Wednesday Oct 07, 2015

Oracle CPQ Cloud Helps Businesses Leverage Differentiators

In order to compete in the worldwide economy, businesses use unique product innovation, marketing strategies, and sales processes – called differentiators – to win orders. While businesses understand the importance of their differentiators, they often find it challenging to target potential customers with a personalized message. CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) is a technology that incorporates differentiators in product, pricing, and marketing strategy to allow companies to create quotes with personalized messages and targeted value. Through sending personalized messages to its target audiences, CPQ helps businesses win more orders.

Take, for example, a fictional custom machinery manufacturer, TechMech. TechMech fully customizes their products to meet specific and complex requirements that differ from deal to deal. Each custom order is approved by an engineer, who determines if the order is physically feasible. The TechMech product customization process is different from their competitors; some competitors offer standard packages at lower prices, while others have assembled options with limited customization. To showcase their differentiators, TechMech needs a CPQ solution that restricts salespeople from not only creating machinery that is physically impossible to manufacture, but also clearly communicates the product’s differentiators to its target audience through its quotes.

Take another fictional company, Precious Metals, Inc. Precious Metals, Inc. sells large amounts of gold and silver. Precious Metals differentiates itself from competitors by constantly updating prices in order to match trading price levels on the stock market. To accommodate this differentiator, Precious Metals, Inc. not only needs a CPQ system that has a flexible, yet precise, pricing system to accommodate their policies, but one that also provides context for these policies to its target audience through its quotes.

CPQ technology is able to deliver a personalized message to customers because CPQ houses many of these differentiators. The Configuration (the “C” within “CPQ” ) and Pricing (the “P”) components of CPQ help add clarity and context on product and pricing differentiators. Quote packages (the “Q”) then tailor specific marketing messages based on the customer’s solution and needs. Since CPQ automates this process, it allows for administrative oversight and rigor of the delivery mechanism. 

At Oracle, we know that CPQ delivers true value in helping our customers win more orders. With over 400 successful Oracle CPQ Cloud implementations, we have proved to consistently deliver the greatest return on investment in the industry. If you want your marketing messages to reflect what makes your business special, then Oracle CPQ Cloud is for you. 

Monday Aug 31, 2015

5 Ways to Measure the Success of your CPQ Project by Greg Swender

With any project, success will often be determined based on improvements to a set of operating metrics, or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Standard Six Sigma techniques will tell you to choose your KPIs carefully early in the project and measure each of them before the project is implemented. These metrics will give your project team and executive sponsors a clear view of how the process is operating in its current state. They will also enable you to quantify any improvements you’ve made.

CPQ applications (short for 'Configure, Price, Quote') help sales organizations operate more efficiently. CPQ applications, when implemented correctly, can have a transformational impact on how individuals sell, and can dramatically change how sales teams or channel partners interact with both customers and their internal sales support teams. Given the profound impact a CPQ solution can have on a company’s sales organization, ROI for successful implementations can often be measured in weeks or months after go-live, rather than years.

Sounds easy, right?...

[Read More]

Monday Jul 06, 2015

In Sales or with Fitbit, You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure by Greg Swender

My wife bought me a Fitbit bracelet for my birthday.  My experience has been really positive so far. The iPhone app is easy to setup, and tracking meals, calories and exercise is simple.  The Fitbit has also shaped my behavior.  I have transitioned to baked chips for lunch, plain bagels with no cream cheese (most of the time), and “hold the mayo” on my sandwiches.  It has also pushed me to take the stairs more often and walk more frequently to hit my daily distance goal.  These are all good things.  On the other hand, tracking sleep habits has proven slightly challenging—only because the tapping motion to put the bit into “sleep mode” is awkward and honestly the routine really irritates my wife.  Picture this at bedtime: tap wrist repeatedly, but device fails to “sleep”… REPEAT (this time with harder/louder taps)… nope… REPEAT… you get the idea.

Nighttime tapping aside, this simple device and app show the amazing power of two things: metrics and user adoption.  

