How many Partner Account Managers does it take to manage 500 sales reps?

how_many_partner_account_managers

Or 1000 reps.... or more?

How can a Partner Account Manager or a Channel Manager maximize their effectiveness and achieve their sales quota?

Here's a scenario we've seen at ChannelAssist. A Partner Manager, with sales responsibility for a high volume reseller, plans on site floor walks to help the reseller's inside sales teams sell more of her company's products. The Partner Manager spends 1-2 days per week on site and there are more than 500 reps. How does she prioritize her limited time? In the past, she's booked her time based on gut feel, relationships, and sales manager requests. Way too inefficient! The sales reports she's had access to were too high level to guide time management. Problem is that she's barely made her numbers, and her competitors are working hard at building partner mindshare.

She knows some of the reps that have enjoyed recent and big wins and tends to check in and see how she can help them. She doesn't easily know which reps are selling the newer product lines and which are still focusing on the products that have been solid in previous years, but coming to the end of their life cycle. She's can't easily see the rep by rep, product by product trends and by the time quarterly partner review comes up, the quarter will be history.

ChannelAssist's Top Three Recommendations

  1. Arm your Partner Managers with sales reports that easily let them see sales trends at the reseller rep level. Are the reseller reps selling the higher margin, higher potential products you want them selling? Are they getting into all the target markets? Are they penetrating accounts and setting up future quarters for success?Are they leading with your products most often? Which reps are selling and which are not?
  2. Equip your Partner Managers with the data to know which reps are truly committed and competent to represent your brand. Make it easy for reseller reps to access the sales tools and training they need to succeed. You may even want to reward them. Some will argue that if a rep has sold servers for the last 5 years, they don't need to take formal training on the latest generation. But in 2014, channel partners are pinning their hopes on the potential of cloud, mobility, and big data. This means you need to know which reps are stepping up to learn how to sell your solutions in this space- not your competitors. Partner Managers can plan to spend time helping trained staff score early wins, as well as coach Sales Managers to get their teams fully trained.
  3. Minimize the 'admin' work for a Partner Manager. Partner Managers often help drive sales by promoting sales incentives, spiffs, contests, etc. We've seen Partner Managers get highly consumed tracking incentive claims for reps because they don't want those reps 'turned off'. But it takes away from selling time, a lot. We've seen titans of industry running large scale loyalty and spiff programs on spreadsheets that require a lot of manual intervention. Channel program management should be running these programs using advanced technology platforms with scalable and automated processes that can handle millions of sales incentives claims - quickly, accurately and in full compliance with all audit, legal and operational requirements.

Let the Partner Account Manager drive sales!

If you're interested in best practices in building both mind share and market share, this white paper provides useful insights - click here.

If you are concerned your channel partner's loyalty to your brand may be at risk, you may find our blog on that topic helpful - click here.


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