Some exciting news! The Citrix Elite Partner Academy, a scheme designed to support Citrix partners in their changing role within the IT industry, has trained over 500 sales professionals across the UK, Ireland and South Africa since launch in March 2010. This number is expected to grow to 600 by the end of December 2011.
The Citrix Elite Partner Academy offering was adapted from an Enterprise Sales Academy, which was developed to help our sales professionals speak confidently with senior-level enterprise customers. It quickly became apparent that the benefits of the programme could prove invaluable to our partner community, helping sales professionals develop the confidence and knowledge in enterprise solutions selling and develop a consultative sales approach, regardless of the product or service that they are offering.  To this end, no training is product or Citrix specific.
The Partner Academy was launched in 2010 to selected VARs from 21 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and was expanded in 2011 to 150 more partners, who were selected based on a mix of revenue size and growth potential.  Participation in the Academy has seen the productivity of partners involved increase by a fifth as well as a sizeable increase in deal size.
The Citrix Partner Academy is made up of two modules which each run for two days, led by an independent trainer. The first module aims to advise attendees on how to take a more consultative approach and understand customers’ business drivers, allowing partners to elevate the conversations they have with customers to the boardroom. The second module, scheduled to begin in early 2012, will focus on developing trusted relationships with key customers to ensure long-term sales opportunities. 
The success of an education programme is normally measured on reaction, learning, behaviour and results. While the latter points will take some time to become visible, the reaction we have had so far to the Elite Partner Academy has been fantastic. Our partners have really embraced the opportunity to enhance their skills and we have gained some fantastic insight into the areas that we could look to help develop in future modules.  A new technical course we are developing at the moment is just the start… so if you’d like to hear more, please get in touch!