A senior executive of IBM Emea has disclosed a fresh sales strategy for the company tied closely to the formation of four separate divisions worldwide.
Alan Samuels, northern regional manager of the Netfinity division of IBM Emea, also disclosed that former UK general manager Mike Lunch has moved to become ?advanced fulfilment manager? at the company.
Samuels, who was formerly the national sales manager for IBM PCs in the USA, said: ?I have come 4,771 miles from the US to kick Compaq?s ass.? He started in Emea at the end of September, he said.
Samuels said: ?We?ve set up four groups in Emea involving 250 people across Europe. The divisions are e-commerce, enterprise which will sell products from SAP and Baan, a server consolidation division which is looking at the technical architecture of customers? heteregeneous systems, and business intelligence which is data mining.?
He said the company had made the changes in a complementary way to match IBM?s restructuring of the sales force.
?We finally have the sales force not fighting,? he said. ?We?re paying people to sell PCs and servers and the company has put Netfinity server at the top of the IBM hit parade.?
That meant, he said, that sales managers throughout IBM gave their sales forces targets which would ensure that they were incentivised for selling quotas of Netfinity rather than their natural propensities to sell AS/400s, RS/6000s and S/390s.
?We?ve set the books up where salesmen cannot succeed unless they sell Netfinity - there is no escape,? he said.
?1998 is the year we?ve got most development money top spend and 150 pre-sales people will be selling Netfinity. In the UK alone we now have 30 plus dedicated pre-sale people working on Netfinity.?
He said chairman of the company Lou Gerstner had asked for 100 per cent growth in the Netfinity business. ?The intent is not to eat our own children and maintain sales of the RS and AS/400 range while significantly increasing business for Netfinity,? he said.
He said that the IBM sales force was moving from generalised to particularised functions. ?We?ve focused on solution selling, not hardware selling,? he said. ?We?ve redeployed AS and RS sales people to other areas of the company and we?ve reduced the number of sales people as it looked in 1997. When I got here in September, I had six people selling Netfinity, now I have four times that number.?
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