HP's New Enterprise Sales Strategy Leans Heavily On Third Parties

Among other moves, HP has reorganized its field sales force to better concentrate on its top 450 or so accounts and drive more enterprise business through partners, according to David Booth, the company's head of enterprise sales.

Craig Zarley, Contributor

December 13, 2005

3 Min Read

Hewlett-Packard’s head of U.S. enterprise sales said Tuesday that the vendor is poised to grab market share from rivals with a revamped sales strategy that more closely aligns HP’s end user sales force with solution providers.

“We are better and stronger together instead of having two random acts of selling going into the client location,” said David Booth, HP’s senior vice president and U.S. country manager, Technology Solutions Group (TSG). “If we work cooperatively, there is a tremendous opportunity for both of us to grow in the high-end double digits. We can’t cover the whole market ourselves. We need the coverage and relationships that you provide, but more importantly we need the expertise that you bring to bear.”

Booth spoke to representatives of some 100 HP enterprise solution provider organizations attending Avnet Partner Solutions annual HP business unit’s partner conference in Phoenix. “I need to make sure my managers in the field understand the capabilities you have,” he said.

As part of that effort, Booth said that HP has finished aligning “50 to 60” enterprise solution providers with the vendor’s TSG sales force, completing a process unveiled in July. Booth added that HP has reorganized its field sales force in an effort to better concentrate on its 400-500 direct named accounts and drive more enterprise business through partners. HP’s Enterprise Account Managers (EAM), previously responsible for up to eight named direct accounts, now are responsible for only four. Additionally, HP now has a new group of Value Territory Reps (VTR) who are responsible for about 20 non-named enterprise accounts. “Their mandate is to drive business to partners,” he said.

HP solution providers said the reorganized enterprise sales effort signals a renewed focus on partner sales. “HP realizes that as they reduce the number of reps that are actually covering accounts face to face, they need to step up their reliance on partners to cover that void," said Jeffrey Liebenthal, president and CEO of Trilogy Solutions, an HP enterprise solution provider in Cranbury, N.J. “EAMs used to cover 15 accounts, then it was down to eight, and today we heard it was down to four.”

Geoffrey Lilien, CEO of Lilien Systems, an HP enterprise solution provider in Mill Valley, Calif., said he was one of the solution providers now managed as part of TSG. “On paper, in PowerPoints, and in talking, it sounds great,” he said of his inclusion among the close to 60 solution providers. But he said that because the new alignment has taken place in the just the last few weeks, it’s too soon to quantify the benefit of the tighter alignment with HP’s enterprise sales force. “But they are executing on what they’ve said they were going to do,” he said.

Booth said that while HP took 50-60 partners and moved them inside the TSG organization, the message is not that those are the favored few enterprise partners. “The message is that we have to be able to incubate with key business partners and make sure we get absolutely right with them in terms of account engagement, solutions alignment and execution across our broad portfolio of products and services and share that process,” he said. “We are not going to play favorites among resellers except for those resellers that want to double-down with HP.”


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