April 28, 2022

7 Steps to Finding & Hiring a Partner Development Manager

What are the skills expected from a Partner Manager? How do you define their overall role? Learn how to hire your next Partner Development Manager in just 7 steps, & use the free downloadable checklist to ensure your success.

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It’s been proven by many that a business’s growth and success are closely linked to strategic partnerships and collaboration. Designing a profitable partnership program is the first step toward achieving this goal. But, for the program to scale and be effective, you need a Partner Development Manager. 

This is a relatively new role but it is growing rapidly. Between 2008 and 2028, the number of job opportunities in the USA alone for Partner Development Managers is expected to grow by 8% and create over 21,800 jobs.

So, what exactly is the role of a Partner Development Manager? In short, they work on initiating and maintaining partner relationships to boost revenue and help the organization reach its goals. Let’s take a look at 7 steps for hiring a Partner Development Manager:

1. Define the Skills Your Partner Development Manager Needs

A Partner Development Manager will play a key role in expanding a partner program and making it successful. This is a relatively mid-senior role. Thus, the person in this role needs a specific skill set and experience in the area. The first step in hiring a person for this role is to identify the required skills. You may want to consider the following:

Creativity

Partner Development Managers must be able to come up with new ideas for promotions, advertising campaigns, and so on. Thus, they should be able to think beyond the usual conventional ideas and find creative ways to grow the program.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

The individual must be able to communicate well in both verbal and written form to be able to understand their partners and get their point across clearly. They deal with people inside and outside the organization on a daily basis, which can be challenging. It’s important the Partner Development Manager develops trust-based relationships both internally and externally.

Organizational Skills

Partner Development Managers need to juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time. Thus, they have to be good at managing their time, delegating tasks, and running the program to align with the business’s values and goals. 

Analytical Skills

Partner Development Managers must be able to track, analyze, and assess the performance of both the partners and the overall program. They must be able to rely on data to make the best decisions for your business.

Troubleshooting

Finally, Partner Development Managers must take an ownership role when it comes to managing partners. They should be able to quickly assess an issue and construct solutions. At the same time, they should know when to handle a problem independently and when to involve other teams.

2. List the Responsibilities of your Partner Development Manager

Partner Development Managers are responsible for providing partners with the information and services required to maintain long-term relationships. Some of the key responsibilities of this role are:

Design and Run Partner Onboarding

Partner Development Managers need to find new partners and initiate strong relationships with them. They are responsible for onboarding new partners, setting up clear communication channels,  and providing partners with everything they need to be as successful as possible.

Manage Partner Relationships

Partner Development Managers need to keep partners active and engaged. Therefore, it’s important that they are able to build strong long-term relationships.

Launch New Initiatives

Once focus areas have been identified, Partner Development Managers must be creative and take the initiative to think of new ways to use partnerships to increase revenue, reach new markets or expand brand awareness.

Reporting and Analytics

Analyzing data and creating actionable insights into the partner program is essential to its growth. So, a manager must track partner activities and collect, organize and forecast sales and market trends. They will also need to conduct regular performance reviews for partners to ensure partnerships maintain their success.

3. Define your Partner Development Manager's Salary

Being a Channel Partner Manager requires a lot of skills and experience so their salary needs to reflect this. The salary structure should be defined according to the salaries being paid in the region as well as your organization’s policy on salaries. You can break it up into fixed and variable components.

Today, there are many reliable databases for current salaries. According to Glassdoor, the average Partner Development Manager's annual base salary in New York is about $119,478 but in Washington city, it is closer to $97,630.

You can also check other platforms like payscale for companies in the US or Figures for companies in Europe.

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Click here to download this interactive checklist and streamline the search for your next Partner Development Manager.

4. Create the Partner Development Manager Job Description

Now that you know the skills you’re looking for and have defined a set of responsibilities, use the same to create a job description. 

This must include a summary and your vision of the role, who the individual will be working with and reporting to, and what they will be expected to achieve. You will also need to list the educational qualifications required, the skills you’re looking for and the responsibilities to be undertaken. 

5. Post the Job

There are many job posting sites where you can list your opening, like Careerbuilder, Glassdoor, and Monster for example. Some websites may charge a recruiter fee. You can also post the job on your website and social networks to bring more attention. 

Of course, you can also reach out to recruiters to connect you with people who would be suited to the role. 

6. Onboard and Introduce your Partner Manager

Before hiring a partner manager, it’s important that you align partner goals with the rest of your team. Your partnerships team needs to work closely alongside your other teams in order to make your partner strategy a success. The Partner Manager needs to rely on marketing teams to find partners, product teams for partner integrations, and the sales team to collaborate with partners to close deals. That’s why you should first get all your teams on board with a partnership strategy and help your partner manager start a strong collaboration with your other teams.

7. Provide your Partner Manager with the Tools They Need

Whether you’re setting up a referral partner program, a reseller program, or an affiliate partner program, your Partner Development Manager will need a Partner Platform to be able to manage their daily tasks and effectively grow the program.

A partner platform makes it easy for the manager to achieve the following:

  • Organize the partner program

  • Coordinate partner training, onboarding, and certification processes

  • Share assets and resources with partners

  • Attribute leads to partners

  • Collaborate with partners on a shared pipeline

  • Get full visibility over partner activity

  • Measure partner performance

  • Track commission and payouts

Conclusion

Bringing a Partner Development Manager onto your team is a strategic investment into optimizing revenue and scaling your business. The right person for this role must have a specific skill set and be prepared to take on a range of responsibilities. And remember, once you have hired your partner manager, be sure to properly integrate them with the team and provide them with a Partner Portal to make your investment as productive as possible.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Partner Development Manager?

A Partner Development Manager is an individual who initiates new partner relationships and engages with existing ones. They are responsible for energizing the organization’s partners and building long-term, profitable relationships with them.

What does a Partner Development Manager do?

A Partner Development Manager must find new partners with the potential to help the company grow. They must create new partner initiatives, set goals, monitor progress and optimize profits.

How to find a good Partner Development Manager?

Finding a good Partner Development Manager is all about bringing on an individual with the right skills and experience. You can post a requirement on online job portals as well as spread the word through word of mouth.

How to set a Partner Development Manager salary?

As with any other position, the Partner Development Manager's salary must be based on the current salaries being paid in the market and the organization’s salary policy. It would also depend on the individual’s educational qualifications, certifications and experience.

What skills does a Partner Development Manager need?

A Partner Development Manager needs a balance of technical and soft skills. They must be research-oriented, creative, good at building relationships and tech-savvy.

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