Dell EMC's Cheryl Cook On The Combined Partner Marketing Perspective

A Combined Effort

Since becoming senior vice president of global channel marketing for Dell EMC, Cheryl Cook has been moving to bring together Dell and EMC's partner marketing efforts.

The pace has been swift, she tells CRN, and the result is a suite of tools designed to make things simple and seamless.

Get more of CRN's coverage of Dell EMC World 2017.

How has the integration gone from a partner marketing perspective? How has your team come together?

I ask my team to try to see the forest for the trees on how much we've accomplished in just a short period of time. We've been pretty heads-down, really working and driving hard on launching the program and all the necessary support, awareness, communications, training and enablement internally as well as externally on how to maximize it. I feel really good on a few levels. I've got a fantastic team of blended talent with an EMC background and a Dell background. I'm really delighted with my team [and] John [Byrne's] team with how like-minded we are strategically. It allows us to make decisions quickly. It allows us to see things similarly so we're not re-orienting one another.

How close are you to establishing a single partner marketing language for the program?

We've got clarity and strategic intent. We arrived at the strategy pretty early, which allows us to make sure all the other functional things we need to do to win are within that strategy. We've put my team together to make sure we're driving and delivering the best partner experience and awareness, enablement, training and MDF. But we're also trying to be sensitive to the fact that we've got audiences and partners coming from different perspectives. If you were EMC, or you were Dell or you were joint, we need to be clear on that point of arrival so they can orient language, taxonomy. We've been trying to be sensitive to that so that things don't get lost in translation.

How can you be sure things won't fall through the cracks?

I keep reminding the team: communicate, communicate and over-communicate. Avoid the void. If there's a void of information, people tend to get concerned or maybe skeptical. They think the worst. So, the more we can continue to be transparent, to be authentic, to be thoughtful with the cadence of our communication, it will help keep them informed and connected.

Partners seem really appreciative of the amount of communication they're getting from the Dell EMC channel teams.

For all the hard work and energy everybody's investing, I'm having fun and I think our team is having fun. There's a real unification, or rallying cry about the shared opportunity we all feel. ... We believe there's a genuine opportunity. We're feeling internally, and I think the partners feel it too, the authentic support from Michael [Dell] and the leadership team on down on the importance of the channel to the business.

What's next? What are your short-term goals for Dell EMC partners?

We're getting more granular in the visibility and reporting we're sharing with partners. We're refining more specifically the elements of the program. The proof will be in the pudding when partners can measure out the demonstrable progress we're making, but I think we're ensuring that we can remove friction from the model, maintain velocity and keep true to our promise to make it simple, not making it too onerous or difficult.

What are the most important things you're doing for partners to keep them moving in the right direction without burdening them?

How do we make it easy for them to find the information they need? How do we make it easy for them to navigate to the tools they're going to use on a daily basis to run their business, things like deal registration, training, certification? ... We're trying to be self-serve on the portal as much as possible. One of the things that's been really well received is the rebate and MDF calculator and reporting. It's essentially a visibility tool that takes us forward from where both historical programs were on timeliness and real-time visibility on a weekly basis on where they stand. Where are they on their earnings opportunities? At what level are you relative to your targets? Those things can help them steer their business so they can maximize their opportunity.