Symantec is inviting key partners to participate in a series of regional training programs for its direct sales force as part of a plan that executives claim will better establish clear rules of engagement in the field and help its sales executives understand their role and responsibilities throughout the sales process.
The formal training, which kicked off recently in Canada, is meant to help Symantec's sales force identify how to properly engage with partners, said John Eldh, vice president of North America channel sales at the Mountain View, Calif., company. Speaking at the Partner Executive Summit being held at the Symantec Vision 2014 Conference this week in Las Vegas, Eldh said the training establishes a step-by-step process around engagements with potential clients and establishing partner connections.
“This is so the field can understand the process and articulate their role and responsibilities in each of the steps," Eldh told partners at the summit.
Symantec is incenting its sales force to engage with partners that have established strong practices around a core set of products in its portfolio. Regional sales officers can receive as much as a 10 percent margin uplift to work with certain partners.
CRN reported in January that Symantec was making multimillion-dollar investments in 10 of the largest security solution providers in the country, including Accuvant, FishNet, Novacoast and CDI. Symantec executives told CRN that a key part of the sales strategy in the U.S. is to identify and stimulate growth with about 80 to 100 regional solution providers that have strong security and data management practices.
The company's revamped North American Channel Program, unveiled this week, creates a way to validate partners with expertise in about a dozen Symantec technical competencies. The sales force will be incentivized to work with those partners, said John Emard, senior director of North American channel operations and programs at Symantec. The company is still maintaining named accounts in some regions, Emard said in an interview with CRN. Symantec is required to have established guidelines for incentivizing work with certain partners to keep the process fair, he said.
“We are making sure that every partner has an opportunity to participate and obtain the complete technical and customer experience requirements under the program,” Emard told CRN. "We’re not trying to cut anyone out of the process."
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