Michael Dell: Dell Channel Sales Transformation Is Ahead Of Plan

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Dell CEO Michael Dell says business for the new private Dell, including channel sales, are running ahead of plan.

"Our business is running well ahead of our plan, and demand I would characterize as strong," said Dell in an interview with CRN Monday. "The enhancements to our channel program have been a big part of that. So I am feeling great. We're off to a great start for the year. It looks from all indications that we are growing much faster than the overall market."

Michael Dell, Dell Chief Commercial Officer and President Marius Haas and Dell Channel Chief Cheryl Cook provided CRN with an update on the company's plan to move 200,000 accounts to channel partners by providing Dell direct sales reps with a 20 percent "compensation accelerator" to generate new enterprise solutions sales with Dell channel partners.

[Related: CRN Exclusive Q&A: Michael Dell Says Sales Are Strong, Ahead Of Private Company Plan]

Haas, for his part, said both the company's indirect and direct business are growing at an accelerated rate as a result of the Dell decision to place direct and indirect sales under a single sales organization after the company completed its landmark $24.9 billion leveraged buyout last fall.

"What we are seeing is the total business is at an accelerated rate," said Haas. "So we have both the channel business as well as the direct business well ahead of plan both on revenue and margin, and across every segment and across every region. This is testament that we have a program that is comprehensive in nature [that is] being well received by our partners as well as by our customers."

Haas said that the biggest winners in the new accounts strategic joint planning program, which was announced last December at DellWorld, have been solution-provider behemoths, such as PC Connection, Insight and SHI. "We are actively in territory with them mapping out accounts, our teams, their teams," said Haas, noting that there has been a lot of partner activity in North America.

In fact, Haas said, the joint account teaming program has been "very, very well received" in North America.

PC Connection, Insight and SHI did not return calls seeking comment on the Dell program as of press time.

Several top partners, who did not want to be identified, said they have been disappointed in Dell's execution of the strategic account mapping and account planning. "It has been a disaster," said a top executive, who has been unable to get a list of potential new accounts to go after working hand-in-hand with Dell direct reps. "They have not executed. I see it as a bunch of lip service. They are talking out of both sides of their mouth."

The top executive said Dell informed him that the strategic account planning process was a "beauty contest" of sorts as to who can help Dell grab enterprise business in the data center. "They must think Insight, PC Connection and SHI can help them the most there," he said.

NEXT: Some Partners Say They're Still Waiting

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