The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager


Published on

As the solution provider's business model has evolved, it has required the role of the central partner-facing resource, namely the Channel Sales Manager, to change dramatically to accommodate and support the new partner models. But what is the channel manager profile that has the talent and acumen to handle this demand?

Published in: Technology, Business, Career

The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager

  1. 1. Amazon Consulting Terms of UseThe information in this presentation is produced by Amazon Consulting and may contain previously unpublishedsynthesis of materials.Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute any material from Amazon Consulting is hereby granted providedthat the contents of this "Terms of Use" notice appear with all copies. In addition, if the material used includes othercredit or copyright information, then this source information should also be included with all copies.Use of Amazon Consulting content (documents, white papers, articles, research, etc.) is for informational and non-commercial or personal use only. You may not modify any content, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform,reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, post on any network, broadcast in any media orsell any information unless expressly permitted by Amazon Consulting. Content other than that belonging toAmazon Consulting is licensed or otherwise published by Amazon Consulting with the permission of the owner ofthe material. All rights in such materials are reserved to the respective owners.For questions and media requests, please contact:Cathy SperrazzoEye-to-Eye Communications, Inc.858-565-9800cathy@eyetoeyepr.comAmazon Consulting 2011
  2. 2. Thought Leadership BriefThe Strategic Role of thePartner Development Manager:Do The Skills of Today’sChannel Sales Managers Translate?
  3. 3. Table of Contents PageYour Partners Want More 3Who is the Partner Development Manager? 4Leadership for a Faster Start 5It Takes a Village—and a Seasoned Leader 7Partner Coverage and Logistics 9Amazon Recommends 13Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 2
  4. 4. Your Partners Want More Today’s solution provider expects more from the vendor enablement process than ever before. Its not enough anymore to simply get a welcome letter from a channel manager and login credentials to the channel partner portal. Partners want more hands-on support, better guidance during business planning and faster deployment of resources to achieve a quicker return on their vendor relationship. Partner Development Managers In fact, most partners say that they and the expect to start selling in the first six Partner Value Equation months of a new vendor relationship and Your channel partner prospects arent to achieve an average ROI of 200 percent willing to risk an investment in a new in the first 12 months.1 vendor relationship without some assurances that theyll see meaningful returns. After being burned before by At first blush it might be easy for vendors unsupportive vendors and facing to dismiss these expectations as over increasing pressure from a challenging demanding. But solution providers are economy and changing business models, they want to work with vendors who making a significant investment based offer a total package that we call the only on faith and financial guesswork. If Partner Value Equation. those guesses dont pan out the soured Are you doing everything you can to put relationship could presumably your channel support strategy in line inconvenience the vendor. But has the with this equation? If you havent started talking about establishing a potential to absolutely sink a partner. Partner Development Manager role, probably not. Meanwhile, changing customer habits and an increasingly competitive IT sales environment are both putting pressure on solution providers to adapt with new service models and build better value on top of vendor products. In light of all of this, we at Amazon Consulting believe that vendors need to start transitioning partner management from a program management function to a true business development function within the next five to ten years. And the first order of business for this evolution is building a suitable role for someone to lead the charge. We call this position the Partner Development Manager. More than a Channel Sales Manager, a Partner Development Manager should be a prospect hunter with senior executive skills and a strong background in building team relationships.1 Rookie to Rock Star: Accelerating the Development of Channel Partnerships, Amazon Consulting, 2010Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 3
  5. 5. Partner Development Managers are more proactive and more focused in their recruitment efforts. Theyve got the intuition and the skills to engineer the best match between the needs of the vendor and the solution provider. Its a leadership position that will encourage successful long-term relationships even in the face of tough economic times and shifting channel business models. Which is why we think that if you can have only one role in your channel enablement team, it needs to be the Partner Development Manager. Who is the Partner Development Manager? No matter what you call them – Channel Recruitment Managers, Partner Recruit Managers or Partner Sales Managers – Partner Development Managers think differently than traditional Channel Sales Managers. “We definitely look at a new hiring profile for Partner“Since SAP added the Channel Recruiter role our time-to-revenue with partners has Recruit Managers," says Karine Allouche Salanon, increased. Partner selection has become Director of worldwide strategy and compete for Microsoft. more thoughtful, and we have brought on "We are recruiting for a different DNA – more business higher quality partners.” savvy, more sales-oriented with an entrepreneurial spirit.” John Scola VP, Partner Recruitment & Excellence Its no knock against Channel Sales Managers, either. Our recent projects and research has shown that these traditional channel liaisons are so mired in the day-to-day upkeep of existing