At Compucad, it’s one of our goals that we actually use 99.999% of the products we sell. Sometimes customers who are maybe nervous about moving to the cloud ask us, “What tools are you using?” And they’re surprised when we tell them, “Our Internet is online, our CRM is online, everything we have is online.” Then they ask, “Is it safe?” And we say, “Oh, yes, of course! We’ve never had any trouble, we don’t have interruptions.” We know our customers want to buy from salespeople they trust, so we use the products we sell so we can earn that trust.
When we first started selling products, our solutions were a little immature because we didn’t really understand the products well. I think sometimes we oversold some features because we didn’t have a clear idea of their purpose and limitations. We worked so hard marketing for just a few sales, but then we lost some before the sale because we couldn’t demo them well, or they didn’t renew because the product didn’t do what we said it could.
Then we started using the products in-house, and our sales started going up. Now we know exactly what the product does, and we can show and talk about very powerful features which can really help our customers grow their businesses.
Money – it’s such a common problem. Many customers want to save money, so we show them how we’re saving money with the product. For example, we have four locations in four different cities. We save a ton of money on travel and phone calls between locations because we use Lync and SharePoint – at any time, we can reach out, share screens, share presentations and collaborate. Just telling our customers about this one feature, and showing them how it works, can make the sale.
It’s easy to tell customers that you can solve their problems, but we think it works better to show them. We have several demo environments, so if we’re talking to a lawyer, we can show them SharePoint pages that look like they’re for a lawyer’s office, and we can say, “Look at my screen; this is what you would see. Here would be your documents, here your calendar,” and it makes sense to the customer. They can see themselves using the product that way.
We have created demo environments for several fields: lawyers, education, architects. I’m working on one now for doctors with small private practices. We can show them how their online appointments will work, for example, and this is very important to them.
Profit and grow
In just over two years working in the cloud, we’ve gone from just a few clients to over 3,500 seats sold. Most of our customers renew, and we get very good word-of-mouth business. Customers have faith that we know our products and only sell products we’ve tested ourselves and can believe in.
One of the most important resources we have are our Internal Use Rights. With IURs, we have access to productivity solutions in the cloud, such as Office 365, so we can use and understand the solutions we sell – and sell them better. If there were no IURs, we would still make the investment to buy the product licenses because we make a good return, but with IURs, we don’t have to. It’s money that Microsoft is giving us to help our business, and we think it’s a win-win for everyone: the customers get the right solutions, and we increase our ability to position and sell the products.
Maybe some partners don’t take advantage of their IURs because they think they’re too hard to set up. Don’t worry about this! It’s not so much effort, and Microsoft will give you training and webcasts and support you. Maybe find just one program that you want to use. Get it done and make it work. See how it goes. And when you realize how easy it is, and you are using it more and more, and your productivity is rising, and your sales are rising, then you can do the next one. I don’t see any chance of not being able to profit from using IURs.