"An enormous amount of [Oracle's] tenured salesforce has left," reports JMP's Pat Walvarens,...

"An enormous amount of [Oracle's] tenured salesforce has left," reports JMP's Pat Walvarens, citing company sources. Meanwhile, an Oracle (ORCL) salesperson tells BI "hundreds of people are leaving each quarter," and that the company's decision to issue hardware quotas to salespeople specializing in software has bred frustration. Also, a former Oracle salesperson declares "Oracle has a horrible reputation in the tech sales circles." Oracle is coming off two straight quarters of revenue misses; the company partly blamed sales execution for its FQ3 miss, but insisted execution improved in FQ4.

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Comments (10)
  • dwoolfor
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    I would agree ...


    I left because....


    1. Sales Management are far to removed from my Customer needs... The Sales Force is up sell whilst taking the order. If the Customer does not want your product, create a non- compliance argument if you can. Customer satisfaction is not a priority.
    2. Oracle is a Haggling Company (Price List to High). Hence for budgeting purposes, Customers can not plan for Oracle adoption. Business Partners can not present Oracle. For a company to buy Oracle (best value for Money) requires a lot of time and knowledge. Hence only the Biggest Enterprise can buy Oracle. This means Oracle has never been able to address the SME sector (most organizations in the World).
    3. Other members of the organization engaged the customer and compete for the same IT budget, using any method available. Sales Management do not care how the order is taken, and who is destroyed in the process. Total confusion on Oracle Strategy - apart from It is RED (blood?).
    4. The Lack of Trust and being a Value Based Supplier to a customer is non-existence .. however required if a customer is to trust their IT on Oracle. This is why it is difficult for Oracle to promote up front value based selling. I used to say 'The relationship is not with the Sales Person but with the Product. However dealing with the Sales Person ensures best price'.
    5. For the Developed Nations, majority of IT Skill has left the customer base. Majority of Customers want outcome as too much risk exists to deliver projects. Hence 'As A Service' is the model going forward as opposed to 'Dump Product and Good Luck'.


    Customers who succeed buying Oracle do so if they:


    1. One require product from One Product Family
    2. Afford a single transaction that represents that Account Manager's 80% of Quota requirement.
    Hence Oracle should have a price List for a GLobal 2000 Customer List and a more realistic Price Book for everyone else.


    I found dealing with the customer great.. Dealing with Oracle problematic.


    I would laugh when a Customer and Partner would come requesting to buy product and the local sales management replying 'Bypass the Partner .... Check the customer requirements .. up sell to Exa Boxes ...'.


    Final Point... From my Observation, majority of the Big Vendors are all doing the same thing as Oracle (Control for Sale Management). Also, a Sales Model with expectation of 60% failure in the sale force. Majority of Service Partners do not get in the way of the Kill... They make money on the Damage left behind.


    The Traditional IT Economy is diminishing , becoming less relevant. Less money, less order taking, less commission. For customers their IT Service Levels are higher than ever - as Products are more robust and mature.
    8 Jul 2013, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • martinmutch
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    there speaks the voice of bitter experience. I too have an Oracle background and recognize the behaviors described going back almost 20 years! Its right that the Exa-push is exacerbating both the reliance on the top 1000 accounts globally and also the abusive pressure inflicted on them. It crazy but it keeps me in a job at rocela.com.
    The comment is also right in as much as all other key vendors are guilty of following the Oracle book of "core values" with m&a roll-up activity reducing client choice by the day. Also, clients are guilty of systematic when buying the Oracle "next big deal" such as a ULA, meaning they increasingly find themselves stuck with Oracle support and maintenance fees in perpetuity - no possibility of cancelling....ever.
    This napalm sales strategy should have had its day by now, but I believe there is a few years left before it implodes, meanwhile the product is good and clients will keep buying.
    9 Jul 2013, 06:27 AM Reply Like
  • jimcoe
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
    I was hoping an exsalesman would comment. Thank you for an
    excellent discussion that explains "sales misses " in a much
    more believable way!
    8 Jul 2013, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • henrique_dasilva
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    Mark Hurd ? I lived some dark years with this guy at the helm.
    8 Jul 2013, 10:56 PM Reply Like
  • tweaks
    , contributor
    Comments (184) | Send Message
    I am Director of IT for a small-medium sized company, and I am SOOOO angry at Oracle. They refuse to modernize their licensing to comport with the virtualization of the industry. Rather than allowing me to buy a couple of dual 6 core servers and virtualizing just the cores I need (maybe 6 of the 12 for Oracle) and use the rest for my other needs, they forced me to spend almost $15K on two separate, small core multiplier servers just so I could legally (and that's an absolute in our corporation) virtualize their #*@( software.


