What Makes Channel Account Managers Effective? [Part Two]
A few days ago, I commented on some of the findings from a recent SiriusDecisions report , 7 Habits of Highly Effective Channel Account Managers. The report set out to answer “what behaviors set a high-performing CAM apart from his or her under-performing peers”.
While I agree with their take on habits number 3, 4 and 5 [read that post here] there are others that I’m not totally on board with. Here’s why:
Habit 7: “They motivate, manage and earn partners’ trust”. Yes, trust is very important to all relationships and that trust is earned by actually getting to know their partners. The article states that you earn trust by listening and providing solid advice and counsel and that the CAM needs to “be generally interested in the long term success of the partnership”. “Interested” and “success of the partnership” is too soft. I prefer committed to the partner’s success. Make your partners successful and you gain their trust. Work on things with them that don’t directly involve your products and services and you will gain immeasurable respect and trust. This is all part of building the relationship. Habits #1 “They invest time getting to know their partners” and #7 from the SiriusDecisions article are interconnected.
“They develop a discipline of measurement and monitoring”-habit #2 is not so much a habit as it is an activity that should be combined with the goals. Measurement of training, marketing and even joint sales calls are important but established under habit #4 “They set shared goals and plans with their partners”.
Because we’re looking at a Covey-style list, here’s what’s missing in the Covey form: Synergize. How does a CAM Synergize? By driving sales with the partners. In some cases that means the connection of the vendor’s direct account sales team members with the partner and in other cases it will be in shoulder-to-shoulder selling with the partner.
A highly successful CAM drives sales and, thus, controls the revenue destiny. Prospecting and demand generation activities with the partners is critical.
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