Over the past year, Globalscape, a secure information exchange company, has focused on bolstering its channel business.
Despite having a loyal and diverse global customer base, the leadership team decided in early 2014 to expand sales initiatives and specifically, invest in developing a North American channel.
Now at the tail end of the year, Globalscape has added more than 100 North American resellers and three distributors; more than 35 Latin American resellers and four distributors; and six distributors with resellers throughout 20 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
In the below Q&A, Chris Cleary, Senior Director of Channel Sales at Globalscape, outlines the current state of the company’s channel and how it keeps partners engaged and thriving.
Channel Marketer Report (CMR): Can you share some more information regarding the overall history of your channel program? When did it initially begin?
Cleary: Our initiatives in the channel, called the Globalscape Partner Program (GPP), expanded into the North America market when we re-established our partner program in January of this year. Prior to this year, Globalscape’s channel initiatives were primarily based outside of the North American market. The channel continues to be an important driver for us in Europe and Latin America.
CMR: What made Globalscape decide to focus on bolstering its partner community?
Cleary: Globally, we’ve always had both sales and marketing support for our channel partners. Prior to 2014, in North America, Globalscape worked with partners in a reactive mode in addition to our traditional, direct sales model with marketing efforts supporting growth. Since we re-established our GPP in January we have been increasing our investment in channel activities, both in sales and marketing. Based on the extensive collective experience we have in the partner channel, we’ve structured a program with the needs of our partners and customers in mind.
CMR: Can you share more detail on the technical and product training you provide?
Cleary: Globalscape is pleased to offer our partners comprehensive training plans that enable them to quickly ramp-up their technical, pre-sales, post-sales, sales and support teams. We offer a number of courses for partners. From beginner to advanced, they include certification courses, a one-day workshop up to a five-day in-depth training course. We also have open enrollment once a quarter, as an option for partners to participate in customized, in-house or remote trainings. At this point, we are small and nimble enough to have the course options to meet any of our partner’s needs.
CMR: What types of demand generation and marketing resources do you provide to partners?
Cleary: We continuously strive to work hard for our partners who invest in selling Globalscape solutions, we are listening to our partners and collaborate to develop marketing plans that work best for them. We don’t tell them they have to market in a certain way. We support them in their initiatives whether it’s research-based or an event — we’re doing many creative things because we have the flexibility to do so. We also have a partner portal full of additional resources for our partners, from deal registration information, to marketing resources like product information and videos, case studies, use cases, white papers and support resources.
CMR: How is Globalscape involved in the sales process? How do you reward partners for generating sales and remaining loyal to the brand?Cleary: Currently, we are taking as much of the heavy lifting off of partners as possible. In each instance, where we can identify a potential sale, we’re working with them — not just supplying them with answers to questions. We help our partners identify what a sale looks like and, in many cases, it’s complementary with other products in the partner’s portfolio. We offer our partners 30-point deal registration on qualified opportunities as well as margin on maintenance support. We also offer dedicated channel sales, engineering and marketing support, MDF and training. For many focus partners we also provide sales incentives, third-party lead generation, and net-new logo acquisition programs.
CMR: What kind of feedback have you received from partners as a result of the new program? How will this help you refine and further optimize the program in 2015?
Cleary: Listening to our partners has been one of the most important parts of this year’s GPP launch. We are still fine-tuning the program and we are constantly speaking with partners to add the right amount of support (technical, sales or marketing) and communicate our solutions’ feature enhancements, as well as any other work our product engineers plan to roll out. This in no small part has also contributed to the explosive growth in the program.
In 2015, I expect that we will continue to expand our efforts in the channel, while maintaining our focus on our direct sales model. We will continue to increase our global reach through our demand generation and partner recruitment efforts and partner enablement initiatives. We are continuously soliciting feedback from our partners on what they’d like to see in the GPP and we will continue to tailor it to their needs.