When Cisco Systems moved its annual sales conference online for the first time this fall, the company needed to do something dramatic to get its field force engaged. "The field was very cynical. They didn't want to do it virtually," says Angie Smith, manager, global sales operations, at Cisco, San Jose, Calif. But the break with a 20-year tradition of holding face-to-face sales conferences made sense as the company worked to cut costs in the face of a deteriorating economy. The August 2008 ...

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