CrowdStrike Debuts Accelerate Partner Program With Improved Incentives, Training, Marketing Support
The cybersecurity giant is aiming to ‘activate this entire ecosystem’ of partners, particularly around newer products such as cloud and identity security, Chief Business Officer Daniel Bernard says.
CrowdStrike has revamped its partner program with the introduction of new incentives, improved training and increased support resources in areas such as marketing, the cybersecurity giant announced Monday.
The new partner program, CrowdStrike Accelerate, is particularly targeted at enabling channel partners to boost their involvement with products on the company’s unified Falcon security platform beyond its flagship endpoint detection and response (EDR) offering, Chief Business Officer Daniel Bernard said. Those include products in increasingly critical segments such as identity protection, cloud security and “next-gen” SIEM (security information and event management), according to the company.
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“We have more products to sell — more solutions and more business outcomes to deliver to customers — than ever before,” Bernard said during a briefing with media. “So everything we’re doing is geared on helping partners build practices around CrowdStrike — whether it’s a cloud security practice, an EDR practice, an identity protection practice [or] a next-gen SIEM practice.”
The launch of the Accelerate program constitutes the biggest overhaul of CrowdStrike’s channel program since it debuted in 2015, Bernard said.
The program’s expanded discounts and incentives include larger rebates and pricing advantages for higher-tier partners, along with a unique new reward for individual partner sellers, the company said.
The incentive, CrowdCard, is a debit card that will be automatically loaded with funds when salespeople close a deal, Bernard said. “I don’t think anybody else is doing this in security,” he said.
The speed of reward delivery is a key element, as funds will be loaded onto a salesperson’s CrowdCard “within days” of closing a deal, Bernard said. By contrast, sales incentive rebates, also known as spiffs, typically take longer to reach individual sellers, he said.
“Of course, we have incentive programs for the partners at the partner level as well,” he said. “But this is something additional that we’re doing to incentivize sellers to consolidate [on CrowdStrike] — to focus their time, their energy and the outcomes that they can provide their customers on the Falcon platform.”
On deal registration, CrowdStrike said it’s reducing response times through increased automation.
In terms of training, the company announced the introduction of a refreshed video series, CrowdClass, which consists of short, entertaining videos that impart knowledge about CrowdStrike products, Bernard said.
The CrowdClass videos — which are between seven and 10 minutes in length, compared to the typical 45-minute videos of the past — offer high production values and include presenters such as CrowdStrike Co-Founder and CEO George Kurtz, according to Bernard.
“We’re still providing [certifications], and we’re doing that through CrowdClass, but this is a revamp of our entire education program,” he said.
The motive behind the new training approach is that “we want to activate this entire ecosystem” of partners, which requires training that matches today’s viewing habits, Bernard said.
“How can we actually get the mindshare and make people really focus? In today’s society, it’s probably not [trainings of] 45 minutes or an hour at a time,” he said.
Additionally, CrowdStrike new marketing campaign platform, dubbed “the grid.” The platform includes an array of co-branded sales resources, and is offered as a self-service tool for simplified usage by partners, according to the company.
The grid allows partners to enter in a list of customers or prospects and then generates “up-to-the-minute marketing material,” said James Range, CEO of Dallas-based solution provider White Rock Cybersecurity. “It’s a huge benefit.”
All in all, CrowdStrike has done a superb job of evolving its partner program, he said, including through continually adding “more and more tools for us to get in front of customers.”
For White Rock, the combination of CrowdStrike’s strong technology and partner enablement is leading expected revenue growth of at least 50 percent this year in its CrowdStrike business, Range said.
For security solutions and services powerhouse Optiv, No. 24 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500, it’s clear that CrowdStrike is making the right moves to “continue to evolve and grow their partner programs,” said Alan Mayer, senior vice president of partners, alliances and ecosystems at the Denver-based company. CrowdStrike was among three key partnerships cited in Optiv’s announcement about its work with cybersecurity vendors earlier this year, and “we’re making investments in each other” in a major way, Mayer said.
With the new CrowdStrike program enhancements, “we’re seeing incentives and financial rewards for driving the correct behavior,” he said.
Ultimately, Mayer said, CrowdStrike is demonstrating a strong commitment to “ensuring that we’re incentivizing the field in the correct way, to actually drive the best outcomes that we can.”
CrowdStrike announced the new Accelerate program in connection with its annual partner summit, which is taking place Monday at CrowdStrike’s Fal.Con 2023 conference in Las Vegas.
The company is expecting more than 700 attendees at the partner summit Monday, Bernard noted. “I think it’s one of the largest partner events in cybersecurity today,” he said.