Although we don’t often publicly sing the praises of individual team members, we’re making an exception today to recognize Steve Cox, who was named this week to CRN and The Channel Company’s “100 People You Don’t Know but Should” list. The annual list recognizes the unsung heroes and under-the-radar leaders in our industry who create, promote and manage programs and policies that support and advance the IT channel.
Having Steve’s name land on this year’s list reflects his growing importance to our partners’ success. The timing also couldn’t be better: Steve represents the new breed of servant leader that is making a difference in the channel today.
In the Cisco Global Virtual Sales & Customer Success organization, Steve is a transformational leader for many reasons. His role at Cisco is to work cross functionally to help build a digital sales platform that will help transform how our partners go to market in a software and subscription world. Steve connects the dots between data and analytics to create an exceptional customer and partner experience, and he has earned a reputation as a digital visionary. Along with his high-performing team, he has mastered the art and science of using data to elevate customer health through improved product and service adoption, and deliver ongoing value so that customers—and partners—can compete more effectively in the changing market.
Creating New Opportunities for Partner Success
Steve’s group has put in place the analytics, content and a Lifecycle Advantage digital platform to enablepartners to approach each customer at the right time, with the right message. This approach is critical today because our customers want to interact on their terms, which often means digitally. They now move through the lion’s share of the sales cycle – 57 percent – before ever talking to a human. By 2020, that number will rise to 80 percent, according to the research firms Forrester and Gartner.
As the role of digital grows, we’re continuing to evolve the way we engage with our customers—both online and offline. We’re paying close attention to their preferences, feature utilization patterns, product and service lifecycles, and more. With Lifecycle Advantage and other partner-focused programs, Cisco is putting the data intelligence we gather to work for our partners to fuel personalized and timely digital touchpoints, across a variety of channels—using automation for scale and consistency. This is where Steve’s expertise lies, and it’s where he’s making a tremendous impact for Cisco and our partners.
Whether he flies under the radar or not, Cisco is extremely fortunate to have Steve play a leadership role in making digital happen and navigating our course for customer and partner success. Please join me in congratulating him.