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Channel Consulting: Strategies & Our Top Picks (Bonus: Free Vendor Vetting Sheet)

Channel consultants have been around for decades, helping organizations succeed through channel sales. These professionals work with your team to help you optimize your channel go-to-market strategy and ongoing channel strategy.

Consultants may specialize in channel sales, marketing, management, or strategy. For example, a channel strategy consultant can help guide tech companies through their first foray into partnerships or help find alignment in an existing channel program. 

But, what exactly does a channel strategy consultant do daily, and when is it time to bring one in? This article will explore the responsibilities of channel strategy consultants, the best time to hire a consultant, where to find one, and some of our top picks in the industry.

What Do Channel Strategy Consultants Do?

Often, channel strategy consultants have experience working in the channel by building channel teams or supporting other aspects of partnerships. If you wish to work with a channel strategy consultant, you may contract an individual consultant, work with a consulting firm, or hire a full- or part-time professional.

A channel strategy consultant’s responsibilities may include:

  • Understanding an organization’s goals and target audience
  • Determining whether an organization is ready to invest in channel sales
  • Identifying suitable goals for the channel and a strategy for achieving those goals
  • Building an effective partnerships org map

A channel strategy consultant won’t:

  • Sell to partners
  • Build co-marketing collateral
  • Develop technical integrations
  • Hire partner managers

When Should an Organization Consider Working with a Channel Consultant?

A channel strategy consultant can be beneficial for organizations looking to sell through the channel for the first time or organizations who aren’t seeing great results from channel efforts. 

A consultant can help your organization launch a channel strategy that works for your business model, industry, and audience. Over time, a consultant monitors the results of new channel efforts and adjusts as needed. For example, the consultant may work with other team members to plan co-marketing campaigns or launch new sales tactics.

Where to Find a Fantastic Channel Strategy Consultant

You can find skilled channel strategy consultants in a few places. Be on the lookout for consultants with experience that aligns with your industry or niche.

Personal Referrals

As a channel pro, you already know the value of a personal referral. When you start looking for a channel strategy consultant, share the ask with your network — be as specific as possible to get the best introductions.

Networking Events

Networking events are back! You can connect with other industry leaders at conferences like Catalyst, SaaSConnect, and Supernode. You may run into your next channel strategy consultant or someone who can connect you with one.

LinkedIn

Consider searching your network for channel strategy consultants — you may have worked with someone who has transitioned into a new role, or you could ask your network for an introduction.

Other Online Communities

Other online communities like Partnership Leaders and Cloud Security Alliance are great places to meet industry professionals. 

If you’re not in these communities, follow the podcasts and webinars of top industry experts, like Allbound, Partnership Leaders, and Partner Hacker. These organizations all regularly host industry experts, which could include your next channel strategy consultant!

Google Search

It may be easier to conduct a Google search if you seek a channel strategy consultant with a specific niche. Include keywords, such as the type of channel consultant you’re hoping to work with.

What to Consider When Selecting a Channel Strategy Consultant

As you compare channel strategy consultants, you’ll want to consider the following for each candidate:

  • Hours provided per month — Will this be a full- or part-time resource?
  • Total annual compensation and hourly rate — How much will you invest in your channel strategy consultant?
  • Services provided — What will your consultant do regularly?
  • Experience in industry — What relevant experience does this candidate have?
  • Niche — Which areas of specialization does this consultant have?
  • Pros & cons — What are some benefits and drawbacks of hiring this candidate?

If you’re struggling to choose, it may help narrow your list of potential options to your top three candidates. From there, you can conduct additional meetings and potentially bring in other team members to make the right decision for you.

Our Top Picks

In search of a fantastic strategy consultant? Consider the following industry professionals with a proven track record of success.

Lisa Thoman, LTL Consulting

Lisa has over a decade of experience running strategic partnerships in the tech industry. She started LTL Consulting in 2017 to focus on helping SaaS companies with strategic partnership initiatives. 

In addition to strategic consulting, Lisa provides infrastructure services, which include building partner collateral, processes, training, and marketing to scale channel strategies.

Kristine Stewart, The Lexington Group

Kristine founded The Lexington Group in 2014, a full-service boutique consulting firm. Kristine has worked in partner strategy since 1995 and brings a breadth of industry experience from her time at Cisco and Rovi.

Erin Figer, Core Consulting

At Core Consulting, Erin helps companies succeed through their partnership with Microsoft. Erin provides strategy consulting for companies participating in Microsoft’s channel partner program.

Lydia Manchester, Magnetude Consulting

Lydia started at Magnetide Consulting in July of 2020, previously spending time in marketing and sales strategy roles. Magnetude offers a wide range of strategic and execution-focused marketing services for partner organizations.

Karin Freeland-Aviles, JS Group

At JS Group, Karin has been helping technology companies meet and exceed goals through effective digital GTM strategies, especially through social selling programs for two years. She draws on over a decade of experience in social selling and marketing when consulting.

Drive Revenue with a Successful Channel Strategy

A channel strategy consultant can help you get the most out of your channel efforts. Following these tips, you can find a channel strategy consultant to help you grow your business. 

Whether you work with a channel strategy consultant or not, Allbound can supercharge your channel efforts. Allbound provides guidance and a stellar PRM tool you can leverage to grow revenue through your channel. Users are matched with a customer success manager (for no extra charge) that provides ongoing, individualized attention. 

Get started with a demo to discover how Allbound’s user-friendly interface and expanded data set can improve your channel strategy and performance.

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