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Gateway Inc. announced plans Wednesday to realign its commercial sales team to support channel sales as the equal of direct sales.

The commercial sales team will be collapsed into the public sector team in January, and follow a track that has proven effective at sparking channel sales in that sector for several years: equal compensation for account executives regardless of direct or indirect sales, said Tiffani Bova, Gateway’s channel chief.

“There is some truth to the idea that compensation drives behavior,” Bova said in an interview this week.

“If we want people to spread selling time equally over the direct and indirect channel, we would need to plan to support that, and compensate them equally.”

Gateway sets its sights on small business. Click here to read more.

The realignment includes the creation of a centralized call center in Sioux City, S.D., more than 100 percent more account executives working on channel accounts, and a closer integration of account planning to include joint strategies with partners based on certain geographies and coverage models, said Matthew McManus, Gateway’s senior director of partner programs.

“From a sales perspective, account representatives will be empowered to engage with VARs when they need to,” he said. “It’s about who is better positioned to reach certain accounts … They will be doing joint calls, account planning, working together.”

Streamlined deal registration and other efforts are also forthcoming, he said.

Bova also announced that she is leaving her position on Dec. 31, to be replaced by McManus, her second in command in the effort to build Gateway’s channel since the company closed its retail stores and adopted indirect sales 18 months ago. She said she is still considering several options, including freelance consulting and other positions within Gateway.

Bova and her team launched a formal program in March and doubled the vendor’s channel revenue, Bova said. Gateway would not release exact figures but said the channel had constituted less than 10 percent of the company’s revenue and now comprises just more than 20 percent.

Click here to read about how Gateway doubled its channel output in six months.

Gateway has also recruited more than 85 new resellers to its 1,200-strong Pronet channel program, Bova said.

Bova called Gateway’s sales realignment the second step in a two-year path to channel development.