Verizon Business Focuses On Co-Creation, Co-Selling By Teaming With Partners
‘We really exist to serve in this co-sell environment in this lead-sharing program, where we drive business back to Verizon for our services, and then they drive business to us to provide the services for their customers,’ one Verizon partner tells CRN.
Verizon Business is working alongside partners to build and sell new solutions based on the carrier‘s connectivity portfolio.
The carrier’s channel leaders and sales teams met this week with a group of partners in Boston as one of the stops on Verizon’s National Elite VAR Roadshow. The telecom heavyweight said it’s focused on simplifying the partner experience and co-creating solutions alongside its partners. To that end, the carrier is incentivizing its internal sales team to work with partners on new solutions.
“Our [direct] teams get the same compensation when a partner is engaged, so for them, it’s nothing but upside, because a partner helps to bring that last-mile solution delivery,” explained Verizon Director of Channel Sales Enablement Sarah Marsh. “The fact that [Verizon sellers] can get paid the same amount, plus have the additional supportive partner, is a tremendous value add.”
The roadshow for select channel partners includes keynotes from Verizon leaders and roundtables in which partners can engage and collaborate with the carrier‘s sales teams. The channel partners in attendance at the roadshow in Boston, which had more than 200 attendees, included Connected Solutions Group, CTS Mobility, Industrial Networking Solutions, Masters Telecom, Mobility CG and Source Inc. The purpose of the roadshows is to promote teaming between channel partners and Verizon’s direct sales team that handle SMB, midmarket, and enterprise sales, Marsh said.
“One of the really great attributes of our channel program is we‘ve mitigated a lot of channel conflict, and promote a lot of teaming across the business,” she said. “A big piece of that is how do we educate our direct sellers on all the value that our channel partner can bring and all the solutions they have and their capabilities. The best way to do that is in a face-to-face environment.”
Connected Solutions Group (CSG), a Richmond, Va.-based elite Verizon partner in attendance, considers itself a hybrid telecom solution provider and MSP partner that thrives on co-creating and co-selling new solutions together with Verizon, said Michael Pittman, founder and CEO of CSG.
“We really exist to serve in this co-sell environment in this lead-sharing program, where we drive business back to Verizon for our services, and then they drive business to us to provide the services for their customers,” Pittman said.
CSG, right now with Verizon, is building and deploying smart city solutions, including the Wi-Fi enablement of an entire town using Verizon wireless technology. The firm is also harnessing 5G and cellular solutions as primary connectivity options for some businesses.
The carrier has made it easier for partners to transact with Verizon over the last two years and the carrier‘s sales teams are very open to working and collaborating with partners, Pittman said.
“I can’t speak highly enough about everybody in the channel leadership over at Verizon,” he said. “I’ve got over 200 employees here that feed their families purely based on this channel partnership with Verizon. [Verizon and partners] are truly seeing the value and how the collaborative work is producing better results for customers.”
For her part, Marsh has added additional support to her team to grow sales engagement and cut out friction between Verizon’s channel and direct selling team by connecting direct sellers to channel partners.
Verizon has also introduced tools to its sales team, such as the Partner Solution Finder that 0can help quickly identify the right partner, in the right space, to match a customer‘s need, said Shannon Calvert, Verizon’s vice president of channel enablement. “You don’t have to be guessing or already have a relationship with a partner. This tool is right there at their fingers that simplifies the process,” she said.
Upcoming Verizon roadshow stops this summer include Salt Lake City, Utah, Roseville, Calif. and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon also in April launched a new Partner Recognition Program, part of the Verizon Partner Network, designed to celebrate partner accomplishments across six categories: Operational Excellence, Social and Community Impact, Marketing excellence, Innovation, Client Business Impact, and Business Internet Excellence, the company told CRN in April. Partners can nominate themselves later in 2022 and winners will be announced in January 2023.