This is a blog for channel professionals; those individuals who ended up in channels for some reason and decided not only to make a career out of it, but saw the opportunity to make a lasting impact.

Direct involvement in numerous program designs and sales force deployments has helped shape our perspective.

Below are ten statements that outline our viewpoint:

1. Billions are wasted in ineffective channel programs every year
2. Senor executives expect higher performance from their channel personnel
3. Product features are not a substitute for disciplined channel management
4. Account Managers (CAMs) are capable of much more than account support
5. Clear objectives and process will reduce channel amateurism
6. Vendor's channel programs provide minimal differentiation
7. Solid communication, not spin, is the key to channel partner motivation
8. Channel Marketing need to produce more effective promotional materials
9. Channel results can be quantified and measured
10. Accountability and measurement drive improvement

Although we bristle at slights from direct sales and engineering, we have to admit that channels often are not run very professionally. Filled with ambiguity and FUD, channels are often a place where mediocrity thrives. Increased professionalism will drive results and earn respect most channel personnel crave.

Our team of channel veterans is committed to (some say obsessed with) channel professionalism. We eat, sleep, drink and live channels 24-7-365.

Each team member has their own company and a specialized perspective be it research (John Bailey), communication and community building (Bill Weir), sales management (Elliot Levine), partner intimacy (Bryan Johansen) account manager coaching (Rick Vieth) or channel strategy (Scott Karren).

We hate fuzziness and hand waving. Look to us to tackle the most important issues head on. We and will stake a leadership position and define a stronger process for professional channel management based on measurement and accountability. If we are controversial, that䴜s good. If we slaughter a few sacred cows along the way, that䴜s even better.

Each week, The Channel Pro will post an article on an issue or topic related to channel development and management. These articles will simplify and model the complex issues around channels, each building upon other indirectly to amass a wide base of knowledge to apply to specific channel problems.

During the week, the team of channel professionals will post ongoing insights from our interaction with clients and customers. Shorter and more specific than articles, these daily posts will spotlight real world issues and approaches to specific problems.

Welcome to the community of channel professionals. We look forward to getting to know you through you comments, feedback and results.

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