partner accounts and sales tasks that it would be unfair and unrealistic to pile on the added responsibility of recruiting and building an enablement team around a new breed of partner. By adding Partner Development Managers to the mix, vendors can better compete for prospective partners time and attention. It takes a seasoned business manager to engage the new breed of partner. A Partner Development Manager should not only have the ability to research, identify, qualify, sell-to and recruit solution providers, but also to establish a team relationship where the vendor and the partner can build technology solutions together. “It’s a personality or attitude difference between the two roles, not skills: both need to have strong sales skills, but the PSR will like to hunt, sell, uproot the competition, and be tech-savvy in order to have new discussions with partner prospects,” asserts Jane Lowe, Director of Personal Systems Group, HP. As vendor technologies and partner business models focus more heavily on services, this engagement step has become the most crucial in determining channel relationship success. If it isnt done right, little else matters. Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 4
  6. 6. Case Study: SAP L Increasing demands from partners has spurred some vendors to respond to those needs e with dedicated recruitment and enablement managers. For example, software giant SAP has both Channel Recruitment Managers and is piloting a new role of Channel Incubator a Manager in North America. The Incubator role works only with new designated partners dpassed toisthem for nurturingpartner on hands-on sales and onboarding tactical activities sole role to work with the by the Channel Recruit Manager. The Channel Incubators Efor 12-18and to become the overall goal to make the partner successful in driving revenue months, with self-sufficient. Leadership for a Faster Start Through our many client engagements and recent vendor interviews on this topic, we believe it has become an imperative to establish and refine partner management roles to match and support the phases of the partner development lifecycle, which we identify as a series of four steps: engagement, activation, ramping up and management. Ideally, organizations shouldnt be dumping Channel Sales Managers in lieu of Partner Development Managers. Instead, these two roles should be working in concert for maximum enablement throughout the partner development lifecycle. When working in concert with the Channel Sales Managers and other enablement team members, the new Partner Development Manager role offers high touch early on in the lifecycle. The Partner Development Manager takes the facilitator role while passing operational duties off to the Channel Sales Managers and the rest of the team once the relationship is established and sales take root. So in relation to the lifecycle, the Partner Development Manager looks something like this: Partner Development Manager Partner Development Manager Responsibility Stage 1: Hands-On Responsibility Stage 2: Facilitator for Business Development and Recruitment Day-to-Day Channel Management Team In the first stage, the partner development manager helps the company grow its partner ecosystem. Their job is to find the right partners, to matchAmazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 5
  7. 7. company goals with partner needs, to explore and define the benefits of working together. It’s more critical today than ever before for an entrepreneurial-minded business executive to understand, own and sell the value the company brings to the prospective partner and how they might benefit from investing time and resources to become a productive and self- sufficient partner. Vendors need to actively recruit a new breed of Partner Development Manager who is a savvy “hunter,” who understands business and technology, and who is an entrepreneurial team leader. Moving the partner from initial engagement and recruitment to becoming activated at the sales, technical and marketing levels is a proverbial cliff many Channel Sales Managers fall off of as they try to move partners along their development path. At this “activate” stage, the Partner Development Manager takes the basic program elements to a higher level. This is where the partner gets introduced to their functional partner team members (the safety net) to establish ongoing support relationships and to accelerate the activation of their partnership.Phase Channel Sales Manager Partner Development ManagerEngage • Qualify partners from leads • Research and identify partner targets • Execute contracts • Qualify fit and interest with execs • Recruit into vendor program • Initial business planning • Relationship building meetings with local sales teams • Recruit and manage contractsActivate • Program enrollment • Program enrollment(Onboard) • Contract administration • Contract negotiations and administration • Initiate on-boarding process • Introduction to virtual team • Develop business and marketing planActivate • Establish path to certification • Establish and manage enablement track with virtual team(Enable) • Transition to training and • Technical training guidance marketing resources • Pre-Sales training • Synch with Partner Marketing Manager to offer guidance and support for campaigns • Linkage with field account managers for mentoringRamp • Brokers sales collaboration • Personal co-selling support with field teams • Facilitate partner-to-partner collaboration • Pipeline/forecast tracking • Lead generation--pipeline development • Order trackingManage • Sales pipeline and forecast • Manages multi-region or multi-practice partners until fully management ramped in all regions or disciplines • Revenue monitoring • Transitions or teams with channel manager on all other • Renewing contracts ramped partners When Partner Development Managers “ramp” a new partner, the lead generation and sales development process is high touch and may be a lengthy step. Once a partner is fully activated and ramped they are likely transitioned to the Channel Sales Manager to “manage” and own the growthAmazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 6
