What do Gomez Addams, Arianna Huffington and Captain James T. Kirk have in common? Each is master of his or her own domain. No important decision is made without one of these “heads of everything” knowing about it. More importantly, they lead by example – you wouldn’t expect Captain Kirk to negotiate with a Klingon. In b-to-b channels, you wouldn’t expect your chief channel executive (CCE) to poach partners from a competitor’s program – or would you?
The truth is that there are few guidelines when it comes to the role of CCE, who is typically in charge of setting the channel strategy and managing the channel program. Through my interactions with many mid-size and large channel programs, I’m learning that not having a dedicated CCE is sometimes worse than having one who’s still figuring out what his or her role should be. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen many misguided CCEs derail a channel program into oblivion. But not having one creates a lot of finger-pointing and inertia that can do just as much damage by not accomplishing anything at all.
So, exactly what should be the role of the CCE? The answer varies by type and size of channel program, but here are five areas to consider:
The CCE ultimately is responsible for supplier-partner alignment in terms of business strategy and commitments. As the senior executive for partner experience, this role ensures that the second of five essential pillars of the SiriusDecisions Partner Experience Maturity Model – people and alignment – is assessed and monitored regularly (the other four pillars are product and profitability, programs and tools, processes and technology, and promotion and communications).
Many SiriusDecisions clients share their wish to improve partner experience, but many don’t know where to start. Our analysts recently developed the SiriusDecisions Partner Experience Maturity Assessment Tool, which helps companies assess their maturity in each of the five pillars. Please contact us if you’d like to learn how your company can work with our channel sales or channel marketing analyst teams to measure your partner experience maturity.
Laz Gonzalez is Service Director, Channel Management Strategies, at SiriusDecisions. During a career spanning close to two decades, Laz has gained extensive executive, front-line and international experience implementing solution-driven sales programs with OEMs, strategic alliances, distributors and value-added resellers. Follow Laz on Twitter @LazGonzalez