As someone who helps manage the collaboration customer success program here at Cisco, I hear about all sorts of interesting ways companies both big and small are using technology to grow their business. When I come across an example that stands out, I like to tell people about it.
Issues Central is a specialty software firm based in Toronto, Canada that develops financial compliance and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Transition software. One of their well-known brands is IFRS PARTNER. Using Cisco WebEx technology with high-quality video, this 25-person company is selling their software around the world in North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Just that fact alone is interesting to me, but what makes their story even more compelling is how they’re using web conferencing tools in different ways, depending on the culture they’re selling into.
Issues Central is able to close roughly two-thirds of their North American deals online without a single in-person meeting.
As Charley Best, Issues Central’s vice president, touches on in the clip above, when the sales and marketing team is engaging with customers in Canada or the United States, WebEx serves as a closing tool to compel the prospect to ask for a proposal. As a result, Best estimates he closes roughly two-thirds of his North American deals online without a single in-person meeting.
In countries like Nigeria or Malaysia, however, Issues Central takes a different approach in selling its IFRS PARTNER product suite. In these cases, Best and his team use WebEx as an awareness tool – the door opener, if you will. They may do small events and/or individual sessions to introduce the company to these new audiences. And then when they’ve established a connection with a number of prospects in a certain region, they visit all of them on a consolidated sales trip.
So what’s the lesson learned? With the right technology and the right sales strategy, even a small company like Issues Central can sell and deliver its products anywhere on the globe. What makes Issues Central’s approach so successful is that they’ve learned to leverage web conferencing in different ways depending on the geography and culture they’re engaging with. As Best says, “The Internet really is the new local. You just need to find the most appropriate way to close the business.”
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