Author: Tod Hays

Startups need more than just funding to run a successful business.DSC_0135-optim That’s why Cisco Investments works to provide relevant entrepreneur workshops like the one we held last month focusing on sales. We had Paula Hansen, VP of Sales in Cisco’s Global Enterprise business, as a presenter. And she’s one of the best in the business.

Hansen drives business value and market differentiation and has an impressive track record of consistent profitable revenue growth and partnerships. Her expertise and quality of advice made her the perfect presenter for the 10 companies in attendance.

Some of the key takeaways/topics from this workshop were:

  1. Ensuring customer intimacy and maximizing relevance
  2. Implementing sales disciplines, such as account planning, relationship maps, competitive heat maps, and quarterly customer reviews
  3. Building sales plays that solve customer pain points

Since the workshop, we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback:

“I liked the extension from last session and natural flow into a deeper dive into the enterprise sales process. It was very valuable to see the tools that Cisco uses for managing the accounts. These were great.”

-          Ed Chater, Adbrain Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer

“A strategic view to building a sales machine. It’s good to get a peek into how sales process at large B2B firms works!”

-          Vinod Muthukrishnan, Cloudcherry CEO and Co-Founder

“I’m a fan of the templates and worksheets of the sort that Paula presented for account plans, tracking progress, etc.”

-          Dave Howard, N3N Director of Marketing

With this feedback, the direction is clear. We are convinced — now more than ever — that access to Cisco sales leaders will be a key differentiator for Cisco Investments. For future workshops, we will work on addressing the specific needs of our portfolio companies and have deeper dives into what interests them.

Stayed tuned as more sales workshops are announced.

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