Avant Assigns XO, CenturyLink Vet to New Channel VP Role

**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in May.**

Avant has named Howard Huerta, a senior executive with a long history in channel sales with the company, as well as XO Communications, CenturyLink and Time Warner Cable, as its first vice president of channel sales enablement.

Avant's Howard Huerta

Avant’s Howard Huerta

In this new role, Huerta will bring together the tools, people, intelligence and technology of Avant’s Channel Sales Enablement Program to deliver a “fluid and cohesive experience,” the company said.

Avant launched the program last summer, delivering sales enablement as a service (SEaaS) to partners looking to accelerate their sales of next generation IT offerings like security, SD-WAN, IaaS and UCaaS.

“Our business was founded on the principles of sales enablement, which empowers our channel partners to achieve revenue goals that previously were never achieved before joining Avant’s Channel Sales Enablement Program,” said Drew Lydecker, Avant’s president and co-founder. “We are challenging our channel partners …”

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Huerta talks about his plans for working with partners and helping them navigate through the explosion of new technology.

Channel Partners: What do you most want partners and the channel to know about you?

Howard Huerta: I’m very passionate about Avant and the channel. My strengths are operational in nature, but with a sales focus. We believe we can double a partner’s revenue when they partner with us. I want to continue helping our partners achieve new levels of performance. I love seeing Avant partners talk to each other, and share ideas and successes. I believe we’re stronger together.

CP: What all is your new job going to entail?

HH: It’s going to entail selling complex solutions to customers which requires more than just a marketplace. Avant has created a program that helps partners rapidly become productive, successful and profitable in selling next-generation IT services. My role will be to lead the delivery of our sales-enablement program, ensuring our partners get the maximum impact from leveraging the Avant resources, tools and training. This includes data and analytics to our partners, providers and internal team members to help make smart business decisions.

Our enablement programs span every aspect of the partner life cycle, including onboarding, training, strategic planning, service provider alignment and periodic reviews — and having fun doing it.

CP: What are the biggest issues facing the channel and what will be your role in addressing them?

HH: There has been an explosion of new technology and new providers in the last few years, and the pace of change is rapidly accelerating. Partners need an ally they can trust to help them keep up. Everything is moving at light speed and customers can’t keep up with all of the technology and how it can benefit their business. They simply don’t have time to do all of the research on the technology nor the research on how well any of these service providers can deliver solutions.

Added to that, 95 percent of the channel doesn’t have time to learn. My role will be to help partners understand how to maximize their access to all of the intellectual property Avant has developed over the last eight years that enables them to navigate all of the confusion in the marketplace and bring to bear impactful solutions in days — not weeks or months.

CP: What do you plan to accomplish in your first six months to a year in your new position?

HH: We have spent the past 12 months building the programs and tools to help our partners accelerate and double their business. My focus will be to deliver these programs and build a simple, repeatable and effective cadence with our partners to ensure they maximize leveraging the Avant program, resources and tools.

We’ve created great KPIs that allow us to monitor engagement and change directions on a dime, so we’ll be constantly looking to improve our experience for our partners.

Finally, our partners are why we are in business. I’ll be working with my internal Avant partners to continue to improve our tools, process, IP and people so that we continue to build our partners’ businesses.

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