Alcatel is to offer free third-party training to its resellers to help them get back to the basics of selling networking equipment.
Andy Zollo, UK country manager of Alcatel's e-business networking division, said the success of manufacturers' end-user advertising campaigns is holding back the development and application of reseller sales skills. "A lot of the resellers that we are seeing do not know how to sell any more. We need to get back to the ABCs," he said.
The company initially is looking for 10 resellers to sign up for training company Linx Developers' Sales Team Enhancement Programme (Step) courses.
"If the initial programme is successful, we will expand the training to more resellers," said Zollo.
Success will be determined by comparing the resellers' sales forecast and actual sales before and after the training programme, he said. "We expect to see bigger deal sizes and the conversion rate from (proposition to sale) to improve from one in four to one in two deals," Zollo added.
Manny Pinon, sales and marketing director at Alcatel distributor Norwood Adam, welcomed the development. "Last year we forecast "12m for Alcatel data and just over £3m went through our resellers. A lot of resellers do not know how to sell against products from Cisco," he said.
Separately, Alcatel has said it will increase its planned job cuts as it tries to keep on track to get back into profit by 2003.
The telecoms equipment manufacturer expects its headcount to be about 60,000 employees at the end of 2003. This means an additional 10,000 job cuts on top of those announced previously. The company employed nearly 110,000 people at the end of 2000.
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