While those partners make the program what it is, the success of the program truly relies on the strong relationships our channel sales team is able to build and maintain with our channel partners.
That’s why Lisa Heritage McLin, the new Channel Sales & Alliances VP for North America, makes for a great fit as the leader of this team. She’s been with Rackspace for more than 14 years, and over that time, she’s forged relationships with partners and customers all over the world.
A Racker through and through (she even won the fanatical jacket back in 2010), we sat down with Lisa to talk about her new role, the future of the channel program and why coming up through the ranks is such a great way to begin a new position.
Hi Lisa, let’s start with a little info about you — what were you doing prior to taking this role?
I started my career at Rackspace in 2002 as a staff accountant, and I quickly fell in love with everything Fanatical Support stands for. That led me to join our support organization and then sales, which is where I really found my passion.
For me, sales was an avenue to use my business experience along with solution selling to deliver an excellent sales experience to our customers. In 2010, I received the highest honor at Rackspace and became a fanatical jacket winner for leading a sales team that truly cared for our customers and partners.
Throughout my career, I’ve served in support and sales organizations as a front-line manager and as a senior leader. Prior to my promotion to VP of Channel Sales & Alliances, I was leading our Commercial Sales install base organization, working with our customers to help them through their cloud transformation strategy and execute their overall business targets.
How do you view the Channel Partner Program?
The Channel Partner Program plays a huge role in supporting our business goals and penetrating new markets where our services fit best. It’s also a great way to generate sales and build outgoing loyalty.
Rackspace is a service company at heart, and I view channel sales as a means to continue spreading that great service and Fanatical Support across a wide array of technology platforms. Through our partners, we’re able to further position Rackspace as the center of cloud transformation, whether it’s a private, public or hybrid cloud strategy.
What are you excited about as you begin this new opportunity?
I’m most excited about working directly with our partners to help our mutual continued growth. Rackspace works with tech partners such as Red Hat, Microsoft, Dell/EMC, agent partners such as Lightstream, PlanetOne, Intelisys and ISV partners such as Sitecore and World Wide Technology, along with many others. Through our partners, we’re able to capture new markets, verticals and continue delivering Fanatical Support across key technology solutions.
What would you say your strategy is going forward?
We have many great partners today that have tremendous experience in the channel community and respective market. I will start tapping into their expertise and knowledge and really start to understand how we can provide more value within customer channel interactions throughout the customer journey.
The strategy is all about winning together through this cloud transformation journey. It will require a strong foundation of partners we will go-to-market with, as well as how we will solve customer needs through our joint services and how to make it easier for our partners and customers to do business with us. This is important to our overall Rackspace strategy.
Tell us a little more about you, what do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I truly enjoy my work and find a lot of reward in it, but when I‘m not working, I enjoy CrossFit as a way to relieve stress. I also enjoy reading, both for pleasure and as a great way to continue learning new things.
I live in San Antonio, and one of the perks of living here, particularly in the heat of summer, is hanging out at the lake. I definitely enjoy spending weekends hanging out at my family’s lake house where I like to kayak, paddle board and just cool off and float in the water.
Thank you, Lisa — congratulations again on your new role, we wish you lots of luck moving forward!
Visit Rackspace to find out more about our Channel Partner Program and the relationships we’re building with vendors across North America and around the globe.