You know me. I’m the Southern guy, who loves pimento cheese, soccer and channel management. Typically, you’ll find me at Zift’s North Carolina-based offices pretty early to avoid local morning traffic, with a Mountain Dew in hand, looking for new info I can share with my team, channel leaders and the Zift community. But recently I stepped out of NC and “jumped the pond” to take in the SiriusDecisions EMEA Summit in the United Kingdom — and boy, do I have some insights to share.

First of all, I will no longer complain about traffic. With their itty bitty cars, winding narrow roads and driving on the “wrong side” of the road, London turned my Raleigh to Cary, NC commute into a dream ride. It also turned me into the guy who kept trying to get into the driver’s seat, when I was supposed to be the passenger.


Cheers to Zift’s Award-Winning Customers

Once I did make it to the SD Summit in Europe, I was excited to see the growing emphasis on channel-focused content. And even more thrilled to see so many Zift customers received Program of the Year awards, including VMware, Cisco and HPE, as well as a Return On Integration award for Tata Communications. A big “Cheers!” to all. (I also learned in the UK, “Cheers” is not just for before sharing a beer or cocktail – It’s hello, it’s goodbye, it’s thank you, it’s great job!) All of these companies are fantastic examples of how to leverage technology to drive go-to-market strategies — and the results they achieved would not have been possible without the work they accomplish everyday on the Zift platform.


Partner Engagement (and Segmentation) Stays Top of Mind

I attended several educational sessions at the Summit, where Partner Engagement was a top topic. Experts stressed the importance of segmenting and engaging partners according to type. Great advice but tough to deploy without some help. A poll in one session showed that only 13% of attendees were adapting their partner approach based on go-to-market strategies and partner type.

If you are looking for guidance or help assessing, segmenting, onboarding or engaging partners on a one-to-one, one-to-few, or one-to-many basis, our Channel Engagement team can help. Interested in learning more on this topic? We will be hosting a joint webinar with SiriusDecisions’ channel sales expert Chris Cleary that digs deeper into channel productivity and enabling partners based on type.


Making it without My Mountain Dew

In case you were wondering, I did manage to survive without my morning Mountain Dew while overseas due to my discovery that UK bacon, while not the crispy strips I’m used to at home, is more like what I would call country ham and equally delicious. Plus, the people are great. Very polite. I experienced this first hand as I left Wembley Stadium with 90K of my now closest friends after the football (aka soccer) match between Tottenham and Barcelona.

My friends and colleagues from the Zift team in Oxford scored the coveted tickets and it was great to meet the IT, engineering, QA and Finance experts that keep the Zift machine running smoothly overseas.

While I was plenty ready to return home, I left the UK inspired by Zift’s growth and ability to turn a vision of Enterprise Channel Management into a powerful reality. During my six years with Zift, I’ve seen us grow from a relatively small start-up channel marketing technology firm to a global enterprise channel management leader. Seeing first-hand how our R&D investments, hundreds of employees, sales and engineering teams across the globe (US, UK, Australia, Romania, Mexico, Ukraine and more), in-language support for 13+ languages and more come together reminded me how much more we deliver to customers than we (or our competitors) initially thought possible. Impressive to see what happens when you truly focus on the channel for nearly 15 years.


P.S. Don’t forget to register for Zift & SiriusDecisions upcoming webinar: Powering 2019 Channel Sales: Why Segmentation and Onboarding Matter, October 23 featuring channel experts Laz Gonzalez and Chris Cleary. Attendees will receive a free copy of the Sirius Decisions Research Brief Channel Sales: Planning Assumptions 2019 detailing the five areas of opportunity that should drive the priorities of sales leaders in 2019.