By Mike Jerich, Vice President, Indirect Channels, Global Crossing Ltd.
Are you ready to expand internationally?
There is a very large international opportunity at hand. Reports we see shows significant growth in Asia/Pacific and Latin America regions, as well as smaller growth in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. MPLS and private line services seem to be favorites. But where do you start?
First you need to identify the customers. Looking at the Fortune 100 list would identify companies that have international locations, and thus provide the international opportunities, but it typically is better to identify a specific target or vertical. For example, financial services companies typically have international locations and are located in cities with a robust carrier network. Pick a well-known international vertical, identify cities that have the strongest networks for your carriers and start researching company names.
Second, partners not only need to understand the needs of the client, but they need to take the time to develop a solid relationship with a carrier; understand their footprint, nuances of their network and how to do business with them. Specifically, it helps to know what portions of their service are considered to be “on-net" and what services they leverage through a third-party vendor.
Third, ask your carrier for training on this topic. Most carriers can connect you with either a sales engineer (SE) or a product manager to provide more information on their International capabilities. Most partner programs have channel sales engineers who focus on network design and efficient solutions. Many of our partners have strong relationships with our SEs and work with them on a number of deals, particularly complex or international solutions.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity; start building your international practice now and maybe someday you’ll be opening the European branch.
Mike Jerich , vice president of indirect channels at Global Crossing Ltd., has more than 12 years of indirect sales experience and strives to provide partners with tools and resources to help them extend their business reach and build a profitable solutions-based business. Jerich manages the indirect sales team consisting of general managers, partner support managers, marketing and sales engineers, all dedicated resources for the partner channel. The team focuses on enabling their partners’ businesses through development of growth opportunities such as promotions, SPIFs, joint sales calls, MDF and training. He also is a member of the 2010-11 Channel Partners Advisory Board .