The role of a channel account manager (CAM) has evolved in the past few decades. Originating as a purely relationship-based role, it has moved deeper into selling at a transactional level. On top of this are the demands of territory and channel management, program delivery, operational specialist, marketing liaison, product expert, counsellor and part-time psychologist.
What hasn’t kept pace is the technology to support these different roles. The PRM/CRM system provides important plumbing to the channel program, while other point solutions facilitate marketing, training, onboarding and incenting of partners. Unlike direct sales, there is no standardized workflow that drives success as a CAM. The day-to-day activities are different from company to company and even from peer to peer at the same company.
We now know that predictive analytics work in the real-world. Direct and indirect sellers have been using the technology now for a few years and top-performers are 4X more likely to use analytics. In fact, 86% of organizations utilizing data science are reporting a major positive impact.
How does predictive analytics drive channel success?
- Win more revenue. The biggest impact of predictive is the ability to drive behavior across the indirect sales team. By analyzing millions of factors in real-time, the software will provide alerts and notifications when key things are happening within a partner territory. More importantly, it will prioritize these alerts and recommend next best actions that a CAM can take to drive more revenue.
- Better partner interactions. Success is more than just engaging with the right partner at the right time. The interaction itself, whether 30 seconds or 30 minutes, needs to focus on the right discussion points driven by a prioritized agenda. Vendors can no longer afford (and partners have lost patience in) the meaningless update status calls. Understanding channel health in real-time is a game-changer in managing a large number of partners.
- Expand territory coverage. With a predictive system acting as the “eyes and ears” of a partner territory, a CAM can rest assured that they won’t miss key events happening deeper in their partner account list. Big data provides interesting and actionable insights around what your partner is focusing on, as well as critical leading indicators of a drop or gain in revenue. With automatic CRM updating, single screen access to all partner information, as well as the reduction in noise and clutter, a CAM can be much more productive in their territory and use the predictive system to deepen their coverage.
How does predictive analytics help channel directors and vice presidents?
- Improve forecasting. Reducing uncertainty is important in today’s indirect channel environment. With so many moving parts, combined with the complexity of reporting, the predictive engine will assist in providing real-time forecasting. Understanding how the forecast changes throughout the month or quarter is important as well as understanding the associated confidence scoring levels. Computers are proving to be better forecasters than humans due to the granular predictions on every opportunity combined with dozens of external factors.
- Manage CAM performance. Going beyond the traditional KPI’s of revenue, profit and partner satisfaction, predictive analytics can help answer that age-old question: Do I have a low performing rep in a good territory or vice versa? Looking at factors such as efficiency, productivity, as well as deal-specific wins and losses, a predictive system will determine new insights into performance. It will also improve individual CAM reviews with their manager.
- Accelerate channel performance. Better understanding the partner buying journey and being able to spot trends early will better assist in driving the channel program forward. Having CAM’s that follow best-in-class workflows, achieve better partner interactions, work deeper into their territories, and that are backed by new levels of measurement and inspection will drive positive behavior change across the organization.
Where do I start?
Predictive analytics in the indirect channel world is now a reality. OPTYX, a platform built by the team at ChannelEyes over the past 2 years, provides CAMs with the front-line tools to better do their jobs:
- Win more channel revenue with predictive alerts and prioritized actions
- Drive better partner interactions with automatic agendas and consolidated dashboards
- Expand territory coverage with channel health scores and leading indicator notifications
It will also help channel and alliances leaders to forecast in real-time, manage performance at a partner, territory or CAM level, and drive the behaviors that will significantly improve indirect revenue, profitability and partner satisfaction.
Learn more at: http://channeleyes.com/optyx