Working in sales has always been tough. No one will argue with that. However, today’s sales professionals face more challenges than ever before. Understanding the impact of these new challenges and developing the skills and resources to overcome them helps ensure long term success.
The pace of change is accelerating exponentially. Never before has the business landscape churned as quickly as it does now. Much of this acceleration is driven by the “access to anyone, anytime, anywhere” phenomena. Customers expect instant response times and information at their fingertips on demand. But constantly changing regulations pose additional challenges that require ongoing education and ever evolving business requirements. Customers are looking for experts who can help them steer through the myriad of challenges they are facing. This requires a concerted effort on behalf of the sales professional to invest the time to keep up with changing business conditions and offer solutions that meet the challenges faced by customers. Subscribe to online industry periodicals, blogs and feeds and plan time in your calendar to review them. Attend industry and solution based events. Not only do these offer great education but they are also excellent opportunities to network and identify prospects.
Customers are busy…often too busy to take the time to solve their own problems. With many companies operating with fewer resources amidst more complex working conditions, employers will more likely find short-term fixes to their issues because they simply don’t have the time to explore better options for longer term solutions. Master your approach so you address the specific challenges your customer may be facing and reel them in. Be persistent and assure your customer of the potential dollar and time savings they’ll experience with your proposed solution. Make it easy for them to work with you by doing as much of the leg work as possible on their behalf. Read More »
The Cisco Solution Partner Program is a tiered membership program for independent software and hardware vendors that want to grow their business by creating and delivering Cisco-based solutions. We offer many valuable resources that our partners can use to build, test, market and sell their solutions more efficiently and effectively. As you saw in Bruce Klein’s blog last week, Solution Partner Program is vital to the new Cisco Partner Ecosystem.
For partners in the building and testing phases, we offer Software Development Kits (SDKs), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), sandboxes, technical and case-based support, as well as technical content related to our different technologies. Partners can also obtain demo and lab system discounts through our not-for-resale (NFR) program. Of course, once a solution has been built, it’s important for partners to be able to test and certify it. With that in mind, Cisco has made testing and certification capabilities available to its partners as well.
MapR Technologies gained business growth by testing and validating their solution.
When partners are ready to market their solutions, they can take advantage of marketing resources, including press release templates. Partners simply insert key pieces of information into the template and use it to promote: Read More »
Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem 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:
Bruce announced the Cisco Partner Ecosystem back in March at our annual Partner Summit event. In his blog post this week he brings you up-to-date on the growth of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem since it was announced. He also provides some insight on where Cisco will focus for the remainder of the fiscal year in order to make the Cisco Partner Ecosystem even more successful.
Check out both blog posts for some great information and learn about the Cisco Solution Partner Program as well! Let us know what you think.
Internet of Things (IoT) Specialization
The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing everything. Get the sales and technical training you need to be successful with the new Cisco IoT Specialization. IT resale partners: develop a better understanding of operational technology (OT) practices. OT partners: gain the expertise you need for industry-leading IT installations.
Save Money with SMARTnet
Want to show customers how much money they can save with SMARTnet? It’s easy with the new SMARTnet ROI calculator. Enter your customer’s numbers and show how the benefits they expect from SMARTnet translate into actual cost savings. Read More »
Back in March, as part of Cisco Partner Summit, I presented the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, which includes our existing channel program and our services program, and involves a much broader set of partners, such as Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), technology and consulting firms.
Since Partner Summit, my focus has been driving the growth of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem by helping partners capture opportunities related to marketing transitions, especially in the Internet of Everything (IoE) space. You’ve heard us say it numerous times, but that $19 trillion opportunity with IoE during the next ten years is there for the taking and we want to make sure our partners do not miss out on their share.
In just about seven months, we are already seeing what can be accomplished by connecting different partner types with the existing Cisco Channel. We continue to see more and more innovative solutions that truly drive the business outcomes our customers seek.
Partner Ecosystem Growth
With the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, we have seen tremendous interest from new partner types, such as ISVs and software developers. In order to continue developing that interest, and expanding our ecosystem, we have:
Built teams in all Cisco regions to recruit and engage ISVs
Worked closely with cloud providers to help ISVs build or move their software as a service (SaaS) onto Cisco datacenters
As we add more ecosystem partners we are really starting to see what types of business outcomes they can bring to our customers. We understand that, for our partners as well as us, it’s no longer OK to just sell a product. It’s about selling a solution, and that solution must deliver the business outcomes that promote growth and profitability. Read More »
Everyone is talking about it. It’s not channel marketing, it’s not alliance marketing, it’s not product marketing. It’s ecosystem marketing. So what’s all the hype?
First, let’s talk about what the term “partner ecosystem” means. A partner ecosystem is not just a list of partners. It’s a portfolio of partners who are selected because of the value they add from one or more of these perspectives: technology, integration, influence, go-to-market, or market access. But it’s not just about Cisco, it’s about our partners and what they can gain from the relationship. It could be access to Cisco technology, association to the Cisco brand, or even access to the large sales force entrenched in IT organizations across the globe.
Ecosystem marketing seeks a difficult balance between touting the virtues of the whole ecosystem and showing the value of individual partner relationships. It’s a tightrope and often somebody feels slighted if you are not careful in your approach.
So, how do you get started and what makes for successful ecosystem marketing? Read More »