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back to article Dell will AXE up to ONE IN THREE workers in its US & EMEA sales teams

We're hearing from two sources that Dell is making 30 per cent of its sales and marketing staff in Europe, the Middle East and Africa redundant while cutting 20 per cent of its US-based sales staffers. One source said: "Precisely 30 per cent, across EMEA." There is no word on what's happening on the sales floor in the Asia …

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Trollface

New Dell motto

Dude, you're getting a pink slip!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New Dell motto

What's getting pink underwear got to do with it?

I wonder if Dell are calling this exercise anything as imaginative as HPs project "Make It Better".....?

imo they should start by eliminating the large chunk of their staff that only seem able to speak Pidgin English...

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Headmaster

Re: New Dell motto

"Pink slip" as in "slip of paper". Termination notices are usually printed on pink paper in the U.S.A.

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Silver badge

Re: New Dell motto

> "Pink slip"

And there was I thinking that Dell was going to give them cars.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New Dell motto

"Termination notices are usually printed on pink paper in the U.S.A."

What The Colonies might do isn't particularly relevant here....

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Anonymous Coward

Careful with that AXE Eugene?

Nah, More like 'Another brick in the wall' of their demise.

MD must think that they can sell stuff without... you know sales people.

{a Floyd fan since the days of Syd}

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Silver badge

Re: Careful with that AXE Eugene?

"MD must think that they can sell stuff without... you know sales people....."

It's called the internet.....so yes you can.

For a 1 pc or a thousand pc's, I have no need to pay a salesman's commission. In box shifting, sales people are only there to screw you over with "upselling".

Only on more complex things do you need (pre)sales staff.

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Re: Careful with that AXE Eugene?

Not only do they think they can sell stuff, they think their equipment is amazing.

Had a Dell rep try to tell me yes when i asked if they thought a Compellent box could outperform the EMC Symmetrix VMAX i currently manage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Careful with that AXE Eugene?

I'm sure if you offered Dell the million pounds you dropped on the EMC unit they could assemble a Compellent array that would scale significantly beyond it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Careful with that AXE Eugene?

"I'm sure if you offered Dell the million pounds you dropped on the EMC unit "

That should buy you at least a pair of well spec'd VMax's with licences, lots of SSDs and 5 years support....Unless you are in the government / some other dead end organisation and pay list....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Careful with that AXE Eugene?

"they could assemble a Compellent array that would scale significantly beyond it."

Compellent is a midrange array that scales to 960 drives / 16 FE ports.. VMax is an enterprise class array that scales to 3,200 drives and 128 FE ports....Bit of a difference in capability.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Careful with that AXE Eugene?

Compellent is better compared to the EMC VNX range. And even that scales significantly higher than the Compellent...For Instance VNX8000 takes a similar 1,000 drives but has twice the number of more powerful CPUs (4) and supports up to 88 FE ports...

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New Dell Corporate Motto

"We're fucked"

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Anonymous Coward

Bloat reduction 101

Assuming your sources are right, it would be interesting to see if this is a strategic move or a tactical one.

So let's talk about strategy.

For the past two years, as many as 30% of Dell salesmakers have failed to hit quota quarter after quarter. That's not entirely their fault -- Dell's hiring and training procedures have been second-rate, resulting in massive groups of salespeople who just couldn't sell complex solutions. I've been through both EMC and Dell sales training and the quality gap is blindingly obvious, yet Dell has been blind to it.

They've also been talking for years about a renewed emphasis on the mid-market but kept adding heads just about everywhere EXCEPT the mid-market.

So couple the two issues together.

1. Mid-market emphasis suggests that Dell could go 100% indirect in many areas outside the mid-market (education, local government, consumer) -- thereby shedding heads.

2. Having a shedload of people who can't hit quota with a punkin chunker suggests that Dell would be better off easing those people out the door. Missing quota again and again erodes morale.

Or Dell could just be implementing a typically Dellish tactic, which is seeing an issue (decreased NetInc perhaps) and swinging an axe to cut costs ASAP.

Guess we'll find out...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bloat reduction 101

Nice summary. I have my doubts about the tactical option. One advantage of going private is that you don't have to make quarterly targets. That leaves room for more strategic re-alignments.

I'm going to assume this benefit hasn't been lost on Dell-the-man. I am also going to assume that he had a pretty good idea of exactly what he wanted to do with the company prior to making the bid and therefore is unlikely to be operating from insufficient knowledge.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bloat reduction 101

Good summary. In my experience, a sales force always has people who don't measure up, especially when circumstances change. I don't mean that in a nasty way, btw - it can be a horrible job, even for the best of them, especially when things are tight.

