We’ve been closely watching Oracle president
Mark Hurd’s overhaul of Oracle’s salesforce.
Hurd’s plans have been controversial within the company and have caused a long string of Oracle’s most experienced salespeople to quit, sources have told us.
Hurd’s plan involves giving Oracle salespeople quotas to sell certain types of Oracle hardware in addition to software, notably the “Exa” hardware product line, sources say. (The “Exa” servers are specially designed to run Oracle software.)
Hurd is also hiring thousands of new salespeople, and making each specialize in certain software products. He wants each salesperson to have fewer clients, with teams selling more Oracle software to each enterprise, sources say. By April of this year, Oracle had increased the sales force by 4,000 people, Hurd said, and he’s still hiring.
Hurd’s plan has yet to drive much revenue growth. Oracle has missed analyst’s revenue expectations three quarters in a row. Plus, the company warned that next quarter, revenue for new software and subscriptions should land in a range of down 4 per cent to up 6 per cent, from the year-ago quarter.
That said, thousands of salespeople are still betting their careers on Oracle. We just talked to one new hire who requested anonymity. We can tell you that the person left a senior role at one of the world’s largest enterprise tech companies to join Oracle.
Business Insider: Why did you take this job at Oracle?
Salesperson: I’m getting a chance to work with [an industry very concerned about security] that is still buying a lot of on-premises software, instead of the cloud. The large enterprise IT companies have really struggled with how to compensate the salesforce in the cloud model.
BI: So you feel that you’ll make more money at Oracle because you can sell traditional software licenses instead of selling cloud subscriptions?
Salesperson: Yes. Even the mediocre performers selling enterprise licence software are going to be making in the $US300,000-$350,000 range where top performers are going to make $US400,000-$600,000. Other than the pure cloud companies (like Salesforce.com or Amazon), large enterprise companies like IBM, Cisco, EMC, Microsoft are struggling with compensating salespeople on the old model versus selling cloud-based software.
BI: Does Oracle’s hardware quotas worry you?
Salesperson: Yes. It’s very challenging in this austere environment. But that’s the same for EMC, IBM, Cisco. To make the most money, you need to hit those accelerators [a bigger % of commissions earned once a salesperson meets a quota, including the hardware quota]. So they really put the onus on the hardware guys to help the software guys to get these deals done.
BI: Does it concern you that many long-term salespeople recently left Oracle?
Salesperson: Everyone realises that there’s no retirement, no gold watch, no pension. People are following the money where they think they are going to make their number.
I don’t think Oracle recruits very well. I told my spouse, they are a delightfully arrogant company to work for.
But their benefits are great, their training is great, their engineering resources are great. They give the salespeople everything they need to be successful.