Alliance ManagerThe other day I was in conversation with a friend about alliance management and what makes an alliance manager different from other job roles in an organization. Where a sales person has focus on deals, customer relationship and probably closing quarters, the alliance manager has focus on the long term.

The alliance manager has focus on the joint relationship, managing the interests from both parties involved. The alliance manager acts more like a diplomat, a lobbyist, making sure all stakes are in line and represented well. Thus creating synergy in the ideal format where one plus one equals three or more.

So what makes the ideal alliance manager?
What specific skill set needs such a spider in the web?

Recently I spoke to a general manager in a local government. The organization he is heading has 5 subsidiaries wherein several local government partners participate. His task is to get alignment across all organizations and to get more involvement from the partners in the subsidiaries, while at the same time dramatically cutting overall cost. He has many organizations and interests that need to be aligned without any hierarchical relationship to build on. With a gentle diplomatic touch every party needs to be convinced that collaboration is in everyone’s interest. The way he described his task made him almost the ultimate alliance manager for me.

The required skill set is pretty broad as the alliance manager needs to be able to talk to and act on many organizational levels. He needs to be a diplomat, lobbying to align all parties and keep them aligned. He needs to have an entrepreneurial skill to develop new things that many people don’t believe in yet. And at the same time the alliance manager needs to be able to make deadlines and keep the alliance on course, while the alliance manager is the project manager. Quite rarely you will meet junior alliance managers, in general they will be seasoned professionals who have served in a number of roles before and often their background is sales or business development.

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7 Responses to “What makes an alliance manager?”

  1. Lisa Bhattacharya

    Very interesting I am having these similar discussions internally now. I am also interested in people’s thoughts on if the compensation package should be different between Alliance work and channel management work, particularly if you are building the channel/alliance from scratch?

  2. Hi Peter, thanks for sharing the wonderful thoughts, just had a quick question fro which I need your help. I had been working in a organization as a Regional Sales Manager and now my management has asked me that Im promoted as a Manager-Sales& Alliance so is that a better position comparing to Regional sales manager. Please suggest

    • HI thanks for your response. Manager Sales & Alliance is a broader title than Regional Sales Manager. So from that perspective it is a better position. However it depends on the kind of company you are working for. Feel free to use the contact option in the menu above on this website to reach out and have a private email chat with me about it.