Session 603
How Channel Account Managers Turn into Community Managers

The average channel program will grow the number of partners by 10X in five years, and 80% of these new partners will be non-transacting partners. The complexity of finding, recruiting, and managing these new partners, each with their own unique set of business practices, target markets, value proposition, and culture, will be daunting. Forrester estimates that there are over 600,000 partners worldwide when you include broader technology channels such as IT, telecom, print, pro A/V, etc. This doesn’t include the millions of companies that are converging into the tech services space from far and wide.

The small- and medium-sized business channel, which makes up over 90% of these firms, is significantly influenced inside its own chosen communities. For example, if you were to look at the MSP market, you would find 31 distinct communities that highly influence the 50,000 MSPs globally. Targeting these 31 communities is a manageable and, for many vendors, profitable market.

What does all this mean for Channel Account Managers? What kind of change is in store for them? Insightful takeaways include:


Jay McBain
Principal Analyst
Forrester Research

Jay leads Forrester's research and advisory for global channels, alliances, and partnerships. He focuses on B2B marketing in the age of the customer; understanding and navigating the complexity of multiple routes to market; ensuring contextual and relevant content to accelerate the indirect sales process; and describing the technology infrastructure to build and support channel relationships.

His background is in channel leadership, sales, marketing, and operations, with a specific emphasis on indirect sales strategy/execution, covering multiple industries, segments, and underlying technologies. Jay is renowned for his industry thought leadership and expertise in partner recruitment, development, and acceleration through effective partner coverage, enablement, communication, and incentives. He is an expert in building and leveraging channel communities and one of the global leaders in social media, partner marketing automation, and other indirect growth strategies.

Jay provides research, advisory, and consulting to companies ranging from Fortune 100 vendors to startups on the entire scope of their channel and alliance strategies. He is a contributing author and has been cited in numerous channel media publications, including Channel Reseller News (CRN), ChannelPro, ChannelE2E, The VAR Guy, MSPMentor, Channelnomics, Computer Dealer News (CDN), Australia Reseller News (ARN), eChannelNews, Business Solutions Magazine, ChannelLine, ChannelInsider, SearchITChannel, Redmond Channel Magazine, Vertical Systems Reseller, Channel Buzz, and SMB Nation. He also maintains a popular blog on channel trends.

Jay is based in New York but advises vendors, distributors, and partners around the world.

Jay holds dual Bachelor of Management degrees in management information systems (MIS) and public administration from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. He is currently pursuing his MBA through Louisiana State University (LSU).