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Dan Rippey Director, Partner Program Management, Global Partner Solutions

How to maximize your discoverability with business profile and marketplace

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As a Microsoft partner, you have access to a wealth of resources to help you maximize your success. Microsoft is committed to empowering partners to navigate the marketplace as you wish—differentiating yourself and moving forward in alignment with your goals. We have designed Partner Center to help you take advantage of all the opportunities that partnership offers, and you can leverage its capabilities to boost your profile and reach more customers with solutions. Additionally, with the commercial marketplace, partners are able to reach Microsoft customers and sell with Microsoft, whether that is direct, through partners, or with our global sales process.

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the different steps to enhance your sales abilities:

  • Creating a business profile 
  • Getting more leads
  • Selling and marketing your offer

Creating a business profile and learning how to generate leads

All qualified Microsoft partners can create a custom business profile to reach prospective customers. These business profiles are available to customers looking for specific solutions or expertise via the “find a solution provider” search. Maintaining an up-to-date business profile will ensure that you are found by searches using relevant criteria.

Another significant benefit of the business profile is that it enables you to receive referrals from Microsoft. Our professionals engage millions of customers every year and are trusted resources for customers seeking to deploy cloud-based solutions. In addition to searching partner listings on their own, potential customers can also contact Microsoft for help finding partners who can meet their needs, and our team members can refer them to your company.

Once you have an active Partner Center account, follow these instructions to create a business profile. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Be brief: The “find a partner” search experience shows only the first line or two in the search results preview, so lead with what's most important. 
  • Focus on your company's experience with Microsoft-specific offerings. Customers searching for referrals are generally looking for experience with particular Microsoft products. 
  • Keep your profile current. Update your profile with each software or service release. 
  • For regions with multiple languages, consider including your description in multiple languages.

Getting more profile leads

Microsoft sends millions of leads per year to its partners. You can receive leads from Microsoft and use them build your business. This section will help you understand how to manage the leads that you receive from Microsoft solution provider page and act on them.

Here are some tips to help you get more appropriate referrals:

  • Choose keywords and preferences in your business profile that represent your unique expertise and business model. Remove keywords that would generate referrals you're not interested in. If you're not interested in dealing with businesses of a certain size, update this preference.
  • Review your contact information in your business profile for each location. Make sure your team gets incoming alerts. 
  • Respond quickly to referrals. When you respond in a timely fashion to incoming requests, we'll increase your visibility in future customer search results. Make sure your team responds quickly with your intent. 
  • Be choosy with the deals you accept. We monitor the types of deals that you accept and decline and use this information to help find you similar deals. Accepting deals that aren't a good fit won't improve your search results and could impact the quality of the leads you receive. 
  • Report back the estimated deal sizes, closing dates, and the final status of your deals (won or lost). We'll use this info to continue to provide you with quality referrals.

Selling and marketing your offer

The commercial marketplace is the connector between partners and customers—it’s an engine designed to accelerate growth. By selling your solution through the commercial marketplace, you can reach the Microsoft customer base—including the 95% of Fortune 500 companies who use Azure and grow your footprint worldwide.

As customers' needs for cloud solutions only accelerate, the behavior of B2B buying continues to evolve. Customers need to simplify how they acquire software and services. By selling through the commercial marketplace, you can:

  • Reach Microsoft customers directly through our storefronts (Azure Marketplace and Microsoft AppSource) and our in-product experiences with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Teams—scaling to reach the 270M monthly active Teams users.
  • Simplify selling and deploying while scaling across the globe.
  • Get the largest distribution channel behind you and activate over 90,000 partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program to resell your application—and motivate them directly with margin sharing.

To get started, publish your solution to the commercial marketplace. That puts you in our central catalogue, connects you to our commerce engine, and helps you unlock the 1 billion Microsoft customers on the planet.

You can learn more about how to publish, different offer types, and other topics here. Additionally, we offer weekly office hours to help with questions on publication.

To learn more about how the Microsoft Partner Network can help you grow your business, visit the "Go to market with Microsoft" page.