A senior executive of IBM EMEA has disclosed a fresh sales strategy, which is tied closely to the formation of four separate divisions worldwide.
Alan Samuels, northern regional manager of the Netfinity division of IBM EMEA - who recently moved to the UK after being national sales manager for IBM PCs in the US - confirmed the manufacturer had set up four groups in EMEA to reflect the way the salesforce is structured.
The divisions are e-commerce; an enterprise which will sell products from SAP and Baan; a server consolidation division looking at the technical architecture of customers' heterogeneous systems; and business intelligence or data mining.
Samuels said: 'I have come 4,771 miles from the US to kick Compaq's ass.' He added: 'We finally have a salesforce which isn't fighting. We're paying people to sell PCs and servers and the company has put Netfinity server at the top of the IBM hit parade.'
He said that sales managers throughout IBM gave its salesforce targets which would ensure they were motivated for selling quotas of Netfinity, rather than its 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 to 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 Lou Gerstner, chairman of IBM, had asked for 100 per cent growth in the Netfinity business.
'The intent is not to eat our own children, but to maintain sales of the RS and AS/400 range while increasing business for Netfinity,' he said.
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