How To Become a Certified Channel Manager
Chanimal has a rigorous certified channel manager program that tests and certifies your channel, sales, and marketing knowledge and skills. There are three levels:
- Chanimal Certified Channel Manager. (CCM) Requires knowledge of all things channel.
- Chanimal Certified Channel Manager Professional. (CCMP) Requires evidence of both knowledge and skills (must submit samples, results, evidence of success).
- Chanimal Certified Channel Manager Professional Instructor. (CCMP-I) You can then instruct and even consult with the hundreds of Chanimal clients.
You can go through the Chanimal materials or you can “test out” of the materials for the same certification. Chanimal is not the only channel, marketing and sales resource–so you get credit for other sources or real life experience.
You can pick up the knowledge to become a certified channel manager after the Chanimal workshops (testing available afterwards), or pick up the information piece by piece at the free systematic Webinars, Seminars or Lunch-N-Learns (it doesn’t matter where you learned it–so long as you know it). Emphasis is on hi-tech software, hardware (consumer electronics and enterprise), SaaS and services and covers online Internet, mass merchants, consumer electronics, VARs, VADs, distributors, and system integrators.
Chanimal has a complete Learning Management System (LMS) that includes the coursework (text, documents, samples, videos and live chat interaction), testing, certificates and more. If you are experienced, you can take a pre-test (no cost) to see how you will do and which areas you might need to shore up before trying to test out. Click certificate to enlarge. Request more information.
Course Topics and Certification Testing Include:
Channel Management Defined (level-set entire group)
- How the direct and indirect reseller channel works
- The reseller continuum and definitions (distributor, partner, MDF, co-op, etc.)
- Which channel to use for your product
- Transitioning from direct to channel
- Minimizing channel conflict
- Roles of channel sales and channel marketing (with org chart/job descriptions)
- Aligning compensation of channel marketing, sales and channel partners with objectives – samples
- Roll-out phases and typical timelines
Phase 1a– Defining (or re-defining) a Channel Program
- What resellers look for when selecting a vendor partner
- Elements of an effective world-class program
- Evaluate your current channel program (if available) against best practices
- Competitors channel program (competitive matrix)
- Reseller profiles (type determines features)
- Reseller levels – when applicable and why
- SaaS and wholesale distributors
- Requirements (application, license, training, certification, support)
- Margins and expectations (SaaS differences)
Phase 1b– Program Setup (deliverables)
- Differences: affiliate, VARs, System Integrators, unique to SaaS
- Differences between new and established programs & barriers
- Reseller portal & PRM’s
- Reseller application – information to capture (profiling)
- Reseller agreements – key elements & resources
- Product sales tools (kits and templates)
- Training and Support
- Lead generation, lead policies
- Sales assistance
- Deal registration
- The critical first 90 Days
Phase 2a– Recruiting a Channel (strategy)
- Decisions – do it yourself or outsource?
- Differences by country and regional
- Two tier versus one tier distribution
- Navigating distribution agreements
- Refining the reseller profile
- Best sources to find resellers
- Guerrilla / Chanimal approaches to recruiting
- Competitors & Alliances
- Recruiting – what really works
- Alternate channels – affiliates
Phase 2b– Recruiting Tactics
- Database & PRM’s
- Software to capture names
- Direct response format (e-mails, postcards)
- Persuasive Format
- Phone Dialogues
- Roadshows (alliances)
- Advertising (VAR Business, etc.)
Phase 3– Enablement (initiating sales)
- Differences by channel type
- A well-positioned product – 3-5 reasons a prospect must buy your product
- The all powerful “Recommendation Rate”
- NFR (access for a SaaS product)
- 4 P Orientation (product, portal, plan, process)
- Reseller training
- Certification programs
- Regular communications & promotions (leads)
Channel Management – Ongoing motivation
- Three phases of a new reseller
- Creating loyalty within the channel
- What works – spiffs, rebates, contest, NFR’s
- Field Management – model calls & coaching calls
- The Game of Work – tracking
- Integration – inside sales, field sales, FAE’s, channel sales
- Channel maturity – weeding out non-producers
- Increasing dedication & barriers to entry
Refining Your Program – Putting It All Together
- Creating & leveraging a reseller partner council
- Ongoing recruiting – replacing non-producers
- The plan of action – details with timelines
- Q & A to address all remaining channel program questions
- CRMs, PRMs, other Software
- Industry ratios, time lines, expectations
- Channel Collateral (PowerPoints, Competitive Matrix, Price List, Policies (lead, deal reg, NFR, etc.), Agreement
- Resources (websites, rep firms (Retail to System Integrator), software, research, publications, consultants, partner promotions, reseller training, etc.
