HP ups direct sell in Australia

HP ups direct sell in Australia

HP wants to touch your customers. Yesterday, the computing giant announced its sales reps would sell into and have greater "touch" in many more customer accounts as part of its new go-to-market strategy.

Aiming to lift its current revenue of $750 million to $1 billion by 2001, HP will move forward with what it described as a "hybrid business model".

"We and our reseller partners have to change how we work with our customers," said Chris Greig, general manager of HP's Australia Commercial Channels Organisation. "Customers are demanding flexible buying options and a simplified way of doing business with HP and our resellers."

HP will now work with customers in three ways.

As well as selling to customers wholly through its channel partners as it traditionally has done, HP will now expand the number of accounts that HP sales reps sell directly into. It will double its direct PC sales force and will also launch electronic mechanisms of communicating directly with customers.

Greig was at pains to point out, however, that unlike direct vendor Dell, orders would still be fulfilled through the channel.

"We need our resellers to fulfill and integrate third-party products. I don't want to do that. Why would I want to duplicate the existing skills we already have in the channel?," he said.

"But at the same time, some customers are demanding that HP becomes accountable."

HP's sales reps will target those accounts with "over 1000 seats", he said.

Finally, HP will sell over the Internet through its Online Store which will be officially announced later this month. This store will provide a complete HP buying experience, but again the order will be passed through to resellers, who then has a telesales opportunity to side-sell or upsell the customer to a more tailored solution.

Greig believes resellers will welcome the opportunity to work more closely with HP in accounts, claiming that their revenue won't be affected by the new model.

But if resellers are not losing any revenue, who's paying for all the new HP sales staff?

"We can only afford to do this because we're planning to grow so quickly towards that $1 billion mark," Greig said, adding that the commercial channels organisation had just come off an all-time record month.

ARN wants to know what resellers think of HP's new go-to-market strategy. Are you willing to let vendors get closer to your customers?

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