September 23, 2003

Interview with Tom Weaver

Kioskmarketplace interview of Tom Weaver of KIS.

KIS names new VP, jumps on sales accelerator

by Christine Zimmerman, editor 10 September 2003

Tom Weaver, vice president of sales and marketing for Kiosk Information Systems, just started with the company June 30, but he already has lofty goals. For one thing, he said he will increase revenue five-fold in the next three years.

Thats significant since Weaver said KIS will double its sales this year over last year. "We are counting on a lot coming in the fourth quarter."

Weavers appointment marks the beginning of a new direction for the KIS sales team. "We have a very specific sales and marketing strategy. Were pinning our ears back and taking a direct approach," said Weaver. He is developing outside territories, as well as internal support systems. KIS is taking its approach nationwide.

Rick Malone, KIS president, said the company will grow from five territories to seven in the next two months. Weaver said the KIS will have new support in the Southwest, South and Midwest. Weaver reports directly to Malone.

The company will target high-level executives at Fortune 1000 organizations and sell them on the benefits of self-service technology. "We will offer them a solution for reducing internal costs, making their employees more efficient, improving their customer loyalty. The focus will be benefit-centric," said Weaver.

He said the majority of KIS business to date has come from companies that had already decided to buy kiosks, but hadnt settled on a vendor. "We are going to partner that past approach with a solid, direct sales tactic. We will be proactive."

Weaver said KIS is an industry leader in terms of engineering and design. But the point of entry is really the total solution, he explained. "The change here is that we are presenting a united front, drawing upon our partnerships with key software vendors."

And Weaver said he works closely with KIS project managers on each prospective customer. "There isnt a day that goes by in which sales doesnt interact with design or engineering. We say, this is what the customer needs, how do we do it?"

Tom Weaver, VP sales and marketing, KIS

Staffing up

Malone said Weavers sales professionalism will be a major growth factor for KIS. "Tom knows how to deal with a national, outside sales force," he said.

Weaver, who does not have any background in the kiosk industry, worked most recently for his own sales training and consulting company, 3E Solutions. He also worked at a start-up software company called Traq. Prior to that, he spent seven years with AirTouch/Verizon Wireless. "There is value to coming in with an outside perspective," said Weaver. "Ive come from a mature, solid business."

The benefit of that to Olea is the ability to forge full speed ahead. "KIS has experienced major growth this year in revenue. But we realized we were still missing opportunities," said Malone. "We felt that now, its time to jump on the accelerator. Weve been too reactive. There were days we were too busy to answer the phone."

Today there are eight people in KIS sales department. By the end of this week that will be 10, said Weaver, adding that its a safe bet he will have at least a dozen people in sales by the end of the year. That could double within 12 months, he said.

Malone wont comment on what the staffing up will cost KIS, but he said he is putting a "tremendous amount of capital" into the sales department. "I expect to see the payoff in 2004 or 2005," said Malone.

Weaver agreed. "The beauty of our approach is that I cant think of a company that couldnt use self service. Thats what attracted me to this company. It is a leader in a rapidly growing market."

I have never been part of a company with such an impressive customer list top to bottom: WalMart, Disney, U.S. Postal, Citibank, McDonalds. I will work to solidify these relationships to make sure they will be happy moving forward with us," said Weaver.

Weaver plans to attend the Kiosk Show in Long Beach, Calif., next week, though his now-frenetic schedule may change. See related story, "Kiosk Show to get 'intimate' with attendees."

He wants to attend the show to meet with KIS partners and learn about the industry.

"That would be nice," said Malone about the idea of Weaver attending the Kiosk Show. "But hes spread all over the place, traveling weekly. Im even on the road. We have some large contracts in play."

Posted by Craig at September 23, 2003 11:57 PM