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.

Tuesday Sep 18, 2012

Calling Knowledge Workers: Make a Difference in the User Experience

Do you consider yourself a knowledge worker? Do you have ideas of how to make CRM software work smarter so you don't have to work harder? The Oracle Middleware User Experience team will be conducting customer feedback focus groups at Oracle OpenWorld, October 1-3. All it takes is a couple of hours or less for us to learn from you. Customer participation helps Oracle develop outstanding products and solutions. Knowledge workers of all types are invited to participate: Finance, Sales, Human Resources, Marketing, Recruiters, Budget Managers, Project & Product Managers and more. To participate in these sessions you do not have to be registered for Oracle OpenWorld. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please email muxtesting_us at with your name, company, job title, work and mobile phone numbers with country code, and email address.

Thursday Apr 26, 2012

Fusion CRM: Sales Teams Define New User Experience

One of the advantages of building a new application from the ground up is you can define a whole new user experience. And that's exactly what Arin Bhowmick, Director, CRM User Experience (UX) at Oracle, and his team of UX experts did for Oracle Fusion CRM and other Fusion applications

Uncovering What Salespeople Really Need

“The keys to building the best user experience were building in a lot of flexibility in ways to support sales, and being useful,” Bhowmick said. “We did that by talking to and analyzing the needs of a lot of people in different roles.”

The team studied real-life sales teams. “We wanted to study salespeople in context with their work,” Bhowmick said. “We studied all user types in the CRM world because we wanted to build a user interface and user experience that would cater to sales representatives, marketing managers, sales managers, and more. Not only did we do studies in our labs, but also we did studies in the field and in mobile environments because salespeople are always on the go."

Watch Arin discuss the process in this video:

Based on the feedback, the team did a great job! For more information on the UX design process go to the User Experience website.  


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