Kaspersky Lab executives are planning to move aggressively into larger businesses with a team of regional enterprise sales reps as part of a new named accounts strategy.
The goal is to hit hard at longtime market leaders Symantec and McAfee with its endpoint security software, said Kaspersky Lab Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales, North America, Chris Doggett, in an interview with CRN. Doggett said the company remains committed to its 100 percent-channel approach and plans to bring in select partners early on in the sales process.
“We have built out a new enterprise team in the last year, and the approach we’ve developed is both field- and inside-based,” said Doggett.
Under the new go-to-market strategy for enterprise accounts, Kaspersky Lab will call on favored regional partners for engagements. Favored partners will be identified by either customer preference or the enterprise sales team. Preferential consideration will be given to partners that have knowledge and expertise on Kaspersky products and hold technical certifications, Doggett said.
“We have a large channel team on Kaspersky that is responsible for every partner under the sun, from the single, sole-proprietor technical guy all the way up to the largest national partners,” Doggett said. “Now we have people on the team that are responsible on a named account basis for specific partners.”
The sales force is focused on named accounts in New York, Chicago and Seattle. Kaspersky Lab plans to expand its team to focus on Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta and Toronto. The company has a field sales rep and a field system engineer in each of its three enterprise territories. They are both backed up by an inside sales team that provides additional support, Doggett said. The company’s channel team conducted a thorough review to identify partners to work with enterprise deals early in the sales process, Doggett said.
While partner compensation is consistent for all partners, regardless of deal size or market segment, the company has implemented a new rule under the named accounts engagement. In the event that the Kaspersky enterprise sales team generates a new opportunity and engages a partner in that opportunity, then the partner is eligible to receive the base discount amount, but not eligible to earn additional discounts under the deal registration program.
"We believe we have a job to do in terms of meeting the partner and its capabilities, and the partner has a job to do in terms of managing that customer relationship," Doggett said.
Some of Kaspersky Lab’s top channel partners, members of the security vendor’s partner advisory council, said it was the first they had heard of the new strategy. The move is a positive one for the channel as long as fulfillment continues to go through a partner, said Michael Knight, chief technology officer of Greenville, S.C.-based Encore Technology Group. This is very likely the company's attempt to build on its brand recognition and get more large businesses to give Kaspersky a look, Knight said.
"If they are going in there and really trying to push the sale to get these companies to turn their heads towards a big industry name and then fulfill through one of their managed partners, I think that's perfectly equitable," Knight said.
In addition, Kaspersky Lab is continuing to invest in headcount at some resellers and distributors to support field sales operations, recruitment and training, Doggett said. In large national partners, Kaspersky provides resources in-house to be a go-to person for sales reps.
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