Juniper will divert more of its UK resource towards leading partners and top accounts in 2012 as it introduces back-end rebates and incentives for named salespeople.
From next year, Juniper will divide its customer base into three strands: Key, Major and Commercial accounts. There are only six key accounts globally, one of which is in the UK. Below that, pre-defined major accounts, serviced by channel partners, will all have an internal Juniper sales rep aligned to them.
Darryl Brick, Juniper's UK and Ireland partner director, told ChannelWeb he was "placing his bets" and would "focus more on fewer" of the vendor's foremost partners and crucial accounts. About 25 UK partners will have hands-on account management, while others' needs will be addressed by a centralised team in Amsterdam, with each account manager handling 50-plus partners.
"At [the Major account] stage the partner community becomes an integral part of the strategy. We are going to nominate partners earlier and pay for value," said Brick. "We are going to look to engage partners early and incorporate them into the account planning so we can quantify the value they have added and reflect that in the pricing."
Sales activity in the wider Commercial accounts area will be led by the partner community, backed up by distribution partners. Juniper has singled out five key verticals to go after: financial services, utilities, education, healthcare and the wider public sector.
Brick added that he will also be looking to "place his bets" with Juniper's MDF cash, focusing heightened investment on longer-term campaigns with committed partners.
"Instead of saying to a guy ‘you can have 10 grand this quarter, go and do something', we will say ‘have 20 grand for four quarters in a row and run a solid programme of demand generation into the education space [for example]'," he said.
Juniper is set to bring in technology-specific back-end rebates for the first time, having recently trialled them with a handful of partners that deal with its edge switching wares.
"We set them an aggressive stretch target and put a juicy rebate incentive on it," said Brick (pictured). "Security will be the next one – it is our fastest-growing product range – probably the SRX [range of gateways]."
Brick lamented that sales incentive programmes have "gone out of fashion" and claimed he wanted to pilot a scheme aimed at growing sales of specific technologies through named salespeople. Those achieving targets could claim prizes such as luxury holidays.
"The sizzle has gone out of many aspects of the channel," explained Brick. "For me, as a channel guy, the sales reps in partners are the gold dust."
Niall McGrane, UK general manager at Juniper distributor Westcon Security, said: "Juniper's strategy for the coming year is to have deeper partner relationships and deeper penetration into accounts. It has such a broad product range now that it is time to take a consultative approach to selling and open up communications with the CIO."
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