Sales Cloud Analytics

How to Improve your Sales Reporting Strategy

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When it comes to the different types of sales reporting available, organizations’ sales and marketing teams sometimes are confused on what is being captured and why it matters.  Also, many companies are trying to centralize their reporting strategy, however, with so many different systems and large divisions, it’s common for us to see different dashboards and systems which report on metrics independently. As sales and marketing teams continue to evolve and integrate with one another to create a seamless customer experience, it’s important to understand how each metric being reported on fits into your sales process.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your sales reporting strategy if you are currently looking for ways to revamp its current state.
Understand your current state of reporting 
Many organizations have numerous key metrics, dashboards and locations for reports. Others submit requests for reports, and then there are some companies that use reporting tools like Google Analytics or their CRM. Most of these companies are ignoring the reports created for them because there are either too many or the information isn’t the best for what they are trying to capture. When you are thinking about your reporting strategy, think about what is and what isn’t working. One of the most interesting insights we see as consultants is when a company realizes their reporting is too complicated. Be sure to meet with your teams to understand what they are looking at on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and then decide if your reporting is currently meeting your needs.
Go back to basics- what are you trying to measure as a company? 
Take some time to review sales metrics and how they map to the company’s overall measurement of the business. Think about the different steps to your organization’s sales process and what metrics fit into the the different processes. What are some of the things you are trying to measure around opportunities that relate to closing business? What are some of the activities you are trying track that help determine your level of success? Think about these priorities and what your company goals and objectives are. We recommend writing down the company goals first, then underneath, the different metrics which would ideally help map your progress to completing these objectives as a sales team.
Think about how the metrics are displayed and if it’s working. 
With so many different tools, it’s important to understand why a dashboard or a report would work better for your teams. Within Oracle Sales Cloud, for example, you can build custom dashboards that display your team’s most important metrics. However, if you would like specific information in file format because of distribution, a report may be better. Ask your team for current examples on what metrics they look at and which ones they do not.
Ask your salespeople how they would like to consume this information. Don’t forget that dashboards and reports vary depending on a person’s role. For example, a best practice at SFCG that we recommend is usually to have a sales representative dashboard and a manager dashboard. Some of the questions to ask your team are what they want to check on a daily basis. Are they looking at their hot leads to call as a sales representative, or are they looking at the overall pipeline as a sales manager.  Focus on understanding your team’s day-to-day and what makes them successful. Once you decide what is important to measure, next is determining how you want to digest the information for each role.
Finally, think about how to prioritize your metrics.
When you are reviewing your current reporting strategy and someone says to you, “We need it all because they are all important!”, it’s time to dive deeper so that you can understand what is really necessary. Ask the people that make decisions based off of these reports about the impact of each metric and what would happen if reporting on each wasn’t available. It’s good to understand what the impact would be should the choice be to not to track something.
Every metric is important to a person’s success but it’s your job to understand the priority and visibility of these metrics. Check back to your interviews with your teams to see if those sales metrics match up to those you find in the company objectives. Once you have this comparison, you’ll be able to prioritize the importance of each one to determine where they fit into your organization.
In general, all reporting, but sales in particular, is very important for organizations to keep a pulse on the company’s overall direction. It can be overwhelming if there are so many reports that your company doesn’t review them all. Taking small steps to determine what matters to the company and in what order of significance each matters to it’s success goes a long way in knowing where your focus should be day-to-day. Getting a complete view of what should and shouldn’t be tracked will help you have better strategy sessions with salespeople, and give you a benchmark of where you are at any time of the year so you can make adjustments and ultimately hit the goals you set out for the organization.

Top 5 Conversations for Sales Automation Geeks at Oracle’s ModernCX

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This year's ModernCX event presented by Oracle is around the corner. With SFCG's preparation kicking into full gear and Oracle releasing new information regarding speakers, performers, demostrations and breakout sessions daily, there is a lot for a Sales Automation Geek to be excited about. Whether you are interested in learning about the new and exciting ways Oracle is expanding how we think about the Customer Experience or you are interested in advancing your skills with tools from the Oracle CX suite, Modern CX will deliver. SFCG will be quite busy and we are looking forward to it. We'll be hosting a Happy Hour, meeting with customers/prospects, developing new relationships with partners, and last but not least learning a boat load about how Oracle is changing the Customer Experience with Sales Cloud, Engagement Cloud, Sales Performance Management and Service Cloud.
I am looking forward to the networking events and client interaction, but the Sales Automation Nerd in me is jumping for joy as I read through the keynote speakers, training sessions and presentations. Below are the top 5 events I am making sure not to miss. As I've noted, my list is focused on all things Sales Automation. If I were to expand my filter, you'd might as well read the full ModernCX Agenda found here

