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Cisco System's ASR Program: High School from Hell

Associate Sales Representative (Former Employee) Raleigh, NC

ProsThe Associate Sales Representative program is a training program that ultimately feeds into Cisco System's sales force. You are trained thoroughly for about 8 month. Subjects of training include everything from how to be a more confident public speaker, to cold calling, to the obvious training on all of Cisco System's hardware and proprietary software. You are divided into 'teams' within the ASR program and you do most everything during the work day with them. You have a manager that is your 'team leader' and you have a tech manager who is responsible for teaching you the material on Cisco hardware as well as pointing out the relative strengths and weaknesses similar competitive products have. The ideal end result of this program is to take a sales oriented person and tech him or her enough technical information so that this person could sit down in a meeting with a client and speak to a CEO, CFO, CTO and answer all of their questions with the caveat that really technical things will be covered by an Associate Sales Engineer (ASE) who is your more technically savvy counterpart. Cisco's aim is to have ASRs and ASEs work as a team together. This doesnt exactly work out because the ASR to ASE ration is conservatively skewed at 2 to 1 respectively.

ConsI was a part of the Associate Sales Representative program, we are referred to as ASRs within Cisco Systems. The problem working at Cisco is not the upper management or the training; I was very satisfied with those aspects of the job. Your co-workers will make this a miserable experience. The dynamics of the training program were worse than high-school. We were provided with subsidized housing through Cisco and college graduates could not act appropriately. Some were even kicked out of their leases.

There were people skinny dipping in the apartment complex's pools, people egging other people's vehicles. It is the farthest thing from a professional behavior you can imagine.

The sales staff of Cisco Systems is notoriously cocky and if you speak to anyone on the outside who deals with them on any sort of regular basis, they can confirm this. The program is also set up like indentured servitude. By which I mean, once you have completed the training program you are bound to work for them at a location of their choosing (ultimately it depends on your desirability as a Sales Representative and suitability to the area) for no less than 2 years. If you quit before this period, you are required in your contract to pay them back a subsidized portion of your training.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe attitudes of the sales force is rediculous and their responsibility is to put a stop to that attitude day one. It is the number one complaint Cisco has against their sales force. I do not understand why it is not being addressed more seriously. The corporate culture needs to change.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Cisco Values the Employees

    Customer Service (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems


    Pros: Cisco is a great company. The are very intune with their employees and… Cons: Personally, I honestly cannot think of a downside!! Sorry! Advice to Senior Management: Be more communicative with the front line. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Cisco is a fantastic place to work, learn, and collaborate.

    Director (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems


    Pros: Very collaborative environment where people work across functions to get the job done. I have been at Cisco a year and been very impressed with the… Cons: Some vestiges of big company bureaucracy, but that's changing. John Chambers… Advice to Senior Management: Keep doing what you're doing! Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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