Summer Sales & North Carolina
One of the reasons I took my job in the Office of the CFO (or more properly, the CFO Center of Excellence) at SAP was to learn how a leading enterprise application software maker goes to market (I also want to understand how large companies make the purchasing the decisions). Last week, I attend the Summer Sales Meeting in DC. A couple of thoughts I have coming out of the meeting:
- Bill McDermott is inspirational. Now I know that you're not exactly shocked to hear me say this given that he signs my paychecks, but I gotta tell ya, every time I hear the guy speak I'm impressed. Usually you dread having to listen to any keynotes at large corporate events, but I enjoyed listening to his vision. Also, he's straightforward about his expectations: satisfied customers and making the numbers. Ok, I can wrap my arms around that.
- An SAP Account Executive has an unbelievable number of resources to assist in the sales cycle. Depending on the product, he/she may have an overlay account executive, pre-sales, value engineering, solution principal, industry principal, product marketing. Customers (rightly) have high expectations, and an AE can draw on a lot of experts to help in the cycle.
- The SAP ecosystem is extensive and knowledgeable. I talked to several partners at the meeting and then at a customer meeting later in the week. Some of the folks working at these firms have an unbelievable grasp of the SAP products down to a very granular level. Since I didn't come up through SAP consulting or implementation like my manager and some of my colleagues, I learn a lot from talking to these guys.