More on BlackBerry's (BBRY +2.7%) annual meeting: Thorsten Heins responded to a question about...

More on BlackBerry's (BBRY +2.7%) annual meeting: Thorsten Heins responded to a question about exploring licensing deals by saying BlackBerry will "pursue every opportunity to create value for shareholders." But he also insisted BlackBerry "must create value" before strategic options are considered. Heins disagreed with a shareholder who called the U.S. Z10 launch "a disaster," and blamed disappointing sales on partner efforts (previous). "I talked to staff at many points of sales and they were inadequately trained or not trained at all … marketing materials were missing."

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Comments (40)
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2351) | Send Message
    One has to be "trained" to sell a Z10?
    9 Jul 2013, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • Cliff Hilton
    , contributor
    Comments (2811) | Send Message
    One has to be trained to sell anything! I sell coatings for industrial use and awesome coffee. I have sold ExxonMobil tons of chemicals in my past. Try sitting across from the main buyers and telling them you are doubling their cost of product and keeping the sale. I was trained...
    9 Jul 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Nick Shadow
    , contributor
    Comments (274) | Send Message
    9 Jul 2013, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • alext1379
    , contributor
    Comments (811) | Send Message
    I'll bet Samsung provides incentives to train and sell their garbage phones.


    Remember Z10 being relegated to the back of the store on launch day? Because Samsung offers a sweeter deal to move their junk.
    9 Jul 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • slcUTAH
    , contributor
    Comments (542) | Send Message
    I must agree. It's hard to sell a product when your "partners" do not cooperate and don't try hard enough to sell your product.


    Case in point: I went to a couple of AT&T stores a few months after the Z10 launched and the sales person at EACH store tried to sell me a Samsung even after I made it clear to them that I was interested in the Z10. When I told them that I prefer the Z10 you can tell they were disappointed through their body language. I thought a sale is a sale?? When you have this sort of "partnership" good luck to you. Perhaps BB will be better off selling their own stuff by themselves through on-line????


    9 Jul 2013, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • IanMan6
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    Yes, one has to be trained on phone features, especially a new OS. Have you ever worked a sales job? Like any sales job at all?
    9 Jul 2013, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • eibrahim
    , contributor
    Comments (87) | Send Message
    A friend works as a trainer for Apple and he flies all over NA training store emps.
    9 Jul 2013, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Bryant
    , contributor
    Comments (7057) | Send Message
    Simple. Be like (AAPL) and open a (BBRY) store.
    9 Jul 2013, 10:03 PM Reply Like
  • wbjudge
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
    Actually yes. I talked one sales person who had not sold any. She did not know much about the phone and said she never had figured it out. Admittedly this is a tiny sample but does lend some credence to what he said.
    9 Jul 2013, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • Investor Llew
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
    Today's smartphone/tablet sales people are just not understanding about the product well enough to give it a pitch. They don't even know the difference between the functionality of an Android/iOS/BIS, etc.


    So yes, they need training.
    9 Jul 2013, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13459) | Send Message
    >> BlackBerry will "pursue every opportunity to create value for shareholders,"


    As opposed to executing the plan they had in place?
    Sounds desperate to me.
    9 Jul 2013, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • Tobias Schmitz
    , contributor
    Comments (549) | Send Message
    @Mr Knowitall


    9 Jul 2013, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • alext1379
    , contributor
    Comments (811) | Send Message
    How is that $8 PUT for 2014 looking? On the TSX, the asking price is $71 today. What was it, last week you were bragging about the $129 paper gain you had because you're such a genius?
    9 Jul 2013, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Blkwtrdragon
    , contributor
    Comments (79) | Send Message
    Bashing a stock you don't own full time must be have such a fulfilling life I envy you.
    9 Jul 2013, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13459) | Send Message
    but dragon, I do own a $BBRY investment, long puts!


    Now alex, don't go getting all cock now.. you'll probably lose that $0.18 tomorrow ;-)
    9 Jul 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • alext1379
    , contributor
    Comments (811) | Send Message
    I write calls, I get my money now. I don't do "hope the price falls" kind of BS and I sure as hell don't pay someone for the right to sell something at a lower price than today. You're actually better off not doing anything, it doesn't cost you money NOT to buy a put.
    I'd rather write a put at a strike I'm 99% certain won't be realized. A little every month, guaranteed, is better than paying a good chunk of money to maybe sell something after the stock would have tanked again after a collosal fall.


    You should go buy some NETFLIX puts.
    9 Jul 2013, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • alext1379
    , contributor
    Comments (811) | Send Message
    If you want to know how options are done, buy PWT options. Bought contracts at $25 Monday, sold at $80 yesterday. Didn't have to wait until 2014 to collect either.


    The difference when you bet on success instead of failure.
    10 Jul 2013, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13459) | Send Message
    "If you want to know how options are done,... Didn't have to wait until 2014 to collect "


    Maybe you need to do your homework on options. No need to wait til 2014, lol.


