As a part of its Applications Cloud Release 10, Oracle announced today upgrades to its Sales Cloud, including improved analytics, partner relationship management tools, and a range of industry-specific functions.
"The major trend we're seeing right now is that companies really want to go to the next level, and Oracle Sales Cloud provides SFA core capabilities in a modern platform," Scott Creighton, vice president of product management at Oracle Sales Cloud, says. But beyond basic SFA functions, Creighton adds, end users "get access to customer data management, sales performance management, predictive analytics all bundled into one robust application which can really take the organization to the next level."
Among the enhancements is a redesigned dashboard that gives sales professionals access to prebuilt reports and visual aids; it can be used to rank team-member performances and share quotas and other information across an organization. There's also the Mobile App Designer, a drag-and-drop function that enables users to compose reports on their mobile devices. And users of the Sales Cloud can now access the Oracle Social Network, promising customers a secure environment in which to converse with partners.
According to Aaron Schidler, group vice president of product strategy at Oracle, the new tools will allow sales reps to get a better view of past customer behavior and use that information to make better recommendations. It is able "to do what Amazon does in the B2C space [to help reps] predict some of the products they're likely to buy, so they can proactively recommend to the customer," Schidler says.
The new Sales Cloud has features geared toward companies in high-tech and manufacturing, communications, consumer goods, and financial services. Schidler notes it’s become increasingly important to have tools suitable for an industry's particular business challenges. "You can't expect the head of sales at a bank to just use a straight SFA application," Schidler says. "They're [also] looking for something that will help them support elements [such as] new account origination," Schidler says.
Representatives from Oracle believe that the company’s ability to cater to a number of verticals sets it apart as a cloud vendor. While its competitors require customers to work with partner ecosystems, Oracle aims to cut down on the number of commitments customers must make to various vendors.
Oracle has thus far focused on the industries above, but the vendor is eager to branch out to the automotive industry, as well as hospitality and hotels, Schidler says.
Another advantage of this iteration of Oracle’s Sales Cloud is its accessibility to sales teams, and not just managers, according to Ray Wang of Constellation Research. “Traditionally SFA systems were built for managers, not the salesperson,” Wang says. “Improving collaboration, opening up data and insights to the field, strong Outlook integration, dashboards, and the mobile capabilities are some of the reasons our clients will choose the Oracle Sales Cloud.”
Oracle Sales Cloud is part of the Customer Experience Cloud, which includes Social Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Commerce Cloud.