Friday Apr 18, 2014

Customer Relationship Management Simplified – Why User Adoption is a Key Metric

"Out of all the CRM project problems reported, we found the most significant threat to be slow user adoption."

— Bill Band, Principal Analyst, Forrester

So you’ve purchased a state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for your Sales organization. Your goals: better forecasts, closing more deals, and ultimately increasing revenue. But are people using it?

Read on and learn about:

  • The three primary challenges that can get in your way
  • Oracle's take on addressing user adoption challenges
  • The benefits Oracle Sales Cloud customers are experiencing
[Read More]

Thursday Apr 03, 2014

Checklist for Sales and Sales Operations Leaders

You’re running a sales or sales operations team. You get invited to a number of events—or are spending time out of the office with customers. That’s your job.

Another invitation comes along. You quickly scan it, thinking “what’s in this for me?

The Checklist

  • New Ideas: Do you look outside your company, to industry thought leaders and your sales peers for new ideas?

  • Career Planning: Is it important to look ahead—for your business and your career—to understand where Selling is headed and how it’s changing your job?

  • Translating Plans to Action: Is there something you could learn from your peers—running Sales organizations like yours—about doing things faster, closing more big-ticket deals?

[Read More]

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

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

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