Editor’s note: I meant to blog about this today, but looks like my colleagues over at VoX have beat me to it. So, rather than try to do a better job, read do any work at all, I’ll just repost it. Free content w00t!
Although I no longer carry an iOS device, I’ve seen Voice demoed many times in the past. Projects like Voice and Simplified UI are what drew me to Applications User Experience, and it’s great to see them leak out into the World.
Oracle Extends Investment in Cloud User Experiences with Oracle Voice for Sales Cloud
By Vinay Dwivedi, and Anna Wichansky, Oracle Applications User Experience
Oracle Voice for the Oracle Sales Cloud, officially called “Fusion Voice Cloud Service for the Oracle Sales Cloud,” is available now on the Apple App Store. This first release is intended for Oracle customers using the Oracle Sales Cloud, and is specifically designed for sales reps.
Unless people record new information they learn, (e.g. write it down, repeat it aloud), they forget a high proportion of it in the first 20 minutes. The Oracle Applications User Experience team has learned through its research that when sales reps leave a customer meeting with insights that can move a deal forward, it’s critical to capture important details before they are forgotten. We designed Oracle Voice so that the app allows sales reps to quickly enter notes and activities on their smartphones right after meetings, no matter where they are.
Instead of relying on slow typing on a mobile device, sales reps can enter information three times faster (pdf) by speaking to the Oracle Sales Cloud through Voice. Voice takes a user through a dialog similar to a natural spoken conversation to accomplish this goal. Since key details are captured precisely and follow-ups are quicker, deals are closed faster and more efficiently.
Oracle Voice is also multi-modal, so sales reps can switch to touch-and-type interactions for situations where speech interaction is less than ideal.
Oracle sales reps tried it first, to see if we were getting it right.
We recruited a large group of sales reps in the Oracle North America organization to test an early version of Oracle Voice in 2012. All had iPhones and spoke American English; their predominant activity was field sales calls to customers. Users had minimal orientation to Oracle Voice and no training. We were able to observe their online conversion and usage patterns through automated testing and analytics at Oracle, through phone interviews, and through speech usage logs from Nuance, which is partnering with Oracle on Oracle Voice.
Users were interviewed after one week in the trial; over 80% said the product exceeded their expectations. Members of the Oracle User Experience team working on this project gained valuable insights into how and where sales reps were using Oracle Voice, which we used as requirements for features and functions.
For example, we learned that Oracle Voice needed to recognize product- and industry-specific vocabulary, such as “Exadata” and “Exalytics,” and we requested a vocabulary enhancement tool from Nuance that has significantly improved the speech recognition accuracy. We also learned that connectivity needed to persist as users traveled between public and private networks, and that users needed easy volume control and alternatives to speech in public environments.
We’ve held subsequent trials, with more features and functions enabled, to support the 10 workflows in the product today. Many sales reps in the trials have said they are anxious to get the full version and start using it every day.
“I was surprised to find that it can understand names like PNC and Alcoa,” said Marco Silva, Regional Manager, Oracle Infrastructure Sales, after participating in the September 2012 trial.
“It understands me better than Siri does,” said Andrew Dunleavy, Sales Representative, Oracle Fusion Middleware, who also participated in the same trial.
This demo shows Oracle Voice in action.
What can a sales rep do with Oracle Voice?
Oracle Voice allows sales reps to efficiently retrieve and capture sales information before and after meetings. With Oracle Voice, sales reps can:
Prepare for meetings
- View relevant notes to see what happened during previous meetings.
- See important activities by viewing previous tasks and appointments.
- Brush up on opportunities and check on revenue, close date and sales stage.
Wrap up meetings
- Capture notes and activities quickly so they don’t forget any key details.
- Create contacts easily so they can remember the important new people they meet.
- Update opportunities so they can make progress.
Our research showed that sales reps entered more sales information into the CRM system when they enjoyed using Oracle Voice, which makes Oracle Voice even more useful because more information is available to access when the same sales reps are on the go. With increased usage, the entire sales organization benefits from access to more current sales data, improved visibility on sales activities, and better sales decisions. Customers benefit too — from the faster response time sales reps can provide.
Oracle’s ongoing investment in User Experience
Oracle gets the idea that cloud applications must be easy to use. The Oracle Applications User Experience team has developed an approach to user experience that focuses on simplicity, mobility, and extensibility, and these themes drive our investment strategy. The result is key products that refine particular user experiences, like we’ve delivered with Oracle Voice.
Oracle Voice is one of the most recent products to embrace our developer design philosophy for the cloud of “Glance, Scan, & Commit.” Oracle Voice allows sales reps to complete many tasks at what we call glance and scan levels, which means keeping interactions lightweight, or small and quick.
Are you an Oracle Sales Cloud customer?
Oracle Voice is available now on the Apple App Store for Oracle customers using the Oracle Sales Cloud. It’s the smarter sales automation solution that helps you sell more, know more, and grow more.
Will you be at Oracle OpenWorld 2014? So will we! Stay tuned to the VoX blog for when and where you can find us. And don’t forget to drop by and check out Oracle Voice at the Smartphone and Nuance demo stations located at the CX@Sales Central demo area on the second floor of Moscone West.