At VerkadaOne, Caleb Augustin, the Head of Global Channel at Verkada, welcomed Alison Gleeson to the stage, a former SVP of Sales at Cisco Americas and a Verkada Sales Strategic Advisor. Massively accomplished in her field, Alison discussed her experience working in a global sales and channel organization during a period of rapid growth. She also referenced that what excites her about Verkada now is similar to what excited her about Cisco when she first started there in 1995.
In discussing what makes a strong channel organization, Alison highlighted four main points that would be most relevant to Verkada Partners:
The Importance of Relationships in Sales. To create strong relationships between manufacturers and Partners, Alison underscored how the magic happens at the sales representative level and encouraged teams to get to know each other as people first, then as reps. These connections help foster personal bonds and improve productivity. Find ways to share collective experiences, as these build rapport. Relationships are vital to promoting business growth and facing challenges, so teams have the trust to work through those difficulties together and learn from each other.
Commitment to Channel Partners. Alison discussed how organizations with Partner-first mentalities yield significant growth, as it's fundamental for scaling operations. She admired the early commitment of Verkada to our Partners and how this decision has distinguished us in our journey. She noted how important it is for manufacturers to leverage their Partner expertise and consider them extensions of their sales organization, as they offer valuable insights into the market, competition and customer behavior.
The Role of Sales Enablement and Adaptability. Another point stressed by Alison was the need for continuous sales enablement. From her perspective, sales enablement isn't just about teaching sales teams to sell a particular product but also about helping them differentiate your product from competitors, adapt to changing market conditions and target mission-critical prospects effectively.
Effective Meetings & Accountability. Meetings should not be a mere checkbox activity. They must deliver value and provoke action. Alison recommended a color-coded dashboard system to monitor sales metrics consistently. Reps should discuss any negative shift and take necessary action. The dashboard is considered the team's source of truth.
The conversation also touched upon the importance of disruptive innovation, the need for continuous communication and ensuring organizations include Partners in the company's evolution. In Alison's view, Partners are just as critical — if not more so — than customers regarding success: Partners equal scale, and scale equals growth.