Stories by Carol Johnson

  • SALES CLINIC: The changing face of sales

    In 1996 Siebel MultiChannel Services began interviewing companies representing a variety of industries, including biotechnology, chemicals and plastics, computer software, consumer products, electronics, financial services and insurance.

  • MANAGEMENT CLINIC: Bottom line sweetener

    In my last two articles (July 26, page 54 and August 23, page 54), I have explored the reasons driving the requirement for sales organisations to adopt sales process and the key inhibitor to change implementation - the pursuit of the almighty "number". In this issue I'll explore the "do's and don'ts" of successful sales process implementation.

  • MANAGEMENT CLINIC: The value of selling value

    In my last article (July 26, page 54), I explored the concept of value replacing product differentiation as the biggest change to selling technology to emerge in the past 10 years. Selling value requires sales teams using more sophisticated skills and processes.

  • Go-to-market implementation

    In previous columns I've waxed lyrical about the need for VARs and systems integrators to develop `go-to-market' initiatives with their vendors, which define mutual goals, specify joint resources and articulate a balance of returns for both parties. With any go-to-market initiative, you spend a tremendous amount of time and resources jointly developing your strategic plan with your vendor partners. What next? The value of the plan is not in its development, but in its implementation. And the successful implementation of the plan requires efficient collaboration among all virtual team members in both your company and your vendors. Sound trite? Think again, and note our keyword - efficient. The concept of collaboration isn't banal when you consider the costs associated with lack of joint communication, nor when you acknowledge the expense associated with it.

  • Repeatable solutions

    Whilst we are witnessing a dramatic growth in the number of IT project engagements, together with revenue volumes, unfortunately, we are experiencing a continued decline in the gross margin for these projects. To cope with the trend of diminishing returns, successful systems integrators (SIs) and product companies are employing a new go-to-market strategy - repeatable solutions.

  • It's not about coverage, it's about leverage

    For Australian resellers, the name of the game in the '90s has been coverage. Providing vendors with the extended account, market or geographic coverage has delivered a business model that has enabled revenue growth, though perhaps not always profit.

  • Management clinic: Mid-market potential

    As we move into the new millennium, vendors and resellers alike are grappling with the next untapped growth opportunity - "the mid-market". This segment is the fastest growing of the Australian market (forecasts have been anywhere from 25 to 35 per cent plus growth for the coming two years).

  • Management clinic: Know your value proposition and survive

    Conversations are being whispered in the corridors of power in Sydney. The hardware vendors are wrestling with the issue: to disintermediate or not? The truth is that most of the top-tier manufacturers are envious of Dell's growth and stock price - they want to emulate the model. But to do so will require drastic changes to their organisations and most aren't prepared to make these changes - yet.