    That was a nearly 50% increase to my first year Oracle costs! Then I get a phone call from some guy trying to push their hardware because "virtualization is built in" ?????????? Multiply that times thousands of us out here and it's freaking ridiculous.


    Oracle is a great database, solid and reliable, but come on...


    I think Ellison has enough property on Malibu now. How about a reality check?
    8 Jul 2013, 11:09 PM Reply Like
  • toonies
    , contributor
    Comments (444) | Send Message
    What is the purpose of this news?
    9 Jul 2013, 06:04 AM Reply Like
  • Technology Assessment Group
    , contributor
    Comments (66) | Send Message
    I am ex-Oracle,Ex-Sun, Ex-NCR (where Mark is from). The comments on the sales force are accurate. The reason why these comments are relevant is the explanations Oracle is giving for their most recent misses are blamed on the sales force. But if your sales force is in trouble, then they need to fix the sales force. Problem #1: Oracle is hiring very young, inexperienced sales people to sell a sophisticated products. A lot of these sales reps left and Oracle is backfilling Problem #2: Oracle customers see Oracle as a necessary evil because the product is good for their structured data requiements (Tier 1 OLTP) but outside of that they do not necessarily need (or want) Oracle. #3 My opinion is that Oracle is overly aggressive in the price/margin category (as per comments from Tweaks above) resulting in customers seeking to avoid doing business with Oracle. There is a fine line here. While I have respect for Ellison, Katz, and Hurd for running a profitable operation in a superior manner to Sun, they have over-played their market power to the detriment of their customers. My interpretation of the move to a young/out of college sales force is that this is Mark banking on his NCR experience ( I went to the same training classes as Mark). But NCR could do this since they had (this is decades ago) some low end product lines suitable for junior sales people. At Oracle, so sell the big databases to sophisticated enterprise customers, you need somebody who knows what they are doing. A lot of the experienced sales people (and sales engineers) are gone.
    9 Jul 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • cbsherer
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    Are they leaving "the sinking ship"? Is their departure as significant as insider trading? Can it affect the share price?


    9 Jul 2013, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • dwoolfor
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    The Key Equation to determine if Oracle is on the decline: New Business Revenue cover against On Going Support Revenue Decline.
    Hence Sales Force affects New Business... Customer moving away from Oracle the Support Revenue.
    (These numbers need to be measured on the Database Revenue Stream, not new acquisitions and other M&A activities).
    The other factor I look at is client base. Outside of the biggest companies, what is the adoption of Oracle for IT Matured Countries?
    9 Jul 2013, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • Technology Assessment Group
    , contributor
    Comments (66) | Send Message
    1. Yes, a weak sales force can affect stock price. Oracle sells primarily into the "Enterprise" market place. In laymen's terms, this can be translated into "Big Companies". How you sell to a big company is a lot different than how you sell into a medium or small company. The products and services are different also.
    2. I don't understand how you tie difficulty with a sales force with insider trading. Pls. explain.
    3. My interpretation of the departure of the young sales force, many recently out of college, is frustration due to: inadequate experience and training leads to lack of success in the Enterprise Market. Sales is much more brutal than it was a few decades ago, where sales management is very tough, and if you don't make quota that quarter you are likely to be terminated. The days of getting by on a "Song and shoeshine" are long gone
    4. Dwoolfor: I agree that the New Business Revenue is important. Here is my basic thesis, in the short and medium terms, Oracle is safe in its traditional Enterprise Market processing structured data (Tier 1 OLTP) installed base. From my perspective, Oracle and IBM DB2 are the only games in town. But as unstructured data expands, Oracle will have a lower win rate on new licenses (e.g. new business revenue) because this is a market for which Oracle is not known for its strength, and this environment is not as rigorous. (e.g. Exadata not needed)). There are new vendors in the unstructured environment which more cost effective, offer "good enough" functionality, and don't have the same "take no prisoners" approach that tweaks documented above.
    10 Jul 2013, 03:24 PM Reply Like
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