Cisco Sales Boss Calls On Sales Reps, Channel To Be Aggressive

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A lot of the work has happened already. The enabling of more decision makers with "yes" power has, in the past year, given Cisco a 50 percent improvement in the speed at which deals are approved, Cisco’s Lloyd said. And, Cisco has exited or pared-back its investment in underperforming product areas, such as its decisions this year to end development on its Cius Android tablet and, more recently, its Layer 4-7 load balancing products.

Overall, said Lloyd, Cisco salespeople will see the simplification effort manifest in a new curriculum for training various Cisco sales stakeholders, from SEs to AMs and managers, complete with training roadmaps and a clearer understanding of Cisco's priorities and how to sell behind them.

"My sales force has told me, there's so much stuff, we can't really tell what's important," Lloyd said. "So let's completely restructure how we provide content, training, videos and how they talk to the business decision makers."

Lloyd denies that Cisco's now-dismantled system of councils and boards -- a much-criticized approach to corporate governance that stalled decision-making and created silos within its various product lines and go-to-market teams -- contributed to that complexity. It's simply something Cisco has to do better to move faster, he said.

"This is about let's have our team focus on the gold-star stuff, and build that into the portfolio, so quite frankly, it's not a result of that," he said. "You've got to clean out the closet. We have to do a better job of content management and providing it over multiple platforms. This is very much about cleaning up."

Cisco partners will see the results in the bolstering of Cisco's various channel programs, as well as stronger marketing initiatives and more Cisco partner outreach, such as in first-time events like the data center-specific channel conference it is hosting in San Jose at the end of September.

They'll also see Cisco enabling partners to sell architecture-based solutions using Cisco and its vendor partners that attack business problems such as BYOD and virtual desktop infrastructure, in the form of Cisco's recently rolled out Smart Solutions initiative.

NEXT: Cisco's Five Major Sales Priorities

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