Nearly half of companies are avoiding investing in tech for sales teams because it costs too much.
Beancounters at CITE Research found that 48 percent of businesses did not want to shell out cash on new tech because it was too pricey. More than 63 percent of UK firms spent at least £1,200 on technology annually per sales representative to equip them with the right tools to do their jobs effectively.
The survey of 400 sales executives in the United States and the United Kingdom was conducted to define what technology stack a modern sales team uses. Apparently this includes smart phones, laptops, CRM systems and web meeting platforms.
Nearly a quarter of respondents said they spend at least £2,400 per sales employee.
The research also highlighted a lack of confidence and expertise in installing new technology, with 34 percent admitting to being worried about the complexity of introducing new tech systems – and 20 percent concerned about a lack of skills in using the tools.
The survey revealed concerns about keeping pace with digital transformation. More than 63 percent of firms said they were worried about the cost and effort needed to maintain systems up to date and more than two-thirds (69 percent) worried about staff training. Other hurdles to tech deployment include cultural challenges, with 34 percent of organisations citing ‘resisting change’ as the main reason for avoiding new tech investment.
The report confirms earlier findings and seem to indicate that some organisations are willing to spend money, but many are in the experimental phase. Other than CRM, organisations are dabbling in a variety of other tools in a trial and error period to decide what is critical for sales people to be more efficient.
The study showed that CRM is still the most frequently deployed tool for sales teams, with 70 per cent of organisations saying they use the technology.
A GfK Survey claims that there has been a sudden surge in smartphone sales, thanks interest from developing markets.
GfK said that smartphone demand rose to 347 million units making 2Q17 the best second quarter on record.
Emerging Asia led the demand growth with a 13 percent year-on-year increase, followed by Central and Eastern Europe at 11 percent, and Latin America at 10 percent. Market value grew nine percent year-on-year, due to rising average sales price (ASP).
Western Europe and the developed Asian countries dropped by four percent as the market remained saturated and Chinese market was flat.
Arndt Polifke, global director of telecom research at GfK, said: “The record demand for smartphones in the second quarter this year shows that, despite saturation in some markets, the desire to own a smartphone is a worldwide phenomenon. How that manifests itself differs widely by region. Manufacturers are maximizing all their creativity to ensure their latest devices are irresistible – and to increase ASP as a result. Elsewhere, macroeconomic factors and consumer confidence are having an impact, but operators and retailers are employing localized tactics to ensure the smartphone remains the connected device of choice.”
Yotaro Noguchi, product lead in GfK’s trends and forecasting division, said: “Consumers are willing to pay more for their smartphone as they seek a better user experience. Despite the market reaching high penetration levels, GfK forecasts smartphone demand will continue to see year-on-year growth even in 2018, as innovation from smartphone vendors keeps replacement cycles from lengthening.”
GfK expects major device launches in 4Q to help moderate full-year declines to -0.4 percent.
Oracle has announced 1,000 new jobs in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Under the ‘Change Happens Here’ banner the company is hunting for sales representatives to support its Cloud computing business.
The move comes on the back of the company recently posting record financial results with total cloud revenue up 58 percent.
Oracle claims it is the fastest growing scaled cloud company and thinks its cloud business will accelerate into hyper-growth in the current year.
Oracle wants to recruit candidates with a strong sense of personal drive and the ability to successfully sell some of the world’s most exciting cloud technologies.
Candidates can apply immediately for a range of positions throughout EMEA, by visiting the ‘Change Happens Here’ page – oracle.com/experience. Oracle is looking for graduate level candidates who have a genuine interest in technology and the passion for the transformation cloud computing can bring to enterprises.
Tino Scholman, VP of Oracle Cloud in the EMEA region, said: “Our cloud business is growing at incredible rates, so now is the right time to bring in a new generation of talent to our company. We are looking to hire relationship focused people who are self-motivated and smart, who thrive for business transformation for our customers and love delivering great results. Diversity is one of the cornerstones of the unique Oracle culture. We want to offer 1,000 talented individuals the opportunity to change their career for the better, to access the best possible training and development, as well as the chance to accelerate their career within the fastest growing Cloud company at the centre of a generational shift to digital enablement.”
