Today’s sales teams need to be nimble, collaborative, and connected. They need access to prospective and existing customer data, and to be able to track progress through the sales cycle, in order to connect and engage with customers in meaningful ways. The combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Office 365, and Power BI can help drive this productivity and connect teams. There are a couple of offers and tools that provide these Microsoft solutions to you and your customers, including the Sales Productivity Promo and the Sales Productivity Showcase app.

During a recent live webcast, a subject-matter-expert (SME) member from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online team shared details about these offerings and tools. If you missed the session, you may listen to the complete session again on-demand here.

Also during the webcast was a live Q&A chat with our SME about Sales Productivity and related solutions. Below is a sampling of some of the great questions asked during the Q&A:

Q: In the past, to sell Microsoft Office 365 you needed to be a cloud ready/solution provider and be MBS Dynamics certified. Has this changed?

A: There are different competencies across the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), including some new cloud-performance based competencies that help you sell and deploy multiple services. You can find out more about the cloud competencies here.

Q: Is there now the ability to track emails to Microsoft Dynamics CRM from within Outlook Web Access (OWA) or is it still only available in Outlook?

A: Good question. Today it’s in Outlook but future direction is to include in things like OWA.

Q: What are production and non-production instances?

A: Production instances are live, where you’re using a solution to run and operate your business (or, your customer’s business). We encourage partners to leverage our own sales productivity tools to run their business and sales organization. Depending on your Microsoft competency and level, you may have internal-use rights (IUR) that give you rights to production instances to run your business. Learn more here.

Non-production instances are things like test environments, QA, development environments, and demo environments. There are demo instances available through sites like – you can view a live demo instance, based on 30-day trials.

There are links to how you can do all of this within the Sales Productivity Showcase application (see below for more).

Q: What are the minimum number of users as a buy-in?

A: There is a minimum purchase of five user subscription licenses (USLs) for the sales productivity promotion.

Q: Does a partner that is currently selling Office 365 need to be Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Certified to be eligible to leverage the Sales Productivity offer?

A: You don’t have to be CRM certified for your customer to be able to get the price point. However, if it is not in your plan to add Microsoft Dynamics CRM to your practice, we recommend you partner with a Microsoft CRM Online partner – many Office 365 partners have chosen that route. This can be an interim solution or a longer-term business strategy. To find other Microsoft partners and explore partnership opportunities, look in Microsoft Pinpoint.

Q: Tell me more about the app mentioned in the webcast – what is it called, where can I access it, and is it available in all regions? How do people who are on Windows 7 or previous versions, or don’t have access to the Windows Store, access it?

A: The app demoed in this session is called the Sales Productivity Showcase app. You can find it in the Windows Store when you search for “Sales Productivity.” The app is available for customers, partners, and internal Microsoft employees. Note that depending on your level of engagement with Microsoft, you may see different content. For example, customers see a pared down version – things like videos and slide walk-throughs. Microsoft partners may see additional content such as selling aides, pitch decks, telesales scripts, marketing materials for campaigns, etc. As we make new or updated content available on the app, it automatically pushes to you.

To access the app, log in with your Microsoft account that is attached to your MPN organization. If you are on Windows 7 or previous versions, you can gain access to the resources found in the app by visiting PartnerSource as well as MPN. The app is available worldwide in English only.

Q: If we have problems logging in to the Sales Productivity tool, who do we contact? 

A: There is a link in the app itself for support. There is also a support alias:

Q: Where can I find Sales Productivity Showcase app support, especially regarding sign-in issues?

A: With the app login screen open, swipe right to left to bring up the Windows 8 Settings charm. Then select “About” where you’ll see a link to the support alias.

Next sessions: mark your calendars

I’ve said it before, but it stands repeating – these SME webcasts are a great opportunity for you, our partners, to connect directly with product and solution experts here at Microsoft. They are like having a personal conference call or training session with a Microsoft SME. You get the chance to hear directly about news coming out of these teams, and ask your questions. You’re in luck as we have three SME webcast and Q&A sessions coming up:

  • Feb 10 How to Partner in the Cloud with Digital Marketing

    Join Duane Forrester from Bing and Elizabeth Parker from Bing Ads to hear industry experience, insights, and advice on how you can leverage digital marketing to transform your business in the cloud – including consumer decision journey, creating inbound lead generation, audience segmentation for lead capture, the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).


  • Feb 24 Partner Practice Enablement

    Are you ready to join the cloud partner ecosystem? The Partner Practice Enablement (PPE) bootcamp program, a series of nearly 300 technical training events worldwide, will teach you how to deploy key workloads of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise business including Data Platform, Datacenter, Microsoft Azure, and Enterprise Mobility. During the Feb 24 session you’ll get a sneak preview of PPE events.


  • March 2 Cloud Customer Relationship Management Updates

    Join this session for an update on the Microsoft Partner Network Cloud CRM competency.