Partners and channel resellers today have much higher expectations of their relationships with software companies than ever before, and it’s understandable why. For many SaaS companies, reseller ecosystems and strategic partnerships are their fastest-growing revenue stream, and as such, it’s worth dedicating high-quality resources to managing and growing these relationships.
When we’ve discussed the make-up of their Channel Management or Partner Program Management Teams with Partner Managers, we often hear a similar complaint. Many Partner Managers say that they’ve really struggled to get things off the ground during the early phases of their ecosystems, especially when the management team is still being consolidated.
Why is this? In some cases, Partner Managers and Channel Management Teams, in general, are considered a lower priority when it comes to receiving support from other departments like marketing, sales, and operations. Other times, however, the problem is simply a lack of clarity around the strategic partnerships jobs needed to pull off a thriving partner program strategy.
We believe there are two main strategic partnerships jobs that are absolutely critical to your team: a Partner Development Manager and a Channel Account Manager.
Here’s how to best define each role in order to ensure that your Channel Management Team hits the ground running:
1. Partner Development Manager
A Partner Development Manager is a highly strategic and super tech-savvy leadership position. This person needs to have a real vision, borne of an excellent instinct for business and a hunger for sales. They should set clear growth and relationship goals and build a solid partnership base by executing the following roles:
· Understand and meet the fundamental needs of both your organization and your solution providers (check out our post, ‘3 Critical questions to ask a potential partner before they sign up for some useful insights on how to find partners whose needs dovetail with your own).
· Nurture and maintain long-term relationships (this means that PDMs need to be committed to continually shifting and improving your channel business model in order to meet new requirements).
· Recruit both new partners and internal channel team members (PDMs need to strategically grow the ecosystem and understand the key roles and positions that need to be occupied within your internal channel team).
2. Channel Account Manager
The other of the two essential strategic partnerships jobs is the Channel Account Manager, or CAM. This role is more traditional and involves aligning with the PDM’s vision and delivering operational execution of the strategy.
The best way to define and layout the actionable roles and duties of both the Partnership Development Manager and the Channel Account Manager is to map their tasks according to the partner lifecycle phases. We love the table below, provided by PartnerPath, which shows how you can assign tasks and goals for both your PDM and CAM according to each particular phase of the partner lifecycle:
Image source: PartnerPath
Get your partner ecosystem off the ground fast with a dedicated eCommerce services marketplace specifically designed for tech companies.
Morphed offers a white-labeled services marketplace infrastructure specifically designed for tech companies. We’re experienced in selling services online and have developed a solution that meets the needs of SaaS companies, their partners, and their customers.