Dec 5, 2016
This post is based on a podcast on how Nutanix scales its revenue with channel partners. You can listen to the entire podcast
Nutanix is an enterprise cloud platform that helps businesses focus on what’s really important without sacrificing security. They rely on channel partners to scale their sales fast and effectively. “
I see basically channel resellers as an extension of our sales,”
explains Joan Morales, Senior Channel Marketing Manager for Nutanix. “
That means having the knowledge, the tools, access to the resources that they need, including marketing programs and training materials, so they can be successful in selling Nutanix.”
The business has been expanding rapidly since its inception in 2009. In only a few years it has gone from having a few hundred channel partners to several thousand, selling across dozens of countries and reaching thousands of customers globally. Recently the business went public with a stunning stock market debut.
Making their channel partners successful
is was the challenge
With their heavy reliance on channel partners for sales breadth and reach, the key challenge for Nutanix was identifying what they needed to be successful in their sales enablement strategy, and how to deliver it to their reps in a way that was easy to access and digest.
Geography was another challenge they faced. While Nutanix is headquartered
in San Jose they needed to be where their channel partners and customers were.
Channel partners are an extension of their own sales force
The core of Nutanix’ channel partner strategy is to treat them as an extension of their own sales force; with the same care, love, respect, and passion.
“Making it easy and simple and as complete as we make it for our own employees, with the same tools, and in most of the cases the same content. So that everybody goes back to the same core knowledge and the same core aspects of Nutanix,”
Leveraging technology for ease of access
“Ease of use is one of the most important aspects. Making an experience that is easy, sociable, fun. What is really critical for us is giving access to as many things as we can give access to,”
comments Morales. “
When we have live training for our own employees we bring them back into the headquarters and we train them for a week. We could not do that for our channel partners of course because the scale and the reach is really large. So we thought about how we can make all of that great content accessible to channel partners around the globe in their own time.”
“We made a huge inventory of all the content we needed to share with partners and we looked for a platform that was a video-based platform. Easy to use, completely web-based, with no software to be installed, that’s actually more of a consumer experience than an enterprise experience. We wanted to deliver to our partners an experience that is actually closer to Facebook or a video game, not a boring enterprise software experience,”
After a detailed market survey, Nutanix chose Mindtickle to deliver this experience to their channel partners (and employees). “
Mindtickle was one of the best in terms of delivering all aspects of the training.”
Engage users by reinforcing concepts
To engage their channel partners’ reps and help them learn, Nutanix leveraged gamification and reinforcement features in Mindtickle.
“Basically we were able to put all our training in video and we created small weekly modules of training. After each one of the weekly modules of training, there are different types of tests that you take on Mindtickle. You have video testing, with points associated to every single thing that happens. This makes cumbersome training into a game. You get exposed to a new concept and then right after you get questions on that new concept that you just listened to. By doing this and replicating this time after time you’ll build knowledge very easily. Mindtickle has a very large menu of different types of test questions,”
“So Mindtickle basically was able to deliver that kind of fun, engaging, easy to manage, easy to deliver the experience. We were trying to find a partner that could be a company that was eager to innovate, eager to do things quickly, to basically helps us deliver these new types of experience for our channel partners. And that’s a very important aspect that we also found in Mindtickle. We found a team that is eager to innovate, is eager to work beyond the normal hours sometimes when it’s necessary to make sure that things happen on time.”
Track key metrics closely to identify gaps
Metrics play an important role in managing Nutanix’ channel partners. There are three types of analytics that they measure closely:
- Deal size:This helps them identify where they can close larger deals;
- Sales cycle:The faster they can sell the more deals they can close;
- Success rates:The more success their partners have the more they can sell.
The business does look at other metrics to track how well their channel partners are performing, such as days to close their first deal. These metrics all help Nutanix identify which channel partners are the most successful.
Nutanix’ success is evident in their revenue and channel partner feedback
Nutanix’ channel partners have provided positive feedback on their sales training and updates. “
We have had many channel partners come back to us, telling us that the training that we are delivering is the best thing they have seen. All their salespeople are willing to take the training because it’s easy, it’s fun and it’s a video experience that basically is entertaining,”
Through reporting and analysis, Nutanix has identified that channel partners who have access to their training program through Mindtickle are able to close deals faster. They also have deals of higher value and able to drive more sales more consistently over a longer period of time.