Gateway 2000 creates point man for fed sales

When Gateway 2000 Inc. decided to enter the federal market in 1994, it secured a General Services Administration multipleaward schedule. When it upped its commitment to the market earlier this year, it hired Jim Connal. Connal, managing director of federal sales for Gateway 2000, is a veteran of t

When Gateway 2000 Inc. decided to enter the federal market in 1994, it secured a General Services Administration multiple-award schedule. When it upped its commitment to the market earlier this year, it hired Jim Connal.

Connal, managing director of federal sales for Gateway 2000, is a veteran of the federal contract wars. After five years as director of government sales for Borland International Inc., Connal moved to CompUSA as director of business development in the government market. He moved to Government Micro Resources Inc. as director of business development, government, four years later, and in February joined Gateway 2000.

Connal pursues government customers from his Dale City, Va., home office. Until he signed on, the company relied on its direct-marketing campaign and a regional sales manager who was responsible for commercial and federal sales in the mid-Atlantic region. Such an approach is often ineffective, according to Connal. "If you enter the federal marketplace at all, you have to take it very seriously."

The intended goal of having a dedicated federal person is "better service overall," he told FCW. "We want in-person interaction with the customer on a regular basis. This gives the company increased overall awareness and exposure to customers," Connal added.

Another benefit of having an experienced federal point person is the ability to cultivate relationships with integrators who might bid Gateway PCs on one of the many federal indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts. "We look at all opportunities; we are interested in all of them," Connal said.

The challenge for Connal will be to grow Gateway 2000's already impressive role in the federal market. For fiscal 1995, the firm finished the year as the top PC maker and the No. 2 vendor on the GSA schedule, according to IDC Government Market Services. In the first quarter of fiscal 1996, Dell Computer Corp. slipped past Gateway 2000 to grab the top slot among PC makers, but Gateway 2000 posted $29.7 million in federal sales, according to IDC GMS.

Technical support, according to Connal, is what is going to keep these customers happy, especially in the tight-knit federal IT community.

"People talk," Connal said. "The interaction between the agencies is amazing. People know people in other agencies. They are on advisory councils together." This means that a company's reputation can grow or collapse quickly based upon performance issues shared throughout agencies. The company has to answer questions about products, take orders, build the PC correctly, deliver it on time and answer technical-support questions quickly.

The key to making sure the buzz remains positive is customer service, according to Connal. "Customer service is at the core of what we try to do every day at Gateway," he said.

Gateway builds all its PCs to order, according to customer specifications. A new factory, scheduled to open in Hampton, Va., later this summer, should speed delivery time to federal customers. "Most federal customers will get one-day shipments," Connal said, compared with the current two-day service from its South Dakota headquarters.

Once the PC arrives, Gateway concentrates on providing quick, accurate answers to any questions customers may have, an area in which the company has invested heavily.

Connal's bottom line in plotting Gateway 2000's future in the federal market is to concentrate on executing the fundamentals of customer service. "If you do that well, everything else falls into place," he said.

NEXT STORY: Round Two

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.