Some partner types just work really well together. They have complementary offerings that enable them to do more for customers, which means they can say “yes” to even more opportunities.
To find continued success in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world, determining what kind of partners complement your offerings is key.
One great example of this type of “partner recipe for success,” as Steve puts it, is one part Dynamics CRM partner mixed with one part Managed Services Provider (MSP) partner. By working together, Dynamics CRM and MSP partners can form powerful partnerships.
Dynamics CRM partners + MSP partners = upsell opportunities
Dynamics partner David Gersten of Bond Consulting Services and MSP partner Steve Hall of District Computers let us in on their partner recipe for success, and according to them, for Dynamics CRM and MSP partners, it’s all about working together to create new upsell opportunities:
What’s in it for Dynamics CRM partners
Dynamics CRM and MSP partners go well together, according to David, because a Dynamics sale can really drive a need for solutions across the Microsoft stack.
That’s because when a customer is ready to add or upgrade their Dynamics, there’s a good chance their infrastructure will need some updates as well. A new Windows Server environment, a new SQL environment, maybe a new Office environment—Dynamics CRM can trigger a cascade of opportunity.
And all of that opportunity is great, if you’re in a position to fill all these varied customer needs. But if you’re not, then an MSP partner can be the perfect pairing.
That’s why when Bond Consulting Services has a Dynamics opportunity with a customer who needs infrastructure upgrades, they offer an integrated solution. “We tell them, ‘Hey, if you want to get the full functionality out of your Dynamics CRM, you need to invest in some systems updates. But don’t worry—we know a great partner who will get you where you need to be and do a terrific job,’” David said.
By being able to provide a partner with infrastructure expertise in this way, Dynamics CRM partners can offer complete solutions while creating upsell opportunities and continuing to strengthen relationships with customers.
What’s in it for MSP partners
On the flip side, Steve says managed services companies like District Computers, LLC can continue to build their services practices, while teeing up opportunities for Dynamics CRM partners as well.
According to him, Dynamics CRM is a profitable solution that many MSP partners often don’t even try to sell because they don’t have all the expertise needed to implement it—when in fact, MSPs companies like his should be using this as an upsell opportunity.
“What we need to do is give them the recipe to get started with Dynamics CRM. For example, MSP partners like us can take care of some of the basic, repeatable steps of Dynamics readiness like importing contacts and cleaning up the data. That gives us some up-front revenue and gets the customer ready for the hand-off to a custom Dynamics shop like David’s,” Steve said.
More ingredients to successful partnering
We know that partnering successfully takes more than just complementary skills. To help you get started, here are some of the other ingredients necessary to create a great partner recipe:
A generous helping of mutual trust.
A Dynamics CRM partner himself, David has even partnered with fellow Dynamics partners. The key to success? Their expertise is in different solutions, and both partners need to agree to a strict “no poaching” policy.
A dash of documentation.
Clearly defined boundaries, roles, and expectations help everyone meet their deadlines and reach mutual goals.
A spoonful of success.
Having an established track record of success (in regards to both your offerings and your other partnerships) helps build trust between partners. Be sure to tell customers about your success stories to further establish credibility with them.
A dollop of understanding.
You want a partner who knows their business, David says, but you also want them to know the customer’s business, or at least be willing to learn about it. And that benefits everyone: partners with different expertise can spot other unresolved issues and offer solutions. The more knowledge that’s brought to the table, David says, the more opportunities you may find.
A splash of compatibility.
You’ll need to agree on several things before and during the project, so the more compatible you are, the easier this is likely to be. Do you have the same work ethic, communications styles, and transparency? How much do you want to involve the customer in decisions? If you have issues, will you raise a hand for help? Know the answers to these types of questions before you get started.
A consistent presentation.
Customers generally want one point of contact, so establishing who fields support calls is important. Usually, the partner with the established customer relationship acts as that initial point of contact. Decide how you will handle communication with your customers and keep it consistent.
Not every partner combination will be successful; it may take a little trial and error to find just the right mix. However, when you have the right ingredients, you can whip up some sweet success to satisfy your customers and grow your business.