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Cisco's Global Virtual Sales Organization

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Cisco Systems Inc, San Jose, CA
Company Description: Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. At Cisco customers come first and an integral part of our DNA is creating long-lasting customer partnerships and working with them to identify their needs and provide solutions that support their success.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Global Sales Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Cisco's Global Virtual Sales Organization

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

The Global Virtual Sales Organization (GVSO) is Cisco’s highly efficient and innovative sales scaling engine, delivering low-touch coverage to capture the burgeoning global mid-market opportunity.

Located in 49 countries with over 1000 sales reps and over 600 engineering resources, GVSO serves over one million customers worldwide across 38 languages, in both developed and emerging countries.

By exploiting collaboration technologies and cooperative sales approaches, GVSO delivers exceptional productivity whilst capturing new sales in territories with little or no prior coverage, as well as remote locations. As a result, GVSO is the fastest growing sales team at Cisco, consistently delivering double-digit growth for the past few years and is the most profitable coverage model in the company.

GVSO drives a majority of its business in the Commercial Midmarket and SMB, with additional revenue coming from Public Sector and Service Providers.

GVSO is unique in that it covers areas that traditional sales teams cannot. For example, it has enabled the first female sales executive team to sell in Saudi Arabia for Cisco whereas these women would not have been able to otherwise sell in the field with men. In the Nordic, our partners will only engage with Cisco through the use of video. As a result, every Nordic sales rep was equipped with an EX90 video endpoint resulting in GVSO being Cisco’s engine for growth in this region.

Another hallmark is the integration of the presales virtual engineers with the virtual sales force this past year. The 600+ presales engineers are tightly aligned and equipped to provide technical support 24X5 around the world. This has resulted in significant efficiencies, productivity and synergies that did not previously exist.

Through the Cisco Sales Associates Program (one of the most highly coveted career development programs), GVSO is seen as a talent engine for the field sales teams: a controlled feed of well-trained sales professionals able to make the transition from the virtual to the Field sales environment. These transitions would normally create a significant disruption to the business. Last year, the company sponsored a new talent-development program, code-named Ignite that has enabled the company to strategically over-hire early-in-career reps from non-hub locations and has provided proper onboarding and training. This has allowed Cisco to fill any virtual sales opening anywhere within a two week turnaround.

GVSO collaborates closely with marketing around the globe. The marketing investments have provided quality leads with real-time insights that help the sales reps engage the customers at the right time on relevant solutions. For example, in the US alone, this has helped them to sell to over 16,000 customers who had not bought in the last 3years and generated over $500M bookings as a result. In Asia, they have even extended their reasons to call campaigns to partners allowing for joint calls and stronger relationships.

For the last three years, the Global Virtual Sales Organization has been running an unprecedented giving back event in the company. This Full Circle event is a one-day, around-the-clock global volunteering event that encourages everyone to give their time and themselves to impact someone's life. This year, the organization was able to influence employees from the larger partner organization to join as well, resulting in 9000 volunteer hours to 81 nonprofits in 56 locations.

One of GVSO’s extraordinary traits is how it moves and executes as one team, despite being located all over the world. This is a highly engaged team that has proven its commitment to company success.

In the past year’s internal employee survey, GVSO scored higher than the company average in every single category. For instance, employee engagement was 15 points higher than the company overall. Revenue growth from this organization surpasses any other sales team at Cisco.

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