Can You Do Better As A Channel Account Manager?
Effective channel account managers develop long-lasting relationships with their partners. They must have the ability to engage in meetings and form communities that enable partners to increase sales. When their partners experience problems, they should establish solutions and be responsive — but the job isn’t merely about communication and relationship-building. Channel account managers are often asked to monitor their partner’s revenue performance to reach established targets. Once revenue declines, they’re expected to formulate strategies to boost profits. Having said that, how can channel account managers do better on the job? How can they improve their performance? In this article, we prepared three questions to challenge you.
1. Do you like to visit your channel partners as much as possible?
First question, do you like to visit your channel partners?
If your answer is yes, then we bet you’re doing a great job with your partner. A lot of time is spent formulating strategies and building relationships with distributors, resellers, and retailers.In business, building relationships is definitely important but once you’ve got a lot of partners in your plate, you need to evaluate these relationships. Ask yourself: do all your business partners have the same potential? It’s important to segment accounts based on potential and turn-over rates to determine where you need to focus.
Time is money and spending a lot of it on partners that won’t generate that turnover is a lost minute or lost hour that you could have spent with partners that have better potential. The time could’ve also been used to network with new business partners that can help you generate more revenue in the long-run. To avoid this pitfall, set key objectives to make your action plan concrete and measurable. Group your accounts and identify their turnover and potential based on your top objectives this year.
2. Do you normally send your business plans or account plans to your partners?
If your answer is no, then ask yourself why?
Sales is not a one-way street.
While you might have established a partnership, you shouldn’t let partners strike out on their own. There’s a need to share account plans, advertising strategy, and sales techniques. Sharing plans and resources is the first step to creating trust and establishing clarity on the mutual benefits of the relationship.
If you’ve learned the type of advertisements that target customers respond to, then share it. If you’ve discovered a sales strategy that could make more sales, then discuss it. After all, vital information shouldn’t just be placed on paper, instead, they should be used to create plans and commitment from both sides. To get started, simply send an email to summarize what you've discussed in a meeting and what you're going to do for the next year together and send that account plan! Another trick is to evaluate your collaboration and work on one of the following key potential dysfunctions. You can even create a SWOT analysis and make a scorecard of your accounts to understand how to customize, approach and support each partner.
Do you spend most of your time following up on the accounts that have contacted you first?
Of course, as your business grows, more accounts will contact you first.
If they’ve heard great things about your business, then they’ll want to jumpstart a relationship....but should you entertain all business inquiries?If your answer is yes, we bet you're trying to provide the best for all your partners. You want to build a reputation based on quality and responsiveness.Unfortunately, not each client is meant for your business.You have your own goals and strategy to realize as well. So, think twice if you want to jump into every question and opportunity that your business partners are talking about.
A good tip is to use the traffic light analogy to provide insight into the status of your accounts. You can evaluate each account based on a general level or objective.Once you’ve identified the traffic light label for each account, define the next best action for each. Formulate plans that will be mutually beneficial for both parties.
Wrapping it up
Here’s a recap of the three main questions that you need to ask to be better:
- Is it necessary to visit your business partners as much as possible?
- Do you normally send your business plans, account plans to your partners?
- Are you spending most of your time following up on the accounts that have contacted you first?
While there’s no definite right answer, you ultimately have to think about how you’re spending your time. Prioritize the accounts that would benefit your business and help you increase sales in the long-term. If one of these questions was challenging to you, we made this infographic. If you're interested to download some other questions or get some tips, feel free to download the BRM (=Business Relationship Management) poster.
Written by: Frie Pétré