Alongside our friends over at Boost Technology Group and a number of clients – past and present – we have jointly developed the following List in Progress (LIP) to outline what a complex space the channel is.
Working as a CAM (or PAM or BDM or BPM or whatever the preferred acronym is!) is not just about taking orders from partners who ‘sell for you’.
This is not the graveyard where ‘failed’ direct salespeople retreat, in favour of an easy life, a rest, a comfortable haven where misconception and false perception present this bizarre inaccuracy of channel utopia. Being in channel sales, whether as a CAM or otherwise, is a complex role, where you need to be a specialist in several fields, across many different business functions.
So here it is, the start of our list of considerations when defining what the ideal CAM looks like. How many can you tick off yourself or for a CAM you know and work with?
Agree, disagree, want to add more? Please, let us know. And of course, if you know one, please tag them in to show your appreciation!
We are thinking the ideal CAM is someone who:
- Is proactive in identifying a community of Partners who could be a good fit to work with.
- Knows how to identify and unlock people and business opportunities.
- Has good all-round business savvy, including sales, marketing, tech, finance and operations.
- Is known, liked and trusted among partners.
- Works to educate and enable Partners with what they need/want.
- Recognises Partners as an integral part of the company GTM, an extension to the sales team.
- Is recognised as a trusted advisor, trainer, enabler and mentor to partners.
- Does not assume partners know what they are doing.
- Is not an order-taker.
- Is able to effectively approach any new Partner(s) and sufficiently motivate them to agree to further exploratory talks.
- Builds strong relationships right across the Partner, including relevant representatives in: The C-Suite; The Sales Management Function; The Sales Function; The Marketing Function; The Technical team(s); Operations; and any other personnel deemed necessary to a successful engagement.
- Collaborates with senior Management representatives (C-suite, Sales, Marketing and technical) to design, document and review on a quarterly basis a value-enhancing joint business plan that should detail the Go-To-Market plan, in addition to the sales/technical education and enablement plan.
- Works with the senior representatives (aka the stakeholders) within the Partner to ensure the actionable items in the business plan are carried out as documented.
- Is able to work with the Partner’s marketing function and motivate them to design and implement effective demand-generation campaigns.
- Is invisible on the Partner’s sales floor and proactively engages the sales team in a relevant conversation.
- Conducts structured Account Mapping reviews with the Partner’s sales team with the aim to help the individual identify good customer targets and agree on a sales strategy to help them engage the identified customer in a sales cycle.
- Provides ongoing co-selling support to the Partner’s sales team so they are better able to progress their customers through the sales cycle, from qualification through to close.
- Keeps their own CRM system, and relevant team members, up-to-date with details of all pipeline deals.
- Keeps up-to-date with key competitors and provides proactive information to their Partners on how to sell against them.
- Understands and can articulate their Partner’s business and knows how to be relevant to them, whilst at the same time being an effective ‘end-user’ salesperson to assist with the co-selling requirement.
- Is proactive in ensuring all Partner salespeople, including any new starters, understand the value (and outcomes) they are selling and are provided with all the tools needed to be successful.
- Has a great sense of humour!
CEO of The Channel Agency: Purechannels
Founder of Nuzoo and Viewpoint | Channel Chief | Agency Leader | CRN A-Lister