Lifecycle Incentives: How we’re enhancing our service

Written by Giacomo Spagnoli, Head of Services and Advisory, Vortex 6

Since Cisco announced its intentions to take a lifecycle-first approach in late 2019, the Lifecycle Incentives program (LCI) has proven effective in rewarding partners for their continued dedication to customers long after the initial point of sale. As channel strategies become increasingly focused on trust and added value, LCI has been a vital shift in focus for partners.

At Vortex 6, our LCI service has seen a lifecycle of its own, evolving to suit our customers’ changing needs, factoring in new data from Cisco and our own reports, and supporting and addressing new program rules.

Late last year, Cisco announced its latest PXP innovation in the form of the new Funds Manager tool, offering partners a holistic view of their customer experience (CX) practice. Our latest changes to the Vortex 6 Lifecycle Incentives service are designed to help partners to accurately leverage PXP Funds Manager to gain true visibility and increase the profitability of their CX practice.

Despite the evolution of LCI, the fundamental purpose of lifecycle selling remains the same. To earn the rebate, partners must first prove that the customer is utilizing the solution and, secondly, that it is meeting their business objectives. This requires a proactive approach when managing their Lifecycle Incentives program. As partners streamline their processes with Funds Manager, here at Vortex 6 we have been honing our reporting and advisory services to make it easier for partners to proactively adopt lifecycle selling into the heart of their channel programmes – without compromising their current CX practice.

Improved reporting

For many partners pursuing Lifecycle Incentives, the first and best step to seeing increased profitability is not making any fundamental changes to their current channel strategy, but in capitalising on the easy opportunities that they may be missing. By understanding the level of opportunity available, and which opportunities they are eligible for, we have seen partners rapidly increase their Cisco partner profitability during their very first session.

V6 Fusion tracks what customers have booked and who they’ve sold it to, cross referencing against Funds Manager data and the Cisco new DNAC Telemetry Feed to identify the simplest opportunities to claim increased incentives with just a few actions.

Making seizing opportunities simple

The actions required for Lifecycle Incentives are undoubtedly more time-consuming than other Cisco rebate programs, such as VIP, but they are essential to maximize partner profitability.

Once opportunities are identified, Vortex 6’s tailored reports provide a roadmap for partners to follow, highlighting the actions required to maximize rebate potential. For each opportunity identified in our reporting, our LCI team will provide a clear action plan to help you put the right data forward to Cisco to earn the rebate.

Claiming with confidence

Cisco’s LCI program requires that partners maintain a 75% success rate when claiming rebate, meaning an incorrect or overvalued claim can have serious implications on a partner’s overall program. Additionally, with some action windows as short as a quarter or even just one month, having to resubmit a claim could cost partners in lost incentives.

It is therefore essential that partners not only accurately identify when they can claim, but know exactly how much incentive they are eligible for, and how to demonstrate this. Knowing how to action incentives, what data to gather, and how to make the submissions, requires in-depth knowledge of LCI, often achieved through years of experience that is costly to hire and difficult to retain.

Vortex 6’s enhanced advisory service brings that expertise within your channel program, and we have extensive experience and all the right data to help you secure first-time approval. In addition to road mapping the actions and claiming process, we review partner claims before submission, allowing you to capitalize on opportunities in a timely manner, without risk of the claim expiring.

LCI that works for you

Put simply, LCI is a highly rewarding, but very complex program. In the three years since its genesis, the V6 Fusion team is fortunate to have developed a depth of expertise through our work with an extensive network of partners, ranging from the biggest Global Gold partners to other level partners, all around the globe.

Channel partners often juggle a series of vendor programs, and maintaining a multivendor CX practice can be a highly time-consuming task. We work to evaluate each partner’s CX practice to meet and guide their channel targets, and support CX teams as the program evolves. Using our data and advisory capabilities, we identify the best opportunities to capture the lifecycle incentives that each partner earns, with minimal disruptions to their current CX practice. We  liken this to building a bridge between a partner’s CX practice and Cisco’s CX practice by making the right modifications  with the largest ROI.

Our goal is to enable partners to design and execute a successful customer experience practice that is unique to their business. We make it simple to step out of your practice at exactly the right stages to ensure you are taking the necessary actions to fulfil your Cisco program, optimizing your efforts for maximum efficiency and profitability, whilst you ensure that your customers receive a quality lifecycle service.