Avant: Sales enablement tools a 'must-have' for next-gen tech

Technology distributor Avant updated its sales enablement application, BattleApp, with more support for channel sales activities; other news from the week.

Avant Communications said it is differentiating in the distribution space by investing in sales enablement tools for partners.

The technology distributor this week unveiled the latest update to its sales enablement application, BattleApp. Revealed at Channel Partners Conference and Expo 2017 in Las Vegas, BattleApp v.2.1 builds out on its sales content and functionality, improving support for back-office and face-to-face selling activities.

"We built this tool to help [partners] go in front of their customers and help them differentiate themselves, to look like subject-matter experts across all things cloud, [colocation], connectivity and security," said Drew Lydecker, co-founder and president of Avant, based in Chicago.

BattleApp has a customizable and partner-brandable user interface that displays information across a number of sales-related categories. The app allows users to rapidly filter through technology providers to identify those that have relevant product offerings. Partners can also access a growing array of content, such as case studies and templated sales documents.

In addition to the BattleApp update, Avant said it is also offering a three-day training event, called Special Forces Training, for its top partners. The training event introduces partners to Avant's selling methodology and provides training for its sales enablement tools and advanced selling strategies.

Lydecker said demand for sales enablement tools is overwhelming right now. "We believe that sales enablement is the absolute must-have in order to be successful in next-gen technology," he said. "We believe being just a distributor and just a master agent and having a catalog aren't enough."

In addition to upgrading its sales enablement tools, Avant revealed an agreement with Comcast. Under the agreement, Avant will offer Comcast Business services to its channel partners.

Other news

Here's a look at more news highlights from the week:

  • AT&T Partner Exchange introduced an assortment of tools for its partners to develop internet-of-things practices. The new tools include A Channel Executive's Guide to IoT, which provides an overview of IoT trends and advice for creating IoT strategies. Additional resources include an IoT-readiness assessment survey and an AT&T IoT Starter Kit that offers hands-on experience for prototyping IoT offerings, according to AT&T.
  • Neustar, a real-time information services provider, launched the Cloud Security Partner Program for a select group of business partners and cloud service providers. The program provides resources, such as training and support, for selling Neustar Security Solutions. Additional benefits include automated opportunity registration, market development funds, marketing assets, go-to-market plans and dedicated partner account executives.
  • Distributor Tech Data Corp's Technology Solutions Business, which it acquired from Avnet in February, signed a distributor deal with Brocade. Under the agreement, Tech Data will offer Brocade software networking products through the Avnet Cloud Marketplace. 
  • CoreDial, a white-label cloud communications vendor, partnered with VeloCloud to offer SD-WAN capabilities to CoreDial partners.
  • Xerox appointed Pete Peterson as its senior vice president of global channel strategy. In his new role, Peterson will oversee revenue and profit growth, as well as investments across direct and indirect channels globally, according to Xerox. Peterson's previous roles include leading the sales organization at Tessco Technologies and serving as vice president of global channels at Brocade. He also worked for 20 years in various roles at Tech Data.
  • Security vendor SentinelOne hired Dee Dee Acquista as its vice president of worldwide channels. SentinelOne said Acquista will be responsible for developing strategic relationships with partners. She joined SentinelOne from Proofpoint, where she served as vice president of global channels.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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