Selling to Ford in FY20?

Ford Steering Wheel

Three things every enterprise sales rep should know

ITSMA defines ABM as a strategic approach that combines targeted, insight-led marketing to drive growth in target accounts. Knowing the priorities of your ABM target is critical to become relevant in their IT spending plans. If Ford is one of your ABM or strategic accounts for FY20, here are three things to keep in mind to personalize your outreach so you can stand out from your competitors:

  1. Financially, It’s Been a Rough Road: Ford had always predicted 2019 would be a year of strategic action with potential for financial improvement. The latter, it was not. Ford invested heavily in smart connected vehicles and creating a better customer experience. However Ford’s mission of creating “Smart Vehicles for a Smart World”, but did not translate to their balance sheet. The main issue? Ford botched the introduction of the new Explorer SUV, delivering 26% less Explorers than they had the prior year. As a result, Ford’s FY2019 revenues tumbled 3%, prompting new CFO Timothy Stone (from to describe their performance simply as “Not OK.” Ford operates under three segments; Automotive, Mobility, and Ford Credit – their only bright spot. Overall operating costs fell 1% to $155 billion, as part of a $25 billion restructuring program that has included laying off 10% of their global workforce. Potholes indeed.
  2. Will Mobility Pay Off?: Ford lost $1.19 billion in their “mobility segment” in 2019, but still plans to increase its spending on the development of future technology even more in 2020. In fact, Ford plans to spend $4 billion on AI and connected cars through 2023, seeing long-term benefits in leveraging data and analytics to raise quality and reduce costs. Ford also seeks to deliver cloud based mobility experiences that might bring in recurring monthly subscription revenues. Mobility included business units like Spin (electric scooters) and TransLoc (focused on enhancing public transit), that have yet to pay off. Ford has a goal of launching of a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021.
  3. Technology Taking the Lead: Major technology partners at Ford include SAP, Oracle, Red Hat & AWS. Ford and AWS are working on a worldwide cloud-based service for autonomous and connected vehicles of the future. Ford has a mix of on-premise, virtual and cloud-based deployments. There has been a digital transformation of applications across Ford’s hybrid cloud environment, spanning dispersed data centers and moving to multiple public clouds. Ford is undergoing a transformative push into the next chapter of the automotive industry, but it’s also restructuring existing businesses by trimming more than $25 billion in operating costs through 2025. CIO Jeff Lemmer oversees Ford’s global IT business applications, architecture, data centers, engineering and infrastructure services. Under his watch, IT has been taking a much stronger position in Ford’s strategic direction.
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