Hewlett-Packard New Zealand has a new sales strategy for the mid to large business sector and has created a commercial team that will work alongside the sales channel to better engage with both the channel and the customers, says the company.
The commercial team targets 240 companies in New Zealand that have either 300 staff or at least $50 million in annual revenue.
“We know for a fact that a number of large companies in New Zealand desire to have some level of direct relationship with HP, where they can go to one person who represents the full suite of HP’s products and services,” says Darryn Keiller, commercial team manager.
He says that the channel will run just as before, and that the new sales strategy is simply adding to the chain by offering easy access to information, products and expertise through one contact point.
Previously, the channel partners had to talk to multiple people from HP to get hold of the information or products they needed, Keiller says. In a similar way, customers had to deal with different specialists for different areas.
“We are not replacing the sales people in the channel with our people,” says Keiller.
Instead, the new strategy brings additional sales coverage into this particular part of the customer market, he adds.
Keiller says the response from the sales people in the channel has been very positive.
While the new Commercial team has been created by redeploying sales people within HP, thus not costing the company a lot of money, a significant investment has been made in training the channel.
“We have invested in seven pre-sales resources within key channel partners, and we are undertaking a new sales certification process within the channel,” he says. This is to ensure that the channel partners are as skilled as possible when it comes to HP products, he says.
“The team’s short term goal is to establish our presence amongst that nominated list of customers,” says Keiller.
A long term goal is to develop deeper relationships that would include the customer’s entire IT environment, rather than being relationships around transactions, according to Keiller.
“The customer’s IT manager and CEO are still the key people for us, but we are also developing relationships with the chief financial officer and the chief operating officer.”
He says that the dialogue between HP and its customers is changing from dealing with hardware prices to discussing how HP can help improve the customer’s business performance and help lower costs.
“If you are not able to have that level of conversation with your customers, you are going to be relegated to the position of a supplier, not a partner,” says Keiller.
In October, HP acquired consulting firm CGNZ. This allows HP to take business consulting capabilities into both the enterprise and public sector, and the commercial customer area, says Keiller.
“There is definitely a competitive element to our new sales organisation,” he says.
IBM is the primary competitor in this space, and also EMC from a storage point of view.