Software King of the World and parts of Mars, the Moon and the rings of Uranus, has confirmed it is shaking up its global sales department.
While Vole has stopped short of mentioning how many salesVoles will be collecting their P45s, it has claimed that the move will give it a greater ability to deliver cloud services away from the traditional software subscription models.
The global sales team will be streamlined into enterprise and SME. Staff will then be allocated to six industries – manufacturing, financial services, retail, health, education and government.
The categories for software will be modern workplace, business applications, apps and infrastructure and data and AI, with staff being given support to get a greater technical understanding of the technology and services required in those areas.
A company email from worldwide commercial business chief Judson Althoff, global sales and marketing group leader Jean-Philippe Courtois and Chris Capossela, the company’s chief marketing officer said that there was a $4.5 trillion opportunity across the commercial and consumer business.
“We are uniquely positioned to drive our customers’ and partners’ success by leading them through their digital transformations, and becoming their partner of choice. Some of the steps it intends to take include increasing the focus on customer success with partners, “align our selling and partnering efforts by industry for greater digital impact,” it said.
Intel is ordering its sales and marketing staff to clean out their desks as part of its glorious campaign on restructuring.
In April, Chipzilla announced it would lay off 12,000 employees worldwide saying that there was no more money in this PC lark. It also stopped work on its Atom chip and those working on it were the first to be escorted from the building with their belongings in an old photocopy paper box.
But now sales and marketing in Intel’s distribution channel operation are having to face the music. Ironically a corporate PR person who has not been sacked yet issued a statement saying:
“To support our transformation, we are restructuring our sales organization to drive tighter alignment with Intel’s business units and fuel our growth engines. Customers can expect to see more specialized technical support, faster decision making, and streamlined processes with a strong focus on enabling a consistent and personalized customer experience.”
Still it is early days yet. The cuts are not being completed until the end of the month, so maybe the person who wrote the above comment is still blissfully unaware that there is a corporate axeman waiting in the corridor waiting to pounce.
It looks like regional head offices will be the target. Intel offices will now report direct to the US headquarters rather than to their nearest regional head office. Big processor buyers, such as China-based Lenovo and Taiwan’s Acer, will also deal direct with teams in California from now on
IDC has reached the conclusion that the PC market is a bigger mess than it originally thought and reshuffled its tarot cards for another prediction.
It now thinks that PC shipments will decline by 7.3 percent year over year which is two percent below what it was telling us before.
The outfit blames weak currencies, depressed commodity prices, political uncertainty, and delayed projects.
Microsoft is partly to blame because it handed out free copies of Windows 10 to everyone who asked, including a lot of people who didn’t.
IDC said that that “while a large share of enterprises are evaluating Windows 10, the pace of new PC purchases has not yet stabilised commercial PC shipments.”.
IDC now predicts just 255.6 million machines will ship in 2016, of which 103.3 million will be desktops. The firm reckons we’ll see “… progressively smaller declines through 2017 followed by stable volume in 2018.”
All up it seems that the PC market is such a mess that no one can effectively say how dire it will be, even half-way through the year. It also looks like most companies have written the year off as an an annus horribilis and only thinking about next year. Sooner or later the bigger companies will have to buy PCs but it looks like it will be much later.
Distributor Exertis has appointed Phil Brown to lead the commercial business units and IT reseller base for B2B and VAD solutions.
The official title on his business card is sales and commercial director for IT but he has a pretty wide ranging brief. Apparently Exertis wants to expand its company’s partners by aligning the sales and commercial units more closely.
Brown was previously B2B sales director which saw him look after the core IT and specialist sales teams, reseller partners and B2B vendors. Before this, he was commercial and marketing director at Exertis.
