SalesTechStar Interview with Charlie Collins, Channel Sales Director at Datadobi
Charlie Collins, Channel Sales Director at Datadobi chats about the importance of documenting sales success practices and stories in this quick catch-up with SalesTechStar:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Charlie, tell us more about what it’s been like through your sales journey, and we’d love to hear about your current role at Datadobi…
I have spent my entire 20+ years career in IT sales. During this time, I have had the opportunity to coach and mentor – leading teams locally, regionally, and nationally. What I have learned from these experiences is that people want and appreciate being led and coached! A team will respond to those who are willing to lead by example and become more willing to do the things you ask them to do.
My role at Datadobi could not be more exciting! When I first joined the company and sat down to talk with our leadership, I could truly feel the culture and commitment to grow our channel program. My role is to take the world class experience our customers and partners already enjoy in working with us and develop programs to make it blossom. One key initiative here will be to work with our existing field to attract and educate major technology integrators, so that they are fully aware of our capabilities. I do not see this as a “typical” value added reseller (VAR) program, where we are trying to sell through hundreds of partners. The goal is that this program will focus us on partners who will fully integrate our solutions into their pre- and post-sales regiments.
What are some of the winning processes in your view that can drive better channel and partnership momentum? While at this, what are some core technologies that have always enabled your efforts and strategies?
The processes that are key to partner success may sound simple, but they are not often followed. They are: follow up, be accountable, and be willing to challenge. As a VAR partner, I have watched so many “partners” come into my office twice a year, make commitments, and then not follow through. To establish a true partnership, we must identify what our mutual goals are, stay focused on achieving them, and hold all parties accountable for that success.
I am a huge fan of documenting and sharing our successes. To do that, we must have great data and allow that data to work for us. CRM systems like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zoom Info combined with campaigning and socialization creates energy. Our partners are our customers and deserve the same attention our biggest end user customers do. They choose every day to help us be successful – or not – and extend our sales reach. We provide touch points, campaigns, and partner information that helps them understand why they and their end clients need Datadobi solutions.
Specific to the B2B market, what can sales and marketing teams do to improve their partner and channel experience, with end users/buying journeys in mind?
The buying and partner experience needs to be straightforward, as simple as possible, consistent, and trusted! Partners are focused on their initiatives and knowing where we fit in those initiatives is critical. When our teams embrace, understand, and live in this motion more success will happen. There are many tools for partner interaction. As we develop our programs we will certainly employ programs to enhance our partners experiences, training, and communications.
Can you share a few quick learnings from some of the strongest partnership and channel models you’ve seen in B2B in the recent years?
Over the last several years, I have seen several emerging partners truly embrace how critical marketing and presence are to drive partner momentum. Two technology partner models I am truly excited by are Arctic Wolf and Pure Storage. With great conviction and aggressive marketing, they have built tremendously successful programs with great field presence that make them appear to be everywhere. This energy breeds success and in some fashion, makes partners ask themselves, “Why are we not working with them?” As a former partner, they made working with them as easy as possible. They worked toward mutually profitable experiences with strong marketing and field support.
A few thoughts on how you feel sales tech and partner relationship management / channel management software as a segment will move in 2022?
The industry we live in is in a major swing and data mobility could not be more critical. Additionally, organizations are so tired of buying another hardware solution for a single problem fix. Datadobi software enables an organization to move data as needed, when needed, and where needed like no other. These types of software are going to dynamically move in 2022 and beyond. Partners and partner programs that embrace the change from product to solution services will make major headway in the coming years.
Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital sales tips and best practices before we wrap up!
I could not be more excited than I am right now! I look forward to the opportunity to help create and foster a culture in the channel that embraces change, especially a move from selling a product to selling a solution. I plan to be creative, present, and committed to each partnership. And although it may sound very cliche, people do buy from people. With many offerings, it will be the individual relationships Datadobi creates, nurtures, and expands that will make us and our partners successful.
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