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.

How Prospecting with Colabo is Like Fishing

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I am not a big fisherman, but when I used to go with my grandfather years ago, the one thing he always would say is “fishing isn’t supposed to require effort.”  He would tell me that the fish always knew when you were stressed, and that relaxing would help me catch more fish, but also make it more fun. Thinking back, I probably hooked him more than I did fish, but what I did enjoy was when we used a trotline to catch them, because it was a lot easier to catch more at once and, most importantly, without having to cast continually. You simply bait multiple hooks all attached to a long line prior to setting it up in the water, and you were able to sit back and check back periodically to see what you caught.  This was great because there was no need to cast time after time, and in my case, not get anything on the hook.

This could not be more relevant to a tool that we now use when prospecting on the various social networks we use to connect with people everyday.  Colabo is the trotline when it comes to prospecting. An example is how we target folks who use LinkedIn. Some people are job hunting or building their online resume. Others are wanting to catch up on news relevant to their interests (business or otherwise). And then there are those who are looking to market their products or services to those two groups.

If you happen to be on LinkedIn, then I am sure you have been a part of at least one of these groups, but most likely have interacted with all 3. For the salespeople who use it as a tool to get in front of as many people as possible, I will share how you can increase the efficiency of your efforts by using Colabo, and turn your one-on-one InMails into more of a trotline to start filling your pipeline.

Here are 5 ways Colabo can help you catch more fish…

Send mass, but personalized messages with one button – One feature of Colabo that you will see an immediate benefit is the ability to send messages to your entire audience, but have it look like it is a personlized message to each prospect. On the leads tab in the application, you can select prospects that would all match the criteria to be sent the same message, but instead of a long list of recipients on your message, each prospect receives an individual InMail that is personalized with their name and/or company name.

Filter your audience to get the right message in the right hands –  With Colabo’s filter feature, you can select from criteria such as actions taken against your LinkedIn messages (it tracks unanswered v answered messages), if you have sent them an connection invite on LinkedIn, and even things such as job title, company, and how long they have been a prospect of yours. This will save you the headache of looking through your prospects and addressing them 1 by 1.

View your history of interaction with your prospect – Yes, we all know there is a record of messages you have sent and received in most applications, but the timeline feature in Colabo will show you the complete chronological list of all interactions across platforms (emails, LinkedIn messages, CRM activity, etc.).  There is also an option to add notes about those interactions so you can know what to talk about next, without ever having to leave the Colabo application.

Add your leads to a nurturing campaign – In sales, there is no company I know of that has a 100% success rate with prospecting. And if you work there, please share your secrets. But for those that do have misses, or people that aren’t quite ready to convert, having a digital marketing strategy to stay top of mind while also tracking your prospects’ actions is the next best thing. With Colabo, there is an integration with Eloqua that will let you add those prospects to a segment that will be automatically marketed to in order to stay relevant. WIth the rules you establish to capture their digital body language (or actions taken against the marketing you put out), you can then reach out to them once the time is right.

Push the leads found directly into your CRM – And finally, if you are tracking leads within a CRM, having to do it in multiple places is not ideal. Salespeople want multiple ways to source leads, but it kills time to have to document where and how each lead was acquired. We use Oracle Sales Cloud ourselves, and the ability to push all of the same leads we have in Colabo to Sales Cloud eliminates the need to have to document each interaction in both applications, thus saving time and allowing sales to do their jobs instead of entering data. You can still view the information captured in Colabo while in your CRM, so the information will never have to be chased down.


For those thinking of activities that will provide the most return when it comes to sales, Colabo is something that can increase the amount of prospects you reach in less time. There are plenty of ways you can increase you efforts (working extra hours, making more calls, sending more messages, etc.), but remember working smarter and  And just like fishing, prospects do not always come without a fight, but Colabo acts as a wider net and fish finder all in one. Getting someone’s attention is just the beginning, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a full pipeline and decide which opportunities are keepers and which ones you can throw back?

For more information on Colabo, please contact us at for details.

Coding Tricks for Oracle Developers

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Being a developer is hard. We tend to strive to make the best, most precise code. We tend to try to keep it clean and readable in case somebody else might need to review it and work on it in the future. However sometimes we believe our code is clean and as it turns out, once you are done, you realize that your code might be confusing for another developer or you might want to reuse your code and might find yourself updating it several times in different sections. Fortunately, there are several tricks that are useful in helping you make your code simpler and reusable. Below are 3 tricks I follow when developing a script (PHP, Javascript, Groovy, etc) for any Oracle CX system.

  1. Use Camelcase Syntax

Camelcase syntax is the writing of compound words or phrases where each word or abbreviation in the middle of the word begins with a capital letter with no spaces between them. For example “iPhone”, “JohnDoe”, etc. This syntax is helpful in keeping your code clean and readable. Mostly used for declaring functions and variables this syntax will look something like this in php scripting:


                Declaring a function with variables in it:



  1. Use Comments

Comments are a programmer's readable explanation in the source code. These are used with the purpose of making the script easier to understand for people that might be working with the script in the future. The syntax varies depending on the programming language, with the most common of them being that comments start with “//”. You can also use a block of comments to write documentation, these generally start with “/*” and end with “*/”. Below you can find our previous example with comments added to it.


  1. Use Code Golf

Code Golf is the term used to describe the technique of writing code that can be reusable. In other words the less code you can write the better. This technique is usually applied when you develop a big project that can have thousands of lines. A good example would be if you need to get information from a MySQL database for 5 different tables, the first idea would be to write 5 separate functions to get the data from the 5 places. Using the code golf technique we can reduce these functions to one by sending the table name inside a variable to the function before we execute it, and then reusing that same function by changing the value of the variable every time we need to. To end result would be that you will have a clean code without it being thousands of lines long.



Having been a programmer/developer for the past 8 years has shown me that by using these techniques, you can reduce the amount of work you do, you can understand the code in a more humanly way, and you will be able to reuse your creation for different purposes. At the end of the day the goal is to make your customers happy, and what better way than by making their application the best one there is.