July 12, 2009

Oracle Proclaims the New Ten Commandments of Technology Sales and Marketing

The market slowdown has hightened the issue of sales and marketing for many technology companies, drawing attention to cracks and weakeness that have existed for some time, but are all the more important given the present market slowdown. With this in mind we took a look at what some of the big vendors are doing, in particular at Oracle.

Universal Issues in Technology Marketing.

Guess what? The key sales and marketing related issues facing technology companies in the British Isles are also being faced by a big vendors such as Oracle. Specifically:
- Selling business results, not technology
- Selling to C level as opposed to simply IT managers
- Building relationships, as opposed to transactional selling
- Integrating sales and marketing

New Approach to Marketing & Sales Delivers Results for Oracle.
We have entered a new and exciting era in terms of B2B sales and marketing and, if the results at Oracle are anything to go by, it has the potential to boost aspects of sales and marketing performance by up to 40%.

In a Moses on the mountain moment, some years back, Bill Carper a senior director of global marketing for Oracle Corp., outlined the company's new consultative selling model that integrates sales and marketing.

At its core is selling to C Level
managers that don't know what solution they need, or what that solution is, but want to optimize their business performance.

The new approach to sales and marketing is required because these senior managers want to be informed, but not sold to.

The focus is on information, consultation and engagement (especially at C level). It also entails helping managers to understand the impact on their organization not just the applications, or technologies.

The New 10 Commandments.

1. Though shalt better understand your target market and how to reach it. Oracle enlisted its own CFO to sit down with his peers and talk about compliance issues that they were facing. This enabled them to tailor their message and approach.

2. Thou shalt target specific verticals and other segments - tailoring the approach to each in turn.

3. Though shall build one to one relationships organisation wide at the most senior levels, creating organisation-level marketing plans that target not just one individual manager, but all those involved or affected in an organization (particularly at C level).

4. Thou stalt get the message right:

- Focus on business needs and
solutions and create messaging that resonates with a particular pain point.
- Make sure your messaging is consistent online and offline.
- Make sure that it's relevant to the account, industry and role.
- Talk about something other than your company.
- Don’t focus on your product, but on the need and the results that can be achieved.

5. Thou shalt establish credibility using third-party association/validation.

6. Thou shalt use a sales system, or database. You need to have a single, consistent system to manage and track each one to one contact with a customer across the sales cycle/buying process.

7. Thou shalt look to influencers, enlisting them as advocates to generate awareness, interest, and add credibility to build demand. That may be subordinates in an organization or peers -- or a third party outside the company, including Trade associations and luminaries.

8. Thou shalt provide valuable information and insights to your target customers. For example, in a recent compliance campaign Oracle did a series of Webcasts through Forbes.com's CEO Portal. What made them special – well it was two hours of useful information, with no sales pitch at all.

9. Thou shalt integrate sales and marketing toward shared goals – as a marketer that may mean you need to swallow your pride. Back up your sales team with supportive marketing (e.g. events, whitepapers, etc.).

10. Thou shalt be prepared to walk away from accounts that just won’t work, spending your time and money somewhere else.

References, Sources & Credits:

Sales and Marketing? No, Consulting, Steve Hall

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