Top Gun 51 Profile: Talkdesk Partner Program Architect Jon Heaps

Top Gun 51 CP CF 2020 Main Colors

Three years ago, Jon Heaps took on the task of building the Talkdesk partner program after building programs for InContact and Corvisa.

Heaps focused on master agents when he built the company’s channel team and created a program that Talkdesk partners can trust. As a senior communications executive and channel sales leader, he has a record of success and expertise in creating a clear corporate vision and making changes at the highest levels of global business.

Talkdesk's Jon Heaps

Talkdesk’s Jon Heaps

He is innovative and excels at rapidly building and motivating high-performance sales organizations. He also has a stellar reputation in cloud distribution. This allows him to leverage a wide range of business relationships and drive results.

Those are the things distributors, master agents and industry analysts are saying about him. We solicited input from these industry players to compile our Top Gun 51 for 2020. That’s because they know channel executives best.

Introduced last year, the Top Gun 51 recognizes premier leaders in the indirect IT and telecom channel. The criteria includes advocacy for the channel and commitment to partners’ business success. There’s also dedication to earning the channel’s trust.

In July, Talkdesk got $143 million in new Series C funding, raising its total valuation to more than $3 billion.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Heaps talks about his experience in the channel and his career goals. He also talks about building the Talkdesk partner program.

Channel Partners: How did you first become involved in the channel? Was it part of your overall career plan?

Jon Heaps: I got involved in the channel back in 1999 with Qwest Communications, and coming from a software background prior to that. I joined Qwest as a channel manager, and that was really my first exposure into the channel. Was that part of my overall goal? Yes, it really was. I took a software background and then I came to the telecommunications side and I saw the tremendous growth that was there. And I came in as a high-level channel manager. And I was that for about a year before I moved into further management. I was able to progress pretty quickly. So it was part of my overall strategy.

Talkdesk’s Jon Heaps is part of Channel Partners/Channel Futures’ 2020 Top Gun 51. This program recognizes today’s channel executives who build and execute channel programs that drive partner, customer and supplier success. See the full list.

CP: Have you been responsible for building channel programs from the ground up? If so, how did your experience come into play in these processes?

JH: Yes, I have. I’ve built a channel program three different times. The first time that I built one from the ground up would have been with InContact (later acquired by Nice). And that was back in 2003. It was more of a telecommunications company that was shifting into a cloud contact center company. We focused in on the channel … for these independent partners to become our sales force. That was my first exposure and my first chance to really build that. I built a very successful program there.

I was there for 12 years; then, I had the opportunity to go to Corvisa, where I built the channel program. Then we were acquired by ShoreTel. And then three years ago I was actually recruited by Talkdesk to come and build that channel program here. So I had a lot of success with that.

CP: What have you learned most from your experience with the channel and partners?

JH: What I’ve learned is that the partners really are a great source of where everything is going. And I have learned a great deal from them. I still put on partner advisory councils. I still have very personal advisory partners that I reach out to and consult with on a regular basis on what we’re trying to do and where we’re going. And I have found that they …

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