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Partner-to-Partner Collaboration Taken to the Power of 5

Some partners just get it. They understand that combining forces with complementary partners will make them more successful.

One such partner is Bishop Technologies. Tapping the strengths of four other companies, Bishop recently organized and executed a marketing campaign that added at least 30 highly qualified leads to the Office 365 migration pipeline.   

A Well-Defined, Targeted Campaign
Spearheaded by Tina Sieben, Bishop's VP of marketing, the marketing campaign offered a complete solution to companies facing end-of-life support for a discontinued e-mail archive solution. Leveraging existing partner relationships and recommendations from Microsoft, Sieben assembled the group of partners that could provide customers with an easy migration path from their legacy archive to Office 365.

The marketing campaign partnership included:

  • Bishop, which provided the value-added reseller and migration services.

  • Archive360, the ISV and developer of the Archive 2-Anywhere migration tool that Bishop used for the migration process. Archive360 also provided the list of customers using the legacy archive software.

  • Project Leadership Associates (PLA), an Office 365 deployment partner that could provide implementation services beyond the archive migration.

  • Microsoft, which provided marketing and messaging recommendations and support.

  • FishNet Marketing, a telemarketing firm engaged to call and qualify prospects.

In preparation for the telemarketing campaign, Sieben coordinated with partners through weekly calls to define the messaging and call management. FishNet was chosen as the telemarketing vendor based on its experience with Microsoft solutions.

FishNet telemarketers called the legacy archive customers to determine if they were still using the solution and what their plans were to migrate before support ended in 2015. The goal of the telemarketers was to set up an appointment for a Bishop consultant to speak with a migration decision maker.

"We launched the campaign in May and it ran through early June," Sieben said. "We generated 30 appointment leads and have seven solid opportunities. This was a 'pilot' test limited to Microsoft's Central Region states, with very good potential to expand the program to the remaining regions."

This campaign could be a poster child for one of Microsoft's prime directives for partners, driving consumption of Office 365.

"The archive is a roadblock to adoption of Office 365. By moving data into Exchange Online, users have to go to Office 365 to access their archived e-mails," explained Dan Langille, VP of business development at Bishop. "We built an ecosystem of partners where we each do what we do best. We are focused on the archive migration. The ISV, Archive360, with the migration software. And FishNet Marketing is the expert on knocking on the doors of those companies we know have end-of-life archives."

[Click on image for larger view.] Set expectations early with a clearly defined plan for lead and opportunity management.

A Proactive Approach to Results
Defining how leads and opportunities are going to be handled is a key to success in any shared marketing program. Since Partner of Record assignments can get complicated, Sieben plotted out the scenarios and ownership.

Just like in client projects, setting expectations upfront lays the foundation for an amicable long-term relationship. By proactively defining roles and outcomes, you can avoid any misunderstandings about account management after the leads start coming in.

Sieben also provided a performance results recap to all of the players. With measurable results and a solid pipeline, the partnership can take on the next marketing campaign with confidence.

P2P relationships take time and effort, but the rewards can be well worth the investment. Offering complete solutions to customers through complementary partnerships opens opportunities in markets you may not be able to capture alone.

How have you made joint marketing programs work? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 31, 2014