The key to fielding a team of the best channel professionals is to recruit the best.
Sources of the best include: Channel partners – ask them who the best channel managers they have seen are internal – look for people in finance, technical, marketing who have relevant history
competition – some vendors to a better job of recruiting and training the best than others.
Once you have sourced what you think are a group of individuals who you think manifest the best characteristics, proceed to the interview: Ask the questions first:
Owned a business?
Mom/dad – type/how long/what happened?
Been shipwrecked – type/what happened/whydid it happen?
Test the talent/temperament with a case study. Create a business school-type case study about a typical channel partner. Have the candidate examine the business plan and report on strength/ weakness/opportunities/threats:
o 20 minutes to read case;
o 10 minutes to prepare presentation;
o 10 minutes to present; and
o 20 minutes for questions.
Then bring in a group of your best people to hear the presentation and ask questions.
The best will have no problem with the case study or the history section. The rest will be easy to spot. Recruit the best and the rest will take care of itself.
The best channel professionals and channel managers are critical to the success of an organization’s channel strategy. As a rule of thumb, always try to recruit and hire people who are more talented than the ones that are already employed by the organization.
Questions for contemplation
1 What percentage of your channel managers have the characteristics of the best channel professionals? How many Level 3 people do you have?
2 How well do your best channel professionals perform compared to the rest?
3 Is your current recruitment/selection process likely to “”pop out”” candidates who can go onto become some of your best channel professionals? Are you recruiting and selecting Level 1 people or Level 3 people?
4 Have you looked at ChannelCorp’s program Channel Management: the business dynamic as a training vehicle for your channel managers?
Bruce Stuart, is the President of ChannelCorp Management Consultants Inc.
ChannelCorp is a global management consulting firm that specializes in increasing the productivity of vendors’ channels, and the value of the businesses of IT vendors’ channel partners. Visit ChannelCorp’s Web site at www.channelcorp.com.