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What is Your Credibility Factor? Earn the Right to Say “No” and Win the Business

If you’ve had sustained success as a sales person, you can probably look back at your career and pinpoint one or two defining moments that moved you to the next level of credibility with your customers. These moments are different for everyone.  Maybe it was winning a huge deal against stiff competition. Or it could have been the hard lesson of losing a major deal because of a lack of focus on the details. For me, that defining moment came when I was willing to say, “No” and walk away from a deal when it wasn’t right for my customer or my company.

You might ask, “How could saying “No” and walking away be a defining moment for a sales person?” After all, isn’t the point to win the deal? Actually, I did win the business. I had the confidence to tell the customer that what they were asking for was unreasonable, would result in a poor quality solution that wouldn’t meet their needs and refused to work with them on the project. The customer went with another vendor and the results were disastrous. Within 45 days, the customer had returned, hat in hand, asking for help in salvaging the project. We took the customer in a different direction, got the project back on track and finished in a way that allowed the customer to save face with his management. That customer never questioned me again when I had to deliver hard news. I’d earned the credibility necessary to secure their future business, and the impact on my confidence as a sales person was monumental.

For most sales professionals, their career defining moment also revolves around earned credibility with customers and peers. What exactly is credibility? Credibility is believability or trustworthiness. Credibility is the ability to inspire or earn the trust, belief or confidence of others towards you based on a combination of certain factors or qualities that you exhibit. Credibility is the direct result of displaying these qualities consistently. Most importantly, credibility is earned, meaning it doesn’t come freely. It’s not a thing you can give; it is a thing you get. It is the impression others have about you and all that you do or represent based on multi-faceted elements. Read More »

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Growing Sales and Increasing Marketing Response with the “Right Stuff”

In this new era of big data, every savvy Partner wonders how can we use more customer intelligence to fuel our business. How do we use it to gauge when to approach customers? How do we use it to identify new opportunities, migrate customers, customize solutions, and get to real business outcomes faster? As the pace and scale continues to increase, some of us feel a little like test pilots the movie The Right Stuff who are constantly pushing the envelope to new heights.

Here are some innovations we’re using to drive breakthroughs in the sales and marketing of Cisco technologies. Using some of these “right stuff” tips, you can take your sales and marketing results to the next level: Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 19, 2014

September 19, 2014 at 8:02 am PST

Each 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

Cisco made an exciting announcement this week in security this week with the industry’s first threat-focused next generation firewall – the Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services – as well as enhancements to Cisco’s Security Channel Partner Program. Al Jacobellis provides an overview and discusses two major security specializations and incentive programs to help drive growth and relevance for our partners in his blog Igniting Security at Cisco.

Starting the Conversation with Business Outcomes

In Grow Your Leads and Increase Deal Size with Personalization, Marlowe Fenne (@mfenne) details how a small innovative team at Cisco is meeting with all kinds of success when beginning customer meetings with a discussion that focuses on customer-centric goals – business outcomes – to get a heart at the solution selling.  Starting the conversation this way at recent events increased the number of qualified lasts by 27 percent and the average deal size by 70 percent.

Wow, who wouldn’t want to enjoy this bump in the bottomline? If you’ll be at upcoming Cisco event like Interop (Sept. 29 – Oct. 3), stop by and ask to participate in a VIP Booth Tour. Read More »

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Grow Your Leads and Increase Deal Size with Personalization

Starting customer meetings with business outcome discussions sounds great in theory. But how much difference does it really make? A huge difference. Here’s how it works.

Figure 1 Las Vegas

Engaged customers participating in a VIP Booth Tour at Interop Las Vegas

For the past year, a small, innovative team has been engaging customers in new ways at several large Cisco events. Essentially, we’ve been turning our technology-centric approach on its head and beginning hundreds of customer meetings with a business priority discussion.

Of course, we always get to the technology, but by starting with some very clear customer-centric goals for each meeting, the engagement processes – and results -- have improved dramatically. Since the program inception at CiscoLive! Milan last January, the number of qualified leads per event has increased by 27 percent, and average deal size has increased by 70 percent. Customer satisfaction scores have also gone up, so there are many clear benefits to this approach for everyone selling Cisco solutions. Read More »

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Data Man: The power to turn piles of data in competitive insight

September 17, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

In my continuing series on marketing superpowers, we’re now ready to tackle Data Man! Of course you’ll continue to see updates from each of the superheroes below, and I’ll make sure you have links to each blog post for your convenience. Here is what we’ve covered so far, and what is yet to come:

  • Wonder Vision – The power to see what no one yet can see
  • Alchemist – The power to blend art with science in a way no one can ignore
  • Super Voice – The power to reach millions at the same time
  • Data Man – The power to turn piles of data into competitive insights and deliver real marketing value
  • Mega Mentor – The power to get the most from others

Now let’s get up to speed on Data Man!

Are you ready to “be what’s next?” One way to ensure you are what’s next is to have the information you need to identify market opportunity. It’s not just enough to have the data though, you must be able to analyze it properly, and that is where Data Man fits into your organization.   Read More »

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