A Journey from Sales to Marketing
Sales Productivity 07.22.2022

A Journey from Sales to Marketing

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Sales and marketing are intrinsically related. In this conversation, our guest, Chris Johnson, discusses how important it is to have a good relationship with clients and partners to be successful in sales. With the data available to sales teams nowadays, it becomes easier than ever to make informed decisions about product selection and pricing. Listen closely as he also emphasizes the importance of building trust and relationships with clients and partners to create a win-win situation for all involved.

About the Guest

Chris has a diverse background in sales and marketing and has worked in the startup world and for Fortune 100 companies. He is currently leading a partner marketing team at Cisco, where he is focused on delivering results through demand generation activities and marketing strategy with Cisco channel partners. Chris is passionate about solving complex problems as a team, looking for new ways of finding success, and being challenged every day.

Connect with Chris Johnson

Key Takeaways

  • Having access to data and leading with data is a key skill for salespeople.
  • Partnerships are important in sales and marketing, and they help tie clients’ priorities to solutions.
  • Data helps salespeople understand their clients better and act on that information intelligently.
  • The global mindset is critical in a global role, and relationships are key to creating successful global strategies.
  • Regional roles are important in helping to bubble up challenges and issues to the global team and peers.


“A significant accelerator to be a successful salesperson is having access to data and leading with data… That’s where I found true success.” – Chris Johnson

Highlights from the Episode

Can you tell our listeners about your current role at Cisco?

Chris Johnson is leading a team of marketers that are focused on reseller partner marketing organization within Cisco. Their main goals are to help grow brand presence, mindshare, and business for Cisco and its partners.

Field sales to managing partnerships on the distribution side – How does your background in sales & having a sales mindset help you in this new role?

The sales mindset is critical to success in marketing because the two disciplines are so intertwined. A successful salesperson must be able to lead with data and understand their buyers (or in this case, distributors) to be successful.

How do you translate learnings from your global experience and apply them to get results in a more regional/local setting?

it is important to have a two-way conversation when thinking about how to apply global experience to a more regional setting. Consider the whole picture and not just one individual part. Build relationships and communicate openly to be able to make the best decisions.

What is your take on how information flow from local markets can have the ability to impact go-to-market strategies globally & vice versa?

We need to focus on what we can control, over-communicate, be flexible and adaptable, and use this time, whatever the condition, as an opportunity to strengthen partnerships.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


Jenny Hooks – Director, Americas Digital, Brand, and Media at Cisco

Tina Vera – Events Marketing Manager, Global Events at NetApp

Jeff Salanco –  Product marketing leader at TD SYNNEX


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