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Top Gun 51 Profile: Poly’s Nick Tidd Building On 2 Successful Partner Programs

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… listen, referee when times get tough, and you need to mediate as needed to ensure great team success.

As a channel leader, there are many facets of the job you must excel at. But to me, one sticks out more than anything else: listening. You need to listen to your partners. Hear their stories, really listen to their questions and understand them on a deep level. You can build what you feel is the most successful channel program ever assembled, but if it isn’t at least partially constructed with input from your biggest constituents, no one will be successful. I’m constantly traveling across the globe and meeting with our partners. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job because if you’re smart enough to sit down and really listen, you’ll realize you still have much to learn.

The last 24 months have been busy. We built a successful partner program with Polycom — very unique in terms of how we recognize and reward our partners’ success. And then we were acquired by Plantronics, which also had implemented a new program around the same time. Now we get to break two solid programs down and build anew. If that doesn’t get you excited to come to work every day, I can’t imagine what will.

CP: What are the components of a successful channel program? Are there things that used to work, but now don’t?

NT: A successful channel program is built when it works for all partners, and more importantly, aligns to what an end user wants and how they acquire technology. In my mind’s eye, I believe a good partner program recognizes and rewards achievement that extends beyond just revenue generation. Partners – even smaller ones – that put emphasis on training and commitment to your organization need the recognition and ability to excel. A channel program that only recognizes the biggest players with the most resources is a myopic way to run a program.

CP: What do you consider your biggest accomplishments in working with the channel?

NT: I’ve met a lot of great people in my career. And I think that’s a testament to the people I’ve worked and associated with. But I also think it subscribes to the theory that you should never burn bridges. The relationships I’ve had, and the tenure of the staff I’ve worked with, make me a stronger leader. I’ve developed a lifetime of relationships and not only has it taught me to trust the group I’m working with – a strong and talented group – but also taught me to listen, be patient, and value and trust my colleagues. A good channel leader doesn’t do everything in a silo. He represents the team he’s working with and for.

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