HPE's Ryan: Zooming In On Business-Outcome-Based Sales

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chief Sales Officer Peter Ryan says the No. 1 message for partners at Discover is to take advantage of the breakthrough HPE innovation to drive business-outcome-based solutions sales growth.

"We want to make sure everybody is taking the innovation that we've got to drive growth and market share," said Ryan, a seasoned sales veteran hired by HPE CEO Meg Whitman last July to oversee a single global sales organization as part of a major restructuring. "The winners as we go forward are going to be those that are able to drive business outcomes and understand the industry context that they are serving."

Under the new HPE sales model, Ryan is overseeing direct and indirect sales and leading a charge to bring business-outcome-based industry-speci­fic selling skills in verticals such as health and public sector, financial services and insurance, manufacturing and distribution, and communications, media and entertainment to the HPE and partner sales teams.

[HPE Discover Coverage 2017]

Whitman, for her part, sees Ryan's appointment as a watershed moment for HPE and its partners. "We needed to have a much more cohesive, consistent strategy across the globe because many partners are now operating in multiple countries," she said. "We couldn't have different programs in Europe than we did in the United States. Peter Ryan is a 35-year veteran of this industry. He is a sales professional. I think he is going to take the sales force to places that we never dreamed it would go."

Whitman expects Ryan to step up the drive by the HPE sales team to hunt for new accounts on behalf of partners. "We are trying to move the sales force more to hunting new accounts and hunting new business on behalf of partners," she said. That's one reason why Ryan is pushing hard for partners to align tightly with the HPE selling motion. "Increasingly it's clear that the partners who will generate the most profit are the ones who have the most relevant skills, are able to drive digital transformation, and leverage the innovation we are bringing to market to deliver business outcomes for our customers," he said.

That focus has resulted in a major shift from transactional technology product deals to longer-term, higher-margin recurring revenue services models, said Ryan. "Four years ago, it was a transactional business so partners would sell a server or some storage and you'd basically have thousands of transactions

if you were a partner of any size, and the next quarter you'd have to do the same," he said. "Roll that forward and now someone says, ‘I want to do high-performance computing as a service, I want to do storage as a service.' Rather than selling a product in a transaction, you're selling an outcome."

Ultimately, that is driving a sales model that is resulting in deeper, longer-term relationships with customers. "What we're encouraging our partners to do is build the business for the longer term," said Ryan. "The beauty of it is if you've got a consumption model, you get paid every month for it.

So when you start the quarter you've already made some of your number. It's there and it's predictable. So what partners have to do is look at creating longer-term pipeline. We're helping partners with the skills, the business model and orienting our certifications toward delivering managed solutions."

HPE's Financial Services unit has become a major competitive weapon in the consumption model, said Ryan, with offerings such as Flexible Capacity, which provide public cloud consumption models for HPE hybrid IT offerings.

HPE also is moving faster to help partners close deals with stepped-up response on special pricing and deal registration approval. "The whole company is in support of the sales mission," said Ryan. "It's all about how do we get our customers what they need and what they want as quickly as possible, and how do we help our partners get the best support and fastest response."

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