IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Axcient Introduces Partner Success Team

Unlike sales reps, members of the new 11-person unit are tasked exclusively with driving partner satisfaction and retention through regular outreach and engagement. By Rich Freeman

Axcient has officially unveiled a new partner success team charged with driving satisfaction and retention within the data protection vendor’s MSP channel.

The 11-person organization, which has been fully in place since July and quietly establishing relationships with partners ever since, is part of a larger effort by Denver-based Axcient to fend off intensifying competition from companies like Datto Inc., Kaseya Ltd., and SolarWinds MSP that bundle BDR and file sync and share functionality into wide-ranging managed services suites by turning partners into admirers.

“We want our partners to stand on the rooftops and tell every other partner about us,” says Jeff Cummings, Axcient’s chief revenue officer.

Unlike sales reps, partner success managers are measured on net promoter score (NPS), retention, and reference-ability figures. The group’s ultimate objective, according to Cummings, is to drive Axcient’s aggregate partner NPS above 50.

“That’s kind of our measure of success, is when the majority of our partners can’t wait to tell another MSP how great it is to work with us,” he says. Axcient is in the process of measuring its present-day NPS, and expects to have a baseline rating in place by next month.

Partner feedback inspired the success team’s creation. “Something that we’ve heard universally from MSPs, both our current MSPs and MSPs of our competitors, is that they feel a lot of times like the person they work with at vendors is calling them to ask them what deals do you have for me this month, and it’s really all about the revenue growth for that vendor,” Cummings says. “We wanted to create a team that was really about end-to-end success.”

Success managers serve as a single point of contact for escalating issues and navigating Axcient’s org chart. Other day-to-day responsibilities include directing partners to product education materials and sales collateral, as well as helping them apply for and utilize market development funds. Proactive outreach to partners through calls, emails, in-person visits, and strategic business reviews are an important part of the role as well.

“It’s really about just constant communication and engagement,” Cummings says. “That’s a much more powerful experience than simply ‘what deals do you have for me this month?’”

Team members also serve as internal advocates within Axcient for partners on matters concerning products, policies, and resources. “The great thing about having a partner success manager is you have an independent voice for you inside of the organization that’s not tied to sales,” Cummings says.

Axcient partners continue to work with sales reps, who are now called territory managers, in addition to success managers. Under a division of labor that went into effect with the success team’s debut, territory managers focus exclusively on driving business and success managers focus exclusively on all the other dimensions of a partner’s relationship with Axcient.

“We felt like it was a much more powerful model to say you’ve got a person that helps serve you and your customers better and you’ve got a person who helps your business grow,” Cummings says.

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