No-Nonsense Execs Counsel Juniper Partners On Selling Tactics

A lineup of Juniper brass followed one another onstage with presentations that recapped where the market has been and where it's going. CEO Scott Kriens capped the day with thoughts on his vision for the marketplace, but his remarks are under publication embargo until after he delivers his keynote speech at the Interop trade show today.

The company chose to kick off the event with testimonies from three industry executives who provided tips for partners on how best to pique the interest and possibly get the business of enterprise executives.

One somewhat surprising revelation was that when it comes to enterprises, partners who try to cold call high-level executives probably are wasting their time.

"I probably get 50 calls a day from VARs, and it drives me crazy," says Steven Faas, CIO of ITT. "It's not an appropriate way to sell to a company like us."

Sponsored post

A better approach to a large organization is to work up the ladder.

"Resellers can start to get in by working with the bottom of our organization, with guys who will come to me and say, 'We really gotta have this product,'" Faas says.

Peter Powers, former deputy mayor of New York City and now chairman and CEO of the Powers Global Strategy consultancy, says that when selling to government, due diligence is always important.

"Selling to government is a very, very different world because government punishes risk and has very strict procurement rules," he says. "Resellers should do their homework so they can tell someone why what they're selling will help make a government agency more efficient and enable them to get their services out to more people."

The problem is, not enough VARs are as diligent about this as they should be. "Very few VARs are doing anything above and beyond a pass-through service, but they should be up to their best standards when delivering services," says Shawn Farshchi, CIO and vice president of MediaTone Network Services for Webex.

The other thing resellers need to monitor is international developments, whether or not they plan to expand overseas.

"VARs really need to focus on Asia, particularly China," Faas says. "The region is becoming very competitive for the channel. You may not know the names of these companies now, but you will soon."