SugarCRM Execs: Sales Reorg Aims To Increase 'Feet On The Street'


SugarCRM has made some significant changes to its management ranks in what company executives described as an effort to streamline its operations and put more field sales representatives' "feet on the street" to work with channel partners.

Sources said a number of executives have left the company or been dismissed in the sales organization realignment undertaken two weeks ago.

CEO Larry Augustin, in an interview, confirmed that Del Ross, channel sales vice president for North America and Latin America, is no longer with the company. SugarCRM identified Ross as its channel chief in last year's CRN Partner Program Guide.

[Related: SugarCRM Adds Advisory Board Certification Options To Partner Program]

Augustin declined to identify other employees who are no longer with the company.

"We did eliminate some layers of management. What we wanted to do is streamline the reporting structure. There were some good people we needed to make some tough decisions on," Augustin said.

One channel partner, who asked not to be identified, said the company dismissed about eight sales and marketing executives in an "out with the old and in with the new" approach. The partner said the rumor among partners is that SugarCRM is positioning itself to go public and needed to "upgrade" its leadership team.

SugarCRM had come to realize its sales organization structure, including complex geographical field operations and separate sales organizations for enterprise and mid-size businesses, was becoming a hindrance to growth, Augustin said. Channel partners were sometimes confused about which sales organization they should work with, he said.

"We weren't getting there with the organization we had last year. Quite fundamentally, we didn't have enough feet on the street," he said, referring to both direct sales representatives and field sales personnel who work with channel partners.

Under the restructuring SugarCRM has pulled together all of its customer-facing operations under Glenn Cross, executive vice president of worldwide field operations. The sales team has been reorganized and the number of North American territories doubled. Cross also holds the "channel chief" designation, Augustin said.

Cross said that before the reorganization there were four levels of management between him and field representatives. The restructuring has resulted in few changes at the field level, he said, and the company is hiring additional field sales representatives with channel experience, a major requirement.

More than half of SugarCRM sales are conducted through the channel, Augustin said, and the number of partner deals increased 53 percent in 2012. More than 75 partners doubled their SugarCRM subscription business last year, he said.

PUBLISHED FEB. 11, 2013