Top Gun 51 Profile: Erik Thomson Taps Into Military Experience for Work with Zayo Partners

Channel Partners Top Gun 51 logo

… had five consecutive record quarters with the channel. As the numbers started to grow internationally, we threw more resources to channel partners and they brought in more deals. It’s a big snowball. As you add momentum, it creates momentum. We think we can double it again in the future.

CP: Can you tell me your philosophy about sales, the channel and Zayo partners?

ET: Sales is an interesting career because it’s so black and white and based on performance. I have several years on the team in sales. We’re hiring salespeople who have much more experience than me, and I’m listening to them. I try to hire experienced people and then listen and take their advice.

CP: Describe how you work with Zayo’s channel partners?

ET: I’ve learned from people. I’ve sat down with a few partners we have good relationships with. I told them I want them to come back into my office six months from now and I want them to tell me that Zayo is one of the partners they like doing business with. Then I asked them what we need to do to get to that position.

CP: What was their reaction to that bold statement?

ET: The first thing they said is that they didn’t like our business agreement. Instead of nodding my head, I went to the CEO and sat in his office and we rewrote the agreement. We changed the language, changed the payments, and added team resources to improve partner experiences. There’s not a whole lot of genius in the way we did it. It’s just taking advice from people who have experience and trying to follow that advice.

CP: What does leadership mean to you?

ET: I think that you manage processes and you lead people. I think about my time in the military. You take an overall mission and find a way to inspire people to accomplish things for themselves and their teams. People will work harder for themselves than they will for a company. The whole philosophy of people doing good things brings good results — getting an organization around doing the right thing, the right way, and not taking shortcuts. That can give you the faith of customers and partners.

Pages: Previous 1 2

Tags: ,

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The ID is: 138914