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We don’t need to tell you how important it is to hire the right channel sales manager. What we do need to tell you is that there are ways to optimize your job description to fast-track the search for your ideal candidate.
The introduction of channel automation calls for a pivot in the proficiencies required to succeed. For instance, previous manager job descriptions’ emphasis on multitasking and juggling various partners is no longer as important. The right technology, applied in the right way, will 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. With the shift into technology-driven workspaces, managers can reach 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 managers need to constantly overwork. If someone can stay ahead of potential speed bumps, long hours are seldom required.
Channel managers need to grow proficiency with technologies they can leverage to identify priorities and increase productivity while satisfying the needs of a diverse partner base. Having systems in place so partners can independently function on day-to-day tasks allows your team to more acutely address bigger picture concerns. Better yet, they can spend more time proactively strategizing with partners around opportunities that grow both businesses.
Before: Channel managers should be able to keep personal tabs on each various partner.
After: Channel managers should be proficient in channel automation to optimize output while effectively managing partners.
Update 2: Well-Versed in Content Marketing
Without effective content marketing, channel partners will disengage and it can be tough to wake up sleepy partners.
The payoff can be huge if you can get your channel teams’ marketing and selling tactics to align with your corporate and direct teams. Prospects also benefit since it will be easier for them to access the information they need to make educated buying decisions.
When creating the channel manager job description, give priority to candidates with experience creating content marketing campaigns and interpreting data. Your ideal hire should demonstrate creativity, a natural instinct for upcoming mediums, and proficiency with collecting key engagement metrics to refine future strategies.
Channel managers need to understand how to pull and share content from your in-house team. They also need to see opportunities to collaborate with partners on new content that can equally benefit both organizations. The right technology makes it simple to distribute targeted content that applies to specific partner groups’ needs and current prospecting efforts. Make sure you’re placing such power into the hands of someone who can make the most of it!
Before: Channel managers should be able to maintain a content library.
After: Channel managers should strategically utilize technology to help partners leverage content marketing initiatives, as well as interpret KPIs to measure success and improve tactics.
Update 3: Able to Form Meaningful Working Relationships with Channel Partners
Meaningful partnerships are relational, not transactional. Your new channel manager hire should ensure that every partner interaction makes them feel individually valued.
This requires an appreciation not just of your product offerings, but also of their business. Understanding partner business models will help channel managers determine how both teams can fruitfully work together. Moreover, they can gather specific partners’ tracked content engagement and registrations to help identify their particular strengths and weaknesses.
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. Therefore, make sure not to brush over “people skills” when creating your channel manager job description and reviewing applicants. When interviewing, ask candidates about how they might handle disgruntled partners, deescalate channel conflicts, or keep valued partners further engaged.
Before: Channel managers should build and manage partnerships.
After: Channel managers should cultivate meaningful relationships with partners by understanding their individual goals and helping to find mutually beneficial solutions.
Update 4: Flexible and Fluid When Using New Technology
As should be made clear by the other suggested updates to your job descriptions, channel managers need to be adaptable when technology requires it.
This doesn’t mean the channel manager job description should require them to jump ship every time a new piece of software comes on to the market. But it does mean that they 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 their role easier over time by streamlining responsibilities and increasing their effectiveness. What’s more, your channel manager should stay abreast of new industry developments so they can make educated recommendations for new software.
Before: Channel managers should know how to use X tool proficiently.
After: Channel managers should be able to actively assess emerging technologies and how to leverage them for their own program success.
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