Top 5 Sales Automation Conversations at Oracle ModernCX …okay, maybe 6…

1. How to Get the Most Out of CX Sales at MCE 17 [BRK1070]

Tuesday, Apr 25, 5:30 p.m. | CX Sales Theater 1

Is this your first time at Modern Customer Experience? Even if you are a veteran, this is your opportunity to get an insider’s view of the conference. Check out this informative session led by Michael Richter, director of product management for Oracle Sales Cloud, who takes you through the lineup of CX Sales sessions taking place Wednesday and Thursday. It will help you plot your journey and make the most of your full-conference pass. Whether it’s attending one of the CX Sales general sessions to hear about the latest trends from analysts, participating in the “A Day in the Life of Sales” experience, or selecting from the many breakout sessions in the new and innovative CX Sales theaters, let the speakers in this session help you plan and navigate.

2. Best Practices for Managing Mobile Sales Teams [BRK1175]

Wednesday, Apr 26, 5:00 p.m. | CX Sales Theater 1

Technology is no longer confined to a cubicle, and mobile sales management is commonplace. With mobile, reps are better able to respond to client requests in a fast-changing dynamic market. A mobile sales team also means keeping your team in sync and sharing important information as it happens. In this session, hear how customers from a large global organization are using mobile, how it’s transforming the way they work, and what impact it’s having on revenues.

3. Knowledge-Driven Customer Service with Oracle Engagement Cloud Service [BRK1068]

Thursday, Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. | CX Sales Theater 1

Oracle Engagement Cloud Service solutions bring sales automation together with customer service and knowledge management capabilities, including self-service portals. Attend this session to get a closer look at how knowledge management can equip your customers to find answers, resolve their own questions, and reach out to your service agents for help. In addition, learn how knowledge plays a key role in helping sales reps find answers for customers quickly and effectively, saving time and reducing service costs. This session is ideal for companies using or considering Oracle Sales Cloud as well as companies with on-premises CRM systems that aspire to evolve to the cloud on a common sales and service platform.

4. Sales Analytics: Leveraging Data Visualization for Agile Business Intelligence [BRK1057]

Wednesday, Apr 26, 1:00 p.m. | CX Sales Theater 2

Today every sales organization is looking to get more from analytics—using more data to drive deeper insights faster, for more people. To meet these objectives, organizations need to empower business users to do self-service analysis without sacrificing governance. This session reviews the ongoing evolution in sales analytics and demonstrates how next-generation solutions enable sales managers and executives to leverage data visualization to drag and drop data in order to quickly add or remove content, explore it dynamically, and create meaningful views and dashboards without needing IT involvement—thereby facilitating increased agility, sales productivity, and better business decisions.

5. Sales Performance Management: Going Beyond Incentive Compensation [BRK1054]

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. | CX Sales Theater 2

“SPM is not just incentive compensation” is a common saying of Dan Chaplin, GE’s SPM Center of Excellence leader. To truly gain the benefit of SPM to its fullest, you must leverage other systems, departments, and datasources as part of an overall strategy. In this session, he discusses GE’s approach to SPM and how he gets other departments on board and educates his organization on the best ways to use SPM for better results.

6. The Future of CX: A User Experience Showcase of Innovation, Gadgets, and More [BRK1174]

Wednesday, Apr 26, 1:00 p.m. | CX Hub
Thursday, Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. | CX Hub

Oracle understands that the next generation of enterprise user experiences focuses on the key themes of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility. Wearable devices are everywhere, but how can they be effectively integrated into your enterprise? Mobile applications can drive organizational behaviors, but why do they often look, feel, and interact with users differently? As users travel and telework, how can organizations extend workflows and provide consistency to the physical user experience? These are just some of the questions this session explores. Come experience them for yourself and get inspired by the future of the cloud.