Historically, alliance management and channel sales management were distinct worlds. Managing alliances focused on your most select strategic relationships. Managing the sales channel involved dealing efficiently with dozens, hundreds, even thousands of vendors and resellers who are eager to sell your products.
Still, both channel and alliance relationships involve entities we call "partners." And increasingly today, the channel demands more collaborative and reciprocal relationships—to be treated as genuine business partners, each of which has distinct and sometimes unique requirements for a successful relationship. Turns out that a number of longtime ASAP members now spend most or all of their time in the channel sales arena. Just what are these alliance professionals up to—and what have they learned from their experiences?
In this provocative and informative September ASAP Netcast, two seasoned alliance professionals who now work in the channel answer these and other critical questions, such as:
- Why and how did you make the move from alliances to channel
- What's similar and what's different in the alliance manager vs. channel account manager role?
- How can the channel learn, adopt, and adapt from alliance practice—and vice versa?
- What does the future hold—and how can these two "sibling" roles discover even greater benefits by sharing and working with each other?
Leona Kral Helverson, CSAP
Channel Alliance Manager, Global Channel Sales
Verizon Enterprise Solutions
President, ASAP Tri-State Chapter
Leona Helverson is a Channel Alliance Manager at Verizon and President of the ASAP Tri-State Chapter. In her other positions Ms. Helverson was a leader in the System Integrator Channel and also led a team to create the foundation for the Verizon Partner Program. She launched an Executive Engagement program, managed a number of global strategic alliances and before that built and launched a new Alliance Channel Partner Program at Avaya. Ms. Helverson has over twenty years of international sales and marketing experience, speaks three languages, and has spent many years living and working outside the US. Ms. Helverson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the Rutgers School of Business and Bachelor of Arts degree in German from Rutgers University and University of Constance, Germany. She is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Strayer University Jack Welsh Management Institute.
Karen Robinson, CSAP
Global Channels, Strategy & Operations
Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Karen Robinson is a Strategic Marketing, Alliance, and Channel leader currently responsible for successfully expanding and integrating Verizon's Global Channel Sales Program. Karen held leadership roles at Motorola, Sprint, and MCI. Her Alliance success included integrating Verizon Global Solutions with partners such as Hewlett Packard and Microsoft. After successfully launching Verizon's Partner Program in Western Europe, Karen continues to expand her multiple disciplines and responsibilities to develop Verizon Partner Programs in Asia Pacific , Latin America, and for the highly strategic Systems Integrator Channel Segment. Karen has a Master's of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Marketing from Loyola University (with High Distinction), and earned her Bachelor's Degree from Penn State University (participating in a 2 semester exchange program with Durham University, UK). Karen is Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) certified, holds a leadership role in her DC Chapter, and continues to offer relevant Strategic Alliance and Channel presentations locally and during ASAP's Annual Global Summits.