Office 365 Partners: An Effective Sales Process to Qualify Customers

by Susanne Berndt-Radley, Senior Director, U.S. Partner Programs and Enablement

Susanne Berndt-Radley 2010Prior to my current role, I was responsible for strategy and worldwide sales for Microsoft Office 365 to enterprise customers. Our Office 365 specialist sales team learned, sometimes the hard way, that some conversation must always be had, ideally early in the sales cycle. We started to discuss what we called “Cloud Principles” with every prospect, which helped clarify with the key stakeholders what to expect when implementing a public cloud solution. And we perfected our engagement through the “Customer Decision Framework.” The impact we saw when we used this approach was better qualification of prospects, forecasting accuracy, and cost of sales. Even more importantly, the result was a better customer experience.

A few of our most experienced Office 365 partners suggested to me that we roll out this approach broadly to all of our partners. I had the privilege of enlisting the help of several internal Office 365 sales and technical experts to help put together and deliver the information. Starting in January, we released a series of webcasts and customer-ready materials that articulate the Microsoft Office 365 Joint Solution Selling Approach. The materials include a Customer Decision Framework and the Cloud Principles deck, which addresses common customer cloud concerns like privacy, transparency, compliance, and security.

I am confident that our Microsoft Office 365 Joint Solution Selling resources can help you have more meaningful Office 365 and cloud conversations in every customer meeting, and improve the cost and predictability of your cloud sales cycle. I invite you to view the webcasts and download and utilize the presentations, then share your feedback with my team and me about your solution selling experiences. What worked for you? What was challenging? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, or join our LinkedIn discussion.

On-demand webcasts in the Partner Learning Center (sign in with your Microsoft Account for access)

Joint Solution Selling Training for Systems Integrators (SI)

Joint Solution Selling Training for Large Account Resellers (LAR)

How to Pitch Office 365 Using the Microsoft Solution Selling Approach

Customer-ready presentations

Customer Decision Framework for Office 365

Cloud Principles customer presentation for Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 Customer Briefing presentation

More Office 365 resources for partners