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

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During GSX, Cisco's Lloyd laid out five priorities for the company's sales force, and by extension, how that sales force will support Cisco's thousands of solution providers. First, said Lloyd, Cisco's commercial business -- how it defines SMB and midmarket enterprise customers -- is its fastest-growing market segment, and its channel effort there is buoyed by the Partner-Led initiative it began last year.

Second, Lloyd said Cisco's never been more relevant in service provider environments, where it has taken market share from Juniper and other vendors and also staked out a better position in hot areas like carrier Wi-Fi.

Third, emerging countries are an area where Cisco continues to invest and win, he said -- particularly in Brazil and Mexico -- and fourth, Cisco will focus even more intently on "transformational customers," including Cisco's so-called Global Enterprise Theater (GET) accounts, referring to its top 30 customers.

Cisco's final goal, Lloyd said, is to have clear execution around its cloud strategy, crystallized in the Cisco Cloud Channel Programs it already has and the broader opportunity to bring cloud into each of its major practice areas, from collaboration and unified communications to virtualizing the data center.

Cisco has identified "growth accelerators" as collaboration, data center, security and mobility, Lloyd said. Another goal will be to drive high-touch partner conversations around each of those areas, and Cisco will also be more aggressive about incenting salespeople to knock down deals in the areas of software, cloud and strategic endpoints, including video. Lloyd's organization will pay out quarterly sales "accelerators" -- essentially, performance-based bonuses -- for salespeople that do that.

And, don't expect Cisco to back down from its recently more aggressive competitive posturing.

"Some of our competitors are struggling. We're seeing a lot of the HP partners become increasingly frustrated," Lloyd said. "Cisco provides choice, and [partners] have to be able to put these things in a non-emotional box."

NEXT: Partners Look Forward To More 'Clean Up'

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