Symantec Channel Sales VP: Specialization And Teaming Equal Success In Security

The rapidly evolving world of cloud, mobility and virtualization is driving a greater demand for security, and also for solid partnerships aimed at meeting the customer need that is growing in so many directions at once.

So says John Eldh, after slightly more than 30 days in his new job as Symantec’s vice president of channel sales for the Americas. Eldh has been with Symantec for seven years in various leadership roles that have encompassed both direct and indirect sales in the United States and EMEA. After building out Symantec’s commercial and SMB business in EMEA, Eldh returned to the U.S. last year to manage the company’s cloud business until being tapped for his latest role.

’We have very ambitious goals for growth across the Americas and in order to achieve those goals, the partners are absolutely playing a major role,’ Eldh explained to CRN. ’I'm talking to partners about how we can both be even more aligned and more committed to our channel strategy than ever before. And we’re looking for creative new ways to help them differentiate their own businesses. That's one thing that comes up every time I talk to a partner. They want to know how to leverage the Symantec portfolio to help them beat their competitors.’

[Related: Symantec Beefs Up Mobile Security Offerings ]

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Over the past few years, Symantec has been moving towards a partner-led consulting model in which the partners had the opportunity to lead the sale. To better support that objective, the company began adopting a specialization model, similar to those offered by a number of other companies in the industry.

At Symantec, and elsewhere, specialization in core areas can drive growth for channel partners and vendors alike. The emphasis is on a deeper dive into the technology or business model that can help partners to build a practice around the targeted area and engage in a more consultative approach to sales.

’We’re also doing a lot around teaming, which is a hot button for me, both internally between our channel teams and field teams, but also between Symantec and the partners,’ Eldh noted.

’It’s a complex environment out there, and some people have greater focus and greater strength in certain areas, while others are more broadly focused,’ he said. ’So we are seeing all sorts of strategies for teaming. They’re teaming with us and their teaming with each other in order to deliver complete solutions, whether they do this as a stopgap or on a more permanent basis.’

NEXT: Eldh’s Plan To Align Symantec With Channel

A number of channel resources have been reorganized and now report to the regions, with a dotted line back to Eldh. The objective is to drive greater alignment and collaboration between Symantec’s field and channel teams as it relates to go-to-market strategies with the partners. His team then developed a tighter framework around planning and execution, by way of joint business plans spanning the field team, the channel team and the partners themselves.

’In order to drive growth and market share, we have to create new levels of interaction with our partners to drive greater collaboration, greater loyalty, and be able to take advantage of the leverage of our combined value proposition,’ he added. ’So part of that is about teaming. Part of it is about the subprograms that we offer through our partner program. But, much of it is about listening and becoming more in tune with their needs. We have a very strong partner centric culture, and I want to build on that.’