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Using Ongoing Marketing to Nurture Leads: Do You Know What it Takes to Get to “Yes”?

When I started in my sales career many years ago, I didn’t have the luxury of an established client base or a robust CRM package that reminded me who to call. I didn’t have a marketer funneling leads to me or setting up appointments on my behalf. No, each day I came into the office and started “pounding the phones”, making cold calls, and hoped to get a live person on the phone so I could talk to them about whatever I was selling. When I got a “no”, I wrote the opportunity off and went on to the next cold call. It didn’t take long to realize this was an exercise in futility because 80 percent of other sales people were calling these exact same people using the exact same tactic. So, I thought about the way I wanted to be treated and the kind of people I liked to buy from and changed the way I approached prospects.

Although I didn’t know the official concept at the time, I started formalizing a lead nurturing approach. I shifted my mindset so that every prospect that said ”No”, was looked at as a future “Yes”. I set up call reminders on my calendar and started calling these prospects consistently at mutually agreed upon intervals. Overtime, I established relationships with these prospects, and ultimately, I closed business with more than 60 percent of them! More importantly, more than 80 percent of these clients worked exclusively with me and stopped working with other vendors! All because I took the time to nurture the relationships, made a commitment to their success and put in the hard work to make it happen. Although the process was labor intensive, it got the job done. Had I only realized what I could have accomplished by implementing a similar process through marketing campaigns, my sales could have grown exponentially higher.

Fast forward to today’s electronically-connected, ultra-complex business climate and the ”relationship” element is even more rare and impactful than ever before. Although the sales person is still a critical component of the sales process, marketing campaigns have become a much more cost effective way of nurturing prospects and staying in touch with customers. Establishing a schedule of ongoing, targeted marketing activities is an impactful way to nurture leads and keep your company “top of mind” with your prospects. However, the concept of prospecting or lead nurturing through marketing is still not a focus for most companies or sales teams.  But the statistics speak for themselves on the impact that nurturing has on business. Here are some current statistics related to lead nurturing: Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

I posted a new Voice of the Partner Blog earlier this week. It focused on Cisco Solution Partner, Tegile, and their work with the Minnesota Wild of the NHL. I love working on the Voice of the Partner series, as it gives me the opportunity to see what partners are doing with customers in order to provide real life, effective business solutions.

See how Minnesota Wild achieved a cost reduction, reduced power usage, and increases data center agility with the help of Tegile. There is an included, full case study and we welcome your feedback.

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Gary Serda wrapped up his coverage of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) by giving us one last recap on the Channels Blog. Be sure to check out Gary’s final blog on WPC.

The Future of Cloud

Learn what leading providers have to say about the Future of Cloud. In parts three and four of this ongoing series, OneNeck and Sungard share their perspectives on “Transparency in the High Performance Cloud” and “Building a Resilient Cloud for the Future.”

Good Reads

Keep An Eye Out

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Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2014: Looking Back and Forward

July 23, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Last week, more than 16,000 Microsoft partners convened in Washington, DC for Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). Team Cisco had a great week of conversations with partners on the opportunity created through the Cisco and Microsoft data center alliance.

Cisco announced a three year agreement with Microsoft in which we are aligning our incentive programs to reward the channel for solution selling in a partner-to-partner model. In his blog, Denny Trevett, Cisco VP, Global ISV and Technology Partners, detailed how this model is creating new opportunities for partners to reach new markets and drive profitable growth.

Cisco and Microsoft are also accelerating the development of joint solutions for private cloud, server migration, service provider, and SQL Server 2014. Cisco VP of UCS Marketing, Jim McHugh posted on how technologies such as UCS, Nexus, Hyper-V, and Windows Server 2012 R2, enable IT organizations to dramatically improve their effectiveness and drive business outcomes.

You heard from Cisco. Here’s what Microsoft had to say. Read More »

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Solution Partner Tegile Helps NHL Team Prepare for the Future

July 22, 2014 at 8:54 am PST

The Voice of the Partner series is one of my favorite features we run on the Cisco Channels Blog. It’s always interesting to see how partners are implementing our solutions. For example, in this installment I had the opportunity to see how customers are implementing Cisco UCS and seeing real business results.

Since 2000, the Minnesota Wild franchise has excited devoted hockey fans in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The owners, Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, also operate a number of additional venues in the area surrounding the arena, including the Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul RiverCentre convention center and the historic Roy Wilkins auditorium. With numerous entertainment properties to manage, their IT technicians and administrators balance varied and demanding priorities as they manage events ranging from professional symposiums to sporting events.

The corporate IT needs for Minnesota Wild are twofold: ensure hockey fans have top-notch audio and video to enhance the viewing experience and that clients renting out auxiliary facilities have access to the latest technologies needed to impress a range of audiences. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014 at 9:00 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Big joint announcement this week from Cisco and Microsoft! Denny Trevett posted about the implications of the announcement of a three-year go-to-market agreement between us and Microsoft that creates new opportunities for Cisco channel partners and Microsoft system integrators.

We are still evolving the Cisco Partner Ecosystem with the goal of helping our partners navigate these changes, achieve profitable growth and deliver the business outcomes our customers demand. The Microsoft announcement is an example of Cisco working to take it’s data center alliance with Microsoft to a higher level.

Be sure to check out Denny’s blog and let us know what you think. Read More »

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