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Anonymous Coward

MBAs seem to think everything is a cost and not consider TBO (Total Benefit of Ownership) sorry just made that one up...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TBO

Totally Bleedin' Obvious....

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Paris Hilton

What is the Total Benefit of Ownership (ownership of people? do I get this right?) of a salesforce that doesn't perform except in pleasuring red-tinged zombies calling for "jobs"?

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Anonymous Coward

Dell has been working on this for awhile

I thought it was well known that Dell has been asking for voluntary layoffs and retirement with a decent package being offered.

Also, it shouldn't surprise anyone with all of Dell's acquisitions that there hasn't been a HUGE amount of redundant workforce brought together. It sucks, but the reality is you don't need 8 different sales reps calling into IT departments each with different domain expertise. That's not how IT works anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dell has been working on this for awhile

The Voluntary Separation Program is for the U.S. only, EMEA went through the redundancy process instead, without the option of VR.

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Anonymous Coward

Having just been through a ~30% staff reduction exercise for the technical services guys, I wondered when they would get round to cutting the sales force...

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Couple of years ago I was getting regular messages on LinkedIn to join Dell's enterprise service presales team in the UK.

Not anymore.

Re-iterate my "we're fucked" statement.

Maybe they should (or will) merge with Microsoft to complete the (shite) devices and (shite) services vision of Steve Balmer. Both deserve it for the shite they have inflicted on the IT industry for the last 20 or so years.

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Anonymous Coward

you sound like a grumpy HP employee...

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Silver badge

Re: ~30% staff reduction exercise for the technical services guys

It's always tough when your workforce (possibly through no fault of their own) has exceeded the capacity of the market to support it, but that's exactly when the difficult changes have to be made. I hope things are improving for you whether you are a survivor or one of the guys who needed to land on his feet.

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Thumb Down

> the shite they have inflicted on the IT industry for the last 20 or so years

Really? I think back on to the horrors of getting the corner retailer sell me an acceptable PC that didn't look like it was assembled in the Soviet Union before mail-order came along. Granted things didn't fully keep the level during all the time.

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Maybe some of those "tough decisions" could "affect" upper management personnel and help the company to save "resources" that are often squandered are useless management personnel?

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Maybe Dell could sell me a system without me having to spends time on the phone talking to a sales person to get a good price, e.g. just put their best price on their website!

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Anonymous Coward

"Maybe Dell could sell me a system without me having to spends time on the phone talking to a sales person to get a good price, e.g. just put their best price on their website!"

They already do - it's called 'Dell Outlet'

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Silver badge

Dell could...

Dell could quickly increase the number of boxes it shipped by simply offering sane prices without all the tomfoolery on their website. I went the other day to price out a big workstation and it was hopeless both in terms of attempting to configure the system and in terms of price. I can assemble the thing myself for less than half of what they charge.

They have gone to a hopelessly high-margin model that is great if, like Apple, you can keep it going. However, Dell does not offer anything that I value that is not a straight commodity item and they charge through the nose for it.

I will give them this: For a client that had a service agreement and a Dell only infrastructure you could get pretty good service over the phone from people who knew what they were talking about. I would be willing to bet that those people are the first in line for pink slips.

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Silver badge

Now I has to axe you...

Can't you give a brother a break?

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Anonymous Coward

Have to admit I'm wondering

I don't think anyone should be surprised that Dell is reducing their workforce. After all, Meg Whitman just threw another 5,000 folks into the HP exit process recently. Both companies share similar liabilities and challenges in the new(ish) world order.

(http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/31/hp_firing_5000_more_heads/

Is it just me, or are the days of huge generalist IT OEMs just about over?

Dell? Hmmm...

HP? Hmmmm...

IBM? Hmmmmmmm...

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Re: Have to admit I'm wondering

As much as I personally dislike dell, hp, etc, there will always be a market for these big OEM companies. I shudder to think of the costs of switching to a small vendor to provide our resources. Their next day parts service is kind of a life saver for me 9 times out of 10.

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Bronze badge

A third less account mis-management?

Does that mean I'll get a third less "new account managers" each month.

Because Dell still haven't got the clues that:

a) There aren't 20 identically named, identically addressed companies in the building, so we only need 1 account, so having setup numerous accounts (still don't know why), I still don't need multiple account managers.

b) I haven't ordered any of your junk in YEARS (although was recently told I was wrong...) so I'm also pretty sure I don't need *any* account managers as there is no account to manage.

