The Partner Channel Podcast Episode #4

Thriving in a Remote Channel

Show Synopsis

Daniel talks with Doug Remington, General Manager & Head of Sales EMEA at DTEN, on mistakes and lessons learned in the channel. Learn from Doug’s 20+ years of experience managing global sales and channel sales programs. He also shares his vision for what the channel industry will look like in the next 5 years.

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The Script

Daniel: Welcome to the Partner Channel Podcast, the voice of the partner channel community. In this episode, I, Daniel Graff-Radford sit down with Doug Remington, the General Manager and Head of Sales for EMEA at DTEN to discuss the new way of working in the age of remote work. Welcome Doug. Thank you for being on our show.  Can you start us off by telling us what DTEN is and what you guys do? 

Doug: Thanks, Daniel. Thanks for having me on. It’s great to be here. DTEN, helps  organizations who use Zoom become more competitive, productive, and agile through our hardware solutions for meeting rooms. And we do that through our all in one plug and play video room devices, which rule a touch screen, camera microphones, PC preloaded with Zoom software.

Daniel: Having played a lot of different meeting room technologies. I can say that DTEN is the easiest I’ve ever seen, and it definitely eliminates the whole being a project to start a meeting. All right, Doug, we’ve got our questions. Give us an example. One mistake and one success you’ve had in the channel.

Doug: I think, one of mistake is, diving in too quick without really qualifying a partner properly. I’ve seen situations where we have invested a huge amount of time resource people and to a big shiny partnership which ultimately ended up delivering nothing or very little.

And I think, when you look back at these things, you can be guided by the potential, but you don’t really dig in deep enough to understand. Is this really going to work? Are we going to be able to really get the attention of the salespeople within these organizations to go out and sell ourselves?

Are we going to be important to them? And are they going to focus on, on what we’ve got? I think that’s probably the biggest, mistake I’ve seen before and why it’s so important to identify from the outset, you know, a good understanding of, the agreement from the start and understand the people you’re going to work with.

In terms of a positive one, that I’ve learned. I think that some of these new partners, within the Zoom space who are potentially smaller partners, but they’re so deeply into the space and they really have this vision of the kind of new world that we see it with, what we’re doing and with Zoom. 

Daniel: I love those answers. I think everyone that’s listening can probably think about, their partner qualification process and how you align your resources to their qualifications. And if you do it too quickly, then you can lead yourself into a trouble. And then, you know, whether it’s size or not partner engagement is really the North star metric of a good partner.

Those are really good things to think about. Alright. So you’ve had a very successful career and younger people that might be listening that want to, achieve the level of success that you’ve had. What is a business book that you would recommend to someone that wants to grow into a sales or channel leadership role? 

Doug: Specifically for channel there’s a great playbook called Making Channel Sales Work, by Marcus Cauchi, David Davis. So they’re both from the Sandler School. I like Marcus’s stuff. It’s very clear, straight and very practical. And he does fantastic podcasts as well, which are worth checking out.

But, it’s just, it’s, it’s just, again, it’s a very practical book, but I think one of the things I just said in the last week, I think if you’re going to go through it, you will always find things to help you fine tune and tweak and your approach and your learning and making sure you’re doing the right things with your partners and your customers and it’s a useful book. 

Daniel: I think that’s a great one. Actually, when I started as CEO here, he sent me a copy of it and we’ve struck up an online friendship from there. He’s a very talented guy. All right. We’re all here at home and thinking a lot about the past, thinking about the future, wondering what it’s going to be like.

So from your perspective, five years from now, what will be major changes in the channel that people should be thinking about right now? 

Doug: I think it’s going to become more and more important because you, that desire for companies to scale up quickly and you’re living in a world where, you know, you need to scale up quickly sometimes to assert your position.

And I think the channel is going to become increasingly important to enable that to happen. So from our perspective, I think it goes back to what we said before is making sure you equip and treat your channel correctly and provide them with the tools and the support and the training and all the pieces that they need to be successful. The channel will become more demanding, right? Because as people get better at those things, you need to be better than everyone else to make sure you can help them sell what you want them to sell over, one of your competitors.

Daniel: There is definitely a shift across the world moving from CapEx to OPEX as everything moves. To SaaS this and SasS that. And if you’re helping people on a cap ex basis, how do you move to op ex is definitely a trend we’re seeing as well. And then we’re seeing a broader number of companies adopting channels as a way to grow.

And so it will become increasingly important for you to automate and manage that channel and be competitive within the channel. So this is really good advice. Thank you. All right. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why? 

Doug: To be able to go entice someone to tell exactly what they’re thinking. I’ve always trained everyone in the sales organizations the act of listening is one of the most important skills and trying to understand exactly what somebody is telling you. 

Daniel: Alright. Thank you to our guest, Doug Remington from DTEN and thank you so much for listening to the Partner Channel Podcast.

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