Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi, Elizabeth White, Rene Buest

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

The Cloud Services & SaaS Offering Land Grab

Enable channel partners on their terms, not yours

We are in the midst of the Cloud services & SaaS offering land grab.  As an ISV selling cloud services or SaaS offerings your objective is to get more partners selling more of your products faster than ever.  It’s up to you to ramp up new partners and make them effective right out of the gate.  So you have to figure out the best way to do this, especially in these rather chaotic times for resellers.

But there is a challenge. You see, resellers and VARs have always had a wide variety of products in their “bags”.  Yet with the channel explosion of SaaS solutions and Cloud services, the speed of new product introductions and product evolution has dramatically increased.  This means that channel partners are inundated with a constant flow of changing information from ISVs. Sales decks, product data sheets, webinars and price sheets are examples of items constantly changing.  Unfortunately most of these materials end up in  giant scrap piles that never make their way to the account executives.

As an ISV you tend to be stuck in the ways of the past when it comes to channel enablement and training.  You throw together every bit of information you know about your product and then toss that one hour webinar and zip file of tools over to your channel partner.  You hope that the receiver at the channel partner will take that information your provided and get it out to the sales team.  You also hope that the sales team reads all that material you send to them and somehow magically come up with new sales.  Unfortunately this old school enablement “on your terms” isn’t going to get you anywhere fast.

Partner’s account executives want you to help them, but on their terms.  They don’t really care about the theory behind your product and the feature lists and dozens of documents you have for them.  What they need in today’s business climate is a very different type of enablement that is supported by these materials.  The account executive wants hands on experience brought up along side of them as a selling companion. They don’t want to tackle a mountain of materials and have to figure out how to piece the story together themselves.

Recently I wanted to learn more about the way that channel partner account execs look at enablement.  I talked with partner account executives across a wide variety of resellers.  From the discussions I  compiled the top 5 ways the account executive want ISVs to think about when creating their enablement programs.

5. Help me identify opportunities in my patch by giving me explicit instructions on who to target.

Simply put, tell the account execs exactly who to cherry pick in their territory to find some easy wins.  Create a checklist of the information that will help the account exec pull the right contact list.  Better yet, you can craft a simple campaign in a box that helps each account exec to target a set of customers, provide that first contact intro letter and then recommend a pointer to a recent article or 3rd party validation of the business problem.  It’s all about finding the right people and getting the conversation started.  By providing this kit as part of your enablement program you can help the account exec get started that same day!

4. Provide me with background information on the business problem you are trying to solve.

This is your bread and butter, yet it usually doesn’t get put into consumable information for the partner channel.  It’s hidden inside your training presentation on slide 35 or somewhere in hour number two of your online “course”.  The suggestion from the account execs is that you need to pull together a simple description of the problem, information on how companies are solving that problem, and why your ISV should be the one considered for the solution.   This should be no more than a 10 minute exercise for the account exec to go through, understand and add to their everyday thought process.

3. Don’t assume that every account executive is junior, doesn’t know your domain or wants you to train them on solution selling.

Stop forcing account execs to sit through hour long sessions that tell them what they already know.  Give them a way to quickly skim your guidance so that they can pick up at the point where there find it most useful.  Long webinars and structured course-ware should be things of the past.  Start thinking in terms of playbooks, quick start guides and workbooks that are available at any time the account executive wants them.

2. Show me how to best present your solution and give me the tools to back up the claims.

Just like a personal trainer shows their client exactly what to do to get results, you should do the same for your channel partner account executives.  Break down the selling of your solution into easily consumable pieces and show them how to be effective.  Start with the basics and focus the selling on the problem you outlined.  Don’t worry about all those functions and features.  As long as the account exec can build a case around your solution for solving the problem you win.

1.  Give me examples of how others have solved the problem.

We all know that references and case studies help a lot during a sales process.  This gets even more important with your channel partners. They need examples that help them explain the solution in terms that the customer will understand.  Even if you don’t have approved case studies or customer testimonials, outfit your channel partners with examples and stories based upon types of customers or challenges that customers face.

It all comes down to getting much more personal with the account executives of your channel partners.  You have the sales tools, you have the product content.  Now you need to work to make all of that useful in context of your channel selling team.

[Image credit: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/?p=6856]

More Stories By David Abramowski

David Abramowski is a technologist turned product leader. David was a co-founder of Morph Labs, one of the first Platform as a Service plays on AWS. He was the GM for Parallels Virtuozzo containers, enterprise business, and most recently he is the leader of the product marketing team for the IT Operations Management solutions at the hyper growth SaaS company, ServiceNow.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
As more and more companies are making the shift from on-premises to public cloud, the standard approach to DevOps is evolving. From encryption, compliance and regulations like GDPR, security in the cloud has become a hot topic. Many DevOps-focused companies have hired dedicated staff to fulfill these requirements, often creating further siloes, complexity and cost. This session aims to highlight existing DevOps cultural approaches, tooling and how security can be wrapped in every facet of the bu...
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., discussed how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advantage ...
Connecting to major cloud service providers is becoming central to doing business. But your cloud provider’s performance is only as good as your connectivity solution. Massive Networks will place you in the driver's seat by exposing how you can extend your LAN from any location to include any cloud platform through an advanced high-performance connection that is secure and dedicated to your business-critical data. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Paul Mako, CEO & CIO of Massive Networks, wil...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems Inc, provides the software product "The Interactor" that uniquely simplifies building IoT, Web and Smart Enterprise Solutions. It is a Silicon Valley startup funded by US government agencies, NSF and DHS to bring innovative solutions to market.
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that’s no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, will explore how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He wi...