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Thumb Down

The beginning not the end

Another (HP !) example of a legacy hardware vendor weathering the market changes and the move to BYOD, cloud and a different way of working. Customers are burning kit longer, prices are reducing and brand equity is more neutralised. Unfortunately we can expect to see more of this in the IT sector for the next few years as the market adjusts to a more agile, nimble and internet based world.

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It's really quite simple....

All the sales specialists have been in the process of being moved to the individual BUs for about a year now. Any real marketing people were either moved to the BUs as well, or were whacked. What's left in the sales organization in the US is the generic account managers, which are/were shifting from named accounts to regional orientation. Technical sales people were already aligned regionally. Channel management has been going through a quiet revamp for two years. Sales generalists, as pointed out in other comments, press flesh; they know little in the way of value selling or technology. Not entirely their fault - the portfolio is wide. Lastly, there is an across the board shift from build-to-order across all product lines.

So what can you surmise from all this? Well, it's really quite simple. Given the above, Dell is moving to a channel model, providing an overlay field sales team to assist coupled with channel marketing resources. I suspect they will retain sale for "Large Institutional" customers - enterprise/public/government - but that's it.

Why you ask?

VSP: For when you cannot formulate a strategic human resources plan.

Go to channel: For when you cannot formulate a plan to successfully motivate, train and comp your sales force.

Eliminate all senior personnel: For idiots who think they can get a net increase in productivity from eliminating one senior person and replacing him/her with two junior people.

..and on..

What's the real problem? Senior management who can establish a strategy but cannot execute to it, and middle management who for the most part are adept turning a crank. When Dell middle management hits a wall, they don't go around it. They pad the wall.

"World's largest startup"? Hardly. Most Dell managers couldn't run a lemonade stand.

Glad to be out of there but am unhappy about what some of my previous co-workers are facing.

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Meh

So that is why I received my first in person visit

Got my first in person visit from a Dell marketing person this week. Thankfully I have studied the BOFH guide and was able to completely avoid contact.

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why buy from this corp ?

they screwed their customers with bad capacitors and didn't help them to fix the issue. Customer service is outsourced to incapable indians.

I geniunely would like to know why anybody would do business with this toxic corp.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: why buy from this corp ?

"they screwed their customers with bad capacitors and didn't help them to fix the issue."

I purchased from another vendor whom I will not name. They sent me some extremely expensive silver electrolytic capacitors as well as some military grade tantalum DC blocking capacitors free of charge. They also sent me, free of charge, a temperature controlled solder station with an array of tips, various weight solder and some de-solder braid. I also asked for, and got free of charge, an entire test bench worth of test gear. They definitely helped me fix all the bad capacitors in our production servers and corp. desktops.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: why buy from this corp ?

"They definitely helped me fix all the bad capacitors in our production servers and corp. desktops."

Dell simply swapped out all our motherboards. Sending you a soldering iron for flow soldered SMD boards?! WTF....

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I just went to the dell NZ webstore. Each model desktop was lower spec and 50% dearer. Local shops are putting together machines for half dells prices. Been like that for years. Not rocket science.

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Not a lovely Dell

The last time I dealt with Dell was when one of their direct sales team tried to bribe me to place a large order through them rather than the distributor with whom I transacted the business. The person involved had a less than perfect grasp of the english language that matched his lack of ethics. The order was for hundreds of desk top PCs.

Since then I've received half hearted attempts from junior Dell Sales staff via email and phone calls to re-establish contact. Once again these people sound as though they are located thousands of miles from me on the other side of the globe. These unfortunate individuals appear to be scraping the bottom of the CRM barrel with little success. They certainly give me no confidence of a reliable sales/supply process.

Dell do not seem to know the difference between "cheap" and "inexpensive"!

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Headmaster

Homework: what tenses are used in the statement?

Present continuous? Future imperfect?

Oh, I don' know... haven't thought much about this stuff since school. Maybe it's all management bullshit tense!

Serious answers, though, would be interesting, if only as a lesson in knowing how not to write in English.

Any enlightenment? Surely we have some real grammar pedants out there?

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Anonymous Coward

When they sell direct to the customer via the www you have to wonder what the purpose of a sales team really is?

Are they ringing round companies asking if they need computers or what?

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Bronze badge
Holmes

Dell have always done this.

When they want to increase profits they cut down on sales and support staff, which lets them get rid of their worst employees and works fine until they start to get bad reviews for support (probably because all the support engineers are spending all their time helping out in sales).

When the bad reviews start to get embarrassing they recruit (being careful whom they take back).

It goes in cycles, and always has. Nothing new here.

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