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Heading to the Left Coast for Cisco Live US!

Cisco Live is coming up next week in San Diego. I know many of you will be there to show just how the Cisco Partner Ecosystem provides the business outcomes our customers demand. I’ll be heading there on Sunday and I hope to see many of you while I’m there.

The Cisco Partner Social Media team will be on hand to help keep you focused on the happenings of interest to Cisco Partners. Be sure to let me know where my focus can help you and I will certainly do what I can to make sure you have the information you need.

Now before we get to San Diego next week, I thought I’d give you a brief look at where I’ll be focusing my efforts next week: Read More »

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Inclusion: The New Core Competence for Leaders

We all know that not one person has all the answers, so it only makes sense that a company would want to have an inclusive, diverse workforce to bring in varying points of view. The problem is that most companies focus on diversity stats, but that doesn’t really make a difference in the culture of an organization, particularly when the whole point is to drive better business results through collaboration.

GVSOteamdiverseI prefer to focus on inclusion, and believe that inclusion precedes diversity. A more inclusive work environment will attract a more diverse workforce. Just as communication is a core skill for a modern leader, I believe inclusion is a core skill for the 21st Century – a style you can learn and practice. What is inclusion?  Simply put, it means including people…seeking diverse opinions and taking into account other points of view.  It’s treating people like they belong and feel valued, and making sure you are building teams and environments where no one feels they are on the outside. This isn’t always easy. You have to demonstrate it by interacting and engaging, and treating people with respect. It’s not what you say, but how you are that counts.

I also believe in focusing on the strengths of our people, rather than their weaknesses. That’s how we get people to go from good to great, instead of not-so-good to mediocre. This is especially important for women. In my experience, there is no difference in competence between men and women, but there is a massive difference in self-belief. We try to challenge women to regularly operate outside of their comfort zone so they can build confidence, aspiration level and impact on the organization.  Read More »

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CRN Announces 2015 Women of the Channel

As we head into summer, I hope all of you are planning some time off to spend with friends and family. Before you head out, I would like to take just a tiny bit of your time to let you know some fantastic news.

CRN announces its Women of the Channel each year and Cisco often has several folks recognized. This year is no different, as we have 11 honorees from Cisco in 2015.

I am extremely honored to be recognized as one of the Women of the Channel this year. As always though, I really wanted to post today in order to make sure you were all aware of my 10 colleagues who were named this year! That is truly an incredible number of women from Cisco honored by CRN and I want to be sure that each of them gets some attention for all that they’ve accomplished this year.

Of course, I also want our partners to know that none of us at Cisco get recognized for these award lists without you. Cisco partners are truly what powers Cisco executives to honors such as these.

Now without further fanfare, please join me in congratulating the 2015 Women of the Channel at Cisco: Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – May 29, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

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:

Off the Top

Karin Surber was here this week to discuss how Cisco partners are poised to succeed by using line of business selling. Wonder what exactly that is, as I did when we first started discussing it? Well check out Karin’s blog and she’ll give you the lowdown on how you are in a position for the best selling opportunity of your lifetime!

Karin walks you through solution selling, architecture selling and now line of business selling. Check out her blog and let us know what you think. Read More »

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Cisco Partners Poised to Cash in on Line of Business Selling

The way we sell to customers continues to evolve. What works for a while may not be effective in a year or two because the market and buyers are continually changing. Back when I first started in sales many moons ago, the small regional company I worked for didn’t leverage any type of formal selling model. We were encouraged to personalize our sales approach, build relationships with customers and continually build pipeline. While these things are still important, they may not be enough to sustain your business. Understanding the various sales methodologies and applying those models that fit the maturity of your particular local market is critical for your long term success.

The first methodology I was able to leverage was Solution Selling in the mid 1990’s. With Solution Selling, the salesperson focuses on the customer’s pain(s) and addresses those pains with his or her offerings (product and services). The resolution of the pain is what constitutes a “solution”. Typically, we would focus on taking a “latent pain” (something that was always in the back of the customers’ mind) and create a sense of urgency around it. Since I was selling IT services, my questions and solutions were designed for IT Buyers. This worked very well for a few years as I was selling a limited set of solutions.

With Cisco in the mid 2000’s, we were focused on solution selling but it became a challenge as more and more of our products were designed to work together. We needed a selling methodology that would put our products and services into a much broader context for our customers.  We moved to an Architectural Selling Model. Instead of solving for specific business problems, the architectural seller looks for opportunities to change and improve entire customer business functions by creatively applying their products and services.  Here, an architectural seller from Cisco would look to determine how a large investment in Collaboration hardware, software and services can help clients improve the effectiveness and efficiency of how they collaborate, increase productivity and lower their total cost of ownership, accelerate time to market and increase revenue growth, improve customer satisfaction and generate new ideas. Typically this type of selling is directed towards IT buyers as well and results in much larger deal sizes. Read More »

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