Watching more of our latest Microsoft Partner success stories, I was struck by the simple truths and practical steps with which Partners—wherever they are, and whatever their customer focus—craft winning sales messages and tactics for Office 365.
The Customer Climate has Changed. “Customers originally came to us looking for information, and we had to guide them on Office 365,” says Drew Jones, Director of Software and Solutions at CDW. “Now, customers are coming to us, wanting to talk about getting on Office 365.”
That shift means that you now face a more receptive market for Office 365 than ever before. Takeaways: Craft your pitch to customers accordingly. And if you haven’t yet made a push into Office 365 services, now may be your best the time to do so.
Dog Food is Good for You. “One of the first things we did as a business was implement Office 365 ourselves,” says Zane Freame, Office 365 Practice Lead at Content and Code. “We went through the whole process we’d expect our customers to go through, as a learning process, but also to get the benefits out of Office 365.”
CDW did much the same thing, both for the experience and the ability to showcase its use of Office 365 to customers. When “you use it for your business, it makes it easier to talk to customers,” notes Jay Ritchie, Cloud SAS Solutions Manager at the company.
It’s all about the Journey. Tim Wallis, Chief Executive at Content and Code, notes that his company’s Office 365 message to customers is about more than cost-savings. It’s also about how they’ll get to the point of achieving those savings. “You have to present them with a plan, saying ‘here’s how we’re going to get there, here’s how we’re going to migrate your data, this is going to ensure that all your corporate policies are going to be maintained,’” he says.
Drive Home the User Experience. The IT story behind Office 365 will generally be a key selling point—but it shouldn’t be the only one. “Especially in compete situations, it really makes sense to drive home the user experience,” says Ritchie at CDW. “Office 365 is the only solution in the marketplace that is going to provide end users with an experience similar to their on-premise experience today.”