Discover: Cisco sellers' opportunities

Sellers at Cisco have a vast library of content for presenting to potential customers ranging from white papers and presentations to training documents and demos. When it comes to tailoring a kit of relevant content ahead of a sales meeting, salespeople have no shortage of information.

During initial meetings we discovered Cisco sellers and partners needed a way to quickly find the right content from this library and package it into persuasive sales kits. User research revealed sellers looking for five pieces of sales and marketing content were spending 17 minutes performing searches and sometimes giving up before even finding one document.

Define: Connecting content to sales

By listening to stakeholders as well as salespeople, we defined Cisco sellers' needs. It became clear salespeople needed personalized content kits based on: their role as either a Cisco employee or partner, their sales package, the potential customer they are meeting, and their phase in the sales cycle.

After gaining a deep understanding of how Cisco's sellers and partners worked, a context-aware content management system emerged as a solution. In addition to anticipating sellers' needs, we knew the CMS needed to generate fast search results and create confidence that all delivered content reflected the most up-to-date information.

Design: Right content, right on time

We ultimately designed a CMS capable of searching not just for articles, but for curated content sets so sellers could generate an entire sales kit with just one search. So, for example, a salesperson could prepare for a last-minute meeting with a one-click search to find presentation content and literature to leave with the customer. We also designed a one-click "save to briefcase" button so sellers could then quickly save their kits for offline use.

Understanding the importance of a persuasive follow-up for closing a deal, we designed mockups that presented sellers with content suggestions specifically for this phase in the sales cycle. The app was designed to transform knowledge of the salesperson's recent meetings into content suggestions for following up with a specific customer. These content suggestions, presented when a seller first launches her app, could then be sent onward to the customer with one-click.

Develop: One SPOT for all content

After presenting mockups to stakeholders, we built a CMS with API-based architecture that brought all available sales content in Cisco's intercloud environment into one centralized location. With all available content in one place, sellers no longer needed to perform searches with multiple platforms; they could trust their searches were comprehensive and delivering the most relevant and up-to-date information.

To provide sellers with tailored search results, the CMS was developed to sort for relevant content based on metadata tags, popularity, user ratings and user identity, as well as stakeholder requests to promote specific content.

Deliver: The fastest adoption

Once SalesConnect was developed, we launched the app for Cisco partners. During this time, we performed quality control tests and worked with Cisco partners to ensure they were satisfied with their experience. Four months later we rolled out SalesConnect for Cisco's sellers.

With the new app, search time for sales-related content went from 17 minutes down to 3 minutes.

Sellers, newly empowered to deliver a persuasive sales experience at every stage of the sales cycle, quickly adopted SalesConnect. Within four months of launching, the app had 14,000 users, making it the fastest adopted enablement application in Cisco history.


6 Benefits to design documentation

Christina Maness


Andrés Richner