CRN has an article that discusses The Michael Dell difference.
No CEO has been more engaged and fired up recently about making gains with the channel than Dell Founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.
Dell, an industry icon who pioneered the direct sales model for the PC business, has remade himself and his company over the last four years into a charged-up, channel-centric partner. In the process, Dell himself has become his company’s No. 1 channel advocate.
What caught my eye is the focus on the channel and data center solutions.
Dell’s channel conversion didn’t happen overnight. Michael Dell and Greg Davis, the company’s global channel chief, have been building the channel effort one partner at a time, and Dell himself has played an active role in that channel sales effort, reaching out to partners directly and helping them close deals. The Dell channel business now amounts to about 33 percent of the company’s $62 billion in annual sales. And Dell sees it growing to 50 percent.
The fact is Dell has grown its channel business by being a consistent and predictable partner with a channel-neutral sales compensation model aimed at incenting its direct sales force to work hand in hand with partners. That’s not to say that there are still not issues with channel conflict. Many partners want to see more joint sales engagement between Dell direct and partners. And if Dell starts opening enterprise customer doors with data center solutions partners, it could prove to be a huge windfall for the company.
Michael Dell gets it that in order to scale he needs partners. A direct sales force has difficulty scaling.
Partners that decide to take on Dell as a partner can be sure that they will find in Dell himself a passionate, channel-savvy leader that gets their business and the power of delivering solutions -- hardware, software and services -- to customers, and is willing to get his hands dirty helping them in the sales trenches. Michael Dell gets the channel. And he gets IT. That’s a lot more than can be said of many CEOs in this business.
It is amazing to think that Michael Dell started with a direct sales model, and now he is focusing on growing his channel.