Channel managers are responsible for developing and maintaining new sales channels. They establish a good working relationship with resellers, chain outlets, and other accounts locally and abroad. They work directly with the company’s internal department for channel programs development.
Channel managers play a vital role in the channel store. They are the ones who acquire and retain more resellers and distributors for the marketplace.
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of a channel managers are generally focused on facilitating all communications with resellers, improving client utilization, managing account profiles, preparing and delivering presentations for clients, monitoring the competition’s activity, planning for boosting market share, and communicating channel activities. He works with senior management and provides them with sales reports, which contain all channel activities and results.
It is the channel manager who leads the channel programs’ development for prospected clients. He makes sure that all accounts are profitably serviced in order for the company to achieve sales and revenue goals. In addition, the channel manager handles all aspects of account profiles, which includes performance history as well as customer forecasts.
A channel manager also develops and maintains good working relationships with assigned accounts and becoming the company’s main contact person. He facilitates all transactions and communications with retailers and resellers.
He is also in charge of preparing and delivering customer presentations, pricing and promotional proposals, and other business endeavors. It is important that he improves client utilization and product/service adoption rates through new business opportunities. It is the channel manger who assures that all services are executed for the client such as testing, implementation, training, and ongoing support.
The channel manager monitors the competitor’s activity within the channel market. He creates strategic plans to boost the company’s market share. A channel manager should lead the marketing process and conduct post program ROI analysis.
Education and Skills
Aspiring channel managers should have a bachelor’s degree in business or sales management. Most employers prefer candidates with work experience of at least 5 years in handling channel partnerships. It may also be a requirement to have a significant consultative selling experience.
Candidates for this position should be highly motivated and have exceptional leadership skills. He should be able to work independently without supervision or as a part of a team. He must have a sense of time management and responsibility. Having advanced computer skills is definitely an advantage since channel managers will be working with computer programs all the time in creating presentations and reports.
A channel manager should have excellent presentation and negotiation skills. He must be good in persuasion as well as maintaining good relationships with partner channels.
Working Conditions and Salary
Generally, channel managers work in a typical office-type setting. However, he must also be prepared to travel in order to reach existing and potential partnerships. Channel managers work for 40 hours a week. If necessary, he may need to work overtime. Salary depends on the type of product or service sold by the channel manager. The median annual salary is around $101,000, depending on location and experience. A channel manager may earn more with bonuses and commissions from their employers.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/