5 Bold Statements From Fired-Up Dell EMC North American Sales Leader John Byrne


John Byrne is fired up. Dell EMC’s president of North America Commercial Sales is seeing rapid growth across all market segments, but that isn’t enough for the company’s former channel chief.

“We’re not walking around the hallway high-fiving, saying, ‘Hey we’re at $91 billion and our partners and customers are happy.’ It’s, ‘How do we get to $100 billion and continue to evolve?’” Byrne said.

Here are five of the boldest statements Byrne made in a recent interview with CRN.

1. I Want To Be No. 1 In Every Single Line Of Business We’re Selling

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I want to be No. 1 in every single line of business we’re selling in North America -- No. 1. I want to create distance between our market share. Our client business has 23 quarters of consecutive share gain. Last quarter in North America, No. 1 in commercial PCs—No. 1 in units, revenue and profitability. Our server business, we took another 110 basis points of share, we’re up to 38.3 percent, we actually have a 1,000-point basis point gap to HPE, and that gap is only going to get wider. Look at our hyper-converged business, it’s growing triple digits in North America. Then look at core storage and backup, we’ve had three quarters of share gains. We’re pivoting back on track. VMware in my business is up over 70 percent year over year.

2. I Want To Achieve Extraordinary Things

Since I got this North American gig, I want to achieve extraordinary things as part of this outstanding company. ... First, it’s about people—world-class people with a good IQ and a creative attitude. We’ve had double-digit growth along all lines of business. The partners are growing, 78 percent are making more money, and they’re selling more of the portfolio. But the other thing I’m doing is, we talk about our vision and purpose of impacting human lives. We’ve been aggressively building out our Sales Academy, our Sales Universities, we’re talking about what our purpose is in what we’re trying to do here as a company so people are inspired to come here. They know the purpose and the bigger impact. So it’s about people. Our attrition is down and our employee surveys are all up. … There are four things that we look at: ‘Are your people happy? Are your customers happy? Are you hitting your financials? Are you taking share in the market?’

3. Partners Can Make A Lot Of Money Doing The Right Things

Those partners who only want to sell metal, don’t want to attach services and don’t want to talk about the transformation journey—sure, we’ll still deal with them for a net-new opportunity, but as I’m building out a strategy account plan with my partners and customers going across all the transformations, and you’re selling one line of business? That’s not a great place to be. That’s why we are continually refining the partner program—refine it, refine it, refine it—so partners can make a lot of money doing the right things.

4. The Culture Of ‘Pleased But Never Satisfied’ Is Real

It’s ‘business as normal’ as a public company. Five years ago, from when Michael took it private to where we are now—the culture of ‘pleased but never satisfied’ is real. We’re not walking around the hallway high-fiving, saying, ‘Hey we’re at $91 billion and our partners and customers are happy.’ It’s, ‘How do we get to $100 billion and continue to evolve? How do we continue to impact our ‘why we’re here?’ Becoming public may help with some talent, but we’re delivering from within, and we’re building out a diverse and inclusive sales organization with more females in the company. If you look at North America, my diversity now is up. We have more female talent than ever before. We have more people of color than ever before. Look, anyone who is blinded by any of those prejudices is behind the curve.

5. You Can Lose Partner Trust In A Heartbeat

You can lose [partner] trust in a heartbeat if you do some bad things. The team is just getting better and better on the trust and we’re getting more predictable. There’s still work to get done. One of the good things about being the guy who ran your channel now running potentially the biggest region is the minute [current channel chief] Joyce [Mullen] calls me, something happens pretty quickly, and that permeates into the field.