Is Your CQ high enough?

At this year’s ImpartnerCON ’17, the theme was straight forward: Acceleration. For three days, the focus for channel leaders from around the world was 100 percent on best practices for accelerating channel operations – including individual performance. In a thoughtful overview based on more than 30 years working with and interviewing Channel Chiefs, Channel Strategist and Senior Content Director at Penton T.C. Doyle pulled back the curtain on the nine attributes today’s top channel chiefs have in common.

The topic could not be more timely, given that more and more, today’s top chiefs must match the skill base of other c-suite players, or they are at risk having their channel operations lag behind – and being replaced by someone with a more contemporary skill set.

“In 2017, compressed product cycles are evolving customers’ needs and business models are undergoing significant reinvention – and the skill set needed for those who manage partner programs for vendors—aka ‘channel chiefs’ – is now much broader and more sophisticated than ever before,” Doyle said. “It’s not just enough to have a high Intellectual Quotient (IQ) or exemplary work ethic to succeed in this capacity; you need a high “Channel Quotient” CQ, which is a combination of nine attributes that include a range of both business and emotional skills.”

In his presentation, Doyle outlined the nine attributes listed below, and brought the power of these attributes to life with real-life examples of successes – and failures:

  1. Organizational Influence
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Decisive Leadership
  4. Technological Savvy
  5. Operational Efficiency
  6. Customer Orientation
  7. Personal Integrity
  8. Intellectual Curiosity
  9. Infectious Optimism

To illustrate the power of organization influence, Doyle share a rather painful example of a new channel chief of a well-known tech company, who had failed to meet the CEO before taking the job. After fumbling around for some words, the channel chief confessed sheepishly, “I didn’t meet him before I took the job.” “It was a portentous sign,” Doyle said. “Despite the chief’s best efforts to improve channel relations and implement pro-friendly channel policies, the company’s partner programs never fully transformed. One reason? Sales leaders with closer ties to the CEO persuaded him to accept more channel conflict than what the channel chief liked. Not surprisingly, the individual lasted only a few years in the role.”

While we’re sorry you may have missed this year’s ImpartnerCON, Doyle’s comments are available in a new eBook underwritten by Impartner and authored by Doyle, “The Top Attributes of a World-Class Channel Chief.” Get your complimentary copy here and find out what skills you need to work on to be a top channel chief in today’s market.

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