"Make your partners smart people. Make them understand the buying circumstances, or the market conditions and objections, so when they're in a sales conversation they're powerful."
Jeff Miller, Channel Manager at Cyberstone Security has been named a Channeltivity Channel Champion. Channel Champions are selected because they have built thriving relationships with their partners and are growing their channel in exciting ways.
View the video to hear Jeff talk about the strategies used to increase partner engagement, build strong relationships, and grow their channel.
Channel Champion conversation transcript:
I think beyond just having a killer product—because let’s face it everybody says they have the best product, right?—so beyond that, I think it’s a matter of education.
I spend a lot of my time, nights and weekends, learning new cybersecurity regulations and then I pour that into our partners. Make them smart people. Make them understand the buying circumstances, or the market conditions and objections, so when they’re in a sales conversation they’re powerful. And it’s beyond just saying I can do the best penetration test or I can offer the best service. It’s really educating them and getting into the customers head. Why would the customer buy? What’s their vantage point?
In addition to educating our partners, I think one of the biggest ways that we’re successful is we offer a variety of different ways to be successful. So things like, hey let’s do a Lunch and Learn. Let’s do a webinar series. Let’s do a breakfast-and-learn, which people are starting to do more of. Can I write you an article for your newsletter? Are you in any associations that we can amplify and have one voice and reach 100 different companies? Those strategies are going to vary depending on if somebody is tuned in to doing lunch and learns or if they have the budget for that or webinars, which are zero cost in many cases. So there are costs and benefits, and stepping through those different strategies is important for us.
I would say the number one reason for our success, above and beyond that family feeling, that call for no reason, and the strategies above…beyond all that we’re offering something that is consistent, repeatable, and templated. There’s no such thing as what Cyberstone is doing. We have a full-time product manager, Lean Six Sigma, and everything that we do has a process. We also follow that in our channel strategy. When I onboard a new partner there’s a whole litany of things that kick off. We get them into MailChimp so they can be on the monthly newsletter. We LinkedIn with them. We add them in to, of course, Channeltivity. We find out who is on their sales team. We train them—for them to be effective they’ve got to be trained. The next thing is to do a strategy call with the leadership at each of our channel partners. All that is documented. There’s a process we go through and we check it off. If it doesn’t get checked off then we have a meeting with the partner to say hey we said we were going to do these things to be successful. What’s the holdup?
A PRM tool like Channeltivity helps us reach our goals in many different ways, but probably the biggest thing that I hear from my partners is this is the easiest way to register a deal across any vendor, or any platform that I’ve ever used. So people have an experience from like Cisco CCW, for example, where you would rather give your firstborn up then go through the deal reg. process. We find that Channeltivity is just the complete opposite of that. In the platform, a lot of people are registering deals so it decreases the amount of time. They just love it.
Beyond deal registration, we’re using Channeltivity to enable partners through sales. Sales sheets, marketing materials, even campaigns in a box, which is PowerPoints along with call scripts so that they can do call blitzes and social media content as well. So that’s all there for them and Channeltivity gives us a nice spot to put it right along with the deal registration.