Following the Footsteps of Top Sales Reps
By J. John Kim on Jul 08, 2008
Hi, my name is John Kim. I am the product manager for Oracle Sales Prospector. I have been working very hard here in Redwood City to ship my product. Yes, I am almost at the finish line now. I am pleased to announce that we shipped Oracle Sales Prospector on June 30th.
In my spare(?) time between reviewing test results, and finalizing the training materials, time to time, I browse the web and look at press and blog articles on Oracle Sales Prospector that turn up on Google Alert. One article that caught my eyes was an article titled, “Problem with ‘Social’ CRM: Salespeople Want Commissions, not ‘Community' It suggests that the competitive nature of salespersons may hinder the adoption of social networks in the enterprise setting, making it difficult to sustain themselves in the long run. Having read the article, I hoed and hummed, came to understand why this issue was raised, and want to share some of my thoughts on that.
Even if some sales reps keep information close to their vest, a lot of information does get entered, either by them or by others, as a result of normal course of business in the enterprise. Sales reps do want to get paid and customers want to receive what they bought from those reps, so orders get created on the enterprise system for fulfillment. In addition, most companies keep information on their customers, and products. Furthermore, the company can set up the initial layer of enterprise social networks, based on the company formal work groups. They can be something like North American Sales, Oil and Gas Accounts Reps, etc. By knitting order, customer, and product information within these groups, the enterprise can assemble a large amount of information as a starting point for collaboration for its reps.
Yes, I see that salespersons may not actively seek out or offer help with one another. They may be the life of the party in real life, but the perfect wall flowers online. This is where the power of data mining by Oracle Data Mining comes in. The top salespersons leave their fingerprints all over the enterprise system in the form of closed orders. Similar to how Amazon.com makes recommends shoppers what they might like based on what products customers like them have purchased, Oracle Sales Prospector makes prospecting recommendations based on what the salesperson’s peers sold to customers similar to the ones he/she is going after. Here, as the similar shoppers would stay anonymous, so would the peer salespersons. By mimicking targeting moves by the top salespersons, an average salesperson can increase his/her own effectiveness. This enterprise-sponsored social learning network can accelerate the diffusion of best sales targeting practices within the enterprise.
If you can mimic dance on Dance Dance Revolution, play Aerosmith on Guitar Hero or follow Tiger’s moves on Golf Channel, you will see how an average sales rep can increase his/her win rate by mimicking the targeting techniques of the top salespersons. For an average person, this is much better than creating his own dance moves, would-be hit songs, and a first-tried golf stance. You can unleash your inner salesperson with Oracle Sales Prospector.
Oh, one more thing. Happy Canada Day to my friends up north, and Happy Fourth of July for us in the States! Later.