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1977 IBM Marketing Guide for System/3
01-06-2019, 01:11 AM
Post: #1
1977 IBM Marketing Guide for System/3
I got this 42-year-old 40-page document on Ebay. It is labelled "IBM Internal Use Only". It was obviously designed for IBM salesmen involved in selling IBM System/3 computers to customers. Customers were typically owners of small businesses who could not justify the expense of big mainframes like the 360 but could benefit from smaller systems like the System/3. It was also targeted to existing punch-card data processing users.

One thing I found interesting was the use of the term "creative" in describing IBM salesmen. Creative salesmen would be those who are able to sell lots of systems and options to the customer and generate big cash flows to IBM; those salesmen who were less "creative" sold fewer systems than their more creative brethren. I guess all companies do this, I was just surprised at the use of the term "creative".

While I was trained in programming IBM systems at a trade school, in my programming career I mostly worked on Univac and DEC computers. I did work briefly with IBM mainframes in the 1990's while working on air traffic control systems for FAA.
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01-06-2019, 09:48 AM
Post: #2
RE: 1977 IBM Marketing Guide for System/3
As I understand it, the emphasis in IBM was to sell solutions, in the sense of understanding the customer's needs and fitting it to something that IBM offered. There might well be creativity in that - and it mightn't only mean selling the most expensive kit, but maybe making more sales of the slightly less expensive kit, always with the promise of easy upgrades and expansions.
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01-06-2019, 11:19 AM
Post: #3
RE: 1977 IBM Marketing Guide for System/3
(01-06-2019 09:48 AM)EdS2 Wrote:  As I understand it, the emphasis in IBM was to sell solutions, in the sense of understanding the customer's needs and fitting it to something that IBM offered. There might well be creativity in that - and it mightn't only mean selling the most expensive kit, but maybe making more sales of the slightly less expensive kit, always with the promise of easy upgrades and expansions.

Good point Ed, thanks.
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