Column: How hard can it be for Dell's premier partners to double their money?

Opinion

Column: How hard can it be for Dell's premier partners to double their money?

I have to admit to being fascinated by Dell's decision to make premier partners double the amount of business they do with the vendor if they wish to retain their status after 31 January 2013, writes Billy MacInnes.

If you missed the story in MicroScope last week, Dell premier partners are expected to do $1.5m worth of business with the vendor, compared to a previous target of $750,000. Existing partners are being given six months to hit the new figure but anyone looking to move up to the premier tier will have to meet the new sales targets right away.

Given that the scheme was introduced in May last year, it seems strange to be making such a radical move so soon after it was unveiled but according to Dell's European executive director of channel marketing and programmes, Kathy Schneider, the change in targets is in response to partner feedback.

Schneider says the adjustment in the programme is "designed to keep this top level as an exclusive group of those who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment and capability". With six months to meet the new thresholds "we hope as many of them as possible will continue to be premier partners". I'm sure they're hoping the same thing.

Dell premier partners are obviously very positive people if they can demand a big increase in the amount of business they need to do to maintain their status at a time when the economy is suffering so badly. The alternative, possibly less charitable explanation, is that Dell's original sales target for the premier partner tier was set too low in the first place which is why companies that have achieved it have been telling Dell to double it.

A higher target will also serve the purpose of deterring potential new entrants to the premier partner programme, ensuring numbers are fairly restricted and that those already qualified will get to keep most of the opportunities for themselves. Especially so given that existing partners have a six month window to hit the target if they haven't already done so but anyone joining now has to be able to hit it immediately.

You might be forgiven for wondering if that clanking noise you hear is the sound of a drawbridge being pulled up.

This was first published in June 2012

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