For years, channel sales, account management, and marketing roles have remained, largely the same. Namely, sales teams have endlessly been on the road, meeting partners on a case-by-case basis to go over agreed discounts, supported deals, and marketing plans. In parallel, marketing teams have tried, often retroactively, to support what their sales counterparts have requested, and put plans and programs in place to meet these needs.
It’s taken COVID-19 to allow channel teams to break for the norm. We are not talking about the fact that these meetings are now happening all online. We’re not even talking about the surge of enabling activities surrounding Partner Relationship Management (PRM) platforms. We are talking about radical changes to the way these channel teams work together and collaborate.
Channel account managers now have more time to meet more partners. This is enabling them to be less reactive and allowing them to do more analysis, planning, and spend more time with those partners who have more potential; as opposed to those who shout the loudest. They can now look at enabling ‘second-tier’ partners who not only show potential but want, and maybe need, to do more.
Because all of our meetings are online and take less time to organize and travel to, we see channel account managers involving their marketing counterparts more often. This collaborative change has resulted in joint meetings where not only do all parties (channel partners and vendors) discuss current and new deals, but also future activities and plans around these future activities.
In the past, this rarely happened but it is now the new normal. More joint discussions, more joint business planning, and more strategic activities being driven by sales and organized by marketing. So, are we at a juncture where we need to continue on this path and ensure tighter and consistent collaboration between channel sales and marketing? Our obvious answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ Include marketing, sales, or others on any calls where you see an opportunity for innovation and growth, and watch the collaboration take place.
So, let’s chat and discuss other changes your channel organizations and teams are facing and experiencing. We’d like to invite you to join our Channel Chief & Chill series. It is an informal but highly engaging drop-in interactive meeting happening every Friday. Find out more about this new series from Impartner by registering for the North America discussion or the EMEA discussion.