Inside Cisco's Sales Team Strategy

A new sales approach to selling in a software environment

Sponsored by

Good Morning. A new study found that office workers who are allowed to work remotely are living twice as far from their offices as they were pre-pandemic. As my sales manager once said, less commuting = more time for cold calls. 📞 

In today’s Follow Up:

  • The company with 62,000 sales reps 📈 

  •  Create a sales deck in seconds 🪄 

  • A cold email tip of the day 🧠 

  • Sales around the internet 🗞️ 

  • Sales jobs, interview email & meme 😂 

Inside Cisco's Sales Team Strategy

Change is the only constant. Especially in sales. 

In a 2020 memo, Gordon Thomson, the VP of Global Sales at Cisco, shared a major change to Cisco’s sales strategy and how sales reps sell. 

Cisco has been known as a “sales machine” with over 12,000 employees working on their sales team, and over 62,000 channel partners selling their products. 

They’re unique in the way they use channel partners (essentially authorized resellers) to sell their products and bring in roughly 85% of their revenue. This means they rely more on selling partners to drive sales than their own internal sales reps. 

The memo gives us an inside look at how Cisco thinks about selling, and how they want their partners to sell their products.

Let’s break it down. 👇️ 

A New Environment 💻️ 

Cisco made its name from selling networking and telecom hardware to large enterprises.

But with their long list of acquisitions (245 to be exact), the company is no longer just an enterprise hardware company. They’re in the software game. 

Cisco’s hardware sales process looked something like: 

Step 1: Sell millions of dollars worth of the newest hardware to a company.
Step 2: Wait 3-4 years.
Step 3: Convince the same company to buy the newest hardware again.

And they got really good at doing this. 

*Like Apple convincing you to buy the newest iPhone model every year.*

But with Software changing the world of tech, it also changed the way they sell. 

Instead of waiting a few years for the newest hardware to come out, software allows companies to push major updates in a matter of weeks, which requires a different sales pitch. 

“Less selling, more listening” 👂️ 

In the memo, Gordon stresses that sales reps need to change their pitch. 

Instead of pitch-slapping customers with all of the newest features and why Cisco’s products are better than the competition, sales reps need to ask more questions and start listening. 

“For more than 30 years, our sales teams would march into a customer’s office and talk about product features.” 

“But the days of talking about features are over. Today we talk about the challenges our customers face, and how Cisco can help solve them. We ask customers what they’re trying to achieve and where their pain points are.”

Gordon Thomson

The golden rule of selling: listen more than you talk

Constant Communication 🗣️ 

In their old sales process, Cisco reps would make the sale, throw the duces to their new customer, and then wait 3-4 years to sell them new hardware. 

But that doesn’t work anymore.

Now that software can push out a new set of features in a day, the sales team needs to be in constant contact with their customers. They need to keep customers updated on new capabilities, and ways they can use the products. 

Aka, build a relationship with their customers.

Do you sell software or hardware?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Make Presentations 10x Faster

Say goodbye to manual design & formatting work. Unlock your creativity with Gamma and turn text into beautiful presentations within seconds.

Try for free.

Sales Tip of The Day 💡 

Avoid numbers in your cold email subject lines. Numbers are more likely to trigger the SPAM filter and kill your open rates.

: Steve, we can save you 37 hours every month.
: Steve, you’re wasting time.

Stay out of the SPAM folder!

Sales in the News 🗞️ 

Remote Sales Jobs 💼 

Checking in on LinkedIn

The key to a great cold call = say ‘love you’ before hanging up 😅 

Sales Meme of the Day

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.