New channel structure creates more growth opportunities for partners

Dell Corp. Founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell said Tuesday that the company’s move to tightly integrate its distribution business into its sales organization is designed to accelerate distribution sales growth.

“When we started the distribution program in 2007, because it was a relatively new effort, it made sense to have it as a separate organization,” Dell said in an exclusive interview with CRN. “We are really proud of the work our partners have done to develop this. This now represents 35% of our business activity, and it is time to integrate it. I think that creates even more opportunity,” Dell said.

Dell’s efforts to streamline its sales organization aren’t exclusive to the North American market, he said.

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“We’re doing it not just in North America, but around the world. It simplifies the whole structure. It allows us to go faster,” Dell said. “It’s all about growth.”

Dell said the changes will lead to “huge” new opportunities for partners as Dell works hand-in-hand with them to increase sales. “We will work even more closely with our partners to increase our reach and coverage,” he said. “Our internal teams and our channel teams are going to work even more closely together. I think it’s a fantastic step forward. I’m super excited!”

The net impact for partners: “Faster, easier, better and bigger,” Dell said.

Dell this week, in its first major shakeup since completing its $24.9 billion private equity buyout last month, deepened its channel sales organization into Dell’s regional organizational structure as the next step. of its growth strategy. The company also named a new president for North America, Bill Rodrigues, and a new vice president of global channels and alliances, Cheryl Cook.

Cook replaces longtime global leader Greg Davis, who started Dell’s official channel program nearly seven years ago and helped grow it into a $15 billion business, or about 26% of the $57 billion dollars in Dell’s annual sales. Davis moves into a new role as vice president of software and peripherals at Dell.

As part of the reshuffle, the company’s channel and direct sales organization fall under the same sales leadership with Rodrigues at the helm in North America.

“Dell Channel Partners are now an integral part of how we communicate and work with our customers around the world, and their feedback on our strategy and Go-To-Market is extremely important as we move forward as a company. private,” Rodrigues said in a statement emailed to CRN. “Our new structure was created in part in response to partner feedback and is designed to simplify decision-making and further optimize our operations. We have strong and experienced leaders on our distribution team, and I look forward to working with them as we move forward with the evolution of our strong PartnerDirect program.”

NEXT: Michael Dell on Accelerating Channel Sales Growth


Keeping the channel business as a separate organization has limited the company’s growth, Michael Dell said. “It limited the full potential of the business,” he said. “Now we’ve removed that. We can grow even more, and it’s a seamless process. It just makes it simpler and easier.”

Dell said the percentage of Dell’s sales going through the channel has the potential to at least double up to 60% of the company’s commercial sales with no limit on how high it could go.

When asked if organizational changes will accelerate this momentum, he replied, “It really depends on our partners. There’s no reason we can’t get there faster.

Bob Venero, CEO of Future Tech, a Dell partner based in Holbrook, NY, #266 on the SP500, said he expects Dell to hit the $30 billion mark in channel sales in just three years due to structural changes and an enhanced channel commitment as a private company.

“Dell has done a terrific job in the channel, growing from a mindset that was 100% direct just six years ago to a $15 billion channel business,” Venero said. “This is a momentous achievement. These changes reduce a layer and make Dell’s sales engine more agile. We are now a Dell-aligned sales organization. The line between direct and indirect is becoming less and less important.”

Venero said he expects detailed account planning and mapping, which is already underway, to at least double as a result of the changes. “I think what you’re going to see is a strategy that will achieve both the partner’s and Dell’s goals,” he said. “I see Dell now at the same senior level as our other Tier 1 OEM partners. That’s a very strong statement for a company that was 100% direct selling six years ago.”

Dell said the company is already seeing a good number of partners selling across its enterprise solutions portfolio, and it expects more to follow suit as the company accelerates its move to the new structure. organizational. “We see more and more partners developing their skills in everything we do,” he said. “That’s absolutely what we’re looking for.”

Dell said it was “very optimistic” about the company’s future as a private company developing a strong channel. “I continue to meet regularly with channel partners and am very impressed with the commitment and all the progress we are making. This will only accelerate it.”

When asked what kind of progress he expects Dell to make over the next year as a private company, Dell replied, “More chain love!”

PUBLISHED NOV. 19, 2013

Tanya J. Hill