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Dell EMC Makes Big Gains In Reducing Channel Conflict; Deal Reg Escalation Plummets 80 Percent

"So we have a saying internally, 'Our say-to-do ratio needs to be extremely high on the do side.' So where they were examples of inappropriate behavior we just said, 'No more,'" said Dell EMC President and COO Marius Haas.

Dell EMC is making good on its promise of reducing channel conflict by revamping the deal registration process, leading to a whopping 80 percent drop in registration escalation.

Several months ago, Dell EMC started training staff around rules of engagement which helped lead to an 80 percent reduction in the number of escalations across the board from its third fiscal quarter to fourth fiscal quarter, which ended Feb. 3.

"We had a pretty long document that said, 'Here are all the things you shouldn't do.' We basically backed up and said, 'Let's be clear, there's felonies and misdemeanors. Let's focus on the felonies – that's where a partner gets hurt.' And simplification of that helped make sure everybody understood the ramifications with the issues," said Joyce Mullen, President of Global Channel, OEM and IoT Solutions at Dell EMC, in an interview with CRN.

Mullen, a 19-year Dell veteran, said there was "some concern or lack of clarity around who's in charge of what, and who could go after a deal."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Dell EMC Channel Chief Mullen On New Storage Investments, IoT Bundles Ahead And Dell-VMware Partner Program Strategy]

"There's a bunch of new processes around deal registration," Mullen said. "We were basically putting that through a bunch of people to look at and review, and they were the wrong people. So that wasn't very effective."

Dell EMC President and Chief Commercial Officer, Marius Haas, said holding people accountable was critical to the 80 percent drop.

"So we have a saying internally, 'Our say-to-do ratio needs to be extremely high on the do side.' So where they were examples of inappropriate behavior we just said, 'No more.' People saw it and [understood] it," said Haas, in an interview with CRN. "If it's unpredictable in how we engage, then it's hard to get the full trust of partners. That's what we want to achieve."

Dan Serpico, CEO of FusionStorm, one of Dell's top Titanium Black partners, ranked No. 46 on the CRN 2017 SP500 list, said Dell has made big strides in reducing channel conflict and working hand-in-hand with partners to drive sales momentum.

"It is a marked improvement over where it was just a few years ago," said Serpico. "To be able to shift as quickly as they have is pretty remarkable."

Dell, in fact, is now FusionStorm's number one brand with profitability for the vendor at an all-time high with the FusionStorm sales force.

In June, CRN reported that Dell EMC was following through on its promise to terminate salespeople who violate deal registration. Serpico credited Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell, Haas, Mullen, and Dell President of North America Commercial Sales John Byrne for driving Dell's increasing channel momentum and engagement.

"The success of our partnership with Dell is we have relationships with the entire organization from the executive level to the field level and everywhere in between," said Serpico. "The Dell teams are constantly thinking about FusionStorm as a valued partner and FusionStorm is constantly thinking about Dell Technologies as a solutions play. That is a remarkable achievement."

Serpico said he is extremely bullish about the Dell EMC partnership going forward. "We expect this partnership to be bigger, more profitable and continue to grow in the future," he said.

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