Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2002 (Revised January 2003)

Siebel Systems: Anatomy of a Sale, Part 1

by John A. Deighton and Das Narayandas


How does a $2 million software sale happen? This case traces efforts by Siebel Systems to sell lead management software to discount broker Quick & Reilly. The buying process is mapped out over four years. Covers in detail the last six months—from Siebel's initial involvement to a challenge from competitor Oracle to the climax. The structure of Quick & Reilly's buying center is mapped, as is the role of its parent, Fleet Bank. The fortunes of the sale rise and fall as the Siebel account manager faces one obstacle after another. Presented in three parts, with opportunities to debate the account manager's choices and actions at each stage. Part 1 describes the start of the sale from the seller's perspective.

Keywords: Leadership; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Behavior; Organizational Structure; Behavior; Competition; Software; Technology Industry;


Deighton, John A., and Das Narayandas. "Siebel Systems: Anatomy of a Sale, Part 1." Harvard Business School Case 503-021, August 2002. (Revised January 2003.) (request a courtesy copy.)