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10 Quotes from Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on Evolution of Sales and Customer Experience at ModernCX

Mia McPherson
April 08, 2019

3 minute read

This past month at Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience conference, CX leaders from 37 countries gathered in Las Vegas for three days of customer experience insights, trends, and technologies. The event featured 300+ educational sessions and 400+ speakers, including a keynote session with Oracle CEO Mark Hurd.

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has regularly spoken at Oracle Modern Customer Experience, with past keynotes available on his official YouTube channel. At this year’s ModernCX, Hurd sat down with Rob Tarkoff, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CX Cloud at Oracle, to discuss one of the event’s key themes – the Experience Economy – and its impact on the evolution of sales and customer experience.

In the Experience Economy, as described by Rob Tarkoff, the customer is the driver of innovation, and organizations are undergoing digital transformation to effectively use and share data to meet modern customer expectations. During the keynote, Tarkoff invited Hurd to describe the digital transformation that he’s driving at Oracle.

Here are 10 quotes from Oracle CEO Mark Hurd‘s keynote that CX leaders can take into consideration throughout their own digital transformation.

10 Quotes from Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on the Evolution of Sales and Customer Experience at ModernCX 2019

In discussing Oracle’s digital transformation, Hurd describes Oracle’s nearly 40,000 member sales organization, the role of digital and data, and the focus on integrated processes for better customer engagement.

On Oracle’s salesforce and digital transformation

“I’ve never believed that a salesperson should have a bag of products; that they’re expert in none. In the end, salesforces self-specialize.”

“It takes us 80 customer engagements to sell an app…when you break the 80 touches down, the first 20 are by far the most difficult, because they’re the ones where you may not even know the customer…and the process to get from zero to 20 is much harder than from 20 to 80.”

“For us, how we digitize that and bring down the cost for SG&A…to do that effectively and efficiently…that’s where we use many of our own products to try to automate and digitize as much of that as we can.”

On the balance of automation and trusted advisors

“In B2B, using us as an example, the marketing process and the sales process has to integrate.” He continues, “It isn’t binary. You don’t have a digital process that ends and then a face-to-face process begins. They work together.”

“It has to be one process…the customer has to see it as ‘I clicked on this, and I got a call, and the person who called me knew exactly what I clicked on and had an educated conversation with me’…it becomes very important that the customer feels relevant to the conversation. If they don’t, you have a whole different set of problems.”

On organizational transformation, recruiting, and onboarding

“Our industry had evolved into…hiring from other companies. So, we went back to [our] first principles.” He continues, “When I started in the industry…you came out of college and a company trained you—trained you how to sell, how to listen…We started from the beginning and we’ve now gone to the college campuses and hired 10,000 college kids in the US…over the last 5 years.”

“For us, it’s a better strategy to build our own, grow our own [talent]—it doesn’t mean we won’t ever hire from outside…but it’ll be a supplement as opposed to a core part of our business.” He continues, “Our job—my job—is to ensure they have the tools and infrastructure and training…to win.”

On customer experience as one connected process

“We all are experts [in customer service] because we all are consumers. The problem with most service models is your most valuable customers, typically at that moment of truth, are not in the hands of the most senior people when they’ve got the most stressful decisions to make.”

“These processes won’t work stand-alone…The service experience gets touched by the sales experience which gets touched by the marketing experience. The customer doesn’t delineate whether I’m engaged with you on the web versus when I’m engaged with you on the phone or in person. It’s all one experience. The ability for us to leverage that…from one part of the relationship to the other is key, and to make sure at every turn, we do it in a way that’s helping the customer advance their agenda as opposed to just advancing our agenda.”

“The ability to navigate through all of this data is better than ever, the ability to analyze this data is better than ever, the ability to get a common data model around all of this is better than ever. We believe…we’re the company that can bring all of this capability into one place.”

For more information on Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, visit MarkHurd.com.

For more insights from Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2019, visit smartercx.com/moderncx.

Mia McPherson SmarterCX
Mia McPherson
Mia McPherson is a lover of cats, community involvement, and Pittsburgh sports. Mia is the Editor-in-Chief of SmarterCX.com and has been working with talented teams to create content for the media, publishing, and technology industries for 15 years.
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