It doesn’t matter if you are an account manager or a customer success manager, you want to be a trusted advisor as your customer embarks on their digital journey.  Customers want personalized engagement with trusted partners, and it is important to be able to solve your customers’ business problems by recommending or suggesting related technology solutions.  When I was in the field, I was sometimes nervous about cross-selling unfamiliar products.  However, as I share what I know about the Cisco Ruggedized portfolio, I think you will agree that cross-selling Extended Enterprise use cases for this portfolio provides a simple way to leverage your current network knowledge and account relationships to generate additional revenue and solve top-of-mind customer concerns.

The First P – The Cisco Rugged PORTFOLIO

I’ve been partnering with the IOT team at Cisco for a couple of years now, and I think one of the best kept secrets is that Cisco’s Ruggedized Portfolio is one of the fastest growing in all of Cisco and has been for over 2 years running. One of the major reasons for this incredible growth is IT departments are now bringing IOT endpoints into traditional IT, where you and Cisco already have strong customer relationships.  I think this is exciting because it means you can take over your customers’ outdoor networks (WOW!)  and connect their extended network to the enterprise.  As this major buying shift occurs in the way customers are going “digital,” I believe you have a window of opportunity where you can use extended enterprise use cases to profit (It’s a $4B market) from this change.  And, it’s not just about extending their network.  Your customers also need to consider network security, automation, and business policy in their expanded network.  This represents a $4B market opportunity for you!

Here are some examples of use cases which I think are easy to understand where you can cross-sell the ruggedized portfolio and extend the enterprise to the outdoors and non-carpeted locations:

  • Warehouses
  • Distribution Centers
  • Roadways
  • Outdoor Deployments
  • Stadiums
  • Airports
  • And more!!!

The Cisco Ruggedized portfolio is pretty simple – industrial switching, industrial routing, and industrial wireless. This portfolio may look a little different – the devices generally look more “burly” because they are designed for harsh environments, but I think you are still selling what you already know: access points, routers, and switches.

As an added bonus, by positioning the Cisco Extended Enterprise, you will also sell more of your core portfolio.  By adding more things to the network, you need more Enterprise networking and security products to support the new IOT connected devices and endpoints.  This is one of my favorite sales scenarios – add more stuff to the network so you need more connectivity in the core.  This is nothing new, but it still works well!   Now let’s move from the First P (portfolio) and I want to share another benefit of the extended enterprise, which brings me to the second P.

The Second P – PEOPLE

In discussing the portfolio, i discussed the major shift in bringing IOT endpoints to IT, but there are still people who influence the deals and budgets for IOT networks who may not be your usual IT buyer.  The good news is that I am seeing that your IT contact is getting aligned with these IOT buyers as this shift occurs.   It is important to leverage your IT relationships to start to make the connections.  Just walking down the hallway with your IT contact and reaching out together to their IOT cubicle neighbors may provide you an opening to cross-sell to a new buying center and gain valuable influencer relationships.  These new IOT relationships will give you early information about new initiatives and provide the opportunity to influence RFPs and even change the conversation to discuss business outcomes that differentiate you and your organization from competitors.   In summary, don’t be shy!  Go meet some new people!!

The Third P – PROGRAMS

I don’t want to end this blog without mentioning Cisco partner programs – since that is a big part of what I do at Cisco, and it is definitely worth calling out as the third P.I want to highlight some work I have been doing lately with the Cisco Partner Programs team on the IOT Account Breakaway promotion.  Account Breakaway is available for use with the Cisco ruggedized portfolio and you can leverage it in the same type of ways you use it in other portfolios – I’ll share a link at the end of the blog with the details.  If you are not familiar with Account Breakaway, it really supports the cross-selling topic I have been discussing in this blog.  As an overview, Account Breakaway is designed to

  • Reward partners for finding, developing, and selling targeted technologies into new and existing accounts
  • Increase partner profitability with an attractive 6-month differentiated discount
  • Give the highest promotional discounts on the latest Cisco products
  • Accelerate your customer’s journey to help them achieve faster innovation, reduce costs and complexity, and lower risk

By leveraging Account Breakaway and other Cisco Partner Programs, you can prospect, position, and WIN the deals where you engage your customers

Next Steps and Learn More

I want to summarize and then leave you some links where you can learn more.  First, let’s summarize where we started – simple cross-selling.  Here are my recommended 3 next steps:

Cross-Sell the Rugged Portfolio, and leverage your knowledge of networking to create new opportunities

Cross-Sell to new IOT buyers, and leverage your current IT relationships to make connections and solve customer problems by focusing on business outcomes that differentiate you from competitors.

Cross-Sell with more margin, leveraging programs you are already know, like Account Breakaway, to access new budgets and new buying centers

To Learn more let’s break it down to the 3 P’s


For more info. & collateral, you can visit the Extended Enterprise site:  www.cisco.com/go/extendedenterprise and Sales Connect page: https://salesconnect.cisco.com/open.html?h=PAGE-12349


To learn more about selling to different types of buyers, explore the Industry Transformation Partner Guide, where you can find 1 page (front and back) Quick Selling Guides that share buying triggers and business outcomes for different types of buyers by industry – go to the industry sales tab http://cs.co/customerin


Go to www.cisco.com/go/promotions and select Account Breakaway from the most visited pages area


Paul Buehler

Senior Business Development Manager, Strategy, Planning and Programs

Global Partner Organization, Digital Transformation and Industries