*NEWS*OKIDATA RESTRUCTURES SALES GROUP

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*NEWS*OKIDATA RESTRUCTURES SALES GROUP

 user 2006-06-06 at 12:39:00 pm Views: 53
  • #15831

    Oki Data Restructures Sales Group
    Printer vendor shifts from functional to geographic model
    Printer vendor Oki Data has restructured its domestic sales organization in a move to bring its direct sales force and channel partners together.Though only 5 percent of Oki Data’s sales are direct, those tend to be large enterprise customers. The reorganization emphasizes geography rather than the functional model where solution providers deal with channel managers and account reps report to sales management. Now, all managers will work with both customers and the channel.”We were siloed by function,” says Chris Froman, Oki Data’s senior vice president of U.S. sales. “What we’ve done is formed these geographic units, and the executive responsible for each geography is responsible for all the solution providers and end-user managers. He’s the final arbiter. We don’t have people running up the chain on the solution-provider side vs. the end-user side, so we should have minimal conflicts as a result.”The plan also calls for establishing account executives with specific vertical-industry focuses, initially retail where the company has gained a strong foothold.Mark McBee, vice president of vendor management at Cleveland-based MCPc, who attended the meeting where the changes were rolled out, welcomed the move.”I’m assuming it will be positive, but it’s still early in the game. It seems to be a bit more focused, and that’s not a bad thing,” McBee says. “I didn’t have overwhelmingly big issues with the way it was, but a lot of the names and faces will be the same, just repositioned in customer-facing roles.”One concern McBee has is that he doesn’t know who he’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis.”The direct channel account manager we worked with on a daily basis will be a more customer-facing person working with our sales rep, which is a positive thing, but still day-to-day blocking and tackling from a channel-management standpoint is a position that has to be filled,” McBee says. “So the [question] is, who’s going to be taking his place?”Froman, who has experience revamping sales models at both IBM and Lexmark, believes this restructuring will better position Oki Data for growth, which last year was 16 percent overall.In the coming months, Oki Data also plans to roll out managed services and utility-based pricing models. Froman declined to elaborate.