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Selling services: changing the way you and your customers think

SNTC, SWSS and CSPP are the keys to selling multiyear service contracts and gaining network visibility.

October 23, 2020

Selling services: changing the way you and your customers think
During this slow economic recovery period and election year, it’s a given that many customers’ budgets will be tighter in the near term. That’s why it’s a perfect opportunity to sell software and services. Not only do they reduce customers’ capex, they also offer a quicker return on investment and create predictable revenue streams for partners.
Keep in mind that when you sell single-year service contracts, you’ll spend time preparing, selling, negotiating and processing them. If, on the other hand, you offer a multiyear contract, with the same amount of effort, your sales revenue and margins will improve dramatically.
The secret to selling multiyear service contracts
To sell multiyear service contracts successfully, you’ll need to help customers think long term, understand the financial benefits of a multiyear program and be able to converse comfortably with both operation decision-makers and finance decision-makers at different size companies.
Important questions to ask your customer include:
•     Do you anticipate having a Cisco network for at least the next three years?
•     How would monthly payments for your service contracts benefit your business?
•     How would locking in lower prices and improving cash flow affect your business?
•     What projects would you pursue if you had additional budget?
Smart Net Total Care
Cisco and Ingram Micro offer a broad range of resources to help you make services an ongoing source of revenue and grow your service business long-term. One example is Smart Net Total Care (SNTC), a service that provides fast, expert technical support and flexible hardware coverage delivered by the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to get your customers back to business fast. With its integrated smart capabilities, you’ll also unlock insight into current details about your installed base, contracts and security alerts to enhance the efficiency of your support workflows.
Cisco TAC experts are accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, along with multiple online self-help resources, including our extensive knowledge library, operating system software downloads and support tools designed to help you resolve network issues quickly, often without opening a case. You can also choose from a range of advance hardware replacement options, whether you need equipment in as few as two hours or prefer the next calendar day, which keeps you covered seven days a week, including holidays.
The Smart Net Total Care portal (www.cisco.com/go/smartservices) gives Cisco partners visibility into their Cisco installed base inventory, enabling them to prioritize and address alerts relevant to their network, managed services coverage and contract renewals.
Cisco Software Support Service
One option to support your software business is Cisco Software Support Service (SWSS). SWSS offers technical support coverage for the software application products and suites you have licensed on a perpetual basis. It provides basic coverage to keep your systems and your business running smoothly.
Access Cisco technical experts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Take advantage of software maintenance, minor and major release updates to increase business value and ROI for your Cisco software products.
SWSS is required for a minimum of 12 months to help you reduce network disruptions and maximize application availability. Take advantage of multiyear discounts to keep your network performing as needed.
If you have licensed your products on a subscription basis, then basic support coverage is included with the license for the product.         
The Cisco Services Partner Program
Another resource to help partners sell services is the Cisco Services Partner Program (CSPP), which is a rebate program from Cisco that comprises a wide range of incentives, including:
  • Program purchase discounts
  • Performance-based discounts
  • Sales performance rebates
  • Delivery performance rebates
  • Premium service rebates
Partners are paid based on their performance leveraging a linear calculation. The better the performance, the higher the net rebate percentage becomes.
If you’re interested in recurring revenue that can grow over time, training and marketing tools to help you compete in the digital era and rebates to boost your bottom line, visit the CSPP landing page here.

Ingram Micro is here for you
The Ingram Micro team is here to help you figure out which Cisco services will best address your customers’ needs and how to increase your recurring revenue long-term. We’ll also help you manage the quoting, ordering and contracts—ensuring you and your customers get the most value from your service options.
Check out our Cisco Virtual Learning landing page for more info on selling Cisco services. Also, reach out to the Ingram Micro Cisco technology consultant (TC) in your region: