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John Byrne On Dell’s PC, Laptop Channel Strategy

Dell Technologies North American President of Sales John Byrne talks to CRN about his sales and go-to-market strategy for Dell’s client systems business as channel partners voice their concerns.

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We’ve heard under your directive that both direct reps and channel reps at Dell are moving to a client direct-first model, rather than a partner-led model. Is that true?

Here’s our channel strategy for client systems: We want both routes of market to grow—both direct and channel. When I look at the performance with that strategy and we talk about how do we enforce it— just look at our channel orders in the first half, significant double-digit growth. Look at our PC channel orders, which grew over 44 percent.

Look, I have a big [team of] core sellers, I have a wonderful channel ecosystem, and therefore, we have a design within our program which is deal registration. And we want our partners to engage with our core sellers on opportunities, ideally across a full portfolio. But as this is a PC discussion, we want them to get that deal registration. When partners have [deal registration], I expect my team to honor that deal registration. For our deal registrations, not only was the business up double digits, client was up even faster. Our deal registration was up 8 percent year over year.

But I also want to be very clear, what I have made abundantly clear to my core sellers is: Understand the rules of engagement. If you break those, bad things will happen to you. I stood on stage [in 2017] when I said, ‘Look, if you break our rules of engagement, I’m going to assume because we’re a wonderful organization, you just made a mistake. I will not pay you for that mistake. However, should I find that you’ve done your training, you’ve broken a rule of engagement, and [then you break] it again—you won’t be here.’

If you think about our client [market share], we took another in excess of 300 basis points of share last quarter. We’re now at 37 percent of the market. There’s 63 percent I want to go after.

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