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Microsoft Adds ISV Go-To-Market Services

Delivering on the promise to provide more support for developers and ISVs, the Microsoft Go-To-Market Services Web site has an impressive collection of sales and marketing resources. Almost any type of partner, especially SIs and VARs who are formalizing intellectual property for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, will find the site's templates and planning tools valuable.

The site includes four groups of resources -- "Attract Customers," "Engage Users," "Accelerate Growth" and "Expand Partnerships" -- plus a Concierge Desk. The Concierge Desk promises one-on-one consultation to help you make the most of the resources.

Attract Customers
There are a number of programs to help with online marketing, from search advertising to Microsoft Office store listings. According to the success stories posted on the site, these programs are delivering real results for partners. To help you focus in on the services that could help you the most, guidance from the Concierge Desk may be the best place to start.

Also, in the Attract Customers section is a co-branded event in a box. The templates are very heavy on Azure, so you will want to adjust the message to focus on the benefits of your solution. While association with Microsoft will help build confidence in your brand, your prospects are most interested in the value that your solution brings to their business. When you are planning an event, consider asking one or two of your current clients to speak.

Engage Users
Every Microsoft partner should download and use the Sales Accelerator Toolkit. There are two parts to the toolkit -- a "Value Prop" e-book and "Demand Gen" e-book.

  • The Value Prop e-book includes customer surveys, a competitive analysis template and a positioning framework to help focus your messaging and better connect with your prospects. The guides are practical and easy to follow.

  • For many partners, just knowing where to start with marketing is the biggest barrier. The Demand Gen e-book and templates provide a great starting point for you to take a systematic approach to marketing.

The mini-case study and datasheet templates will help you create professional-looking support documents. Use plain English and specific examples of the benefits that your clients have received. For the case study, use statistics if your customer can provide them. "Our salespeople now close 25 percent more of their sales on the first call" is far more powerful than generalities.

Accelerate Growth
The Accelerate Growth section leads to a number of the other Microsoft partner and ISV support sites. The ISV and Application Builder Site has become a major hub with Microsoft's renewed focus on ISVs. 

Expand Partnerships
This section also leads to Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) resources like Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and the community blog. Additional resources to consider are the MPN Yammer groups and the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), which is an active professional association with chapters around the world.

Case Studies
There are dozens of short partner case studies under the "Success Stories" tab, which suggests that lots of ISVs have discovered and are using the services of the Go-To-Market site. Great to see partners taking advantage of Microsoft's efforts.

While the Microsoft Go-To-Market Services Web site may be intended for the ISV and developer communities, there are marketing resources that every type of partner should be using. A visit to the site is well worth the time. 

How are you using the ISV Go-To-Market resources? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on February 17, 2016 at 12:22 PM