In a statement Brown said: “This position will enable me to help develop the Exertis proposition and ensure that all our partners have access to a wealth of great technologies, solutions and services we offer. I can’t wait to get started.”
Exertis UK’s managing director, Paul Bryan, added: “Phil has already demonstrated his skills and attributes in the course of his previous roles with us and I am confident he will build on this in his new role. This is an important next step in our evolution as we enhance our focus in the market.”
Exertis recently announced that is it has realigned the structure of its networking team ahead of the market trends it expects to unfold in 2016.
PC sales plunged lower than a Hollywood starlet’s dress in the first quarter of this year, according to Gartner Group.
One big reason for the decline was businesses buying fewer desktop computers, according to the Gartner research firm. It noted companies have mostly finished replacing older PCs that used outdated Windows XP software.
PC sales may get a boost later this year when Microsoft releases its next version of Windows, analysts said, but they’re still expecting an overall decline in sales for this year.
Gartner added that there had been an sales of laptop computers and hybrid models that combine features of tablets and laptops. That could help drive a gradual return to growth by next year.
Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa estimates PC makers shipped 71.7 million computers in the first quarter, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier.
Some computer makers are doing better than others. China’s Lenovo saw an increase in worldwide sales, as did its nearest competitor, the maker of expensive printer ink HP.. However smaller companies, including Dell, saw sales decline.
Global PC sales have fallen steadily over the last three years, but Gartner are projecting a return to growth in 2016. Tablet users are giving up on the technology and are moving back to notebooks.
More tales of poor sales of PCs have emerged.
This time it’s Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) which are showing a decline, according to IDC.
Sales fell in 2014 by a rather whopping 14 percent, representing 18.55 million units – it’s the second year in a row that this region has declined.
Even notebook PC sales fell, by 14.5 percent year on year.
IDC said that sales were inhibited by currency fluctuations and poor economics, but even given that, there’s a fairly constant underlying trend worldwide.
Russia accounted for 42.6 percent of total PC shipments in the region last year, and IDC said the plummeting sales sales were accounted for by the poor economy.
However, the picture in places is not so dim. Some countries showed a rise in sales on the back of PC upgrades from Windows XP.
In particular, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania all showed double digit growth in 2014.
Software giant Microsoft reported a fall in its quarterly profit as sluggish PC sales dampened demand for Windows software and the company struggled with the impact of the strong US dollar.
Shares of the world’s largest software company, which have surged to 14-year highs in the past few months, fell three percent.
The fall did not seem to faze the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street who seemed to be expecting it. Not much can really stand up to a high dollar pressure and most thought the numbers were good enough.
Microsoft’s flagship Windows business has been under pressure for three years as PC sales have declined, although the market appears to be stabilising in recent months.
Currency shifts against the strong U.S. dollar also crimped profit in the fiscal second quarter, ended December 31, although Microsoft did not specify by how much. Microsoft gets almost three-quarters of its revenue from overseas, but a significant amount of that is still in US dollars.
Commercial licensing is chiefly sales of Windows and Office to business customers, which is Microsoft’s biggest revenue generator.
Microsoft reported profit of $5.86 billion for the latest quarter, compared with $6.56 billion last year.
Sales rose eight percent to $26.47 billion, largely due to the acquisition of Nokia’s phone handset business last year.
Analysts had expected revenue of $26.3 billion including some restructuring costs.
Apple sales of the iPad are likely to fall because people buying its products are moving to larger iPhones and those are cannibalising the market.
That’s according to the research unit of Digitimes which estimates that shipments of iPads will fall to about 55 million units in 2015, way down from sales during this year.
Other researchers believe that the iPad market has reached maturity in the so-called developed markets, and people are unlikely to buy a new and expensive tablet when their current iPads are powerful enough for most purposes.
But there’s a silver lining to every cloud and the research outfit believes that a combination of Sony exiting the notebook market and Apple cutting prices will see Macbook shipments growing by 15 percent next year.
