Dynamics 365 – The Irresistible Force meets the Immovable Channel
You’ve heard of the old 80/20 rule I’m sure… 20% of your sellers generate 80% of your sales, or 20% of your customers generate 80% of your service tickets, etc.. You get the idea. For Microsoft Dynamics, the ratio is more like 99/1, as in 1% of the partner channel generates 99% of the Dynamics business. This may be about to change.
I’m Sure I have seen this Before
We joined Microsoft as a partner about 5 years ago, when they first launched Dynamics CRM Online. As a long-time Salesforce consultant we were looking for a differentiator at the time, and we thought maybe we could get in the initial stampede of CRMOL resellers. So my former partner and I hunkered down into our best rugby scrum stances. Waiting… waiting… waiting. When we finally lifted our heads and looked around the field, we realized there were only a few other players even on it. But the stands were pretty full… lot’s of lookers… not many players.
The next Big Game is about to Start
Hmm…. which way to go… player’s entrance… or spectators’ entrance. I guess we will find out next week at the CRMUG Summit here in Tampa (conveniently located across the street from my office, at the Tampa Convention Center). While this event has always drawn a lot of CRM Partners, I will be interested to see how many other partners will show up. The CRMUG folks are obviously thrilled that Microsoft has bolted the official public launch announcement of Dynamics 365 onto the front of their event, and I expect that it will bring in a lot of ERP partners to Tampa. Maybe we will see some Office 365 partners as well… ha, just kidding.
Just adding 1%, Doubles everything
If you assume that only 1% of the total Microsoft channel has been supporting CRM… and another, largely different 1% has been supporting ERP, then just getting these two groups to cross-sell, doubles the overall Dynamics business. If they can pull in another 1% of the channel from the Office 365 side, I think I would have to call that a score. And if every partner embraced our RapidStart CRM model… well I would be damn happy.
Microsoft must trot out the Pushmi-Pullyu quickly
At CRMUG, Microsoft will ramp up its efforts to “push” partners to sell Dynamics 365 to their customers. Pushing has not worked out very well in the past on the CRM front (but remember the definition of insanity). I think if Microsoft is going to have the kind of success they need to have with Dynamics 365, they are also going to need to “pull” customers. They are going to have to do that by marketing directly, and overtly, to end customers. It is pretty easy for a typical partner to say to Microsoft “Thanks, but no thanks” to selling Dynamics 365, but when those partners’ customers start reaching out to them about an ad they saw on TV about Dynamics 365, they are going to have a lot tougher time ignoring it.