EMC has pledged to invest in further initiatives to accelerate the number of its partners' salespeople selling EMC after its channel director admitted that his personal targets have not been met yet.
In September, EMC's UK channel head Terry Beale told ChannelWeb that he planned to boost the number of channel salespeople selling EMC from 11 per cent to 20 per cent by the end of the year, but today conceded that the firm had only managed to up it to 14 per cent so far.
The vendor also aimed to double EMC's UK channel "win rate" to 50 per cent, but Beale admitted that the firm had only managed 40 per cent so far.
Beale, who said the targets would be a "real challenge" when he set them out in September, said that plans are in place to accelerate the numbers through investment in greater channel resources.
Speaking at an EMC press briefing today, Beale announced that the firm has almost achieved its aim to sell only through the channel outside of its "hard deck" of 150 direct accounts by January.
Phase two of the transition will see the figure cut to 100 accounts by January 2014.
Beale said that the transition to involve the channel more has been "remarkable" and added that he had been "pleasantly surprised" with how it has progressed.
He said: "It has been a fun year and an exciting time. We are pleasantly surprised that the red carpet is still out when we turn up as EMC to our channel partners. We are conscious that we need to keep this going and continue to deliver significant value to them and do the hard yards, which is changing the sales [structure] to match what the channel really needs to be profitable."
Beale likened the role of managing the direct sales team and the channel to that of diplomat Kofi Annan, but EMC partner MTI's marketing director Richard Flanders said that he has noticed a huge positive difference in the vendor's channel approach.
Speaking at the press briefing, he said: "There is definitely [a difference in EMC's approach.] There is a willingness to engage with us at MTI, and... the contrast is marked. EMC's team now understands that the process of engagement is driven through a trusted [channel] partner who they can work with. We have had very few problems in that transition process."
Beale added that 2013 will hold further sales training initiatives for both its internal and channel sales teams, in response to the changing role of sales.
He said: "If you look at what made a salesperson four years ago, about number seven on the list would be empathy and ability to adapt quickly. When I first sold, the playbook lasted ten years, now it lasts for one year; if you cannot adapt and change, you are dead in sales. If you cannot empathise [with customers] you are going to lose."
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