Office 365 Partner Community: focus on CRM Online – your opportunities


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by Michael Panciroli
US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365

The Office 365 Partner Community is led by National Partner Technology Strategists from the Microsoft US Partner Team. Partner Community activities include blog posts, discussions on Yammer, newsletters, and community calls.

This is part 3 of our Office 365 Partner Community blog series about adding CRM Online to your practice. Read part 1 and read part 2.

Office 365 partner opportunities with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

In this third and last post in our Office 365 Partner Community blog series about adding Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to your practice, I’ll talk about two opportunities that fit nicely within the cloud productivity and enterprise social capabilities that Office 365 offers: Sales Productivity Solution and Microsoft Social Engagement.

Sales Productivity Solution (SPS)

The processes of buying and selling have changed dramatically. Through digital and social channels, buyers today have access to vast amounts of data, information, and social networks, where they can do their own research, ask for opinions, come up with solutions, and make buying decisions on their own, before ever talking to a salesperson. The role of the sales professional must evolve alongside this empowered customer, and the sales community needs new, modern tools that enable sales professionals to become a trusted advisor to sell more effectively.

The sales professional for this new purchasing dynamic needs to bring together social conversations and their personal networks, plus have access to the data available across the company. The Sales Productivity Solution offering comprises Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365, and Power BI. The combination of these services provides a modern experience, while keeping the customer in focus. SPS enables organizations to empower their salespeople and help them more effectively engage with customers, and deliver amazing experiences by zeroing in, winning faster, and selling more.

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The Sales Productivity Solution is not a product sale, and you will want to master the business value conversation to have with your customers, versus demoing individual features. Sales professionals want to be able to cut through the clutter, zero in on opportunities, and quickly identify what they need to do next. They want to be able to build analytical models so they know how to target solutions and sell with the network intelligence. And, they want to be able to easily collaborate with colleagues and find and access information that can help them sell more to achieve their sales goals. Fulfilling these business needs is what the Sales Productivity Solution does well, and the power of the combination of CRM Online, Power BI, and Office 365, including Yammer, make it a very difficult solution to compete against.

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Partner opportunity

We believe there are about 300 million information workers in sales positions today who are using ad hoc solutions, without much structure or process. The partner opportunity to introduce a modern solution—the Sales Productivity Solution—is significant. Eligible partners can earn Online Services Advisor fees, and have the opportunity to make up to 5x revenue on a Sales Productivity Solution engagement. There is greater return because the customer conversation about SPS often includes a broader range of solutions. For example, Workflow Automation and Sales Process Management are typical, and some conversations will move toward business transformation and organizational change, which have higher ratios. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and our cloud-based customer service solution, Parature, are two additional offerings around market automations.

Through June 30, customers save on the Sales Productivity Solution, and pay just $65 per user/month for CRM Online, Office 365, and Power BI. Learn more about the offer.

Microsoft Social Engagement

Microsoft Social Engagement was previously called Microsoft Social Listening, and its new name signals the evolution from just listening to an emphasis on customer engagement. MSE puts powerful social tools in the hands of sales, marketing, and service teams — helping them connect on social media their customers, prospects, and partners from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM or with a stand-alone app. With these tools, your customers can discover social insights about their brands, products, and services to gain a true understanding of sentiments about their businesses and shape their messaging and sales strategy.

Watch this video for an overview of Microsoft Social Engagement

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Partner opportunity

The MSE experience is still evolving and Microsoft will continue to innovate and make investments. Your opportunities today are to help clients with the end to end social experience. For example, you could help leverage their CRM system to ingest tweets as cases or leads and build a business process with assignments, customizing workflow and coordinating group collaboration. Other services you can offer include extending analytics reporting to tailor it to clients’ needs or building out new reports to help community management teams understand the effectiveness of their interactions and engagement and help quantify the number of posts, response times, and reach.

There are also opportunities around content management and publishing, helping your clients to be  proactive by developing a solution to curate, manage, and syndicate content that can be pushed out to different channels by marketing and sales teams. Get training about Social Engagement to understand your opportunities.

How to get started as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

Here are a few resources to get started if you’re interested in taking the next step to integrating CRM into your Office 365 practice:

If you’ve made the decision to add Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to your Microsoft Office 365 practice, the US Dynamics CRM Online Partner Portfolio Recruitment team (Dynamics PPR) is your first connection to start your planning. Each Recruiter is geographically based, and has an Operations resource that is dedicated to helping partners through the onboarding process.

To connect with the Dynamics PPR team, email nominatepartner@microsoft.com. A Dynamics Partner Portfolio Recruiter will respond and follow up with you to discuss your interests as well as provide further details about becoming a successful Dynamics CRM Online partner.

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