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The Topsy-Turvy Responsibility of a Channel Manager is one Ingrained with Trails, Tribulations, and Triumphs.
The combination of today’s ever-increasing competitive marketplace and consistent modifications in consumer demand, coupled with the growing need for manufacturers to utilize channels to facilitate revenue, requires channel managers to possess a strong interpersonal mindset and strategic, methodically organized work ethic.
Channel managers are corporate architects; they build relationships with partners, blueprint marketing initiatives, and construct a company’s progress, value proposition, and bottom line.
Finding, and thus, keeping such an individual is a blessing that should never be considered otherwise.
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So, how do you know your channel manager is a superstar? Following are 3 of our top characteristics a channel manager should have in order to initiate lucrative partnerships and propel productivity.
Realistic with Herself/Herself
A superstar channel manager is able to understand what’s attainable and doesn’t overcommit to infeasible revenue targets. Communication with executive management (regarding goals) should be done with transparency, outlines of the company’s plans, the risks involved, the challenges, the opportunity, and the reward. A well-rounded channel manager understands that ‘triumph in the channel’ is much more obscure than measuring direct sales and campaigns because there are much more moving parts and logistics involved.
Realizes What’s Needed
Confidence and channel management go together like PP&J. An effective channel program mandates a plethora of resources, manpower, budget and engagement—and if a channel manager doesn’t have the endorsement and trust internally—the likelihood of the program to be successful is improbable. A superstar channel manager clearly articulates what’s needed for him/her to flourish, whether it’s an integrated cloud-based PRM system, additional marketing funds to be made available, or given the okay to do away with certain partners—a superstar channel manager needs your confidence just as much as you need theirs.
Must be able to show the light at the end of the tunnel
Receiving the endorsement internally is one thing, however, acquiring partners’ “go-ahead” is a completely different story. Partners, almost always, impulsively perceive channel managers as no more than a door-to-door salesman; a self-absorbed merchant looking to manipulate, deceive and accumulate as much of the “pie” as possible.
A superstar channel manager approaches partners in a different way; a method in which expresses the enthusiasm and loyalty that is rarely found in today’s corporate landscape; a strategy that never comes off as sales-like or self-indulgent, but rather, kind, passionate and believable.
But, most importantly, a channel manager must be able to articulate to the partner what the end looks like; what opportunities will be established and the things that will be changed; the risks that may be involved as well as the lucrative transformation that resides in the future. The better the partner can visualize the end product of the program or partnership, the better the channel manager did.