In 2020 the IT & technology sales channel underwent a massive disruption and vendors found themselves dependent on partners and distributors in new ways. Channel concierge services became an incremental part of the remote sales organization, because they bring a special set of competencies that drive substantial revenue.
In this period, partner relationship management translates into a balanced mix of consideration for both partner and vendor needs. Driving channel sales indirectly asks for perception, proactivity, training, negotiations, coaching and unifying sales teams.
The Channel Concierge Function
The job of the channel concierge in a remote sales organization is to deliver strategy, connection, consistency and execution. This function assumes the responsibility to support all strategic partner relationships and activities.
Tech companies may develop go-to-market strategies and share product info with their channel but partners seldom join existing campaigns in parallel. Further, partners are often slow to develop in-house campaigns. A channel concierge will align distributor activities with vendor planning and mentor partners, providing them with marketing assets and sales incentives. What is more, the person who negotiates partner agreements in detail, sales strategy and conflict of interest is the channel partner concierge.
The channel partner concierges connect company and partner management to find the best sales strategies and execution avenues to the benefit of both sides. They are aware of the partner business and sales goals. They also find ways to integrate the vendor sales goals into larger channel sales initiatives.
Channel partners are industry savvy but in order to sell specific products they need to understand them in depth. Continuous training results in client satisfaction and revenue growth. The channel concierge owns new product training because he is responsible to create value for the partner customers.
As a first point of contact, one of the channel concierge jobs is to negotiate the partner agreements of collaboration and make sure work is done with integrity. This means they communicate and review pricing, payments, renewals, on-going marketing and sales deliverables and support, etc.
All tech vendors relying on channel sales have to avoid partner conflict and cannibalization. You don’t need to reconcile channel disputes with your inside sales team especially when everyone is working remotely. The concierge is there to manage and distribute prospects in the pipeline so as to avoid partner conflicts.
This was a quick overview of some channel partner concierge responsibilities. The function brings along a large team of subject experts from creative and development to insides sales. Clearly, channel concierge managers are able to take on more diverse tasks than traditional sales managers. They are trained to support the partner channel. In our next article we discuss what makes a channel concierge successful.
If you want to align your marketing and sales with your channel partners, track activities and evaluate results all the while reducing costs, contact us to find out what programs we can design and implement to give a boost to your channel and grow your revenue.