle Policy Automation and, of course, further integration with Fusion Sales and Marketing. Look forward to seeing more on the Virtual Assistant, Smart Interaction Hub and Mobility.
In addition to the roadmaps, I was looking forward to hearing from Oracle CRM customers. So, I sat in on two great Siebel customer panels:
- The Maximizing User Adoption Rates for Siebel Sales and Siebel Partner Relationship Management panel consisted of speakers from CSL Behring, McKesson and Intuit. It was great to get an overview of implementations for both B2B and B2C companies. It was great hearing that all of these companies have more than 1,000 sales users (Intuit has 4,000) and how the 360 degree view of the customer in Siebel is helping these customers improve their customers' experience (CX). They are all great examples of centralized implementations which have standardized processes across the globe and across business units.
- Waste Management, Farmers Insurance and the US Citizenship & Immigration Services presented in the Driving Great Customer Experiences with Siebel Service Applications session. Talk about serving large customer bases! Is it possible that Farmers with only 10 million households is the smallest of these 3? All of them provided great examples of how they are improving the customer experience (CX) including 60-70% improvements in efficiency or reducing the number of applications the customer service reps (CSRs) need to use from 10 to 1 (Waste Management) and context aware call transfers to avoid the caller explaining their issue 3 times (USCIS).
So that's my wrap up of only 4 sessions from Monday. In between sessions, I stopped by the Oracle DEMOgrounds and CRM Pavilion to visit with a group of great partners and see the products and partner integrations in action.
Don't miss a recap of Mark Hurd's Keynote. I can't believe there were another 40+ sessions covering CRM, Fusion, Cloud, etc. that I missed today! Anyone else see any great sessions?
Wednesday Sep 19, 2012
By Tony Berk on Sep 19, 2012
Oracle OpenWorld is less than 2 weeks away, so you need to start figuring out how you are going to maximize your week. I don't want to discourage you, but I'm pretty sure it is impossible to attend all 2000+ sessions. So you need to focus on what's important to you. Many of our CRM customers will be interested in Fusion CRM, since they have already started Fusion implementations or determining when to start. If that's you, or you are just looking for an overview of Fusion CRM, we've got you covered!
Let's start at the top! For an overview of what is in Fusion CRM and where it is going, you should attend the general session and roadmap session:
General Session: Oracle Fusion CRM—Improving Sales Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Ease of Use (Session ID: GEN9674) - Oct 2, 11:45 AM. Anthony Lye, Senior VP, Oracle leads this general session focused on Oracle Fusion CRM. Oracle Fusion CRM optimizes territories, combines quota management and incentive compensation, integrates sales and marketing, and cleanses and enriches data—all within a single application platform. Oracle Fusion can be configured, changed, and extended at runtime by end users, business managers, IT, and developers. Oracle Fusion CRM can be used from the Web, from a smartphone, from Microsoft Outlook, or from an iPad. Deloitte, sponsor of the CRM Track, will also present key concepts on CRM implementations.
Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management: Overview/Strategy/Customer Experiences/Roadmap (CON9407) - Oct 1, 3:15PM. In this session, learn how Oracle Fusion CRM enables companies to create better sales plans, generate more quality leads, and achieve higher win rates and find out why customers are adopting Oracle Fusion CRM. Gain a deeper understanding of the unique capabilities only Oracle Fusion CRM provides, and learn how Oracle’s commitment to CRM innovation is driving a wide range of future enhancements.
There is also a General Session for all Fusion Applications providing insight into the current strategy of the full product line and a high-level roadmap for each product area: Oracle Fusion Applications—Overview, Strategy, and Roadmap (GEN9433) - Oct 1, 10:45AM. This session will be repeated on Oct 3, 10:15AM.
Now, if you want to drill down into some more detail, there are a lot more sessions with Oracle product management and customers. I'll highlight a few, but suggest you review the Fusion CRM Focus On document, or the search in the Content Catalog or Session Builder.
- Driving Sales Performance with Oracle Fusion CRM (CON9744) - Oct 3, 10:15AM. Demonstrates how sales executives can gain instant visibility into their business, deliver pervasive coaching to their reps, maximize their sales pipeline, and drive team alignment. The result is increased sales performance that enables sales executives to deliver more revenue without increasing their resources or expenses.
- Maximize Your Revenue Potential with Oracle Fusion CRM Sales Planning (CON9751) - Oct 2, 1:15PM. Learn how Oracle Fusion CRM helps companies intelligently optimize sales planning and manage sales performance including the ability to predict their future sales opportunities and use those predictions in conjunction with past sales data to optimally define their sales territories, sales quotas, and incentive compensation plans.
- Boost Marketing’s Contribution to Revenue with Oracle Fusion CRM Marketing (CON9746) - Oct 3, 11:45AM. Learn how Oracle Fusion CRM can help your organization integrate sales and marketing, using one CRM platform. See how Oracle Fusion CRM can help your organization learn where to invest its precious marketing dollars; drive more revenue with cross-channel marketing and prospecting capabilities, including and not limited to e-mail, Web, and social media; improve lead conversion with integrated lead management functionality; and do more with less by automating many manual tasks.
- Oracle Fusion CRM: Social Marketing (CON11559) - Oct 1, 3:15PM. Learn how Oracle’s acquisition of Collective Intellect, Vitrue, and Involver extends Oracle Fusion Marketing as a world-class social marketing solution.
- Oracle Fusion Social CRM Strategy and Roadmap: Future of Collaboration and Social Engagement (CON9750) - Oct 4, 11:15AM. Hear how Oracle can help you know your customers better, encourage brand affinity, and improve collaboration within your ecosystem. This session reviews Oracle's social media solution and shows how you can discover hidden insights buried in your enterprise and social data. Also learn how Oracle Social Network revolutionizes how enterprise users work, collaborate, and share to achieve successful outcomes.
After listening to all of this great information, you are probably going to have questions. Well, the experts will be on hand to help answer your questions and plan how your organization can get going with Fusion CRM. Be sure to head down to the DEMOgrounds and CRM Pavilion in the Moscone West Exhibit Hall. And finally, there is the always popular Meet the Experts session focused on Fusion CRM (MTE9658) on Oct 2 at 5PM (pre-registration via Schedule Builder is recommended.)
In addition, there are more sessions on Mobility, Extensibility, Incentive Compensation, Fusion Customer Hub and other key components of the Fusion Applications infrastructure, Oracle Cloud and much, much more! For a full list, utilize the Fusion CRM Focus On document and Content Catalog. Enjoy!
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