To start with an analogy, Cisco could, arguably, be seen as a high-end, premium IT solution. More specifically, an IT solution that also happens to have a good brand and significant market share behind it. Almost without exception, the people I speak to see Cisco as a premium offering and generally view it as a high quality solution.
If we consider how we, as individuals, approach major purchasing decision in our daily lives, we tend to look at all of our different options, which can either meet our needs or solve our problems, and then we weigh up their pros and cons across various price points. When we look at premium offerings, we acknowledge that they are often the most desirable or nice to have, but we all too often discount them as options that, as nice as they may seem, are just simply too expensive.
This issue is only compounded when we, as partners or resellers, don’t get the best possible Cisco deal for our clients. As part of the Business Development Team, I’m actively involved in the process of making sure that we pass on premium solutions at a discounted price, and not premium solutions which have to be discounted as an option for being too expensive. There are a number of ways to do this, but here’s a list of some of the best methods I use to ensure clients get the maximum value for their money:
Whilst we could stop at just getting the best Cisco deal possible, I cannot stress enough the importance of working with both your Cisco account team and your consultants to organise live demonstrations of the solution. Even when getting the best deal possible, high-quality Cisco solutions still come at a premium price, and so, it’s vitally important to show clients how they can get value from their purchase.
Once the deal has been won, continued support has to be offered as an option, especially as a way to reduce the complexity of post-sales support. Contract administration services can be a real time saver for your clients as well, and one option that should be considered is aligning all their Cisco Smart Net contracts into a single date so that they are not forever stuck in the cycle of renewing and keeping up with multiple end dates.
In short, if you procure Cisco products in a better, smarter, more efficient way, you can help your clients to win business in a way that makes their lives easier – which is really what technology (and good support) is all about!
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Andrea (Cooper) Gibson - Head of Business Development