Microsoft Expands U.S. Sales Force to Deliver Greater Value to Customers

REDMOND, Wash., June 24, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it will make significant investments in tools, training, people and resources in its worldwide sales force in the next fiscal year to help customers realize the untapped potential within their businesses. With these investments, Microsoft will create the sales teams it needs to deliver on its promise of agility for all its business customers.

“The investment Microsoft is making in our worldwide sales force demonstrates our commitment to customers of all sizes who want solutions, not just products,” said Orlando Ayala, group vice president of the Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Services Group at Microsoft. “Our customers are thinking big: they want to fully harness the transformational power of technology. We want a sales force and partner community that is equipped to help them achieve their goals.”

Microsoft’s initial plans are to increase specialization of the U.S. sales force and expand resources in a way that enables a strong engagement with partners and a more solution-focused approach with customers. To accomplish this, Microsoft will make significant staffing investments and will change the organizational structure of its sales force to a model that aligns teams with deep industry expertise, teams with specific technology and solutions expertise, and teams with a focus on the needs of small and medium-sized businesses.

“Customers have become more active drivers of technology in their businesses. They expect us to come to the table not only with great technology, but also with tailored solutions,” said Kevin Johnson, senior vice president of Microsoft Americas. “When our sales professionals engage with customers, they must have an incredibly strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities customers face and of how technology-based solutions can make customers more agile. A specialized approach to selling and servicing customers enables us to make our technology dance to rhythm of the customer’s business.”

Technical specialists will be organized to focus on technologies in three areas: server solutions, developer solutions and knowledge worker solutions. In addition, Microsoft’s consulting services will partner with these specialists to assist customers with application development of Microsoft®
.NET solutions, infrastructure architecture and deployment, support and systems management solutions, and technology strategy.

To respond to this change, Microsoft will add more than 450 new positions to its current U.S. sales team. The investment will enable the company to better focus its sales force around its customers, helping them empower their employees, connect to their customers and integrate with their business partners.

In addition, Microsoft is expanding its focus in vertical markets by formalizing and deepening industry teams made up of sales, services and support, partner engagement, and marketing functions. “Customers want to know that Microsoft understands the unique drivers of their business,” said Gerri Elliott, corporate vice president of the Industry Solutions Group at Microsoft. “Our goal is to get closer to customers’ business challenges and opportunities and provide solutions that address their unique market dynamics. We are working in tight alignment with our partners to provide real solutions to help customers respond to the changing business landscape.”

To that end, Microsoft has created 12 vertical organizations focused in the following areas:

  • Financial Services

  • Telecommunications

  • State and Local Government

  • Federal Government

  • Education

  • Retail

  • Healthcare

  • Automotive Manufacturing

  • High Tech Manufacturing

  • Oil and Gas

  • Media and Entertainment

  • Professional Services

Microsoft will begin the transition of its sales team immediately. The overall sales force will grow more in fiscal year 2003 than it has over the past 10 years. As part of its realignment of resources, Microsoft plans to redeploy approximately 115 employees nationwide into the sales organization’s enhanced structure.

“The technology sector moves at a blistering pace, and the strength of our sales team is that it recognizes that the business structure must follow,” Johnson said. “We hire smart people who thrive on big challenges. I am confident that the majority of employees involved in our redeployment effort eagerly await the challenges ahead of them in their new roles.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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