  • Metrics: The daily and weekly report in the app that make my eating habits and exercise very visible, along with any improvements or decline over time vs. my goals.  
  • User Adoption: Did I wear the device today?  Did I enter my meals today?  If either answer is no, I haven’t adopted the tool and there’s no hope it will help me.

[Read More]

Friday Jun 12, 2015

Collaborate Across Lines of Business by Virginia Lo

A well, laid out plan is set to fail if not executed correctly.  Imagine Joe, a sales rep who has done his due diligence to understand the customer’s business challenge, present the solution and successfully convince the customer that his solution is the one customer wants.  The customer asks for a quotation from the sales person.  But days and weeks go by and the customer still hasn’t received the quotation from Joe.  50% of sales are awarded to the person who gets the proposal to the customer first.  Why couldn’t the sales person respond faster? 

[Read More]

Thursday Jun 04, 2015

Be an Advisor, Not a Sales Person by Virginia Lo

In my previous blog post, I covered how to make more rain makers in your sales organization.  This is the second post in a three-part series addressing ways to achieve bigger, more profitable deals for your organization.  The second tactic we’ll cover is about how to train your reps to be an advisor, not a sales person.

[Read More]

Friday May 29, 2015

Make More Rainmakers by Virginia Lo

What keeps sales execs up at night?  For most, it’s whether they will hit their revenue targets.  With rising sales quotas and unavoidable cost cutting measures, sales leaders must find ways to sell more with less.   In the past, sales leaders could simply put more feet on the street to increase sales.  But today, they are expected to sell more with a leaner team, all while increasing the company’s profitability.  Let’s look at ways your sales teams can get bigger, higher margin deals.  To tackle today’s modern selling environment, there are three areas that will help your sales teams close more deals and blow out their numbers without increasing operational costs: make more rainmakers, be a trusted advisor, and collaborate across lines of business.  Today, we’ll uncover how to make more rainmakers in your sales organization.[Read More]

Thursday May 14, 2015

Improve Sales Effectiveness with Oracle Customer Experience Cloud: The Secret Sauce for Your Sales Team

In April 2015, a team of Oracle experts at the Oracle Modern Customer Experience Conferences in Las Vegas demonstrated how Oracle and customers can quickly and substantially improve sales effectiveness with Oracle Customer Experience applications. 

“Each year Oracle invests significantly to ensure its world-class customer experience (CX) applications integrate seamlessly with's customer relationship management (CRM) offerings in the cloud," says Oracle Vice President of Development Josh Gray. 

Specifically, Gray, along with Oracle sales consultants Craig Wright and Sarah Wright demonstrated how three Oracle offerings—Oracle Eloqua, Oracle BigMachines Express, and Oracle’s sales performance management solutions—can speed and simplify the complete sales process from lead generation to pricing and quoting to commissions to close. 

[Read More]

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]

Thursday Apr 16, 2015

Oracle OpenWorld 2015: We Want to Hear Your Story! by Scott Ewart

Do you have a story to tell about your Customer Experiences (CX) in Marketing, Sales, Service, or Commerce? Implementations, solving business problems, increasing customer satisfaction...? We are sure you have valuable information and best practices to share, and our customers want to hear from you!

CX Central @ OpenWorld, taking place at Oracle OpenWorld 2015 in beautiful San Francisco, California from October 25 – October 29, 2015, is designed to provide a single place for all things related to the customer lifecycle. This is for all of Oracle's CX customers whose business requires them to definitively differentiate themselves across all channels, touch points, and interactions.

CX @ OpenWorld addresses: Marketing, Sales, Service, Social, and Commerce – and includes Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Siebel, Oracle Knowledge, Oracle Social Cloud, Oracle Commerce, and CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quote).

We invite you to submit your story before May 15th, 2015.We would love to hear stories related to your successful Oracle implementations or upgrades around CX, business transformations you have faced and solved, and the increased value your business has achieved through use of Oracle products.

You will be asked to provide information about yourself and the speakers, the proposed title and abstract, and the topic classification (tracks and session type). Sessions at CX Central @ OpenWorld are 45 minutes. Please keep in mind that at least one speaker is required.

Just follow the steps at this link.


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