There are a few outdated ideas when considering a channel manager job description. Most of these stem from when technology was not as prevalent in channel management as it is now. For instance, you may see a description requiring a potential applicant who is able to multi-task and simultaneously work with multiple partners effectively. While this is still true, multi-tasking is no longer about channel personnel handling an overwhelming volume of partner requests at one time. The right technology, applied in the right way, can streamline responsibilities so that channel managers can work smarter (not harder) and improve the partner experience in the process.
Gone are the days of sitting behind a desk crowded to the ceiling with paperwork. Your new workstation might be completely devoid of any papers, since everything is on the computer. A messy desk doesn’t indicate disorganization any more than an empty one indicates that you’re completely on top of things. But with the shift into a technology-driven work space, it can mean you’re able to get to your desired outcomes faster, and with a lot less stress.
Update 1: Organized and Focused
First and foremost, having a lot of responsibilities doesn’t mean that you need to constantly be overworking. If someone is always on the ball, and can stay ahead of anything that requires his or her attention, the long hours are seldom required.
Channel managers need to grow proficiency with channel technologies they can leverage to help easily identify priorities, and to increase productivity while satisfying the needs of a diverse partner base. Having systems in place so your partners can self-perform on day-to-day tasks allows your team to more acutely address actual problems, or better yet spend more time being proactive to strategize with partners around opportunities that grow both businesses.
Update 2: Well-versed in Content Marketing
Without effective content marketing, your channel partnership is dead in the water. The payoff can be huge if you can get your indirect teams marketing and selling with alignment to the same strategies as your corporate and direct teams. Prospects benefit too since it will be easier for them to access information and content they need to make educated buying decisions.
Channel managers need to be able to understand how to pull and share content from your in-house team. They also need to be able to see opportunities to collaborate with partners on new content that can equally benefit both organizations. The right technology should make it simple to access and distribute content, and also enable channel managers to exchange ideas with partners on content that can engage prospects and customers.
Update 3: Able to Form Meaningful Working Relationships with Channel Partners
This requires a thorough understanding not just of your product offerings, but at least a basic knowledge of business as well. Understanding partner business models will help determine how both teams can work together will be very worthwhile. When you collaborate with your channel partners with some background in their business objectives, you’ll earn their trust as well.
It might seem like today’s technology-driven world is all about data and cutting costs. While this is quite true, there still is the human aspect. So learning how to use technology effectively is one item to have in your skillset. But being able to communicate effectively with your channel partners is equally important.
Update 4: Flexible and Fluid When Using New Technology
The other three updates funnel into one overarching theme: you have to be able to adapt when technology requires it. This doesn’t mean the channel manager job description should require you to jump ship every time a new piece of software comes on to the market. But it does mean that you should be ready to learn how to use new platforms. And how to operate additional functionality when your existing software adds another feature.
Chances are the new technology will make your role easier over time; streamlining your responsibilities, and increasing the effectiveness of your actions. It might sound like a sales pitch, but it’s far from it. Every updated technology comes through the idea that a task can be made simpler, easier. Your channel managers need to understand how to use technology to make themselves more productive, but also to make it easier for partners to do business with you.