By Mike Kelly
Ask anyone who works in the channel, and you will soon find that two schools of thought exist. One says that channel sales and marketing are merely offshoots of their mainstream brethren and do not require specialist knowledge. The second school asserts that channel business is a discipline in its own right and demands specialist training and certification.
Business training in areas such as channel management and channel marketing has traditionally been provided by employers or consulting companies on an ad hoc basis, leaving a major skills and knowledge gap in the industry. This has been particularly true for new entrants to the profession, who typically come from end-user sales or marketing. These professionals are often recent graduates who are “thrown in at the deep end” of channel management and partner marketing, or simply put through an employer’s own training academy that rarely focuses on industrywide best practices.