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John Byrne On Dell’s PC, Laptop Channel Strategy

Mark Haranas

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.

Has Dell recently changed its client system compensation models for Dell direct reps and Dell channel reps?

Look, [Dell President of Global Sales and Customer Operations] Billy Scannell (pictured) has like 27,000 sellers around the world. Our channel sellers are paid when we sell through the channel. Our core sellers are paid on PCs when it’s direct and channel.

Look, I can’t go into the specifics of the compensation plan. I’m sure there’s a bunch of people in our competitive environment who would love to hear that. But here’s what I can tell you: Our strategies and our comp strategies are designed to drive sustained, profitable growth right now and in the future. Within that, partners are critical to that acceleration—whether it’s PCs, whether it’s storage, whether it’s server, whether it’s helping our customers in their multi-cloud journey, whether it’s to get them productive and working from anywhere.

The good news is the team has built a phenomenal partner program—better than when I had it. I mean, it was a highly profitable program when I had it. Now in terms of focus areas: NBI (New Business Incentive), PowerUp [partner program], front-end [rebates] on PowerStore—it’s an even better program, and the results are showing that. Look, our channel business is up, whether it’s PCs, whether it’s server, whether it’s storage, everything is up double digits. The team’s done a great job.

When you were channel chief in 2017, the message was that Dell is going through a business line of incumbency model for PC sales where it would be a partner-led model. There’s now conflict in the field. What has changed?

At the end of the day, the partner principles and program principles are there, including deal registration and partner of record. The intent is to drive growth across all lines of business, while maintaining a high level of trust with the partners. That is what we’re doing.

 
Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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