While most companies are announcing layoffs, IP phone maker snom Inc. is expanding, adding a new position focused on growing its distributor and reseller programs in the Western region of North America. The new sales channel manager post was filled by Tommy Lee, effective Jan. 1.
Lee has more than 15 years of both channel and direct field sales experience in the United States. For the last year he has served as the territory manager for Clearswift Corp., an Internet security company, where he achieved triple-digit revenue growth for the company’s West Coast region. In that role he had both direct and channel sales responsibility.
He also has been on the other side of the fence, working as a senior account manager for reseller AMS.NET, a Cisco Gold Partner that provides network infrastructure and UC solutions to organizations throughout Northern California.
An electrical engineer by training, Lee said he quickly learned lab work did not appeal to his enterprising nature. High-tech sales, he said, is the best of both worlds, indulging his “geek tendencies” while offering more interactive work.
Lee also has held positions in sales at Tut Systems (now Motorola), PGP Corp., Sigaba and Fujitsu.
“Lee has a proven track record in sales and market development for the enterprise and SMB telecom sectors,” said Mike Storella, snom’s director of business development in North America. “He brings expertise, energy and industry contacts needed to accelerate snom’s sales activities in the West.”
Lee said snom plans to add one or two distributors to serve the West Coast. He said traction for snom’s IP phones, which were introduced to North America just two years ago, continues to grow as customers and resellers become familiar with the brand and its quality. The staple is snom’s 300 series IP phones, but the new 820 and the M3 cordless are gaining traction, Lee claimed.
He also said the company’s executives are “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for increasing sales in 2009. He explained with the recession, businesses are relocating and downsizing, which forces them to re-evaluate their infrastructure and look for cost-saving options like VoIP.
Lee said snom employs a traditional two-tier distribution model with resellers sourcing gear from distributors. However, the company has an aggressive reseller recruiting strategy. It is encouraging VARs to become registered or certified snom dealers. Dealers must take a 1-1/2 day training session and pass a test to become certified.