International software company, Oracle, develops leading edge technology, working closely with customers to digitally transform their business. However, the process for selling this technology has changed.
Prospects have in-depth access to industry information, so impressive product knowledge is no longer enough to clinch the deal. Instead, the vendor experience is critical. “People buy from people they like, know and trust”, one Oracle salesperson notes, which puts pressure on teams to understand prospects’ emotional drivers.
In this new sales environment, Oracle recognised the need to invest in soft skills and relationship building capabilities, partnering with RocheMartin to introduce an emotional intelligence (EQ) training programme for its sales force.
By improving their EQ, Oracle’s sales teams could better understand customer behaviours and their own emotional skills, to build stronger business relationships.
"The best training I have received in 20 years in the technology industry"
Oracle was attracted to RocheMartin’s credible, evidence-based model, grounded in neuroscience and clinical psychology, which provides a framework for understanding emotions in a business context, and teaches EQ skills that can be improved with practice.
Salespeople with a high EQ create value and influence, as they can identify with clients’ aspirations, establishing trust and guiding them to action. RocheMartin’s emotional intelligence programme enhances professionals’ Emotional Capital - the EQ skills they are able to draw on - to drive sales performance.
Oracle launched its Emotional Capital programme in 2019 at a new training initiative called the EMEA Sales Factory. This consisted of six interactive workshops across Europe and the Middle East, attended by more than 1,200 Oracle salespeople. Each workshop focused on core EQ values of optimism, self-confidence and empathy, delivered by RocheMartin -certified Oracle coaches. The impact was powerful.
Throughout the following financial year, Oracle expanded its Emotional Capital programme with a series of sales leadership workshops, enhancing commercial and operational best practices by improving people’s EQ skills and resilience.
Previously, Oracle’s training programmes had focussed on what sales leaders were expected to do. With RocheMartin’s framework, the company focussed on what was getting in the way of sales leaders’ success, and how they could connect with colleagues and customers to drive meaningful change.
Before attending the workshop, each salesperson was sent RocheMartin’s Emotional Capital Report: a self-assessment tool to benchmark EQ skills and understand where people need to increase their emotional capital. This provided a rare opportunity for leaders to understand their emotions, and reflect on how they make the greatest impact on internal and external relationships.
During the workshop, each attendee was offered practical, actionable tips and practices for managing their performance, developing emotional self-control, and negotiating with customers; techniques that could be applied immediately after the course.
92% of Oracle's salespeople have a more positive attitude to their job, since taking part in RocheMartin's Emotional Capital building and 89% feel more confident in their abilities.
The workshop helped sales leaders to show empathy with colleagues and direct reports, developing their talent and inspiring trust - particularly during challenging periods. For example, they were taught how to remain calm and constructive if sales numbers were below target, motivating teams to get back on track.
Confident, attuned sales teams drive commercial success Inspired by their initial training, many sales leaders have since chosen to take part in further EQ development programmes, facilitated by RocheMartin-certified Oracle coaches, to help them tackle local leadership challenges and support their team’s development. As part of this expansion, Oracle has held additional workshops in Nairobi, Singapore, South Africa and Tokyo.
Making a long-term investment in the value of emotional skills has completely transformed Oracle’s business development culture. Sales teams are happier in their role and more confident in their skills. And most importantly, they have the emotional awareness to improve their commercial performance by connecting with colleagues, customers and prospects on a human level.
"The RocheMartin Emotional Intelligence platform has completely transformed our business development culture. Our sales team are more confident in their approach and this has led to exceptional commercial results"
Daniel Van den Broeck - Senior Vice President, Applications Northern Europe