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At the recent SAP Influencer Summit in Boston, there was a session called ‘SAP Cloud GTM Update and 2012 Outlook‘ which was presented by Greg Tomb (who heads the Global On-Demand Sales and Go-to-Market organization) in which he discussed the various sales-related efforts associated with the OnDemand offerings.

There was one slide in particular that was interesting in which Tomb described the creation of a dedicated sales team. 

Since the entire SAP sales organization has a staff of approximately 3000, a dedicated team of ‘over 500’ that focuses only on OnDemand sales shows the importance of this area to SAP.  I was impressed by this assertion but was curious as to whether SAP was really serious about the speed at which this team should be created.  I decided to mine SAP’s career site to see if SAP was really building this new sales staff.

Using the search terms ‘sales ondemand’ I found over 87 jobs that meet this criteria.  Let’s examine these jobs in detail to see what they tell us about SAP’s efforts to meet the ambitious goal.

 

Initial analysis

Even reducing the number of hits by 5 to remove erroneous jobs, the 82 open jobs shows that SAP is aggressively moving to build the new sales team with external hires.  The fact that SAP is looking externally may also be a sign of problems of using existing sales staff – who are accustomed to the large maintenance-based sales – for cloud sales which are more volume-based.   The unique characteristics of cloud sales is also reflected in the work experience required by many of the positions.  General sales experience isn’t enough – candidates with OnDemand sales experience are being sought. 

  • 5+ years of experience in sales of OnDemand and cloud software services
  • Proven track record in OnDemand and cloud services sales
  • Demonstrated success building a pipeline of OnDemand and Cloud solutions in a fast-paced, growing dynamic market. [SOURCE]

The variety of jobs reflects all stages of the sales process:

Many of the respective job descriptions include the following background information: 

SAP OnDemand is the next generation of cloud software for businesses that showcases intuitive usability, social connections, collaboration, and mobile designs for more productive employees and companies.  From the modular suite of Business ByDesign to the dedicated solutions for sales, HR, finance, and procurement lines of business, our portfolio is designed to address customers’ biggest demands and the largest market opportunities.  With dedicated leadership, sales teams, ecosystem partners, and R&D, SAP OnDemand is targeting massive growth to transform the way customers do business. [SOURCE]

This description demonstrates that the jobs are focused on more than just ByDesign but rather include the entire range of OnDemand LoB applications. This broader focus was also depicted in Tomb’s presentation. 

Although many of the jobs have a very broad focus, there are still some jobs which are particular to various LoB OnDemand applications (for example, here are jobs dealing with the new OnDemand offerings Sales OnDemand or Travel OnDemand).

 

Regional analysis

The jobs are spread globally:

  • Africa – 1
  • Asia – 11
  • Europe – 45
  • Latin America 9
  • Middle East – 2
  • Morth America – 44
  • Oceanaia – 2

The majority of the jobs are divided between EMEA and North America but the presence of other job opening in Asia and Latin America shows SAP isn’t forgetting these markets.   However, I was surprised by the limited number of open positions in Asia where I expected more of a sales push.

A closer examination of a particular region (for example, EMEA) shows that the jobs are spread over the entire region rather than being concentrated in major citites suggesting that SAP is focusing on local markets in particular.  Many countries (ranging from Albania to Ukraine) just have one position available. 

 

Note: I have no idea how the existing / non-OnDemand related SAP sales organization is set-up, so I don’t know if the OnDemand-related sales activities are unique in any aspect but their OnDemand focus. 

I’d be curious to know how the OnDemand-related Channel sales organization is currently evolving and whether the efforts to involve partners in such sales activities is receiving as much attention as that being paid to the SAP internal sales organization.

 

Conclusion

At SAP Influencer events, participants are often overwhelmed with information. Too often, the press releases and other major announcements receive the lion’s share of attention while other sessions and messages go in one ear and out the other. It is critical to cross check the ideas / messages presented at such sessions with reality. Were such sessions just hot air or did they reflect actual future plans?

As an analysis of job offerings at SAP’s Career site has shown, the description of SAP’s OnDemand GTM efforts presented in Boston appear to be truthful.  I expect to see a major sales push from SAP in the OnDemand space in 2012. The ability to target the Business / Department level prospects of existing customers provides SAP with a sales advantage versus other cloud vendors who don’t have established sales relationships with such customers. As SAP’s LoB OnDemand offerings mature, such established relationships will be critical to win deals.

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