A channel professional is not just someone who works in the channel.

Position or job titles are not a guarantee of professionalism. I have met VPs of channels who are clueless and green Channel Account Managers who intuitively understand the requirements of professionalism.

While there is no certification for channel professionals, a true channel professional demonstrates the following:

* Knows that value-add comes from addressing business issues not discounting

* Understands the business models of the channel ecosystem and how they interact

* Creates demand by identifying, scoping and developing new opportunities

* Holds executive conversations with vendor and partner senior management

* Spots and predicts trends in the market and relates them to the partners

* Increases the ROI on channel expenses by aligning programs to opportunities

* Develops and implements practical channel strategies

Simply put, the channel professional, like other experts (e.g. scientists, doctors, engineers and politicians) uses their unique experience and training to transcend the status quo and advance the state of the art.

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