January 6, 2021

Partner Essentials: Expand your business with existing customers

By Gloribel Mondragon

Welcome to the 8th post in the Partner Essentials blog series! Whether you want to know how to become a Microsoft partner or you’re a current Microsoft partner looking to make the most out of your partnership, this series is designed for you. Read on to discover the resources and programs you need to navigate our powerful ecosystem. Partner Essentials posts feature information about our innovative programs and services and the tools you need to drive growth and profitability. Each post centers on topics important to our partner community, highlighting what you need to know and where to learn more.

When it comes to growing your business, sometimes the right opportunities are right in front of you. In this case, we’re talking about tapping into the full potential of your existing customers.

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) represent an enormous market opportunity, and companies have invested heavily to gain an edge in a market worth billions. It’s likely you already have an open line to some of the decision-makers looking for new solutions, so what’s keeping business from booming? Oftentimes all we need is a deeper understanding of where our customers are in their buying journey to build a bridge between their problem and our solution.

We know how important data is in helping our partners remain leaders in the industry. To equip partners with this valuable insight, Microsoft has invested in data driven propensity models and machine learning to size, assess, and execute against the SMB market opportunity. These tools are available to you today at no cost as part of your Partner Network membership for customers that have designated you as a Digital Partner of Record (DPOR).

Target high-potential leads with your customer opportunity dashboard in Partner Center

When it comes to accessing customer opportunity insights, there are two views available for you in Partner Center: your high-level, customer opportunity dashboard and downloadable customer opportunity reports. Both are powered by Cloud Ascent, a predictive model that taps into a database built on millions of SMB customers to calculate their purchase propensity for Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, or Microsoft 365 solutions.

Get a quick overview with your customer opportunity dashboard

Within the Insights tab in Partner Center, your customer opportunity dashboard reflects high-level purchase propensity data for your customers. Use the customer opportunity dashboard to get a quick summary of potential customer opportunities.

The customer opportunities dashboard provides an overview of customer, agreement, and revenue statuses. Find it under the Insights tab within Partner Center.

Deepen insights with your customer opportunity reports

The breakaway value of the customer opportunity report is that it translates hundreds of data points into an actionable view of account fit and buyer intent. Download detailed customer firmographics for each solution area – M365, Azure, and D365 – as well as renewals from your customer opportunity dashboard.

From your Customer Opportunities dashboard, use the download links (located top right) to navigate to the download page. Use the ‘select report type’ dropdown to download more propensity reports.

Your customer opportunity reports include:

  • Customer demographics
  • Industry and segment details
  • Existing Microsoft software
  • Competitive software packages
  • Revenue opportunity
  • Recommended workloads
  • Propensity clusters

Detailed customer data such as social engagement, sales elements, browsing patterns, content consumption, firmographics data, and more are calculated into four easy-to-understand propensity clusters:

  • Educate – Monitor for intent signals and customer fit changes
  • Nurture – Build awareness through nurture campaigns
  • Evaluate – Marketing-ready customers, target with multi-channel marketing
  • Act Now – Sales-ready customer, target with outbound sales call

These clusters can be used to create a more strategic, solution-specific sales funnel for existing customers.

Build your sales funnel for existing customers

Your customer opportunity report is a powerful tool for building a sales and marketing strategy for your existing customers. Use propensity insights to focus valuable sales resources on customers with the highest propensity to buy, assist micro-targeted marketing campaigns, and identify when customers are ready to move to the next workload.

Where your customers land – Educate, Nurture, Evaluate, Act Now – will help you focus your marketing efforts on segments with the greatest potential. For example, if your customer, Contoso, has been researching cloud solutions and is a strong organizational fit for M365, you may see ‘ACT NOW’. This is a clear cue to direct your sales rep to initiate a call. Or, if 15 customers are in the ‘EDUCATE’ cluster for D365 Sales Pro, you may mobilize a targeted marketing campaign.

Be sure to map customer interests to your actual offerings. If there is a gap between what your customers are interested in – say a particular Azure upsell that you don’t currently service – consider whether to ignore the opportunity and focus efforts on current offerings, spin up a co-sell partnership to meet this need, or develop a new solution or service offering.

Takeaway

Microsoft helps you grow your business more efficiently by providing the insights you need to target marketing efforts and sell more to high-propensity SMB customers.

Next steps

 

More from the Partner Essentials blog series

Click here to see all posts from the series.

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