For more than 26 years, Dell has empowered countries, communities, customers and people everywhere to use technology to realize their dreams. Customers trust Dell to deliver technology solutions that help them do and achieve more, whether they’re at home, work, school or anywhere in their world.
Dell has been a household name in computing for decades, and led its industry in direct PC sales for many of those years. But even as its direct sales numbers stayed healthy, the company found its share of the total PC market slipping. Not satisfied with the prospect of running second in a race his company had formerly dominated, Dell’s chairman and CEO saw the need to win additional business by attracting a new clientele—customers who purchase PCs through solution providers. And he publicly committed to launch a partner program by year’s end.
With only six months to develop and launch the entire program, Dell’s newly hired vice president for worldwide channel responsibilities faced some serious challenges. There were no current systems that could support the planned model, but even more significant was the fact that solution providers didn’t trust Dell, whose sales force—and corporate culture—was structured to compete with the channel, not partner with it. Dell’s VP turned to Touch.
Our first step was to dig deep and see what was truly required of this new partner program, from its structure and benefits to how well it would need to scale for the future. We got communications going across Dell’s departments, coordinated all the relevant operational requirements, and built a partner data structure that could be implemented across multiple systems in different divisions. The Touch team also designed a new deal registration system and developed a partnering framework that would not only provide consistency on a global level but also allow for flexibility as it was executed in different regions.
Perhaps most important, though, was our push for changes to Dell’s field sales compensation. With clear new rules around engagement, sales credit structures, and incentive payments, Dell sent a message to solution providers that it was working to minimize channel conflicts so that both sides could succeed.
Less than five months later, Dell was able to launch a fully developed worldwide partner program, surpassing their CEO’s promised timeline. With an initial roster of participating solution providers that exceeded the company’s—and the industry’s—original expectations, the program was able to demonstrate Dell’s commitment to this formerly antagonistic audience while it provided customers with more purchasing choices and captured new revenue streams from a untapped channel.
If you have a channel or partner program that you suspect could be performing better, please contact us.
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