How Zayo’s SVP of Global Partners is Rebuilding Its Channel Partner Network
Since joining Zayo earlier this year, Lynn D. Tinney, SVP of Global Partners, has been a driving force in shifting the culture surrounding Zayo’s channel partner network. Through her leadership, Zayo has re-engaged with its partner network, strengthening these key relationships and enabling Zayo to be channel-ready, channel-prepared and channel-friendly.
“Not only did Zayo have a terrific portfolio of solutions and make continual investments to those solutions, but there was also great headroom on the channel go-to-market front,” said Tinney. “We knew we had great connectivity where we didn’t have agents and partners. Additionally, Zayo’s Managed Edge solution served highly-distributed organizations with critical uptime needs.”
Tinney recently sat down with two podcasts, Channel Futures and Channel Journeys, to discuss the progress made in Zayo’s network channels. Here are two insights she shared:
What Makes a Successful Partnership
To secure Zayo’s base with its partners and renew their confidence, there were two essential pieces of the channel strategy puzzle: building mutual relevance and mutual commitment.
By building mutual relevance, vendors can help their partners become more important and relevant to their customers. In turn, vendors become more relevant to their partners and vice versa. Relevance is primarily delivered by the foundational elements of what any vendor offers: solution, pricing, margin and brand. These elements are often the most difficult to create and sustain. The field sales organization and partners depend on functions within Zayo, such as product, finance and marketing, to lead foundational elements. At Zayo, we strive to deliver rich solution sets that help our partners deliver value to address their clients’ needs.
Any successful channel program must also be built on mutual commitment. This is why relationships at the field level are so important. Mutual commitment is about building a relationship that allows vendors and partners to be fair to each other. The earmark of any good relationship is the ability to have both positive and difficult conversations and come to decisions with the customer in mind. Without a mutual commitment, partners and vendors can’t survive these situations; they must be willing to go the extra mile for one another. Clients will always gravitate to good partnerships that work well on their behalf, helping become a barrier to competition for both.
At Zayo, we build greater mutual relevance with our partners by meeting face-to-face and communicating regularly. For instance, we recently instituted a monthly webinar where we gather feedback from our partners. Additionally, we developed rules of engagement for our partnerships earlier this year. But to prove our commitment, we let our actions speak more than our (written) words — earning our partners’ commitment in return.
The Importance of Team Effort
Improving the channel is a huge undertaking that requires an all-hands-on-deck approach by any vendor’s organization. Zayo has made that commitment. Resources, attention and coordination are all needed to exponentially grow channel business, which means as many people need to be involved as possible. It’s not just the channel team committed to improving our channel go to market, it’s all of Zayo.
Improving the Channel
Listen to the full podcast and learn more abut Zayo's partner network.