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Channel Matters Blog > September 2014 > Building a Culture of Mutual Accountability

Building a Culture of Mutual Accountability

by Rich Blakeman
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Earlier this month, we wrote a post on the importance of establishing mutual accountability to drive channel performance. This post focused on one of the Best Bets from our 2014 Channel Enablers Channel Competency Study: Partners who embraced metric development and SMART 90-day action plans improved the number of qualified opportunities by 100 percent.
Today, I want to expand on the initial concept and talk more about establishing a culture of mutual accountability. Cultural shifts don’t just happen. This one requires real, honest engagement between the channel manager and the channel partner—something not all channel managers or all partners do well.
Sales leadership also plays a role. You need to understand what mutual accountability looks like and foster it across the channel organization. Here are some questions to think about when assessing whether or not you have established a culture of mutual accountability in your organization.

Do your channel managers have partner-specific plans that leverage the cross-functional resources of both organizations?

Do each of these plans have specific metrics for tracking activities and results on both sides of the partnership?

Have both parties, the channel manager and the channel partner, agreed that the metrics are attainable and appropriate?

Have both the channel manager and the channel partner committed to achieving these metrics and holding themselves accountable for results?

Do your channel managers meet with partners to review plans on a regular basis and make adjustments based on results and performance?

Because a cultural change requires a behavioral shift, this is one of those areas where sales leadership needs to get out in front. Simply establishing metrics such as “complete joint business plans with 90% of partners” doesn’t cut it. You need to understand what mutual accountability looks like in action and then coach your channel managers to overcome their deeply ingrained beliefs about who is responsible for plan execution.
It’s not easy, but as the Best Bet indicates, the results are well worth the effort for both the channel organization and the partner.
Last modified on 9/30/2014 7:17:06 AM
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