Expanding Section: Oracle’s Overselling into Accounts

Oracle’s growth outside of acquisitions has been tepid for several years.

A limiting factor on future Oracle growth is the Oracle software position of customers after years of some of the most aggressive sales quotas set in the enterprise software space and the implication on the applications and databases that are already sold into the Oracle account base. The following table is just a few examples of techniques used by Oracle to meet previous quarters.

Previous Oracle Sales Tactics

 
Oracle Sales Tactic
Description
1Aggressive AuditsOf all of the software vendors we track, Oracle brings the most aggressive audits against its customers. Most Oracle customers will be audited at least once and often twice in a five year period.
2Breach of NoticeThis gives the customer a legal letter which stipulates they either stop using Oracle software in 30 days or come to the table to negotiate more purchases. A breach of notice means that Oracle will be negotiating with this customer particularly aggressively.
3Forced PurchasesThrough various pressure tactics (including audits and breach of notices) Oracle frequently forces customers into purchasing items that both Oracle and the customer know that the customer will not use. These items are normally cloud related and are driven by Oracle's need to show cloud "growth" to Wall Street.

Unreturned Calls from Oracle Sales Reps?

This has caused many contacts within Oracle customers to “hide” from Oracle account reps. This has led some Oracle sales reps to declare to customers that they have been found to have been possibly in “non-compliance,” flagged for an audit, even when the customer has not, in order to get their customers to respond to them.

Symptoms of Oracle Being Oversold Into Accounts

 
Symptom
Description
1Information from Oracle SalesReports from many Oracle sales reps is that their accounts are oversold.
2Sales GoalsOracle sales leadership is pushing Oracle Cloud, Oracle cloud versions of on-premises applications. 
3Dealing With Previous Oracle InvestmentsLong term Oracle customers are still confused about unlocking existing Oracle investments.
4The Growing Separation Between Oracle and their CustomersOracle's sales goals and their customers are far apart. 

Oracle Reps Pitching the Comprehensive Cloud Stack Story

Oracle sales reps have to approach these frustrated customers with so-called comprehensive cloud stack story. Oracle offers every cloud need that a customer would ever have. This is not considered a sellable story (see our section on Oracle Cloud).

We have tested Oracle Cloud and would never use Oracle Cloud nor recommend Oracle Cloud regardless of the free trials Oracle offers or the cloud credits that Oracle offers.

The Future Sales Opportunities at Oracle Accounts

Overall, Oracle sales reps face an uphill battle in meeting their sales quotas, which explains the aggressive behind the scenes pressure tactics to make targets.

  • This places a strong limiting cap on Oracles growth potential, particularly considering that Oracle, once the marketing hyperbole is stripped away, Oracle not offering very much new to its customer base.
  • In this way, it faces similar sales limitations to SAP. That is, these are two vendors that have already “stuffed” their accounts, and that has already sold into most of the accounts that they are able to sell into. However, this is not the story Oracle is obviously telling the outside world. Oracle is pitching itself as a future growth story. A company with a better cloud than AWS. A company with a database that is gaining, not losing market share.