When the UK started to really feel the pain of the global recession towards the end of 2008, our clients to a man decided to switch their investment to grow their international capabilities. Having been partnering companies to establish their international capabilities for 11 years at that point, Collingwood's Executive Search specialists were able to provide some real expertise.
Considering this article from Harvard against the appointments we made during the recession, I definately agree that our clients enjoyed more success from a focused Channel strategy rather than appointing sole trading Business Developers to plough the fields themselves. Apart from one person can only do some much, Channel partners already understand the economic and social cultures of their countries and have credibility that takes time to build when you are new.
Even today our clients are far more focused on identifying, securing and partnering outstanding Channel partners to drive their international growth and it appears to be less risky and offers more long term success. Afterall what happens if your lone striker decides to move on with all the customers and contacts they have created?
If you could hire only one more person for your organization this year, where would you make that hire? Sales? Marketing? Finance? Somewhere else? For many executives battling through economic headwinds in emerging markets, the answer tends to be wherever they think someone will provide the strongest boost to top-line growth, which usually means hiring an additional sales or marketing manager to support the commercial front lines. But according to research conducted by my company, Frontier Strategy Group (FSG), the best additional hire for most multinational corporations (MNCs) looking to grow in emerging markets is not in sales or marketing but in channel management, which is the function responsible for overseeing all sales made through distributors and other third-party channel partners.