    By the way
    "Now alex, don't go getting all cocky now.. you'll probably lose that $0.18 tomorrow ;-)"


    Now you see, don't you feel silly with $BBRY down 5% today.
    10 Jul 2013, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • H__H
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    It's an industry practice that handset OEMs do the most of retail rep training when launching new products. Carriers won't do it for them. Heins can only blame his go-to-market folks, and he of course knows it.
    9 Jul 2013, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • rra022001
    , contributor
    Comments (27) | Send Message
    What can you do when carriers such as Metro pcs refuses to carry your product? Then you have employees @ AT&T stores in the Dallas ft. Worth area who don't know jack about the z10 or how to operate it.
    9 Jul 2013, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • JGRtrader
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
    I have talked to a number of sales folks at AT&T company and retailer stores. At AT&T store I visited the attitude about Blackberry is uniformly negative. They don't like it and don't recommend it. One company store I was in recently did not even have a Z10 on display but they did have a Q10. When I walked over the Q10 no one asked to help me, they just hung around talking with one another. When I ask AT&T sales folks why they did not like the Blackberry, the typical response is a string of nonsense that shows they are so prejudiced about it they did not even take the time to learn about it. This seems to be the culture within the AT&T marketing/sales crowd.


    At the retail outlets I found more interest and some who were enthusiastic. Also better placement in the store and some display setups featuring the Z10.
    9 Jul 2013, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • ribsey
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
    Features and advantages over other platforms. There is a learning curve on Z10 with swiping and no home button. Amazing phone once you are use to it.
    9 Jul 2013, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • BBRY10CA
    , contributor
    Comments (17) | Send Message
    The problem was that the devise was in "demo mode" and consumers arent able to actually "experience" BB10. Trust me, if iphone and droid users could actually USE the BB10 devise on site, they would buy it without hesitation-- its that good.
    9 Jul 2013, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • josh5076
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    I just got a Z10 and like the phone. The flow was something to get used to but I did and again like it a lot. When I went to Verizon to get it I told the salesman I wanted the Z10 and she tried to talk me out of it and into a Galaxy.
    Then on top of that she tried to set up the phone for me. She brought it out with an Otter box case already on it. Well with that case on it and her setting it up I missed the tutorial that teaches you how to use the phone. Also with that case on it the phone would not respond making me swipe the phone over and over to get any where. I was ready to take the phone back. I got home reset the phone to factory settings allowing me to go through the tutorial and removed the plastic cover to the case. Now the phone worked great and I am extremely happy with it.
    The salesmen need to be trained. Many people are missing out on this great phone. Because of salesman.
    9 Jul 2013, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • lovetobbq
    , contributor
    Comments (107) | Send Message
    Even in Canada where bb is doing well sales people can be pretty bad...I went to the Source and the sales rep trashed blackberry so much he talked my friend out of buying one.
    9 Jul 2013, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • Frank Siedler
    , contributor
    Comments (992) | Send Message
    That must be changed, BlackBerry must do something against that arbitrariness!
    10 Jul 2013, 02:07 AM Reply Like
  • regretfulbbbull
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Definitely training is important, my sales rep at Costco knew the Z10 very well, without his knowledge I wouldn't have bought it. That's the whole point, it's TH's responsibility to make sure channel reps are trained, has BB ever hear of webinars?! Sheesh!


    The Z10's an awesome phone, much sturdier, faster and user-friendly than the HTC Android phone I had before. What number of Z10's and Q10's does BB need to sell to become relevant again in the U.S., i.e., where does the hockey stick make the turn up? Gut feel, they need to sell 5,000,000 top-line phones in the U.S. by year end, otherwise IMO BB is another Palm story, regardless of its strong history, BES10, BBM, Secure Work Space, other enterprise offerings and patents, etc. Without strong BB10 sales numbers stateside, it will be on the chopping block. My brother is a successful consultant in the St. Louis area. His firm has stopped updating its programs for BB7, and hasn't even considered writing them for BB10. Why? None of their clients care. TH and BB need to create enough demand for their product to force my brother's firm to start writing programs for BB10. I wish I could say TH demonstrates the resolve it will take to get it done. Unfortunately, I hear more excuses, far-off dreams about a new direction for mobile computing, and no concrete plans as to how he'll get the job-at-hand done, which is to sell a lot of BB10 phones in the U.S., like, yesterday, not in a few months or a few years, gimme a break! It's too bad too, BB10 is a great platform, but BB management seems to lack the savvy and drive to make its success a reality. Prem Watsa will be lucky to get out even on this one. Unless he knows a lot that isn't apparent, he should start working on an exit strategy!
    9 Jul 2013, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • jack434
    , contributor
    Comments (43) | Send Message
    I grade myself average in terms of gadget competence. Now: I received my Q 10 (Verizon) 2 weeks ago and, upon its arrival via FedEx, I had the BB 10 GUI figured out in perhaps less than 120 seconds, maybe less than 60 actually, now I think of it. Thenceforward, the Q 10 has delivered an extraordinary mobile experience. And, as I've declared (loosely) in reply to other SA BBRY articles: "Had Apple been the manufacturer to release the Q 10 and BB10, APPl stock would soon have been UP, as in north of 600". Objective visitors to SA, drop in sometime to a store and try out the BBRY Q 10. I dare you (smile).
    9 Jul 2013, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • 12925561
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
    I bought mine at Costco too. The guys at the Costco cellphone kiosk were great. They set it up for me and showed me, with a couple of swipes, how to begin using it.


