3Com Canada shifts sales force from office to street

The new head of 3Com Canada is talking tough about taking market share from some of the biggest names in communications as he shifts the company’s staff from supporting VARs over the phone to putting feet on the street to drive demand.

“”My number one goal is to take market share from Cisco,

Dell, HP and Nortel,””

Bruce Comeau said in one of a series of trade press interviews weeks after taking over as country manager.

To do it, Comeau has retrained and reorganized his sales staff – and done some hiring – to move from supporting volume resellers to helping partners capture business from large corporations, a target set by the company’s U.S. parent.

“”Those resources are going directly to the end user with channel partners to drive demand,”” he said, by among other services, advising on network design.

However, he stressed it will not be at the cost of supporting those VARs going after home, small and medium business sales.

3Com Canada sales staff are now “”account-vertical oriented sales people,”” he said, with a mandate to concentrate on getting business in the health, education, government, finance and insurance sectors.

Not all of their work will be with a partner, at least initially, he said. “”We’re always in the business of prospecting accounts”” and leveraging wins.

For example one of the wins it’s touting is the sale of its new VCX voice-over-IP system to a Manitoba health care centre. “”The sales team in Toronto are currently going out with business partners talking to other health care facilities about the infrastructure we’ve put in place there,”” he said.

But, he added, knocking on doors alone is up to the 3Com rep. “”Ultimately they have a sales number they have to hit and if it means doing the prospecting alone and bringing the partner in after the fact, it’s their choice.””

However, a reseller will always do the sale, he said.

At the same time, he said, the company is actively encouraging larger resellers to consider becoming certified to sell 3Com’s enterprise-level products.

Comeau also said that the company will continue to offer what he said are competitive margins for resellers.

“”Some of our competitors have, as (lower) costs have come into buying decisions, make the margins come out of the partners pool and maintained margins for themselves,”” he said. “”3Com is known for providing very competitive margins, and we’re going to maintain that advantage.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including ITBusiness.ca. Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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