Our guest on SBI TV is Burney Barker, SVP of Worldwide Sales at Gigamon. Follow along as we learn from a transformative global sales leader with success at EMC, Dell, and now with Gigamon. With 96%+ of Gigamon’s revenue coming through partners, and Burney coming off the best quarter in the company’s history, I can’t think of a better guest to discuss channel partners. Burney is a rare sales leader, and I hope you enjoy his insights into how a global sales leader executes a channel strategy to cover the market.
Burney and I discuss how to cover the market completely with direct and indirect sales channels. To follow along, leverage SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 and turn to the Channel Optimization phase in the Sales Strategy section, found on page 376. If you would like to download the full transcript in a word document, click here.
This is a compelling show where Burney shares his approach to product evolution and how it meets the changing demands of Gigamon’s market. Turn to the 9-minute mark of the video to watch how Burney succeeds through the struggle of new-product introductions, and how he thinks about product and its role relative to growth rates.
Often, we hear about conflict among partners in the field when you have a heavily +80% indirect business. Matt and Burney discuss how Burney and his sales team manage this channel conflict:
“It’s a problem that’s existed since the beginning of time. Especially in the bigger opportunities, bigger accounts have lots of partners and so they have an abundance of choices. First off, the integrity of our partner program is most important. If a partner brings us into a deal, we give them registration. We’re going to win and lose with that partner no matter what. That’s key. But customers have a choice, and so, it’s vital that we capture and hold their attention. For example, new logos are a way of creating interest and initiating customer buy-in. Whenever possible, we try and let the client guide us as to their preference. We find balance because of the great number of partners, which is a good thing because we want to enable commerce but we also want to place some bets.”
Burney Barker shares his insight on covering the market, both with direct and indirect sales channels. As well as launching new products and making a transformation:
“This is a big thing to try and accomplish, so it’s got to be through a lot of communication. At sales kickoff, win the deal. Winning the deal, especially in this quarter, is vital. So, we’re really trying to make sure the team is enabled. We have small sales and enablement teams, so at kickoff, we were very clear where we’re going, and we picked certain use cases that we’re really going to focus on. Then, at our partner conference, provided some incentives to the channel. We introduced two new spiffs tied to new logos and to the security use case that we’re going to be driving in the market. What the channel partners want to do is win, and they want to make a good margin. Making sure that we’re helping them do that is number one priority: win at a fair price and a good margin for our partners, and a fair price to our customers.”
Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners is a surefire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company is equally devastating. And within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple submodels to consider. Skip to the 4-minute mark to watch Burney describe his company’s direct and indirect sales motion, and how it supports various partners (i.e. Value Added Resellers, Distributors, System Integrators, and Technical Alliance Partners).
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