Specialty Software Firm Goes Big With Web Conferencing for Global Sales

May 27, 2011 - 7 Comments

As someone who helps manage the collaboration customer success program here at Cisco, I hear about all sorts of interesting ways companies both big and small are using technology to grow their business. When I come across an example that stands out, I like to tell people about it.

Issues Central is a specialty software firm based in Toronto, Canada that develops financial compliance and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Transition software. One of their well-known brands is IFRS PARTNER. Using Cisco WebEx technology with high-quality video, this 25-person company is selling their software around the world in North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Just that fact alone is interesting to me, but what makes their story even more compelling is how they’re using web conferencing tools in different ways, depending on the culture they’re selling into.

Issues Central is able to close roughly two-thirds of their North American deals online without a single in-person meeting.

As Charley Best, Issues Central’s vice president, touches on in the clip above, when the sales and marketing team is engaging with customers in Canada or the United States, WebEx serves as a closing tool to compel the prospect to ask for a proposal. As a result, Best estimates he closes roughly two-thirds of his North American deals online without a single in-person meeting.

In countries like Nigeria or Malaysia, however, Issues Central takes a different approach in selling its IFRS PARTNER product suite. In these cases, Best and his team use WebEx as an awareness tool – the door opener, if you will.  They may do small events and/or individual sessions to introduce the company to these new audiences. And then when they’ve established a connection with a number of prospects in a certain region, they visit all of them on a consolidated sales trip.

So what’s the lesson learned?  With the right technology and the right sales strategy, even a small company like Issues Central can sell and deliver its products anywhere on the globe. What makes Issues Central’s approach so successful is that they’ve learned to leverage web conferencing in different ways depending on the geography and culture they’re engaging with. As Best says, “The Internet really is the new local. You just need to find the most appropriate way to close the business.”

To learn more about Cisco Collaboration tools,  Click here.

To learn more about Cisco Conferencing solutions,   Click here.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. I work with our partners throughout North America and am on virtual meetings at least 16 hours per week. When some virtual meetings rely on conference calls only (not when I’m leading of course) – the outcomes are “soft” and/or subject to revisionist recollections.
    Keeping complex partnership and program interactions on the “same page” are critical to quality progress and expectations. I couldn’t do my job without it.
    I know our sales teams would also agree.

  2. As the former VP of Sales and Marketing for Equipment Data Associates, a division of Randall-Reilly Publishing Co,. LLC WebEx enabled me to expand my reach and engagement with customers and prospects at exponential levels. The result from 2003-2009 was a 300% increase in sales without any change in the number of sales people. Granted, there are many factors involved in achieving these results but none of it would be possible without WebEx.

    Now, as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Real Time Content, a division of Randall-Reilly Publishing Co., LLC I am utilizing WebEx technology coupled with the online variable video technology of Real Time Content to develop virtual sales people for organizations that have the same pain point that I once had. Not enough sales people to conduct effective personalized sales demonstrations. Now companies have literally unlimited reach and maximum utilization from the limited human resources that only engage when a prospect raises their hand.

    Amazing and only possible with WebEx. I thank you for more than 8 years of outstanding service!

    • It’s great to see a customer who has used WebEx to grow multiple small companies talk about extending sales reach and improving overall sales production using WebEx. ‘Unlimited reach and mazimum utilization with limited human resources” says it all. Many thanks for adding your experience and perspective.

  3. Hello Ms. Davidson,

    I have used WebEx on many occasion to do demonstrations and trainings via the web. The ability to quickly setup the WebEx meetings makes it easier for us to train our clients at a moments notice. I was recently even more impressed with the WebEx Android application when I was out of the office and wanted to attend a meeting using my mobile phone. Keep up the great work.

    • Great that you spoke up at using WebEx on your Android phone. One of the most frequent comments I hear from our customers is how much more productive they can be since they can access WebEx virtually anywhere via their smartphone or iPad. Our world is mobile and our communication and collaboration tools need to supprt that. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Hello Diane,

    I couldn’t agree more with this statement:
    “With the right technology and the right sales strategy, even a small company like Issues Central can sell and deliver its products anywhere on the globe”.

    Finding ways to infuse (and improve) traditional sales, marketing and service processes with the latest and greatest social/mobile technologies is going to be mandatory for any business to figure out if they plan on being competitive in the age of the Social Customer.

    As Mr. Best points out, they use the Webex tools in different ways depending on what customer segment they are engaging. It’s important not to just throw technology out there, but to know your audience, create the proper process for engaging them, and then utilize the technology to implement the process.

    Companies who take the approach that Best and Issues Central has adopted stand to build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with customer.

    Brent Leary

    • There are great technical tools give small companies the power to operate like big companies by extending their reach, doing virtual F2F meetings, having more frequent contact. From a CRM point of view, WebEx is a solid asset. Now, with High Quality Video, the F2F experience is improved and more life-like. Appreciate this response.