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]

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 Mar 23, 2012

Beyond Chatting: What ‘Social’ Means for CRM

A guest post by Steve Diamond, Senior Director, Outbound Product Management, Oracle

In a recent post on the Oracle Applications blog, my colleague Steve Boese asked three questions related to the widespread popularity and incredibly rapid growth of Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Steve then addressed the many applications for collaborative solutions in the area of Human Capital Management.

So, in turning to a conversation about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Force Automation (SFA), let me ask you one simple question. How many sales people, particularly at business-to-business companies, consistently meet or beat their quotas in their roles by working alone, with no collaboration among fellow sales people, sales executives, employees in product groups, in service, in Legal, third-party partners, etc.?

Hello? Is anybody out there? What’s that cricket noise I hear? That’s correct. Nobody! When it comes to Sales, introverts arguably have a distinct disadvantage. While it’s certainly a truism that “success” in most professional endeavors requires working with people, it’s a mandatory success factor in Sales. This fact became abundantly clear to me one early morning in the late 1990s when I joined the former Hyperion Solutions (now part of Oracle) and attended a Sales Award Ceremony. The Head of Sales at that time gave out dozens of awards – none of them to individuals and all of them to TEAMS of individuals.

That’s how it works in Sales. Your colleagues help provide you with product intelligence and competitive intelligence. They help you build the best presentations, pitches, and proposals. They help you develop the most killer RFPs. They align you with the best product people to ensure you’re matching the best products for the opportunity and join you in critical meetings. They help knock the socks of your prospects in “bake off” demo’s. They bring in the best partners to either add complementary products to your opportunity or help you implement a solution. They work with you as a collective team.

And so how is all this collaboration STILL typically done today? Through email. And yet we all silently or not so silently grimace about email. It’s relatively siloed. It’s painful to search. It’s difficult to align by topic. And it’s nearly impossible to re-trace meaningful and helpful conversations that occurred among a group or a team at some point in history.

This is where social networking for Sales comes into play. It’s about PURPOSEFUL social networking versus chattering. What is purposeful social networking? It’s collaboration that’s built around opportunities, accounts, and contacts. It’s collaboration that delivers valuable context – on the target company, and on key competitors – just to name two examples. It’s collaboration that can scale to provide coaching for larger numbers of sales representatives, both for general purposes, and as we’ve largely discussed here, for specific ‘deals.’ And it’s collaboration that allows a team of people to collectively edit and iterate on a document like an RFP or a soon-to-be killer presentation that is maintained in a central repository, with no time wasted searching for it or worrying about version control.

But lest we get carried away, let’s remember that collaboration “happens” among sales people whether there is specialized software to support it or not. The human practice of sales has not changed much in the last 80 to 90 years. Collaboration has been a mainstay during this entire time. But what social networking in general, and Oracle Social Networking in particular delivers, is the opportunity for sales teams to dramatically increase their effectiveness and efficiency – to identify and close more high quality and lucrative opportunities more quickly. For most sales organizations, this is how the game is won.

To learn more please visit Oracle Social Network and Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management on oracle.com

Thursday Jul 28, 2011

TIAA-CREF Sharpens Sales Visibility with Oracle CRM

TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization with approximately $470 billion in assets under management (as of 6/30/11) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. TIAA-CREF successfully deployed Oracle CRM On Demand in 13 weeks and immediately improved sales pipeline visibility.

In the video below, David Ray, Vice President, Strategic Sales at TIAA-CREF, discusses how the deployment included integration with Miller-Heiman blue sheets, allowing sales teams to populate CRM On Demand and the sales strategy forms with one single entry point, significantly reducing paperwork and increasing efficiency.


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