Women leaders, mentors, mentees and entrepreneurs recently met at Dell’s Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) conference, “Bold Beginnings, Brave Futures: the Stories and Technologies Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs,” held from June 1-3 in Austin, Texas.
I had the opportunity to speak with Bobbi Dangerfield, Dell, Vice President, Global Sales Operations, about her executive role at Dell as well as mentorship.
Q: What is it like to manage global operations for the sales arm of Dell?
A: “It’s a big responsibility,” began Dangerfield. “The global aspect involves 4,000 employees across 71 countries.”
She explained that her role encapsulates, “sales enablement & sales productivity; from selling, territory mapping, and order processing to customer experience.”
Q: What is more challenging: managing the IT or talent/staff? Explain …
A: “The IT piece and process piece is easy,” Dangerfield remarked.
She went on to say, “The challenge is creating the right culture and finding and hiring the right talent. Employee engagement is critically important. And, leadership; having leaders who inspire and motivate their teams.”
Dangerfield also responded, “Good employee experience and a happy employee is ‘Job 1’ to make a happy customer.”
Q: What does ‘customer experience’ mean at Dell?
A: “Customer service is measured at Dell using Net Promoter Score,” said Dangerfield. “Everyone understands Net Promoter, and improving the customer experience has become one of the top goals of the company. NPS is on the executive team’s scorecard.”
Dangerfield then went on to explain the crux and importance of Net Promoter.
“The (key) question is, “Would you recommend Dell?” said Dangerfield. “The score is a 0 -10 scale. A score of 9-10 is a promoter; 7-8 are considered passive, and a score below 6 is a detractor, (or a) negative experience.”
“We started using NPS four years ago and we saw over a 50% improvement in our NPS score in the first year we implemented it.”
Q: What is the impact of social media to Dell’s business?
A: “Social media is huge for Dell: both internal and external,” said Dangerfield.
“Dell’s foray into social was through IdeaStorm,which allowed customers and the public to suggest ideas to the company on how Dell could improve products, features and support.” Dangerfield added, “EmployeeStorm provided the genesis of flexible work hours at Dell.”
“We also have a ‘Social Command Centre’ where staff monitor millions of conversations. Radian6 provides the technology to collect conversations and analyze real-time data. This information identifies conversation trends and issues, serving as an early warning and feedback system.”
Dangerfield explained, “We also have our ‘Dell Rock star Program’, which recognizes independent experts and enthusiasts for their contributions on Dell’s Community Sites.”
Q: Do you have mentees? What do you advise them? Who has been your best mentor? Why?
“I had people earlier in my career who helped me,” shared Dangerfield. “Probably more like sponsorship than mentorship.”
“I had a couple of strong mentors, both men, within Dell who helped me with my career. They helped me find my voice.”
“I am a mentor myself: I mentor 15 Dell employees across the globe, in Malaysia and El Salvador. I also mentor someone in Dell Canada. I try and keep in touch with past mentees. I am proud of one of my mentees who left Dell and has started her own business in India.”
A: What’s the best part of your role at Dell
“Having the opportunity to manage the process, and working with the employees and keeping them engaged,” answered Dangerfield. “And, the opportunity to interact with customers is the highlight of my day!”