Tech Pacific has claimed its recent sales education program for internal staff has allowed it to increase the company’s networking business by 20 per cent.
Having accused a “fat and lazy” channel of having “lost the ability to sell in an old-fashioned way”, managing director, Kerry Baillie, told the recent IDC Directions conference that Tech Pac had put its money where its mouth was.
“In the last quarter of 2002, we spent more than $200,000 putting our sales force through sales training and Cisco 101, including retail salespeople. Eighty-five per cent have now passed that,” Baillie said.
Sales director at Tech Pacific, John Walters, told ARN that the training investment had aimed to strengthen the sales team’s networking expertise, and move the sales focus from transactional selling into more value add and relationship selling.
“Tech Pac wasn’t known for its networking expertise, and our Cisco market share was quite low,” Walters said.
One hundred and forty-five sales staff, including the retail and telco teams, spent 12 hours studying via Cisco’s e-learning web site. Additional training by Cisco staff was provided in each state.
Tech Pac was already reaping the rewards of this training, Walters said. Market share had grown by at least 10 per cent for its key networking vendors.
In addition, Tech Pac also used external sales trainers, ASK Learning, to conduct “relationship and value-added” sales training, Walters said.
“A large chunk of our business is transactional, volume-based selling. But we wanted to leverage into the value side in certain segments,” he said.
Tech Pac had supported the new relationship approach with changes to compensation, including the introduction of pipelines, and a shift to quarterly rather than monthly rewards.
A similar training focus on storage and security were on the cards for this year, Walters said.
Resellers were responding well to Tech Pac’s improvements to its networking expertise, Walters said. Several resellers had approached the distributor to send their sales staff out on customer calls.
Vendors including Cisco, Microsoft, Sony and Adobe helped fund Tech Pac’s training program.