Michael Saylor, president and CEO of MicroStrategy Inc., outlined changes in his company’s sales model after reports earlier this week revealed that the company will make cuts in its work force.
In an interview with DIRECT Newsline, Saylor said that the Vienna, VA-based customer data software and services provider will dismiss 235 employees, or approximately 10% of its employee base. However, “we did not reduce the sales force” Saylor said yesterday. The cuts, he said, would come primarily from the administrative side.
The company does plan to eliminate between 50 to 75 professional services “consultants” that provide “high-touch” sales functions, such as individually negotiated pricing and handholding throughout the sales process.
MicroStrategy plans to broaden its sales efforts to focus more heavily on small and mid-range companies. Economies of scale for these prospects, Saylor indicated, lend themselves better to wider targeted channels, such as the Internet, than the personal sales force.
Saylor positioned the change as necessary for a company whose target base has moved from a few high-end companies that make high-ticket purchases with each buy, to a wider spectrum of companies that would be making smaller initial purchases, with the potential to be grown to higher-revenue customers.
For those customers, Saylor said, a channel such as the Web is more appropriate. The online environment, which supports the ability to download and test demos of MicroStrategy products as well as “transparent pricing,” facilitates serving the smaller potential customer.
“Funds in the marketplace are booming,” Saylor said, who also noted that the need for data analytic systems is not changing despite restrictions on data availability such as the so-called Shelby amendment to the Financial Services Modernization Act, which will greatly restrict the availability of drivers license sourced information.
Saylor made these comments in an interview following his keynote presentation at the DCI Customer Relationship management Conference & Exposition in New York yesterday.