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Master agent Intelisys has added to its partner enablement portfolio a new sales tool that allows sales partners to qualify cloud opportunities quickly while collaborating with the Intelisys solutions engineering team.
The Virtual Sales Engineer (VSE) makes it possible for channel sales pros to qualify deals as they happen by asking their customers a pre-determined set of questions found within the tool — from their laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Justin Kelley, Intelisys’ director of information systems, tells Channel Partners the new tool “puts the expertise of a sales engineer” into partners’ hands. If additional assistance is required, the VSE facilitates fast automated communication with Intelisys engineers to get answers quickly, he said.
“One of the reasons that many channel partners are reluctant to make the pivot to cloud is that they don’t want to reveal any lack of expertise in front of their clients,” he said. “Further, they don’t know the questions to ask to uncover an opportunity. Asking the right questions gives a sales partner instant credibility in the eyes of a customer. The VSE solves this problem. A sales partner can ask the questions on their mobile device while sitting in front of the customer and fill out the answers in real time. He or she can then collaborate with their Intelisys solutions engineer in a shared document in the cloud to create the right solution quickly. So the channel salesperson doesn’t have to be the expert on a cloud technology. They just need the right tools to shine on the front end, and collaborate with solutions engineers on the back end. This allows channel partners to instantly open conversations, create better solutions for their clients more confidently, and close more cloud business where they were hesitant to before.”
The tool currently supports opportunities in backup and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS); hybrid cloud; network; SD-WAN and UC, with more coming soon.
“Sales partners continually asked for the questions that they could ask their customers around a particular cloud technology area,” said Raymond Nelson, Intelisys’ director of solutions engineering. “We have always had a Discover Document library, so it seemed logical to put it in a tool that could be used in front of the client. Additionally, sales partners were not always prepared to have us available, so this tool provided a way they could do it alone and easily communicate with us after. We also found that we were continually emailing each other back and forth, and the VSE allows us (to) keep all dialog in one place.”
By combining Intelisys’ educational tools, like Cloud Services University and Super9, with its enablement resources, like solutions engineers, Audex 360 and the VSE, sales partners can “create better cloud solutions for their clients, and grow their businesses faster as the IT and telecom/cloud channels converge,” Kelley said.