Apple is expected to release a 12.9 inch iPad during 2015 and also ship 12.2-inch “Retina” displays but that won’t do very much to stem the decline of its very profitable iPad lines.
Meanwhile, Apple, as we reported elsewhere today, is toying on when to release its iWatch for the best possible selling period.
A survey has suggested that tablet sales are declining in the face of increased notebook sales.
DisplaySearch, bought by HIS recently, said in the third quarter of this year, notebooks rose by 10 percent compared to 2013 to account for 49.4 million units shipped. The figures contradict other estimates which suggest that sales are weak or flattish.
But tablet PCs, in the same quarter, fell by eight percent.
DisplaySearch said the slump in demand for tablet PCs helped the growth of notebook sales.
In particular, growth of notebooks was helped by low priced Windows based notebooks PCs and by Chromebooks.
The leaders worldwide for notebooks are Lenovo (20%), HP (19%), Dell (12%), Acer (10%) and Apple (9%).
These five companies between them hold 69 percent of total notebooks shipped worldwide. Apple sales of the iPad declined in the third quarter by 13 percent.
Things are on the turn in the chip business, and it’s a turn for the better.
The European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) said today that sales hit $3.231 billion in August, that’s up 10.9 percent compared to August last year.
Its figures represent a three month rolling average.
ESIA said the logic market was pretty strong – that continues a trend that emerged early this year. MOS (metal oxide semiconductor) based microprocessors grew strongly compared to July. And flash and NAND memory also showed good performance compared to July.
The chip market is, of course, affected by exchange rates with trading in Euro and in dollars affecting the mix. But, nevertheless, in August this year semi sales were 2.393 billion Euro – which represents a 0.4 percent decrease over July, said ESIA.
ESIA is bullish. It said worldwide sales for August 2014 amounted to a not insignificant $28.435 billion – up 9.4 percent compared to August 2013, and up 1.3 percent compared to July 2014.
It continues to be bleak news on the X86 notebook front, with several original design manufacturers (ODMs) showing sales decreases last January.
According to Digitimes, Compal shipped 2.8 million units in January, down 37.8 percent sequentally. Meanwhile, Quanta shipped 3.6 million notebooks, a fall of 10 percent.
Wistron, which has a broader reach in the PC market, saw 1.4 million notebook units go in January. Along with sales of desktops, handhelds,, monitors, servers and the rest, Wistron fel by 19.08 percent in the month, but a more severe drop of 26.28 percent year on year.
The only bright spark on the ODM notebook front was Pegatron, which showed a rise of 3.54 percent in the month, said Digitimes.
The British Retail Consortium’s data is out for June and online sales were up again, 14.1 percent compared to the same time last year.
With the weather taking a turn for the better at last, clothing and footwear were both up as well as increased footfall on the highstreet. Retail sales overall were up 1.4 percent on a like for like basis from June 2012, and on a total basis sales were up 2.9 percent, compared to a 3.5 percent increase in June last year.
Online sales did their best since July 2012, not including Christmas.
The BRC’s director general, Helen Dickinson, said that the weather helped retail sales along in spite of a generally bleak economic climate. There was a positive reaction to retail promotions as well as continued demand for essential items.
The weather helped along DIY and gardening products, Dickinson said, and there were other purchases that may have been postponed when the weather was more typically British.
TV sales are weak compared to last year – where they boomed thanks to the London Olympics. Electronics promotions did help the segment. Food growth grew in line with inflation.
“June saw another strong performance from UK retailers, with very respectable overall growth across the categories,” Dickinson said. “At this halfway point in the year we are able to see that sales are well ahead of the previous six month period, confirming that the retail recovery is continuing”.
Retail head for KPMG, David McCorquodale, said the statistics mark “another respectable performance”.
“Sales are moving in the right direction, albeit hard-earned and promotion driven,” McCorquodale said. “The statistics are all the more creditable as last year’s sales included a Jubilee boost.”