  8. 8. and evolution of the relationship. This handoff point varies from partner to partner depending on the complexity and depth of the partnership. In stage two, the Partner Development Manager becomes a coach, teacher, and facilitator. They show the new partner the path to productivity. They lead the partner management team which provides sales, marketing, technical and operational support the partner needs to ramp steadily and achieve ROI faster, all while keeping functional overlaps and operational complexity to a minimum for the partner. It Takes a Village -- and a Seasoned Leader It might take a village to raise a channel prospect up the right way, but true prosperity will only follow if that village has a strong seasoned leader. The division of labor between operational enablement support and strategic business development work is key to keeping things running smoothly within the confines of a vendors organization. But in order to keep the seams from showing and prevent new partnerships from losing steam early on, channel teams need a leader to glue everything together. This is where a Partner Development Manager can play a huge role. Once a new partner is recruited, the Partner Development Manager acts as the chief of the partner on-boarding and enablement team. Together with the Partner Development Manager, the team should consist of a Technical Solution Specialist, Partner Marketing Manager, Program Support Manager, and Sales and Technical Trainer. Partner Development Manager:  Owns overall relationship  Demonstrates path to revenue  Team captain of virtual team  Accountable to objectives  Leads Sales readiness  Manages milestones  Transitions relationship to CM Technical Solution Specialist:  Develops partner enablement path  Guides in training and certification  Assists in Pre-Sales, Lab, POC  Owns tech contacts relationships Partner Marketing Manager:  Assists partner with campaigns  Accountable to MDF funds  Joint go-to-market activity plansAmazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 7
  9. 9. This division of labor is key. Vendors are more often“We definitely look at a new hiring profile forPartner Recruit Managers. We are recruiting discovering how inefficient and costly it is to have theirfor a different DNA – more business savvy, channel sales managers distracted from higher levelmore sales-oriented with an entrepreneurial partner development activities. Large technologyspirit.” vendors have begun to move the day-to-day Karine Allouche Salanon administration and program support issues away from Director of Worldwide the Partner Development and Channel Sales Managers Strategy and Compete and to the role of partner program support and trainers. The Partner Development Manager serves as the knowledgeable expert who understands the solution providers’ business goals and go-to-market initiatives, and who makes sure the rest of the team does also. It is his/her responsibility to set the plans and plays of who, when, and how the other members of the partner team will assist the partner in their path to revenue and market success. Additional tasks are managing the early enablement activities, measuring the progress and communication to the partner about their sales and technical readiness. The new breed of solution provider expects to be mentored by the vendor’s team in sales, market positioning, business development and technology implementation. Face time, sales training sessions, side-by-side on the customer site, best-practice mentoring sessions, are new expectations of partners from the vendor’s partner team. 35% of vendors are The well-orchestrated virtual team is investing in field and essential for successfully providing business development these resources. The winning formula reps for planning and is a combination of the right resources enablement in 2011. that follow a common set of growth and Amazon Consulting 2011 State of development objectives and clear Partnering Study processes for functional handoffs that are planned and measured. An increase in resources, planned out thoughtfully without overlap or unnecessary complexity, is welcomed by the partner community. Case Study: Microsoft Microsoft has long used the field Technical Solution Specialist (TSS) to enable and support their solution providers in the field. Technical Solutions Specialists provide partner assistance to navigate the resources, sales and marketing support from the Microsoft product solution teams for their respective specialization. TSS staff engage on specific customer deals and support partners during the sales process while helping to move the partner’s technical staff to self-sufficiency. Microsoft uses its Channel Recruitment Manager to help the partner proactively build its pipeline. The Channel Recruitment Manager aligns the partner with the TSS and the direct sales people to help drive their first 5-7 customer opportunities. Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 8
  10. 10. Partner Coverage and Logistics With so many ways to collaborate and communicate virtually today, vendors need to design appropriate partner coverage models. Traditionally, large vendors have designated channel program tiers for aligning resources. Partner-facing teams, especially those in the field, are typically organized around partner tier, region or by partner type. Partner types and tiers are the most common organizing principle today for determining a partner coverage model. Partners who cannot meet target revenue goals or higher program qualifications often receive management via tele-managed resources, from distribution, inside sales, partner resource desks or self-service partner portals. Many vendors are reconsidering their coverage strategy today to focus on quality, not quantity of their partnerships, with an eye toward being more efficient in the use of partner development resources. Since smaller vendors don’t have the luxury of granular coverage they may assign partner managers for large geographic regions and they will share the Technical Solution Specialist role and inside sales teams to support the partner. This can be adequate for vendors who have few technology areas and a high-touch approach to channel management. Some