Sun Revamps Sales Organization as IBM Buyout Looms

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-04-03 Print this article Print

title=How Sun Is Recasting Its Sales Approach}

Sun's sales setup had featured a regional approach, Kristi Rawlinson, a Sun corporate spokeswoman, told eWEEK. Conflicting channel and Sun in-house sales agendas were causing friction with customers.

"Each region had a lead, and they would manage industry-specific salespeople [software, services and systems] as well as line-of-business [vertical] salespeople," Rawlinson said.

Previously, a Sun customer may have had three or four people to call to get a request filled. Under the new plan, a midrange or SMB customer will have only one or two people to call: one channel rep and one Sun rep.

Sun's new setup centers around three main groups: Global Accounts and Industries, Partner Sales, and Lines of Business specializing in systems, software and services (replacing the previous Industry Sales and Practice organizations).

"All the industries expertise now has been moved into the new Global Accounts organization, which is a smaller set of folks who cover just Sun's largest accounts," Rawlinson said.

"All of these functions will have a global scope, and this will represent a move to a globally led and managed sales and service organization," she said.

Responsibilities of current regional organizations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific will therefore change to be matrixed to a global leadership team, she added.

This is a fundamental change in Sun's global sales account coverage model. The new Global Accounts and Industries organization will cover Sun's major accounts in telecommunications, financial services, government, education and health care industries. Specialists in lines of business (LOB) sales and in technical roles will have responsibility for all direct and partner sales revenues for their products outside the global accounts. 

Direct sales within these LOBs will provide specialized coverage through Sun-led or partner-led "named account" and territory coverage models, Rawlinson said.

"Named accounts" are customers who buy directly from a company's in-house sales force and do not interact with channel people.

"This is not to say that a midrange customer will not have a Sun systems contact, financial services contact, software contact or services contact," Rawlinson said. "We're really trying to streamline that process, and give the customer one primary contact from Sun and one from a channel partner. We're trying to eliminate some of that channel conflict that we had before."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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