    Then, to really get the most out of it and learn the short-cuts, I watched the various online tutorials. After that I fell in love with my Z10. It's a fantastic phone.


    There is no need to be a "know it all". Seek out the online training and then fully enjoy this great phone. The staff that sells the Z10 should be trained as well. If they were knowledgeable and briefly showed customers all that this phone can do so well the phones would start moving off the shelves quickly.
    9 Jul 2013, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • JMstocks75
    , contributor
    Comments (249) | Send Message
    i have a 928 from nokia, i figured it out within an hour, i still dont know how to use a blackberry, even th old ones with keybord
    9 Jul 2013, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • CGT77
    , contributor
    Comments (79) | Send Message
    Same at my Rogers Store in Laval (QC), they knew a bit, surely not enough and weren't that interested in selling the Z10 or the Q10 unfortunately. As for the sales rep on the phone at Rogers, he was trying to convince me to buy an iPhone!!! I complained to management...
    9 Jul 2013, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • donhow
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    I agree! After I convinced the rep at Verizon that I really wanted a Q10, she did go through the introduction thoroughly and well. She knew the product. But it was evident that the store was not pushing the Blackberry. It was all Samsung oriented. Blackberry has to meet the incentives that Samsung is giving to the outlets. Blackberrys are being treated like mushrooms.
    9 Jul 2013, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • scottw112
    , contributor
    Comments (16) | Send Message
    Same thing in Fort McMurray ab. Sales rep telling people not to buy blackberry or iPhone.
    9 Jul 2013, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • Izeyll
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
    Looks like we all have a story about sales representatives turning people away from BB. When my father went into a Bell store and asked for a Z10 a few days after launch, a rep asked him: "Are you sure you want a Blackberry? I'd suggest getting an android instead." My father said no, yet the rep still persisted until he finally said "I came in here for a Z10, just give me a damn Z10!"


    How many sales were lost because of reps turning customers away? Heins is right to place blame on carriers and training.
    9 Jul 2013, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • wsurfer
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
    Sure does sound like PALM. Every time sales were reported as being lower than expected, they blamed the carrier salespeople - either not trained or biased against PALM.


    Hope it BBRY doesn't end up like PALM.
    9 Jul 2013, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • gladtidings
    , contributor
    Comments (261) | Send Message
    Sales staff at carriers are only sales agents at heart. They get their commissions directly or indirectly. I would not be at all surprised that they have been "worked over" by the likes of other smartphone makers except BB. It is a dog eat dog world out there. BB needs to work smart if they want to up their ante.
    9 Jul 2013, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • marktuthdr2
    , contributor
    Comments (150) | Send Message
    Yes, and BB better get their arses with the program stat, or they are going to suffer more for it. No matter how good a product is, if sales people don't know how to demo it, or other brands are getting insider preference by the sales reps, then BB has to fight tooth and nail against those 2 problems. This is a UFC fight BB; toughen up some more. Leave no stones unturned. You have to be good at all the little things, to be successful. Play the game well, or sell it to someone who will.
    10 Jul 2013, 04:44 AM Reply Like
  • MPF94025
    , contributor
    Comments (801) | Send Message
    There needn't be any speculation about whether or not there is manipulation of sales personnel among U.S. carriers. TH was bold enough to comment directly on this in today's Q&A session of today's AGM:


    "So it is hard to convince them to not go where the perk is, to go where the perk is going to be because they are under short pressure from their investors. They have to deliver numbers. And for a certain extent, I really, really value the relationship with our carrier partners but there is an opportunistic thinking, all right.


    And I will give you one public number that is a carrier that we have great respect for probably known as the iPhone carrier in the U.S. selling six million smartphones in their last quarter and 5.2 million of those smartphones are iPhones, right."


    I'm suspect he is talking about AT&T. If so, or another, perhaps a company BBRY shareholders should depart en masse....
    10 Jul 2013, 02:00 AM Reply Like
  • Frank Siedler
    , contributor
    Comments (992) | Send Message
    I bought my Z10 on the Internet. Hadn't to do with a salesperson. The Z10 is great! And it's very easy to learn and handle! I hope the customers are realizing that. Do advertising in the stores, it's worth it!
    10 Jul 2013, 02:19 AM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (432) | Send Message
    Blackberry does have sales reps that travel form store to store to help train employees. The problem is most US carriers are only interested in selling Samsung or apple. So i believe that they may have to open up their own stores to sell their products, until carriers realize it's not in their best interests to ignore other companies.
    14 Jul 2013, 11:00 AM Reply Like
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