Cisco Negotiations Guide


It’s often said that negotiating without leverage is another form of begging, yet we commonly observe enterprise buyers approaching Cisco purchases with little time to execute a deal, no Cisco alternatives, and no valid reasons for the sales rep to offer a better, more competitive Cisco price. Cisco’s sales teams are masters at executing their “land-and-expand” strategy, getting a foot in the door, winning over users, spreading across business units and processes, and growing their footprint. These activities occur as the sales team actively works to remove any and all sources of leverage you may have.


This Cisco negotiations report will focus on these key categories specific to Cisco deal execution to maximize leverage in your next Cisco deal:


1. Developing a Favorable Cisco Deal Timeline


The average Cisco deal requires 6 -18 months of prep work in order to achieve a competitive outcome and Cisco price. This section details all the Cisco deal activities and best Cisco practices that need to be taken to create and preserve negotiation leverage. With an organized strategy around each of these activities, buyers can approach Cisco negotiations from a position of power.

2. Creating Cisco Deal Options and Alternatives


There are many alternatives and deal options available for buyers aside from Cisco competitors. We dive into all Cisco motivations and how each can be utilized by the buyer to improve their Cisco price. Cisco alternatives and options discussed in this section include:

  • High Profile Cisco Products: What Cisco products are motivating sales reps to provide the best Cisco discounting? How do these Cisco products affect sales rep commission? We detail answers to these questions and how buyers can use these products as a bargaining chip to improve their Cisco price.

  • Cisco Enterprise Agreement Licensing Model: Cisco sales reps are motivated to sell their Enterprise Agreement for Cisco subscriptions and support. Learn the reasons why this licensing model is preferred by the sales team and how you can use it to your advantage to achieve better Cisco discounting.

  • Cisco Competition Matrix: Competition is a useful negotiation tactic when competing new Cisco purchases. We detail competitive product offerings and cost comparisons from the closest Cisco competitors in the IT Service Management (ITSM) space.


3. Controlling Cisco Deal Information


Like most major vendors, Cisco's sales teams are experts at obtaining information which eliminates their uncertainty around the deal and destroys buyer leverage. The close relationship between Cisco and your internal business users can begin before your first purchase and strengthen over time. Cisco information leaks can occur anywhere - on the phone, via email, in your office, at lunch or at a Cisco event. This section highlights how to proactively plan and raise awareness with business stakeholders on what information is important to protect in any Cisco deal. An aligned organization is necessary to minimize Cisco cost and continually control the tone of a Cisco negotiation.


4. Cisco Negotiation Messaging Development


In the last section of this Cisco Negotiations report, we detail the four key features all effective Cisco negotiation messaging has. Cisco sales reps are built to test the buyer’s story for potential inconsistencies up to the customer’s C-Suite. When in a Cisco negotiation, it’s important to present a unified message across any groups who interface with the Cisco sales team, and that message must be credible, consistent, and positively impact your leverage in the Cisco deal. This section also includes popular tactics Cisco sales rep use to deflect common negotiation tactics and examples of messages that work effectively in a Cisco negotiation.



To achieve a competitive Cisco deal, you must align around a comprehensive plan to build deal leverage, protect information, and deliver a credible story in the Cisco negotiation. By following the Leverage Management Maturity Model (LM3) introduced in this document, buyers can approach their Cisco negotiations from a position of strength and achieve best-in-class results. For additional assistance on your Cisco purchase, review some of the other ClearEdge resources listed below to help plan your strategy and mitigate risk.


Download Our Cisco Negotiations Guide

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See our other vendor negotiation guides below.

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