vendors have been “fishing FOR the partner” versus “teaching the partner how to fish,” but that is changing. More vendors are trying to be more effective with their managed partners, while reinforcing their unmanaged partner business with self-service support. Case Study: Sophos Sophos, a highly focused global security software company, has recently altered its approach to how it assigns partner resources. It has begun to provide new partners with Partner Development Managers who are field-based sales advocates to help them build their security solutions around Sophos products. In parallel, Field Channel Account Managers (CAM) are teamed with Inside Channel Account Managers at a ratio of 2:1 to manage existing partners. Distribution handles partners with high volume but small deals resources which frees up the CAM team to focus on business building activities with partners. Regardless of their size or channel maturity, vendors are typically not able to fund enough dedicated channel resources to adequately assist all partner types and tiers. Channel Managers teamed with Technical Solution Specialists can usually support and manage 30 to 40 enabled partners in an assigned region/geography. Technical and Marketing Enablement Managers, since they are assisting most frequently with purely the training and enabling of new partners, can support many partners and multiple Channel Sales Managers, and Partner Development Managers.Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 9
  11. 11. The challenge lies in determining how many partner prospects and new recruits a Partner Development Manager can manage. Solution providers will be at various stages along the development continuum so there is never a dull moment. When partners pass their first successful year they may transition to a Channel Sales Manager’s responsibility, while the Partner Development Manager will continue to find and nurture new partners to address new markets or technologies. On average, we see vendors with an established Partner Development Manager role manage about 8-12 partners in the on-boarding process at any one time. Vendor Distribution Inside Channel Sales Partner Development Role Manager Manager ManagerVendor Role Distribution Inside Channel Sales Manager Partner Development Manager ManagerPrimary May recruit from Inbound recruit Recruits to fill territory needs Researches, identifies,Recruitment existing calls qualifies and recruitsFocus resellersPartner Touch Low-volume, Silver and Select gold and platinum On-boards new partners;Points unmanaged bronze volume VARs may team-manage national VARs VARs or multi-practice partners.# of VARs >100 >100 50-60 15-20ManagedEnablement Owns May assist CSM Manages inherited partners Manages enablement teamDuties enablement and in management passed from Partner and acts as a liaison to management tasks Development Manager or direct partners to the right directly teams on key partnerships team members Performance should be monitored, measured, and analyzed along the way. Development objectives are not a nice-to-have anymore – they are an imperative, so that all parties see a strong ROI for the partnership. While creating and managing these development results can be a challenge, it is paramount as it defines the appropriate compensation that is required to attract, retain, and recognize this new key role. Due to the economic environment, vendors face increasing pressure to rationalize the unique contribution and ROI from each and every partner- facing role. “We have found that we need to have a clear view of unique partner-facing roles and must be surgical in BI reporting to measure individual impact," says Microsofts Salanon. "It can be tough to show strategic value and individual sales accountability.”Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 10
  12. 12. The concept of the Partner Development manager is a new “It’s a personality or attitude difference challenge because of the critical partner incubation role,between the two roles, not skills: Both need which likely will not result in much revenue in the first year. to have strong sales skills, but the PSR will Vendor CFO’s and financial management teams cut back like to hunt, sell, uproot the competition, heavily on partner-facing roles in the last couple of years and be tech savvy in order to have new only to realize it starved their partner quality, decreased discussions with partner prospects.” partner satisfaction, and negatively impacted their ramping Jane Lowe process. The Partner Development Manager and the Director, Personal Systems Group traditional CSMs should have complementary roles, both accountable to unique measureable milestones in the partner development cycle. The ultimate measure of any new role is how its success is measured by the vendor and the partner. In order to attract and retain the right talent for the new Partner Development Manager role, it is imperative to provide a new compensation plan that recognizes and rewards the efforts to “hunt” for new partners and the ultimate outcome of those efforts – increased revenue. Compensation should be tied to the metrics of the value-based partner program including tracking rewarding for recruiting, on-boarding, enablement, certifications, industry wins and high customer satisfaction. Case Study: HP Channel-centric giant Hewlett Packard organizes its SMB partner coverage like its direct account coverage model. HP puts the partner in the generalist role for most accounts and supports them with HP specialists. In 2011, the Personal Systems Group (PSG) followed suit for the role of those building and nurturing the channel, as follows: Partner Sales Reps (PSR) - Outside field sales resources that engage actively in partner team-selling, face-to-face with end users. PSRs are compensated on a geographical territory sales quota, not based on the performance of individual partners. Partner Development Reps (PDR) - Inside sales resources responsible for partner coverage, recruiting and development. Their role is to help “farm” solution providers who are already enabled to ramp their revenue. PDRs are compensated for the growth of individual partners year over year. How will these value-based metrics affect compensation? The old adage applies - people do what you pay them to do. “We really saw increased performance in the Channel Recruiter role once we started measuring the metric of time-to-revenue vs. quantity of new partners," says John Scola, vice president of partner recruitment and excellence for SAP. "Channel Recruiters have also been more effective than CSMs in partner selection resulting in bringing on higher quality partners.” Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 11
