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A Look Back at Fiscal Year 14

The theme at this year’s Cisco Partner Summit 2014 was Amazing Together. We chose that theme because we understand just how important partners are to all our success here at Cisco. We really are amazing together and the proof of what we can accomplish, and where we can go together, is certainly there when you look back at this past fiscal year.

We have covered so much ground in the past 12 months, and I wanted to take a moment to thank our partners and take a look at a few of the highlights from FY14. In fact, before I go any further, let’s literally take a quick look back at this past fiscal year. Here are highlights from just a few of our events:

We weren’t just amazing together at Cisco Partner Summit 2014. It was throughout the entire year. While we’re talking about Partner Summit though, just look at what we covered in Las Vegas this year: Read More »

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Using Ongoing Marketing to Nurture Leads: Do You Know What it Takes to Get to “Yes”?

When I started in my sales career many years ago, I didn’t have the luxury of an established client base or a robust CRM package that reminded me who to call. I didn’t have a marketer funneling leads to me or setting up appointments on my behalf. No, each day I came into the office and started “pounding the phones”, making cold calls, and hoped to get a live person on the phone so I could talk to them about whatever I was selling. When I got a “no”, I wrote the opportunity off and went on to the next cold call. It didn’t take long to realize this was an exercise in futility because 80 percent of other sales people were calling these exact same people using the exact same tactic. So, I thought about the way I wanted to be treated and the kind of people I liked to buy from and changed the way I approached prospects.

Although I didn’t know the official concept at the time, I started formalizing a lead nurturing approach. I shifted my mindset so that every prospect that said ”No”, was looked at as a future “Yes”. I set up call reminders on my calendar and started calling these prospects consistently at mutually agreed upon intervals. Overtime, I established relationships with these prospects, and ultimately, I closed business with more than 60 percent of them! More importantly, more than 80 percent of these clients worked exclusively with me and stopped working with other vendors! All because I took the time to nurture the relationships, made a commitment to their success and put in the hard work to make it happen. Although the process was labor intensive, it got the job done. Had I only realized what I could have accomplished by implementing a similar process through marketing campaigns, my sales could have grown exponentially higher.

Fast forward to today’s electronically-connected, ultra-complex business climate and the ”relationship” element is even more rare and impactful than ever before. Although the sales person is still a critical component of the sales process, marketing campaigns have become a much more cost effective way of nurturing prospects and staying in touch with customers. Establishing a schedule of ongoing, targeted marketing activities is an impactful way to nurture leads and keep your company “top of mind” with your prospects. However, the concept of prospecting or lead nurturing through marketing is still not a focus for most companies or sales teams.  But the statistics speak for themselves on the impact that nurturing has on business. Here are some current statistics related to lead nurturing: Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each 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

I posted a new Voice of the Partner Blog earlier this week. It focused on Cisco Solution Partner, Tegile, and their work with the Minnesota Wild of the NHL. I love working on the Voice of the Partner series, as it gives me the opportunity to see what partners are doing with customers in order to provide real life, effective business solutions.

See how Minnesota Wild achieved a cost reduction, reduced power usage, and increases data center agility with the help of Tegile. There is an included, full case study and we welcome your feedback.

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Gary Serda wrapped up his coverage of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) by giving us one last recap on the Channels Blog. Be sure to check out Gary’s final blog on WPC.

The Future of Cloud

Learn what leading providers have to say about the Future of Cloud. In parts three and four of this ongoing series, OneNeck and Sungard share their perspectives on “Transparency in the High Performance Cloud” and “Building a Resilient Cloud for the Future.”

Good Reads

Keep An Eye Out

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Solution Partner Tegile Helps NHL Team Prepare for the Future

July 22, 2014 at 8:54 am PST

The Voice of the Partner series is one of my favorite features we run on the Cisco Channels Blog. It’s always interesting to see how partners are implementing our solutions. For example, in this installment I had the opportunity to see how customers are implementing Cisco UCS and seeing real business results.

Since 2000, the Minnesota Wild franchise has excited devoted hockey fans in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The owners, Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, also operate a number of additional venues in the area surrounding the arena, including the Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul RiverCentre convention center and the historic Roy Wilkins auditorium. With numerous entertainment properties to manage, their IT technicians and administrators balance varied and demanding priorities as they manage events ranging from professional symposiums to sporting events.

The corporate IT needs for Minnesota Wild are twofold: ensure hockey fans have top-notch audio and video to enhance the viewing experience and that clients renting out auxiliary facilities have access to the latest technologies needed to impress a range of audiences. Read More »

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Cisco and Microsoft: Opening a World of Opportunity for Partners

The IT market is changing. Fast. As a result, customers expect their IT suppliers to offer capabilities beyond products and services, and deliver actual business outcomes.

That’s why we’re evolving the Cisco Partner Ecosystem. By expanding the breadth and depth of our partner ecosystem, our goal is to help our partners navigate these changes, achieve profitable growth and deliver the business outcomes our customers demand.

As a shining example of this strategy, Microsoft and Cisco are taking their data center alliance to a higher level. Today, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, we are jointly announcing a three-year go-to-market agreement that creates new opportunities for Cisco channel partners and Microsoft system integrators.

Through this agreement, we’re deepening our existing partnership with Microsoft and aligning our channel programs to encourage and enable solution selling in a partner-to-partner model. A key component of our joint go-to-market is the newly introduced Cisco Referral Program (CRP), which allows Microsoft systems integrators to be rewarded for their contribution to a larger Cisco + Microsoft solution sale. Learn more in this animated overview explaining the benefits of the Cisco Referral Program.

Read More »

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