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Do you dream of securing a co-sell partnership with Microsoft? Well, you have to know how it works first.
If you have what it takes to inspire trust, show accountability, and genuinely create value, you might be on your way to securing a partnership with Microsoft.
And just so you know, this article might revolve around Microsoft co selling. Still, the lessons here could be applied to any co-selling relationship, irrespective of the company involved. So keep your mind open while we ride along.
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What Does Co Sell Mean?
Co-selling is partnering or joining forces with a partner’s sales team to convert prospects and drive value for existing customers.
Take, for instance, a software company that could be a Microsoft partner and could as well co-sell Microsoft hardware products.
There are many different sales tactics that play out in co-selling. The sole aim is for a company’s partners to help drive revenue by making customers grow.
They can help a sales team learn more about selling tools, get a direct introduction to the prospect’s account, and close bigger deals faster, among other benefits.
Another essential aspect of co-selling is that you can help a company’s Customer Service Management by recommending your integration to customers. In other words, you can help a company’s customers do more with their product.
This is how co-selling influences upselling and expansions. It is crucial in driving results throughout a customer’s life circle.
For instance, you can help a company identify the best opportunities to drive the next steps. So, a company’s prospect could be your customer, and the customer can be introduced to the company through you.
Akbar Hasan, senior director of business development at Cisco Global Partner Organisation, describing the market momentum behind co-selling, said,
“I don’t think there’s any secret in the fact that more and more decisions around IT spending are being made outside of the IT organization. So these are what we consider new buying centers…Typically these buying centers are now controlling and influencing 82% of the total IT spend globally. What does this mean? Conversations that are being had with these new buyers are being had with these types of ecosystem partner roles…So you’ve got conversations going left to right with these types of partners, but you’ve also got conversations going up and down both within the customer and the partners right because the partners are now co-selling with each other and that’s what we refer to as co-selling.”Akbar Hasan, senior director of business development at Cisco Global Partner Organisation
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What Does This Mean?
The implication of what the expert said above is that information flow from the actual customers through partners can lead to the development of a product, for instance, an application.
This is where partners have to talk to each other and form a co-selling ring. And if a company is more involved in this relationship, they’ll have access to all layers of the IT spend and can drive solutions and create a true business.
Many companies, such as Microsoft, have adopted the concept of co-selling in their business expansion plans.
They have come to see the benefits of being part of an ecosystem. However, co-selling is not limited to IT companies. Some other companies that have used co-selling to boost sales include Nike, Apple, GoPro, and Red Bull.
However, co-selling can also take place between small business owners. For instance, a car dealer can co-sell with an insurance provider.
Also, a designer can co-sell with a printer, while a real estate agent can co-sell with a mortgage broker. And these sorts of relationships can be formed at small business expos, seminars, and other business events.
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Why is Co Selling Important?
Access to Customers
Co-selling with a company like Microsoft gives you access to its customers and insights to expand markets. Now, this is very important to Microsoft and its partners. The best part of this is that its two-way access. Through the partners, Microsoft can have access to new markets and customers. On the other hand, Microsoft can also bring in partners to close deals.
Fill Product Gaps
Microsoft has many products launched in the market. Co-selling can help streamline specific products and create opportunities to bring to the fore products. Co-selling allows individual partners with specific interests in different products to pitch their tents and explore their ideas on how to enlarge the market and grow the sales of specific products.
Co-sell also helps companies extend and expand their sales teams. In fact, expansion is at the heart of everything co-selling represents. Co-selling can guarantee positive growth for a company’s sales revenues. They can get direct or indirect profits to boost revenue. While partners also expand their business and increase their sources of revenue.
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What Does it Mean to Co Sell Microsoft?
Co-selling with Microsoft is a collaborative engagement between Microsoft and partners to co-sell an offer. It is a global initiative where many co-selling-ready solutions are being added to the program. It is part of Microsoft’s growth plans to expand the Microsoft ecosystem.
This implies working closely with partners to develop a sales pipeline, coordinating specific accounts, and sharing leads between Microsoft and the partners. You can see it accelerating the sale cycle for these partner-to-partner activities.
As part of their annual sales quota, Microsoft sellers are more now than ever being incentivized to work with partners to help win partner deals.
Co-selling will allow you to work closely with Microsoft teams worldwide. It is an opportunity for partners to grow their businesses.
Specifically, it allows partners to register deals, and Microsoft could also bring in a partner to close that deal.
Partners can also help Microsoft create end-customer relationships, which Microsoft itself might not be able to cover.
This is because many partners have solid relationships with end customers. And this is what the co-sell motion tends to achieve; to help close deals.
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How to Join the Microsoft Co Sell Program
Before you co-sell with Microsoft, you must ensure you sell to the same buyer. Or similar buyers. And you share specific core values, sales, and marketing techniques with the company.
You should also be ready to contribute marketing insights and leads. So, ensure you are co-sell ready, and we’ll shed more light on this in the next section. Having said that, the following is a list of the commercial marketplace offer types in Partner Center you can choose from:
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How to Become Co Sell-Ready?
According to Microsoft, if you want to become co-sell-ready, you must publish your offer or solution live to at least one of the online stores: Azure Marketplace or Microsoft commercial marketplace.
However, to be eligible to publish your offers on any of the above marketplaces, you must have a commercial marketplace account in Partner Center and ensure your account is enrolled in the commercial marketplace program.
After creating a commercial marketplace, you can verify your account information when enrolling in a new Partner Center program.
A co-sell is meant to be mutually beneficial to the parties involved. There must be a provision for those involved to grow together. Therefore, there must be something to add to each other’s sales effort to make progress.
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