Top Gun 51 Profile: Talkdesk Partner Program Architect Jon Heaps

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… have a great deal of knowledge and experience, and are willing to share that.

As we work together with that, I’ve been able to glean a lot from them on where they see things are going, and then how we can adapt to that and help build that program together. And the more that they feel a part of that, the more ownership they’ve been able to feel as well.

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

JH: I think the first thing that you have to do is really build out a strong team. That’s the one thing that I focused on right from the very beginning, building a strong and mature team. The No. 1 thing that I have found you really need in the channel program is people that have not only integrity, but also a trust with the partners. And when we have that, it just goes much more smoothly. And then also, of course, being responsive, being on top of everything, taking care of the small things. Much bigger opportunities come as a result of that.

The partners need to know that you have their back and you can fulfill what you’ve said you were going to do, and it’s going to help them achieve what they’re trying to accomplish. And when you have common goals like that, that’s really what makes it all work.

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

JH: I feel very fortunate working with a company like Talkdesk and what we’ve been able to do … starting the channel almost three years ago. This is exactly where we targeted to build the channel and work with the largest, most respected partners and build that beachhead. And we’ve had a great deal of success with that. So the greatest accomplishment I think … is that trust and respect that we’ve earned with our partners and being able to continue to move this thing forward.

CP: What are your career goals going forward?

JH: I’m a channel guy. I’m going to continue to build this. We will continue to expand and continue to grow by expanding our channel, and just continue to get wider and deeper in. So my aspiration is, I will always just continue to build the channel and go deeper, and to be the channel chief.

CP: What sort of advice would you give someone who is just starting out in channel leadership?

JH: It really comes down to a very simple thing. No. 1, it comes back to that trust and respect with their partners. You need to have a close advisory board. Really listen to what they’re sharing with you, because as they do that, as you continue to work on that, it continues to move you forward and helpd them so you get what you’re trying to accomplish. But more importantly, you have a trusted coach, if you will. But that coach is the partners you’re working with, and those that you have a great deal of trust and respect with, As you work closely with that, that’s what continues to help everything move forward. And I think that’s one of the things that’s been my biggest success.

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