​I have a question for you: If you could improve your salespeople’s knowledge of a product, increase their productivity, and raise their capabilities to sell that product three times* more effectively, would you do it? I think most of us would answer “yes,” and yet many of our partners aren’t utilizing the very resources that can help them achieve just that. I’d like to share with you information about these two valuable benefits that can help you and your sales team perform better with Office 365.

I’m Brad Larsen, and I’ve recently joined the Worldwide Partner Group as the leader of our Partner Experience and Benefits team. My team and I are focused on improving your experience working with Microsoft and providing relevant benefits to help you achieve significant growth.
Office 365 Internal Use Rights (IURs) are a very powerful sales tool. Why? Because no matter how great you are at selling, if you’re familiar and comfortable with the product, you’ll be even better. We have provided Office 365 IURs as part of Microsoft Action Pack and Competency Programs to help our partners get familiar with our cloud-based productivity solutions. Your IURs give you access to more than 30 software and cloud benefits, plus dedicated partner support. Not only will Office 365 IURs allow your team to understand Microsoft’s latest technology (and therefore demo and sell more effectively), it will increase your employees’ productivity and allow for internal application development and testing.
Using Office 365 internally will give your employees first-hand knowledge to share with customers who are considering migrating to the cloud. Based on internal, Microsoft-commissioned research, partners who use Office 365 IURs sell three times larger deal sizes on average than those who do not. For example, Compucad of Mexico has seen enormous increases in sales since implementing IUR. Compucad Manager Juan Panas says,
If you haven’t taken advantage of your Office 365 IURs yet, you can activate Office 365 benefits from Partner Digital Download Portal today!
Customers buy from salespeople they trust, and being able to demonstrate your product expertly is important to earning that trust. To make your demo the best it can be, we also have a free Office 365 Demo Environment which you can use to sell Office 365 to your customers. The environment is customizable, so your customer has the opportunity to experience Office 365 in a way that’s specific to their customer type and industry. I think this benefit is extremely useful for showcasing Office 365 at its best, so we’ve made the free demo environment available to all network members. Each demo environment lasts for 90 days.
You can choose to create either an empty environment that allows you to insert your own demo content, or an environment with industry-specific demo information. Moreover, you may choose additional cloud services on top of Office 365 environments such as Power BI for Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Project Online. This capability enables you to demonstrate the full power of Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity solutions and differentiate the breadth of capability versus competitive solutions. If you haven’t used thedemo environment yet, I strongly recommend you try out this benefit out today.
Do you have other “best practices” for using your MPN Benefits to sell Office 365? If so, join in the conversation by sharing your experiences in the comments section.
I’ve already met a great many partners in my new role, and I look forward to continuing to meet with as many of you as possible in my business travels and at our Worldwide Partner Conference this coming summer.
Brad Larsen
*According to Microsoft research.