Centered on four goals—inspire, inform, involve and innovate—Global Sales Experience (GSX) gives our Sales teams around the globe a chance to come together once a year with a common purpose: learn how to increase sales, confidence and loyalty.
Our new head of Worldwide Sales, Chris Dedicoat, opened GSX FY16 on August 31 by asking more than 17,000 Sales and Services employees from over 100 countries one simple question: “Are you ‘All In’?”
The response was a collective and resounding “yes,” setting the stage for a week focused on strategy, direction, opportunities and training. Aligning to the goal of the event, Chris and our other business leaders provided the blueprint for how we will extend the momentum from our record-breaking FY15 into FY16 and beyond.
A year ago at GSX, Chuck Robbins—then our head of Worldwide Sales—urged attendees to “Be Bold!” The declaration worked. It spurred results.
“Many people thought Chuck was crazy last year when he set the double-digit growth challenge,” Chris said. “He wasn’t. Just look at how you embraced the challenge and reached new heights.”
Chris pointed to double-digit growth in nearly 30 countries, including 10 percent in the Americas.
“I feel truly humbled to represent the world’s greatest sales force,” he said. “We are committed to go ‘All In’ for you—to help you better understand the competition and use our technology to make better, faster decisions about how to compete and win!”
Chuck joined Chris on stage to discuss what this year’s GSX theme, “All In,” means to him.
“To me, ‘All In’ is all about commitment,” Chuck explained. “It’s about the confidence we show in our results—and doing it at incredible speed. It’s also about being ‘All In For Good,” and our idea of connected caring. So I promise you, I’m ‘All In’.”
Our Top Sales Priorities for FY16—And the Training to Execute On Those Priorities
Chris outlined key areas of emphasis for Sales moving forward. They fall into five areas:
- Putting customers first in everything we do
- Growing market share in core technologies
- Capturing key market transitions
- Increasing profitable growth
- Becoming the best place to work
To exceed in these areas, he said, we must build up the collective knowledge for our sales force. And all employees can share in these efforts.
“Knowledge is everything. It gives you confidence—and that’s something you need every day when in front of your customers,” Chris said.
He added that GSX offered 500,000 hours of learning over the course of four days, providing a fantastic opportunity to build that knowledge base. “Together, knowledge and confidence gives you the foundation to take the risks needed to truly differentiate yourself.”
Whether it’s the Opening and Closing Keynote Sessions, Region and Segment Sessions, Super Sessions or Breakouts, all employees will be able to access much of the post-event content and training from GSX FY16 by accessing the SalesConnect site. On September 8, go to the Employee Connection (CEC) homepage to get more information and links to training content located on SalesConnect.
Innovation that Matters
Chris handed the torch to Pankaj Patel, EVP, Engineering, to outline the incredible innovation Cisco is delivering.
The goal, Pankaj says, is to create a culture of innovation. One that can be sustained and encourages and inspires our engineers to experiment, take risks and when necessary “break some glass.”
Our engineering team is laser focused on the areas of innovation that matter most to our customers, including simplicity, automation and security.
“We are committed to arming each of you with products and solutions that blow our customers minds,” Pankaj said. “Engineering and I are ‘All In’.”
Paramount Partnership with Apple
An incredible validation and proof point of the relevance of our innovation was the announcement on stage on August 31 of a major partnership with Apple—our first next-generation strategic partnership.
Apple CEO Tim Cook flew to Las Vegas to join us on stage for the announcement. He explained that Apple realized that they could not achieve what they want to in the enterprise without Cisco.
Together, we set a vision for Apple and Cisco to enable employees and businesses to collaborate and innovate anytime, everywhere, with an amazing user experience every time. Specifically, we outlined the work we will do together to:
- Optimize networks to deliver improved performance for iPhones and iPads
- Create better experiences for Cisco voice communications on iPhones
- Reinvent teamwork and meetings with Cisco collaboration tools
“We’re trying to transform the way people work—and we know we can’t do that alone,” Tim said. “In the enterprise, the device, the apps and the network are all very important. The question is, do they work together seamlessly? That is what this partnership with Cisco is all about—and I couldn’t be more excited! I believe this is the Holy Grail of partnerships. Apple is ‘All In’ on enterprise!”
For more information, download the Apple + Cisco Partnership Presentation on SalesConnect.
That’s a Wrap
During the Global Closing Session on September 3, Chuck described his vision for the digital world and highlighted how we’re uniquely positioned to help lead our customers on their digital journeys in a way that no one else can. With more connections, comes more distributed data (data everywhere), which is the most strategic asset.
None of this digital transformation happens, Chuck pointed out, if we can’t secure it. Security must be everywhere. And our customers know that it requires an architectural approach that only the network can provide.
Chuck said bluntly and simply, “I’m more bullish than I ever have been,” adding that we will continue to build on what has always made Cisco great. This “amp up” applies to our leadership team, our strategy, our innovation, our partnerships and our culture. (For more on our culture, see the right-column sidebar.)
Chuck and Chris ended as they began four days earlier, echoing a clear message: We intend to be the most strategic partner for our customers in the digital world—and we will do this because the future is ours, we are Cisco, and we are All In.