As Microsoft Employees and partners we sometimes take it for granted that everyone is acquainted with the value proposition or rich capabilities of the Microsoft Office line of products, most notably Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus. Unfortunately, many customers lack the exposure and understanding that we do.
This week I was attending an organizational off site meeting where the subject of selling Microsoft Office and partners came up. One of my peers, Lisa Hughes, a Partner Territory Manager in Microsoft’s North Central area (MN, ND, SD, IA, KS, MO), while discussing sales excellence, stated several things that bear mentioning as it relates to “quoting” Microsoft Office. I will paraphrase her elaborations below and add some of my own commentary.
- It is rare that Microsoft Office should be quoted alone. In almost every situation there is an opportunity to extend the scope of the conversation beyond Microsoft Office
- Think about it… Microsoft Office and all its constituent parts is often times the lens through which we view other critical backend resources. Outlook blossoms in the presence of Exchange; SharePoint integration in Office is phenomenal; The analysis tool of choice, Excel, we can connect to SQL Server, SharePoint, and about any third party data sources with impunity. If you start adding the additional products one gets with the Microsoft Office professional plus SKU it gets even better with the Lync Client, SharePoint Workspace, and InfoPath. We have not even scratched the surface yet.
- Always articulate the value of the solution in terms relevant to the customer.
- Microsoft Office 2010 has a wealth of capabilities; tap into the ones that matter to the customer. If they are in a vertical like banking, highlight capabilities important to the financial services industry. Security and privacy capabilities come to mind. Think things like document Inspection capabilities, or Rights Management Services for instance.
These pointers may seem like common sense to you if you are a consummate seller, but we often overlook the basics. Additionally I would add it is always a good idea to approach the sale as though it is the first sale with a customer even those that might not be the case. This attitude conditions us not to take the customer for granted.
Of course it is always good to know where to go to get business value information on Microsoft Office and our associated productivity platform. There are many places to look.
Right now on the Microsoft events site at http://events.microsoft.com (which has recently been refreshed for the better) one can find a dozen or so webcasts and podcasts on Office 2010 tips and tricks. Examples include:
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: Outlook 2010: Use Contacts as More Than Just an Address Book – webcast
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: Outlook 2010: Use Contacts as More Than Just an Address Book – Podcast
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: Word 2010: Add the Finishing Touches to Documents-Webcast
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: Word 2010: Add the Finishing Touches to Documents –Podcast
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: PowerPoint 2010: Control and Manage the Flow of Your PowerPoint Presentations –podcast
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: Excel 2010: Create Named Ranges, and Use Them with Advanced Formulas –podcast
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: Excel 2010: Create Named Ranges, and Use Them with Advanced Formulas –webcast
Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: PowerPoint 2010: Control and Manage the Flow of Your PowerPoint Presentations-webcast
Additionally, try the www.whymicrosoft.com site for great business value information on our productivity platform all up. There are a lots documents that discuss our three screen story and how we offer the best productivity experience across the browser, phone and Pc.