Greg Butterfield clearly remembers the moment when he realized Altiris Inc. would have to scrap its sales strategy and go to market in an entirely different way.
It was early in 2000, and he had just arrived at the helm of the software company, which was losing money. Mr. Butterfield was reviewing all the company’s expenses in an attempt to stem the red ink. A sales representative had made a request to travel from company headquarters in Lindon, Utah, to a school system in Colorado in pursuit of a $1,500 account. It was the third trip the representative was making to win the sale, and already her expenses exceeded the value of the new business.
“Sometimes in life you have one of those ah-ha moments,” Mr. Butterfield says, recounting how he realized that the company lacked the scale to painstakingly go from company to company in pursuit of new business. Traditional marketing methods weren’t working because of the company’s small size, and it needed to come up with a new strategy to sell its products, which help companies manage their information technology.
“You just wonder why no one ever noticed it before,” Mr. Butterfield says.
So Mr. Butterfield took a drastic step: He fired the entire sales staff and replaced it with a new team that would seek partners to sell Altiris’s products for it.