In addition, there is an online section on Channel Sales 101 – 201 (for Channel Sales and Channel Marketing) that is part of the Certified Channel Manager requirements. This will cover the following topics:
- The Approach
- Presentation Skills & Persuasive Demos
- Group Presentations
- Price Savings Build-Up
- 3rd Person Selling
- Closing Techniques
- Overcoming Objections
- Sales Management (quotas, game of work, goals, motivation)
These topics will be covered in enough detail so the teams are level-set, although there is more in-depth coverage available for sales as a separate elective (but not required to pass the test).
Similar courses and certifications from other organizations are much higher:
- Pragmatic Marketing (product management and product marketing) are $999 to $1,695 (plus the cost to take the test).
- The 280 Group certified product manager prep course and certification cost $1,295 for self-study and $1,495 for live training and testing.
- Social Media Manager Certified (from S3) cost $2,490 for the training and test.
- The National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) charges up to $6,000. The certification testing final exam usually cost $55 – $175.
The Chanimal Certified Channel Manager will be a comparable cost, but will be considerably less as the program is launched.
Chanimal Course & Certification Pricing
Certified Channel Manager (CCM)
- e-learning access
- Live training option (at Workshop)
- Review test
- Final test
- PDF & mailed certificate
Certified Channel Manager – Pro (CCMP)
- Obtain CCM certificate first
- e-learning access
- Submit required validation of execution
- Validation test
- PDF & mailed certificate
Certified Channel Manager – Trainer (CCMT)
- Get CCMP certificate first
- Complete Trainer Coursework
- e-learning access
- Model & Coaching call assessment
- Client validation & testimonial
- Review test
- Final test w/agreement
- PDF & mailed certificate
Additional Testing, Prep & Update Pricing
Additional Test or ‘Test Out’
- Additional test if fail first time (first test included in coursework)
- Cost to “test out” (experienced channel managers who wish to obtain certification)
Ongoing Refresher Updates
- For CCM’s and above
- Ensure continual education
- e-learning access for updated material
- Review test for comprehensive
- Authorized for Level 1, Level 2, etc. additions to certification
- PDF certificate with level designation
Pre-Test for Prior Experience
- No cost – must register only
- Pre-test determines your readiness for final
- Available for experience Channel Managers prior to “Testing Out”
- Helps understand current competency
To become a Certified Channel Manager, it cost $799 ($200 – $850 less than current industry certifications). If you are experienced, you can take the pre-test to see if you can test-out based on your current knowledge without having to enroll in the coursework.
If you wish, you can take the test at any time for $65 and test-out at any time–achieving the same certification and certificate as someone who has taken the course. You can also re-test if you failed previously. The testing format and questions change frequently to retain the integrity of the test answers.
As the industry changes (such as the adoption of SaaS, new distributors and channel vendors, updated best practices, etc.), there will be refresher updates available to all CMM’s and above. The course material, with the associated test will allow you to add Level 2, Level 3, etc. designations to your existing certifications–showing that you are current with the latest industry channel knowledge.
Please call or e-mail with any pricing questions. It is anticipated that this cost will increase to comparable industry rates once the program evolves.
Although pricing is listed, additional training for PRO and Trainer designations that test evidence of both knowledge and skills (must submit samples, results, and confirmed evidence of success), along with trainer validation will be added soon.
FREE Bonus Resources
Those that take the course will have full access to all of the Chanimal channel content. This includes complete “Kits” for resellers, affiliates, alliances, positioning, and more–and this is real content (none of that fluffy theory stuff) actually used to build over 200 channel programs (including some of the top programs in the world).
