Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Partner

Are You Ready for a Fresh New Start? Take a Step Back for Maximum Impact

As summer comes to a close, many of us have kids who are returning to school with shiny new shoes and eager smiles. After a few months off, their minds are ready for the new school year and are open to learning again. Or if you have a high-schooler like me, they may not be as eager and are counting the years until they graduate. Either way, the importance of getting a fresh new start is critical to making the most of their education.

The same is true in the business world. Most of us rush through the day, striving to finish our to-do list, rarely taking time to take a step back and get that fresh new perspective. The opportune time to do this is at the start of the new calendar or fiscal year. As Cisco dives into our new fiscal year 2016, we welcome the new and returning Partner Plus Partners into the FY16 Partner Plus program. This is an exciting time at Cisco and an excellent time for Partners to take that step back and plan out their execution strategy for the new fiscal year.

Follow these steps to optimize your sales performance and achieve maximum Partner Plus Incentive Payouts.

  • Know your quarterly Partner Plus Target. Your quarterly targets can be found in Partner Program Intelligence (PPI). In addition, your Cisco bookings for both services and products are updated daily in PPI so you can see how you are performing against that quarterly target. Make it a habit to check PPI at least 2X per week to stay on top of your bookings.
  • PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Once you know your quarterly target, build out a plan to reach your goal. Work with your Cisco PAM/VPAM to complete your Cisco Business plan. Make sure you incorporate your Partner Plus target into the plan. Strategize on how you will invest your Partner Plus wallet dollars.
  • Starting Building your Pipeline – early and often. A good rule of thumb is to have 3X your target in your pipeline at all times. So if your quarterly targets average $200K, you would want to have $600K in your pipeline of opportunities. If you have any Partner Plus wallet dollars, invest in some demand generation activities to help build a solid pipeline to ensure you meet your quarterly target.
  • Leverage “Partner Help Plus” as a consistent part of your go to market strategy. Partner Help Plus is an exclusive pre-sales engineering service for Partner Plus Partners only. The Elite level can leverage Partner Help Plus directly. Prestige and Aspire levels can access Partner Help Plus through their Cisco Authorized Distributor. Partner Help Plus level 2 and 3 engineers will solve your case with shorter turn-around times and provide exclusive services only for Partner Plus. Leverage our experts to help increase your close ratios.
  • Hone your Selling Skills. Another exclusive benefit for Partner Plus partners are access to Softskills Selling webinars. These monthly online webinars offer advice from outside consultants on a variety of topics including “Prospecting and Lead Nurturing”,” Cross Sell, Upsell & Renew”, “Closing Strategies” and much more. Look for invitations coming your way soon!
  • Use Winner’s Circle as a Motivator with your Teams. Partner Plus Partners receiving Prestige and Elite level benefits have the opportunity to earn a spot in our annual Partner Plus Winner’s Circle event. This all expense-paid trip is available to top performing Partner Sales Reps who help their company over-achieve Partner Plus targets. Winner’s Circle attendees enjoy first class accommodations at premier locations around the globe and get to network with Cisco executives and have fun while celebrating their success. Make sure your sales teams know about this amazing trip. Keep an eye out for upcoming Winner’s Circle Leaderboards to see if your company is in the running to attend!
  • Work with your Cisco Authorized Distributor to leverage their resources to further maximize results. Your distributor has a wealth of resources that you, as a Cisco partner, can leverage to increase your success in the market. By aligning with both Cisco and your Cisco distributor, you can take your business to an entirely new level.

So, with a wealth of resources and benefits, Partner Plus Partners have a competitive edge in the midmarket which can help increase sales exponentially. Make sure YOU are taking advantage of all these benefits and much more. And if you aren’t yet a Partner Plus partner and are curious how to qualify, please visit our website. Most importantly, take some time to strategize and gain a fresh perspective to maximize your results!

Tags: , , , ,

“The Times They Are A Changing”: Overcoming New Challenges Faced By Today’s Sales Professionals

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 »

Tags: , , ,

Where Are You Focusing Your Sales Efforts in 2013? Check Out the Lucrative Mid Market

Are you looking to grow your business and boost profits?  With close to 500K businesses and an estimated addressable market of $21B globally, mid-size customers offer partners a lucrative selling opportunity.

I recently presented at the Alexander Group’s Chief Executive Forum, an event for Global 2000 leaders that explores sales-related topics and innovative solutions.  After the event, I sat down with Alexander Group Senior Vice President Gary Tubridy to discuss how Cisco is engaging with our partners to do more.  In particular, we discussed how we are enabling our partners to sell into the Mid-Market with Partner Led, the go-to-market model that empowers and rewards Cisco partners to lead sales with midsized and small customers.

Watch the full interview or read on to get the highlights.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Go Fishing in a Barrel with Partner Plus: The right tools, right Intelligence, and the right level of support to Catch Great Deals

If you’ve ever gone fishing, then you know it requires a great deal of patience. So, what if you could fish in a barrel, and catch a lot of fish, rather than fish in the ocean and risk coming away empty-handed?

That would be great, right? Well, guess what, that ability to “fish in a barrel” is one of the advantages that is offered by Partner Plus, which was announced at Partner Summit last month. Partner Plus is targeted at partners who invest in selling Cisco to mid-sized customers, which IDC estimates as a $61B market opportunity. Aimed at accelerating business for these partners, Partner Plus provides incremental incentives, virtual engineering support, marketing, sales enablement, and customer intelligence to partners who commit to a highly collaborative selling approach with Cisco to accelerate their business more quickly than the market.

Partner Plus will bring together the power of Cisco sales and the partner sales force to go after the fast growing market opportunity with mid-sized customers. Watch this video to learn about the impact that Partner Plus can have in your business.

Read on to learn more about how Partner Plus can help you drive sales.  Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Cisco Partner Summit 2012 Day Three Recap: Innovation is ‘King’, Free Jabber Takes World by Storm

Day Three of Partner Summit kicked off to a bouncing beat: Following a thumping performance by C2C, a group of world champion music DJs, SVP Edison Peres took to the stage to congratulate yesterday’s Olympic trip winners and kick off the day’s theme of Innovation.

He then introduced Padmasree Warrior, CTO and Cisco’s co-leader of Engineering, who opened her presentation with a bold statement: “We are on the verge of the most change this industry has seen in several decades.” She then explained how emerging global economies combined with technology advances are resulting in changing business models, and that the intelligent network is at the heart of innovation.

One such innovation is Cloud Connect, a new software platform the company will soon launch for enhancing cloud deployments, increasing cloud security, and simplifying cloud-based operations. Plus, customers can leverage the software to build applications customized for their own requirements.

But what does all this mean for partners? Why more opportunities, of course. To view Padma’s complete presentation, including a demo of iPad authenticating via Cisco ISE to Cisco Quad, check out the replay on Virtual Partner Summit.

Also check out this video–we spoke with partners today to hear from them what it’s like to be a Cisco partner and what’s standing out for them at this year’s Partner Summit.

And don’t miss today’s other big announcements, including Jabber for Everyone,  recaps of several of today’s Business Transformation breakout sessions, how to win an iPad, and more! Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,