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Juniper puts together team to source channel leads

Juniper has revealed that the ‘Inside Sales Organisation’ it assembled earlier this year is now running at full throttle

Juniper has revealed that the ‘Inside Sales Organisation’ it assembled earlier this year to help develop leads for channel partners is now running at full throttle and includes a handful of personnel dedicated to finding market opportunities in the Middle East.

The high-end networking vendor established the unit earlier this year to identify potential projects that can be passed to and fulfilled by partners. However, it is only since the start of this month that the team has been operating at its intended capacity.

“We have hired close to 30 Inside Sales reps based out of Amsterdam, but we are serving the whole region because it is fairly easy in Amsterdam to find native speakers from different parts of the world,” explained Gert-Jan Schenk, senior VP operations EMEA at Juniper. “We decided to manage it from a central location, but we have got dedicated reps for the Middle East.”

Schenk claims the move has been well-received by mid-tiers partners in particular, as they don’t necessarily have the same internal sales resources as larger systems integrators operating in the market.

Juniper uses a mixture of telemarketing and web campaigns to identify leads before engaging with the channel.

“The Inside Sales Organisation is carrying out the qualification and the follow-up, and then works with a number of partners that have signed up for this co-operation to hand these leads over,” explained Schenk. “It is really helping partners to proactively fill the pipeline with opportunities.”

Juniper claims the creation of the Inside Sales Organisation is being backed by the addition of further resources in the Middle East.

This month it recruited Ghassan Abu Asba to work with channel partners in Bahrain, Kuwait and Levant, while direct touch staff have recently been hired to focus on the public sector and western region in Saudi, dispelling market talk of a hiring freeze.

“There is no hiring freeze,” insisted Schenck. “I am hiring where we see the opportunity. In Saudi we are still adding people to the organisation. And the two areas of investment for me are the enterprise and the emerging markets — that’s where we are still focusing. The Middle East and Africa has really become an important market for us.”

While Juniper has not reduced EMEA headcount in the wake of the downturn, Schenk said it was following a company-wide policy of reducing expenses by making better use of collaborative tools and teleconferencing and cutting back on unnecessary travel.