Cisco Brings Together the Forces of Sales & Marketing

Together, sales and marketing will deliver a customer experience that will create loyal customers.

Lynn Haber

March 28, 2019

5 Min Read
Cisco Brings Together the Forces of Sales & Marketing

CISCO MARKETING VELOCITY — Delivering a harmonious sales and marketing message, Boon Lai, vice president of global partner marketing at Cisco, and John Moses, vice president of U.S. partner sales, shared the keynote stage Thursday morning at Cisco Marketing Velocity 2019, demonstrating the vendor’s sales-and-marketing-work-better-together message with partner attendees.

Lai’s keynote focused on “The Future-Proof Marketer,” while the focus of Moses’ keynote was “Driving Customer Obsession Together.” Michelle Chiantera, vice president of Americas Marketing at Cisco, was also on stage for a fireside chat about marketing leadership with Michael Hopfinger, director, Americas segments, architectures and partner marketing.


Cisco’s Boon Lai

“There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence and machine learning are re-creating our business models today,” said Lai. “How exciting for us because … today’s breakthrough technology is tailored made for marketing. How we use it is only limited by imaginations.”

He outlined three key trends having an impact on a partner’s business today and the impact itheywill have in the future: Digital is becoming a human extension; intelligence is the new currency; and the customer will be predictable in real time.

Lai highlighted how digital is becoming a human extension with a statistic on Cyber Monday in the Americas, namely the generation of $7.9 billion in sales in one day — a 19 percent increase over the previous year.

While the Cyber Monday example touches on the personal side of digital, similar experiences are happening in the business side. Lai noted that by 2020, 80 percent of businesses will install some form of a chatbot — many with voice capability.

Insight, a Cisco partner, created a virtual sales assistant named Emily. Used by marketing, Emily automates email to qualify sales leads. In a few weeks, Emily sent 18,000 emails to 3,000 customers, saving time for the sales rep and creating pipeline.

“What’s cool is that she actually closed deals and had about a 10 percent higher win rate than the industry average,” said Lai.

A more relatable example of how digital is a human extension of what we do, Lai told attendees that every month , more than 40,000 customers search for partners on and 85 percent use the partner locator to contact partners.

He also mentioned that Cisco is transforming Marketing Velocity to become an integrated, digital always-on platform. And,for the first time in the 12 years of Marketing Velocity, Cisco is bringing it to the regions.

Addressing the second trend, data and intelligence, or AI, Lai noted that 61 percent of companies with an innovation strategy are using AI to uncover new opportunities.

“We must join them. The good news is that Cisco and you are set up for success,” he said.

Cisco owns data across the customer life cycle driving awareness, purchase and usage, he noted.

“We own unique intelligence on the customers you want to win and retain,” Lai said.

Today, on Cisco Partner Marketing Central, there’s a shared analytics service that can combine …

… the shared intelligence of Cisco and partners, and it is GDPR-compliant.

“So. looking across your platform and our platform, it allows us to see what our customers are researching and when they’re in the market to purchase from us,” said Lai.

This leads to Lai’s third key point that customers will be predictable in real-time, exposing profitable moments. However, he said that to become future marketers, tomorrow’s top predictors will have three assets working for them: an exemplary platform, deep personalization and a trusted brand.

Lai took the reins from Chiantera in October, and works with Oliver Tuszik, senior vice president of Cisco’s global partner organization.

Meantime, Moses kicked off his keynote with a video chat with Jeff Sharritts, senior vice president, Americas sales at Cisco. A 16-year Cisco veteran, Sharritts is in this latest role since June. 

Sharritt’s shared three messages for partners. The first is that partners are critical to Cisco’s success; the second is about life-cycle engagement, working together with partners to define roles and responsibilities and how to make money together; and the third message is around staying laser-focused on the customer.

Next, Moses focused his presentation on the customer experience, which industry research shows superseding price and product. With more than 92 percent of Cisco business delivered through partners, the vendor is intent on driving home the importance of the customer experience.

“So, how are we going to do this? It’s with, through and together with our partners,” said Moses, who noted that Cisco has 282,000 partners globally.

Top of mind is customer obsession, passion about talent, and extraordinary agility.

“We must all perform and transform, we have to deliver the unexpected, and that will be the differentiator for all of us,” said Moses.

Chiantera also focused on the customer experience, which she said is the disruptor going forward.

“Technology won’t be the disruptor going forward; it will be the customer,” she said. “It will be our customer’s demands, how they want to communicate, how they want to engage with us. We as marketers and sales people, we’re going to have to put, not the product, not the service first, but rather the delivery of the customer experience and how that connects across all the customer engagements we have — multiple engagements.”

She shared four ideas: the job of marketing is to drive demand in ways that create a great experience, which will keep customers coming back; be data driven to have conversations; marketing motions should be based on how the customer wants to engage; and turn up the volume — in social media, to the press and so on, so it connects customers to Cisco in a meaningful way.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like