Finding Partners’ Success Path: Q&A with CRN Power 100 Winner Hope McCluskey

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The ESET Partner Program has earned the Computer Reseller News 5-Star Rating for the second consecutive year. In addition, the publication recognized ESET Director of Channel Marketing Hope McCluskey as one of its Women of the Channel/Power 100 executives. We recently caught up with her to learn more about why her partner program is garnering so much attention.

Congratulations! To start off, let’s talk about the partner on-boarding process, which CRN singled out in recognizing you for the award. Can you elaborate a bit?

Thank you! I was thrilled that our achievements over the past year earned such recognition. With regard to our onboarding process, it’s very simple. We believe that partners shouldn’t have to go through a lot of red tape. As soon as someone expresses interest, we reach out to discuss their goals and their needs. Once they complete the online application and it is approved, they receive a welcome kit with information about how to access our partner center, take advantage of sales and marketing certifications and start using marketing materials immediately. They also have immediate access to local customer service, sales and marketing support. Our goal is to make on-boarding as quick and easy as possible so our partners can spend time on what matters—building their bottom line.

CRN recognized you for helping partners “understand their path to success.” What does that mean to you?

At ESET, we look to truly understand a partner’s objectives so we can put together a plan to help them get there. How are they looking to grow their business? Are they looking into new areas, focusing on new products and/or specializing within a vertical? We really work with partners to help them grow their business holistically.

How do you help partners develop the expertise they need?

We have different types of training. For example, security specialist training is about how to have a solution discussion, ask the right questions, understand the pain points and probe to uncover new ones. Our technical certification takes partner engineers through a one-on-one sale and teaches them to answer top-line questions and demonstrate the product. Additionally, partners that conduct their own demos have the opportunity for additional margins. In fact, our partner program was recently awarded CRN’s 5-star rating for the second year in a row due in part to our excellent training, not to mention our best-in-class technical and marketing support.

What’s the biggest need you’re seeing now from partners?

Our #1 goal when working with partners is to truly understand their challenges and help overcome them. For example, partners are worried about the evolving threat landscape. We employ a robust staff of researchers and experts around the world who continuously publish research and other materials. These resources help partners, who may not have in-house security expertise, better understand the threats that endanger their customers.

Further, we want to help ensure that our partners, both new and old, are up to date on endpoint security products in an ever-changing landscape. As a leader in heuristic security analysis, ESET has decades of experience in developing innovative, cutting-edge security technology. We deploy this expertise to help our partners go beyond marketing spin to understand how to evaluate and select security solutions that will get the job done.

We truly believe that focusing on our partners’ needs is best not only for ESET, but more importantly for our partners and their customers, and I’m honored that CRN chose to recognize our team’s track record and vision!

ESET congratulates Hope on creating a compelling program and earning the recognition of her peers in the industry. To learn more about building your bottom line with ESET or to become an ESET Partner, click here.