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Dell Technologies Set To Launch 'Advantageous' Partner Rewards Program To Incent More Cross-Selling

"We're building a rewards program that makes it advantageous for our partners to put together these pieces to try to drive more cross-selling," said Dell EMC global channel chief Joyce Mullen.

Channel leaders across Dell Technologies' seven brands are working together to create a new rewards program that will give partners more money to sell across its broad portfolio of solutions.

The rewards program, set to be officially launched in early 2019, is focused on providing incremental rebates and incentives to Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks and Virtustream channel partners, said Joyce Mullen, Dell EMC's global channel chief, in an interview with CRN.

"We're building a rewards program that makes it advantageous for our partners to put together these pieces to try to drive more cross-selling," said Mullen. "You'll just earn more money if you put together these solutions. So if you figure out how to do a bunch of cross selling, we'll reward you for that. Think about one-plus-one equals three, instead of one-plus-one equals two. So we're trying to drive our processes to support solution-oriented [selling]."

[Related: Channel Game-Changer: Dell Empowering Partners To Sell Entire Dell Technologies Stack With New Framework]

Mullen said the rewards program will kick in next year in order to keep programs predictable for partners for the remainder of 2018. The program won't replace any of the companies' individual channel programs. "We might start doing some stuff in the back-half of this year as we get clearer on exactly what we're doing. It will kick into the formal program in the beginning of [next] year," she said.

Over time, partners who have the most competencies around solution-selling will achieve the highest status level in terms of partner program tiers, according to Mullen. The goal is for Dell Technologies to become the leader in digital, IT, workforce and security transformation which is why the company is pushing partners to sell holistic solutions across the portfolio instead of point products for specific vendors.

"This is why we're saying now to partners, 'Start getting smart about the transformations, start building competencies and practice capabilities," said Mullen.

At Dell Technologies World last week in Las Vegas, the company unveiled its first step of making its bullish goal of enabling partners to easily sell across Dell Technologies a reality with the Dell Technologies Advantage program. The framework will provide new vendor engagement, tools and incentives to help the channel cross sell Dell Technologies products.

One significant channel benefit the framework is providing is ensuring partners' investments in training and certifications are maximized across the portfolio. For example, if a partner takes hyper-converged training in the VMware partner program, they won’t have to take the same type of training in the Dell EMC program.

"Or if you want to learn about Kubernetes, you don’t have to take it in the Pivotal track and then take it in the VMware track. So we simplify and consolidate all of that," said Mullen.

Mullen said the push to unify Dell Technologies is happening as customers are desperately trying to figure out how to deliver business outcomes associated with IT and digital transformation.

"There's these massive transformations happening in the world and our customers need a ton of help," said Mullen. "Now if you think about what our partners are doing around that, if we really want them to fast track their ability to deliver these transformations, then we got to make it easier for them to figure out how to transact, engage, buy [across Dell Technologies]."

Dan Smith, vice president of sales at Blue Bell, Pa.-based Anexinet, who partners with Dell EMC and VMware, said the new rewards program is a win for the channel.

"The more we can bring together, not just in the programs and trainings, but with the sales teams, registrations and the alignments, the better," said Smith. "We're seeing progress there. They are listening to partners on how to make partnering with them a better experience.’

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