Cisco Debuts Partner Plus Mid-Market Incentives, Support

Vendor adds heft to rewards, resources for channel partners selling to midmarket accounts.

Cisco Systems Inc. recently added a package of incentives, marketing support and sales enablement resources under a new banner called Partner Plus aimed specifically at channel partners selling to midmarket accounts.

Cisco debuted Partner Plus at its recent Partner Summit held in San Diego, CA.

The vendor said that Partner Plus is a key strategic element of its $75 million Partner Led initiative, a blueprint to move more midmarket sales through channel partners the company unwrapped in September, 2011. Partner Led refers to the lead role worldwide the vendor wants channel partners to take with midmarket and small business sales.

Partner Plus, which will be opened to general availability later this summer, targets channel partners leading in midmarket accounts with Cisco technology who commit to a collaborative selling approach with the vendor, officials said.

"For Partners that are committed to collaborating with mid-sized customers, Partner Plus will offer greater preference, investment and support,” said Andrew Sage, Cisco vice president, World Wide Partner Led.

First with Partner Led and now with Partner Plus, Cisco believes that allocating greater resources to channel partners and cordoning off a significant band of sales opportunities for them will yield it a larger share of mid-market and SMB business.

“This will help both Cisco and its partners grow their business quicker in this growing market segment," Sage said.

Channel partner benefits under Partner Plus include rewards for growing sales with mid-sized businesses to help fund market activities and sales training. Partners will have access to Partner Sales Excellence Training to improve their sales and management skills.

In addition, Cisco will supply co-marketing funds and business planning, officials said.

Through its Partner Help Plus Program, Cisco will provide channel partners with virtual access to its engineers for pre-sales assistance in areas such as up- and cross-selling and increasing the overall size of a deal.        
Cisco also said that it will provide channel partners participating in Partner Plus with data on customers to help reduce their total cost of sales and better target their selling activities.

Sales to mid-market and SMBs amount to approximately 20 percent of Cisco’s $43 billion in annual revenue--with 10 percent stemming from mid-sized businesses—and a core group of 1,000 channel partners worldwide land about 90 percent of that revenue.

Ronald Kraanen, Avit Systems Ltd. managing director and owner, said that the Partner Plus resources will help the solution provider’s midmarket sales.

"Our strength is differentiation with innovative Cisco borderless and collaboration architectures for dedicated verticals like healthcare, hospitality, education, marine and offshore,” he said.

“Within this approach the mid-sized business market is our strongest opportunity to grow our Cisco business,” said Kraanen. “With Partner Plus, Cisco is helping us expand our business and drive growth with mid-sized customers," he said.

TAGS: Cisco,channel partner,midmarket,incentives,Partner Led,Partner Plus,Cisco Partner Summit

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