You will have access to The CAVE and a coupon code that provides access to all the content in the Chanimal Store (except services and databases) for six months during and for six months following the course. This includes templates for just about everything from portal content, phone dialogs, portal overview scripts, reseller promotional pick list, recruiting e-mail templates, database sources, partner follow-up worksheet, instructions for setting up the CRM database, how to position your product, how to create a competitive matrix, plus MORE!
You get just about everything you will need to handle almost any channel issue you ever encounter. Chanimal is the only place in the world that has this kind of proven street-smart content–and it is all included as part of the Certified Channel Manager course.
In addition, you will be listed on the website, www.CertifiedChannelManagers.com alphabetically and in the order certified–top of the list remains on top–so get certified early (currently points to Chanimal).
- The e-learning module is open 24/7 for enrollment, training and testing. The Link to Sign-up and the self-paced e-learning system will be live by the first week of June, 2013.
- See the Calendar for upcoming live workshops.
Q & A
What problems does the certification program solve?
- There ought to be a way to ensure that when someone hires a “channel Manager” they get one, and the knowledge and capabilities are consistent (sort of like a CPA), while now they are all over the place. Some channel managers have never setup a program from scratch, other have done very little recruiting, or only know hardware or software–let alone the nuances for SaaS (that can kill the program). Many can’t recognize even the most basic elements of a world-class channel program, don’t know what should and shouldn’t be on the registration form, within the portal, they don’t know what motivates partners or ensures compliance.
- There are also specialist for retail (what still exists), enterprise, and SaaS–but any industry channel manager should know enough about any of these areas (and the differences) to make an impact. It’s time to fix this and level-set channel management so the level of competence and success increases exponentially.
What is the benefit for a Channel Manager to get certified?
- First, you will know and benefit from industry best practices–you can’t follow what you don’t know. Second, you get crossed trained in all areas of channel management (at some of the larger companies you may only do a part of channel management, then scramble to catch up when you switch companies). Third, it ensures you treat this position like a profession and are constantly learning to build and develop your skills. It also helps on your resume–since prospective employers know you have been trained and certified to handle all their channel issues.
What qualifies Chanimal to establish and administer the industry’s first Certified Channel Manager program?
- Chanimal.com has been the dominate #1 industry freely available resource for over 17 years with content for channel marketing, channel sales for software, hardware and SaaS that is proven to work through hundreds of engagements.
- The founder, Ted Finch, helped build the world’s largest channel launch company as the VP of Sales and Marketing as it grew from 13 to 4,000 people today, while launching over 400 products for over 200 vendors ((Microsoft, HP, Adobe, Corel, Intel, Aldus, Epson, AOL, WordPerfect, Novel, Apple, Creative Labs, Ashton Tate, Digital Research, Iomega, Western Digital, ATI, Disney, Ingram Micro, Compaq, Autodesk, Citrix, IBM, Sony, Mitsubishi, Lotus, and more. Not many can tout having executed over 1 million channel promotions.
- Mr Finch was also the first VP Marketing at Goldmine (a CRM pioneer which grew 100% for 10 consecutive years), co-headed channels for DCA (the 5th largest software company at the time–where he affected a 290% growth), a VP Marketing with educational channels at $4 billion Harcourt (Seaworld, Neiman Marcus, Education (80 software products)), was a Sr. VP at $33 billion Motorola (sat on the marketing board and over strategy), a VP at $130 billion GE, helped fund and found Red Storm Entertainment with Tom Clancy, wrote the marketing plan and headed the team that launched Netscape (the #1 best-selling product in the world at the time).
- Plus, Chanimal has consulted with over 170 different companies for their channels (definition, recruiting) and enablement, including 3M, GE, Motorola, Dell, BigCommerce/Interspire, Leadmaster, Alias, IQ Tech Pros, Boeing, AMF, PTC plus many more, including over 70 start-ups and mid-sized companies with retail, enterprise and SaaS products, and has been quoted in over 100 books and publications on channels and high-tech marketing.
- Chanimal has also conducted the industry’s only ongoing channel workshops around the world (from Korea to France, Chicago to Seattle) for the last six years and has trained thousands of channel managers through consulting, coaching, videos, and the Chanimal website.