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Chief Sales Officer Phil Davis: 4 Keys To Selling HPE Greenlake

HPE Chief Sales Office Phil Davis says the GreenLake Quick Quote Configuration tool will take partner sales rep customer quotes from 15 hours to 15 minutes.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chief Sales Officer and President of Hybrid IT Phil Davis said the on-premises pay-per-use pioneer is “doubling down” on its GreenLake Flex Capacity channel model with a tool aimed at significantly speeding up the sales cycle.

The new GreenLake Quick Quote configuration sales tool, a multimillion-dollar investment for HPE, will take partner sales rep customer quotes from 15 hours to 15 minutes, said Davis. “This is going to significantly improve productivity but also velocity,” he said. “Our goal when we built the tool was to reduce the sales cycle by two-thirds. We wanted to take 67 percent of the time it took to quote or configure out of the process.”

The tool, which runs on a sales rep’s mobile phone or can be accessed via a portal, accelerates the sales cycle for GreenLake Flex Capacity prepackaged offerings through HPE distributors as well as custom deals that partners build for enterprise customers.

The rallying cry for partners is to continue to lead with the GreenLake consumption sales conversation, said Davis. “Partners need to lead with a consumption discussion,” he said. “The public cloud has fundamentally changed customers’ expectations around IT. They expect to be able to consume IT.”

One of the biggest mistakes partner sales reps are making is starting with a hardware sales conversation and then finding out later in the sales cycle that the customer is considering a cloud solution. “Then you have to react and backflip,” said Davis. “You do not want to be in that place.”

As part of an all-out offensive to improve sales rep skills on selling consumption-based solutions, HPE has launched a “License To Sell Value” training for reps. “That is really changing the conversation away from a traditional hardware-centric approach to a value-oriented discussion,” he said. Among the modules in the License to Sell Value training are consumption, intelligent data platform for storage, and the benefits of software-defined infrastructure.

“Partners need to continue to invest in their own sales organizations,” Davis said. “The conversations that sales teams need to have today are different than they were even a year ago. If a partner is going to stay relevant, they are going to have to have these discussions around consumption, AI or software-defined. That is not the old discussion of how many IOPS [input/output operations per second] does your box produce?”

Partners that are effectively selling GreenLake are finding the hybrid platform is being greeted as a refreshing alternative to the lock-in propositions from HPE competitors. “If you talk to customers, what they are afraid of is being locked into one vendor,” said Davis. “The problem with lock-in is you don’t have choice, and it gets more expensive. We allow customers choice with integration into Azure, [Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform], containers, VMware, Nutanix, KVM from Red Hat. We give customers choice and the partners the ability to add in their own value-added services.”

Tom Cahill, vice president of product management for Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW, the $16.24 billion solution provider, said strong customer interest in GreenLake is being fueled by customer choice and HPE’s hybrid model with a mix of on-premises and off-premises workloads. “We know that not every single workload is going to sit off-premises,” he said.

Key to getting to the right solution for the customer is a sharp focus on business outcomes, said Cahill. “It all starts with asking about the business outcome the customer is looking for,” he said. “We are really good at listening to the customer. Eventually we get to what makes sense with regard to how they want to consume the technology as either an operating expense or capital expenditure. Our customers consider us a trusted adviser. We earn that trust by making the right recommendations for their specific needs.”

Four Keys To GreenLake Sales Success From Phil Davis

Sell To C-Level Executives “Start high with CIOs—get them excited about what a GreenLake model can do for them.”

Focus On Speed, Agility And Flexibility “Those are the real value propositions of consumption.”

Learn The Financial Metrics, ROI Of Consumption “Focus on the payment terms, commitments and how you construct the consumption model.”

Align To Business Outcomes “This is all about delivering digital transformation quicker for the business.”

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