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Partner Voices: Solution Partner Unitrends Enables Disaster Recovery Performance

September 25, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Cisco partner successes are abundant and we are always proud to feature the exceptional companies helping us drive real customer results with Cisco UCS solutions. In fact, the Partner Voices series is all about that. Recently, we have focused on several of our solution partners, and how they continue to expand and evolve the Cisco Partner Ecosystem. This week’s entry is no different. This week, we explore how Unitrends helped service provider Business Communications, Inc. (BCI) deliver reliable managed services and disaster recovery performance.

Since its inception, BCI has evolved from a simple structured cabling company to a full-blown IT company providing cabling, networking, web hosting, email and telecommunication services. The company’s passion is in understanding customer needs and helping clients find creative ways to deploy technologies that improve operational efficiencies and drive business outcomes.

A few years ago, BCI expanded its product portfolio even further by offering a full range of virtual managed services via a new multi-million dollar data center. To accomplish this, the organization needed to transition its network of physical servers to an enterprise-ready, easy-to-manage data center environment. BCI turned to Cisco UCS to get the job done. Read More »

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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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