Top Gun 51 Profile: Flexential’s Melissa McCoy Caters to Partner EnablementTop Gun 51 Profile: Flexential’s Melissa McCoy Caters to Partner Enablement
Top Gun 51 award winner Melissa McCoy understands the power of enablement.
October 14, 2019
Melissa McCoy has spent her almost 20-year career in the channel. That means she’s worked in a broad variety of roles – inside sales support, partner account management, channel program development – and has gained a lot of experience working with channel partners. Given that lengthy tenure, McCoy has a birds’ eye view into how working with channel partners has changed.
Prior to joining Flexential as vice president of channel sales a little more than a year ago, she worked for Sungard Availability Services, Lucent Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent. In her current role, McCoy is responsible for enhancing the vendor’s partner program, driving successful relationships and helping partners to win more business with Flexential. About one-half of Flexential revenue is driven by partners.
Flexential’s Melissa McCoy
Channel Futures sat down with McCoy, a Top Gun 51 award winner, to learn about what it takes to be a next generation channel leader.
Channel Futures: What comes to mind when we talk about a next-generation channel leader?
Melissa McCoy: We’re all seeing the channel change, particularly around the pace of IT and the change that’s happening with the customers that partners support. The goal is to work with partners, continue to grow and evolve a [partner] program that provides the resources, enablement and the overall training to identify opportunities and support partners with the resources they need to support their customers and be trusted advisers to their customers.
CF: What have you noticed about the type of enablement that works well for partners today?
MM: I think you’re seeing a merging of partners not just offering hardware resell, network, or telecom services … they’re extending their reach with the customer and positioning more IT services. So, because of that, I think there’s greater education needed to recognize opportunities, understand the technology, technology trends and how it pieces together. From a program perspective it’s about satisfying different partner types and supporting different partner models. So, for example, giving them flexibility from referral models to resale, where they’re used to putting either services or hardware on their paper. The goal is to support partners as they transform their business.
We recently unveiled our “Top Gun 51,” a list of today’s channel executives who deserve recognition for building and executing programs in a way that drives partner, customer and supplier success.
At Flexential we offer different partner agreements that will support whatever model the partner is looking to operate under. We have one partner program but there are different contracting vehicles. So, partners can choose to resell our services, refer our services – and there are different types of referrals – and that ties back to compensation. We recognize there are differ models and different levels of engagement that different partners want to work with you.
CF: How do you keep the channel front and center within Flexential? How do you make sure that the organization understands what partners bring to the company?
MM: One of the things that’s great about Flexential is that we’re very channel-friendly. That was one of the things that attracted me to Flexential in the first place. The channel is a big part of our go-to-market and they drive a significant amount of business for us. We are fully integrated with …
… our [internal] sales team. We have a compensation-neutral model so that there’s no conflict, and we’re working and engaged … and I’d say our salespeople work closely with our partners to drive opportunities. Because of this it creates synergy and [internal sales] realizes that they can work with partners and take joint solutions to market to customers together. I believe that success breeds more success.
We’re investing in partners and building relationships with partners from the top executives on down, making sure that partners know they’re a big part of our go to market.
CF: What qualities should aspiring channel leaders possess?
MM: There are a few things that are top of mind: obviously relationships and building trust with partners. At the end of the day, you have to be able to do what you say you’re going to do. Partners have choice. They need to trust that when they’re working with their provider. They need that they can trust [their vendors] because they [partners] are the ones working with the customers. You have to respect that.
I think that being able to walk alongside the partner is important, providing insight, industry trends, and providing that enablement is important.
I also think that being able to execute is important. Staying in touch with partners, having a feedback loop for 360-degree conversation which can be built on over time.
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