What do you need to be more successful with your Microsoft Volume Licensing sales?

imageFor those of you who were at or viewed the SMB Nation Keynote presentation last year, you may recall that I told you that helping you be successful in your Microsoft Volume Licensing sales was something we were going to focus on very heavily last year (July 2007 – June 2008). After all, it is only when our Partners are successful that we are successful, so you have no idea how motivated we are to see you be VERY successful!  Looking at the SBSC sales results for the year, your numbers show that success continued! Some of the items we have offered to help drive your success are:

Partnercasts showcasing your peers and how they are having success with Volume Licensing

All of these designed to help you be more successful in driving your Volume Licensing sales growth and helping you provide more value to your clients through the benefits of Volume Licensing and Software Assurance. Now, it is time to do it again this year.

So here is my ask of you… When you think of the most common objections you hear or the most common questions you are asked or the most frequent, “If I only had ‘X’” where ‘X’ is a sales resource or one-pager or some form of sales aid that would help you close or win a Volume Licensing sale, what are those things? I really want to know!

Am I promising we’ll be able to get you everything you ask for or submit? Obviously we can’t promise everything (and I’m sure we’ll get some unreasonable requests as well); however, just like in past years where I’ve made this request of you, getting your input and feedback on what would help make you most successful is very important to me and will help us evaluate what would be best to work towards providing you, our valued Partners.

You may recall when I made this request after the launch of the Small Business Desktop Advantage and we created the “Small Business Desktop Advantage Sales Kit” which provided one-pagers, positioning, FAQs, etc. based on the feedback and input you provided. Then, you said that having more audio files, web files, etc. would be helpful in your success, so we launched the V2 of the Sales Kit, which contained over 8 ½ hours of multimedia content including: webcast recordings, audio files, videos, the customizable “Less Than Coffee” and “Less Than Fries” websites with Less Than Coffee and Less Than Fries customizable handouts and email/letter templates, and much more. Again, based on your input and feedback.

image So now is your chance to give that input again. What is that one piece of the puzzle you are missing to reach success? What do you need to be successful in growing your Open Value Subscription, Open Value, and Open License sales this fiscal year (July 2008 – June 2009)? What are the top questions you have? What are the top objections you run into? What are the top questions you get asked? What one-pagers and sales aids do you need? Etc.

As they say, “Silence is acceptance,” so if you don’t give me your input and feedback now, don’t go saying we don’t listen or support you. Take a few minutes and share your thoughts. Don’t put it off. Don’t think, “I’ll get to it later.” Do it now while you are thinking of it. You can always come back and provide more later, but send off your thoughts right now. Just CLICK HERE, enter your input and feedback and press send. That’s it!

Here’s looking to another great year of joint success between us in growing your Volume Licensing businesses with your clients throughout the year to provide the best experience and richest set of benefits to them and the most sales and services business opportunities for you.  After all, the happier your clients are with the technology solutions you provide them with, the stronger long-term relationships and opportunities you will have.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Microsoft Senior Manager, Community Engagement
US Partner Strategy, Marketing and Programs
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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Comments (7)

  1. Typical for the Microsoft of late (under the lack of direction of Steve Ballmer) is this response I received to the "send me your thoughts" request Eric posted above…

    Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

         Subject: What I need for Volume Licensing success

         Sent: 30/07/2008 6:25 AM

    The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

         vlneeds@microsoft.com on 30/07/2008 6:25 AM

               There was a SMTP communication problem with the recipient’s email server.  Please contact your system administrator.

               <quarkgroup.com.au #5.5.0 smtp;554 <vlneeds@microsoft.com>: Recipient address rejected: Access denied>

  2. David Schrag says:

    If this doesn’t say it all about MS licensing, I don’t know what does …

    Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

         Subject: What I need for Volume Licensing success

         Sent: 7/31/2008 8:28 AM

    The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

         vlneeds@microsoft.com on 7/31/2008 8:28 AM

               The e-mail system was unable to deliver the message, but did not report a specific reason.  Check the address and try again.  If it still fails, contact your system administrator.

                mail175-dub-R.bigfish.com #5.0.0 X-Postfix; host    winse-6216-mail6.customer.frontbridge.com[] said: 550 5.1.1    User unknown (in reply to RCPT TO command)

  3. mssmallbiz says:

    Apparently a few people were having their mails bounce back when submitting their input.  As such, I have modified the links above to fix this.  Please resubmit your input as I really do want to hear what your needs are.

  4. Lee Drake says:

    Here is what I would like to see:

    1) Make it so that Software Assurance ALWAYS costs less than just buying a new version.  Maybe place a limit – 3 years of software assurance payment and you get the new version when it comes out – NO MATTER WHEN THAT IS.  Make the total incremental cost of SA be LESS THAN the incremental cost of purchasing new licenses, and let them purchase SA on the new product when it comes out.

    2) Have an OEM conversion fee.  Maybe let the user purchase SA on an existing OEM license and convert it over 3 years to a full Open license.  Or have a fixed, low cost fee to convert an OEM to an open license. This would allow us to penetrate small businesses with an already established base of OEM licenses with open licensing.  If a client already has 10 or 20 OEM licenses it’s very hard to get them to start buying Open if they can’t convert.

    3) Simplify Simplify Simplify.  There are currently way too many licenses, promotions and pushes from a variety of sources and with a variety of requirements.  How about you eliminate them all and just lower the prices on the basic products.

    4) I don’t sell product because there is a promotion.  If a customer happens to be buying and there’s a promotion that reduces their price – GREAT! I sell products to solve a problem.  If a customer doesn’t perceive they have a licensing issue they want to solve – no amount of promotion is going to make them buy.

    5) Stop having marketing people from MS call me about your promotions.  I’m required by my partner status to sit down with my MS Partner Rep once a month and review promotions, discounts, opportunities with her.  I don’t need someone from India calling me on the phone the other three weeks to remind me about things that I already got in my last partner briefing.  In fact – it annoys me and makes me LESS likely to sell the product and use the promotion.

    6) Time is money – the more expensive and complicated it is to put a quote together that takes into account all the promotions, the less likely I am to include them.  Again – if you simplified this and just reduced the price it would make it so much easier.  It’s like taxes – I don’t want a tax rebate, I want my taxes to be lower in the first place.