Sun Revamps Sales Organization as IBM Buyout Looms
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."