  13. 13. In order to attract the sales skills, experience, and track record required of a Partner Development Manager, vendors will find that they should be paying higher base salaries since there is less opportunity for commission. One solution is to set up annual and quarterly objectives around the steps in the partner development cycle. Keep in mind, the partner is investing their first 12-18 months and so is the vendor by providing the right resource for the job. Although SAP, Microsoft, HP and Sophos are all instituting new compensation plans and measurement criteria for new roles like the Partner Development Manager, it is still appropriate for them and other IT vendors to continue to compensate the traditional Channel Sales Manager on the fundamental metrics of revenue and enablement activities.Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 12
  14. 14. Amazon Recommends When partners dont feel well supported by their vendors, dont see signs of early returns on their relationship investments or dont achieve measurable milestones, vendor loyalty goes out the window. In this challenging and dynamic environment, vendors need to keep partners perceived value on the top of the priority list throughout the recruitment lifecycle. Amazon believes that the Partner Development Manager plays a crucial part in keeping priorities straight. This burgeoning role will help vendors better ramp new partners during the critical first 12 to 18 months and help partners navigate the relationship going forward. Upfront vendor investment with the right combination of resources and benefits, along with patience and dedication (yes those are still virtues) will drive measurable success for a new partnership. We see five partner management imperatives that every technology vendor should consider: 1. Make sure the partner management team understands and supports the Partner Value Equation in all partner interactions. 2. Invest in the Partner Development Manager role with a new entrepreneurial and hunter skill set. If you can only have one role – let it be the Partner Development Manager. 3. Establish clear role definitions with measureable metrics for each stage of the partner development cycle – be willing to create a new compensation plan to reward those development metrics. 4. Clearly link the interdependencies and accountability of the partner management team to the key elements of partner growth, maturity, and productivity. 5. Keep it as simple as you can – adding complexity detracts from partner value.Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 13
  15. 15. Key Contributor: Susan Pessemier - Consultant Susan brings many years in channel sales leadership roles with technology companies to this topic. Having been on both sides of the fence – as the vendor channel sales leader for Microsoft, Exodus, Savvis and QlikTech to owning her own IT reseller practice for 9 years. Susan is passionate about the need to evolve the vendor partner facing roles to better serve the ever-expanding partner community. For More Information To find out more information about this paper, please send an email to Established in 1997, Amazon Consulting, LLC, (Mountain View, CA) increases the impact of partnering by designing, implementing and automating effective partner models. Amazon Consulting’s clients entrust them to formulate growth strategies, build route-to-market models, perform competitive benchmarks, design partner programs, facilitate partner advisory councils, and provide temporary experts for project management and program execution. Drawing on decades of combined experience, Amazon Consulting makes available a vast library of partnering resources, hosts regular informational webcasts, and offers PartnerG2, a comprehensive partner intelligence subscription service. For clients looking to optimize the partner relationships and improve organizational efficiencies, Amazon Consulting also offers a hosted partner automation system called PartnerPath. For more information please visit © Copyright Amazon Consulting 2011 Mountain View, California 94043 Phone: 650.480.4030 | Fax 650.240.4030 Produced in the United States of America All Rights Reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, faxing, e-mailing, posting online, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from Amazon Consulting.Amazon Consulting The Strategic Role of the Partner Development Manager Page 14
  16. 16. Amazon Consulting Terms of UseThe information in this presentation is produced by Amazon Consulting and maycontain previously unpublished synthesis of materials.Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute any material from Amazon Consultingis hereby granted provided that the contents of this "Terms of Use" notice appear withall copies. In addition, if the material used includes other credit or copyrightinformation, then this source information should also be included with all copies.Use of Amazon Consulting content (documents, white papers, articles, research, etc.)is for informational and non-commercial or personal use only. You may not modify anycontent, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license,create derivative works from, transfer, post on any network, broadcast in any mediaor sell any information unless expressly permitted by Amazon Consulting. Contentother than that belonging to Amazon Consulting is licensed or otherwise published byAmazon Consulting with the permission of the owner of the material. All rights in suchmaterials are reserved to the respective owners.For questions and media requests, please contact:Cathy SperrazzoEye-to-Eye Communications, Inc.858-565-9800cathy@eyetoeyepr.comAmazon Consulting 2011