During the pandemic, I got really into the TV show “Alone.” The reality series drops 10 incredibly skilled outdoorspeople into remote, unforgiving landscapes with only 10 items, a camera, and a challenge to be the last person standing.
While some contestants see it as merely a quest to survive to the end, those who win approach the experience as a growth opportunity and display tremendous resilience and ingenuity in the face of adversity. The show’s winners exhibit all the same qualities of those who thrive during times of unrest: a willingness to adapt, re-skill based on the current environment, and take on new responsibilities.
These days, without the camaraderie of an office, remote sales can feel very similar to this lonely endeavor. And the same winning qualities and skills demonstrated on the show—along with access to the right technology—definitely play a key role in sales success.
Let’s take a closer look at the changing role of the channel manager and what it takes to come out on top in the midst of today’s challenging sales environment.
The pandemic accelerated buying behavior changes that were already underway, such as self-service B2B commerce experiences, flexible pricing options, and the rise of marketplaces. With remote and hybrid work models becoming the norm, many buyers aren’t ready to relinquish the convenience of digital-only buying journeys, nor are they willing to give you more time to sell to them.
For dealers, contractors, distributors, VARs and other customer-facing partners at the forefront, channel managers have become a critical lifeline to help them meet new customer demands and remain relevant and valuable to the customer. Now more than ever, sellers wish they had superpowers to meet these new demands, and it’s up to the channel managers to help support their partner sales reps.
On the vendor side, the role of the channel manager is evolving from more of a sales and administrative focus to that of a business consultancy. According to Forrester’s 2021 predictions, “Channel account managers are radically shifting to serve the increasing digital and digital-only customer journeys.” They must now help partners understand new consumption models and get in front of customers even earlier to influence, retain, and expand. Miss the mark, and partners will quickly move on to a vendor who can better support them.
For vendors, the digital transformation discussion has jumped from simply how to automate channel management processes to how to really help sellers sell. And to do that effectively requires the right technology solution.
In Oracle Partner Relationship Management, the Partner Workspace unifies a large amount of channel information in a single, organized work area. Channel account managers no longer have to navigate to the Lead work area to view the leads partners are working on and then to the Opportunity work area to take recommended actions on stalled deals. It can all be done in one place.
Partner Workspace minimizes navigation and effectively eliminates search by making it possible to keep multiple partner records open as tabs and take common actions—such as approving Deal Registrations—without drilling down into each section individually. By delivering greater visibility into the channel pipeline, channel managers gain insights more quickly and can take immediate action to help partners progress and close deals.
To reduce frustration and best support their partners, it’s critical that channel managers have all the information they need in a single, unified work area. And finding the right partner details is a breeze with commerce-like faceted search filters.
With Oracle Partner Relationship Management, channel managers can leverage their Partner Workspace to quickly access partner objects, speed up searches, and take actions all from one page. This makes working with partners faster, easier, and frankly, more pleasant.
Channel managers can now use their Workspace to:
In this new era of selling, channel managers wear many hats while helping partners navigate new customer expectations. Partner Workspace helps them access the data they need as quickly and efficiently as possible, putting time back in their day to spend supporting partners to reach their goals.
Enabling the Partner Workspace feature for your channel managers can make it feel less like a lonely wilderness for them and their partner sales reps and more like an opportunity they can easily win. Try it today!
For more information on partner objects in Workspace, review the Oracle Sales Cloud Readiness documentation and watch the quick demo below: