Channel, or indirect, sales to third-party resellers are important to many organizations. Channel sales managers are responsible for developing and completing sales with outside dealers. They lead a team of sales personnel, motivating and training them to produce the best possible results. They establish strategies and methods to efficiently pitch and sell products to their customers, as well as build and maintain relationships with resellers to establish long-term customers. Channel sales managers choose new resellers to work with, ensuring these businesses properly represent their product to the public and maintain the corporate image they wish to portray; this is especially important, as the channel sales manager's organization is not in direct control of the sale of their products to the public. Channel sales managers serve as the primary point of contact between their company and resellers, so they must resolve any disputes related to orders and deliver information about new and upcoming products.
Channel sales managers work in a variety of environments. They generally work at least a standard 40-hour week, but - as this is a sales position - they may work overtime to increase commissions. Channel sales managers work primarily in an office environment, but they may frequently travel to visit their resellers and maintain their business relationships. The bulk of their time is spent meeting with their sales team and with their clients.
Channel sales managers are usually required to hold a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field, or have equivalent work experience. As this is a managerial position, substantial experience in the sales or business development field is necessary. Knowledge of the organization's specific field is sometimes necessary as well, as channel sales managers need to understand their industry to effectively sell their products.
Channel Sales Manager Tasks
- Maintain contact with key markets by visiting and investigating the operations and local conditions.
- Evaluate and provide analysis to management for new products and international market opportunities.
- Plans and implements sales programs for one or more of the company's product line.
- Ensure execution of the developed sales strategies, plans and advertising or promotional programs.
- Ensure activities are in accordance with the developed sales objectives.