AVG gets serious about services enablement

Marco LaVecchia, vice president of channel sales for North America at AVG Technologies

Marco LaVecchia, vice president of channel sales for North America at AVG Technologies

AVG Technologies is getting serious about its managed services expansion ambitions by segregating sales responsibilities for acquiring and nurturing new partners and creating a team of business enablers to help new MSPs maximize their business potential.

Marco LaVecchia, vice president of AVG’s channel sales for North America, tells Channelnomics that AVG has divided its sales teams into different groups, tasks with acquiring new MSPs to use its Managed Workplace products, managing existing accounts and renewing accounts.

AVG has also created a professional support team charged with doing nothing more than helping AVG’s 1,600 managed service providers with developing their business practices, including understanding market opportunities, developing products and go-to-market models and operationalizing pricing structures.

Segregating roles and responsibilities in the sales and enablement of MSPs is AVG’s attempt to correct a limitation of the sales model it inherited from Level Platforms, the company it acquired in 2013 that gave it remote monitoring and management capabilities. The Level Platforms sales team was charged with identifying, acquiring, nurturing and renewing MSPs. Arguably, it was best with renewals, as the company had a low turnover rate, but also a moderate acquisition rate.

Following the acquisition, AVG’s assimilation of Level Platforms was marked by the usual disruptions in sales and staffing. Several well-known executives, including head of sales Dan Wensley, vice president of business development Rob Rae and head of communities Dave Sobel departed the company. So, too, did a number of midlevel and rank-and-file sales people. The result was a turnover in MSPs using Level Platforms.

By breaking sales up into discrete functions, such as account acquisition and renewals, LaVecchia believes AVG will have a much better time of finding and acquiring new users to the Managed Workplace platform.

The real magic, though, will come in the enablement team. AVG has hired Mike Byrne from PacketTrap to run its newly created enablement group, which will provide dedicated business development and support to managed service providers. Individual specialists will work directly with MSPs to identify market opportunities, understand attached sales potentials, and build models designed to accelerate sales and maximize deal potential. In many cases, the enablement group will help AVG service providers understand how to build better services with products across the company portfolio and through strategic partners.

“I don’t want to be the company that just gives you a document to be successful,” LaVecchia tells Channelnomics.

The idea of an enablement team or business development support for managed service providers isn’t new. Many managed services vendors, such as N-able (a Solar Winds company), Kaseya and Continuum provide users with guidance on how to build and operate better business models. The dedicated support, in which AVG specialists will work directly with MSPs, is different in that it brings enablement to a one-to-one level.

Today, the AVG enablement team stands at just four people. LaVecchia says AVG will expand the group as demand increases and the company sees returns from its investment.