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October 2012

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Economist Intelligence Unit Report: Using Data to Perfect Global Sales Performance

In a new report titled Data vs. Instinct: Perfecting Global Sales Performance (sponsored by Oracle), the Economist Intelligence Unit explores the ways managers can optimize sales territories and incentive compensation—and how hard data can improve on instinct alone.

"Territory programs and incentive compensation continue to present particularly complex challenges in an increasingly globalized market," write the report's authors. "It behooves companies to get a better handle on translating that data into actionable and effective plans."

Key findings include

  • Six out of 10 executives responsible for shaping sales territories say they rely more on data than instinct to drive decisions. Management experience, however, continues to play a significant role when data is incomplete or inaccurate.
  • Nearly one half (48 percent) of incentive compensation plans do not achieve the desired results. A significant number of respondents (38 percent) also say their current incentive process “does not easily adapt to changing requirements.”
  • Senior sales executives rely more on current and historical data than on forecast data. Nearly all (89 percent) respondents rely on current and historical data. However, a majority of executives (54 percent) say they rely either significantly or greatly on forecasts of market conditions to construct territory and incentive programs.

"The best outcome is a combination of timely information, insightful predictions, and support data," conclude the report's authors.

Optimizing Sales Territories and Compensation with Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management

No matter how good your sales team is, selling is still an obstacle if there isn’t a sound plan that drives alignment and results. To help solve this perennial challenge, Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management integrates forecasting, quotas, compensation, and territories into a single system.

"Now, if one variable changes, you don't have to scramble to update all your plans independently," says Jon Ekoniak, Oracle’s vice president of application product marketing.

For example, Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management provides a natural integration between territories, defining the sales targets (for example, collection of accounts) for the sales force, and quotas, which quantify the sales targets. In fact, territory hierarchy is a core analytic dimension to slice and dice sales results, using sales analytics and alerts to help you identify where problems are occurring.

"This makes territories and plans very easy to adjust, so you can quickly roll out updates to territories and assignments with minimal disruption to the sales force," says Ekoniak.

Read the Economist Intelligence Unit report now.

Learn more about Oracle Fusion CRM.

Download data sheets for Oracle Fusion CRM, Oracle Fusion Incentive Compensation, and Oracle Fusion Territory Management.

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