Vendor channel partner managers in the UK are treated unfairly in terms of status and recognition, while their salary is meagre in comparison with their counterparts in the US.
A recent survey in the US revealed that the average partner manager's salary is $145,300 (£112,000), of which 72 per cent is base and 28 per cent variable.
On average, a high-tech partner manager is relatively mature (41 years old), has accumulated 14 years of industry experience, has worked at the company for about four-and-a-half years and is well settled in their current job, having been in that position for more than two years.
Almost everyone has a degree, and more than one-third have a master's.
In the UK, channel partner directors of only the largest vendors receive a salary of more than £100,000. While they enjoy some additional benefits - such as a car or car allowance and additional holiday entitlement - the average salary is only three-quarters that of their US counterparts.
On both sides of the Atlantic, partner managers have seen a significant increase in the importance of resellers to their company over the past few years.
However, they have not always seen a corresponding increase in budgets or headcount, and they are often asked to do more with the same or even fewer resources.
Competition is also increasing steadily. As prices drop and some products become more commoditised, partner managers have to get resellers to sell more units every year to achieve the same revenue levels.
Status and recognition are major factors that are holding back the progression of channel partner managers in the UK. Staff who are involved in direct sales receive more recognition and those involved in marketing receive even greater recognition.
It appears that the closer to the end-user the manager is, the higher their status and recognition. This leaves channel-focused managers clamouring for attention.
The lack of training for channel partner managers is a major reason they are held back. In fact, if you use Google to search for 'partner manager education', you experience a near-Googlewhack moment because only two items are displayed.
So how can channel-focused managers rise to the top if there are no courses for partner managers? Are we baptising them by fire?
EuroLAN Research recently announced a partnership with the Technology Channels Group of Silicon Valley to coordinate its workshop training methodology in the UK.
In the first one-day course on 10 June in association with CRN, managers will learn how to map channels-to-market opportunities, increase partner revenues, produce effective marketing programmes, select better and more productive partners and align the company behind partner revenue growth. Remember the old adage: if you give a man a fish he can eat for a day, but teach a man how to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.
EuroLAN Research (01202) 670 170
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