How MS Partners can get some Love from their PSE

If you are a Microsoft Partner, then you are part of their channel. As a member of their channel, once you start selling some products, you will eventually pop up on the radar of someone at Microsoft. This may be a Partner Development Manager (PDM), or a Partner Sales Executive (PSE), or someone else with a similar role.

If you have been around for a bit, then you already know who I am talking about, if not, go look for that person. Their job is to make Microsoft successful, by making you successful. But I must warn you, these are some pretty busy folks.

No, you are not Invisible

If you are not getting the attention from your Microsoft Representative that you would like, you don’t understand Scorecards. Every “Seller” at Microsoft has a Scorecard. It is basically a list of goals for that seller to align their efforts with Microsoft’s larger objectives, and it changes every new fiscal year (around WPC).  There will be a list of goals, usually product sales, ranked in some order of priority. Microsoft sellers live and die by these Scorecards, literally jobs are lost as a result of failure to meet goals, and careers are made by banging them out. You need to understand the influence Scorecards have on the PSE and therefore your relationship with the PSE.

Prepare to Kiss some Frogs

We joined the Microsoft Partner Network, only a few years ago, coming over from Salesforce.com. Networking has always come naturally to me, so of course I start talking to people at Microsoft about how wonderful we were. Our experience may have been unique; not only did we convert from a major competitor, but we focussed on a space where there were not many partners. As a result we got a lot of attention quickly from Microsoft. We were oblivious to the fact that not all partners got similar attention. Before you know it, the spiderweb of Microsoft connections starts spreading and I am getting introduced to new people every day.

I was unaware of the existence of Scorecards at the time. In the last 4 or so years, I had personally talked to over 300 people at Microsoft, before I learned about the Scorecards. Everybody was very nice, and most promised to do whatever they could for us, but I noticed that quite a few were not doing anything. In hindsight I would have preferred that many of them had just said “Steve, what you are doing does not affect my Scorecard, so I will do absolutely nothing for you”. That would have reduced my Microsoft contacts “Black Book” by a pound.

Attention results from Alignment

Once I understood the Scorecard, life became much easier. Instead of spewing my message to a new Microsoft contact in hopes of impressing them, I now ask them what they do at Microsoft and what they are “Goaled” on. If CRM Online is not on their list, I will bring the call to a rapid close so as not to waste either of our time. However, if CRM Online is on their list, then I will spew. So if you are not getting the attention you want, then you are not in alignment with that person’s Scorecard, it’s as simple as that. The good news is that you may very well be in alignment on somebody else’s Scorecard, and usually your PSE will point you in the right direction.

How do you get some Attention right now?

You see what I did there? I lured you right into my trap (cue evil laugh). Right now, almost every Seller has CRM Online on their Scorecard, and for many, it is at the top. Sure, they had it last year, but it was way farther down. At WPC Satcha talked about CRM being at the center of the relationship, with Office 365, Azure and ERP orbiting around CRM. Turns out Satcha is an old CRM guy. And just like that, CRM Online shot to the top of the Scorecards, leaving most of the PSEs dumbfounded, which gradually evolved into a mild panic.

From the outside looking in, it appears to me that the first six months of the fiscal year Microsoft does a lot of talking and planning, but not much acting. Halfway through the year they do a mid-year review where it becomes apparent that they have not done a damn thing yet other than talk and plan. It is not until there is only half a year left that real action starts happening, and then it’s a race to June 30.

Microsoft set some pretty high goals for CRM Online this year, goals that would have been challenging to meet with an entire year, but actually they only have 6 months remember. As of this writing they really only have four left, so the pressure is on. They just added another $10 incentive, to the already offered bundles making CRM cheaper than it has been since the launch, with the highest partner revenue ever. So that side of the house has done what they can do, now it is up to the PSEs to activate the channel.

If you already get attention from a PSE, then you would have heard, and probably been pressured about CRM by now and may be saying hmmm… no thanks. So, you are literally walking away from a pile of money because… you don’t have time… you don’t know CRM… what? RapidStart CRM can solve this dilemma for you.

  1. Become a RapidStart CRM Partner, not tomorrow, right now
  2. Call your PSE and say, “On second thought, we will go after CRM because we just became a RapidStart CRM Partner”
  3. Listen quietly as your PSE wets their pants with excitement
  4. Then tell your PSE to activate their resources to start sending you some CRM business, not tomorrow, right now

Unless your PSE has been living under a rock, they know about RapidStart CRM, and they know it has the ability to activate a large number of seats very quickly, thereby pulverizing their Scorecard. If your PSE actually does live under a rock, and does not know what you are talking about, tell them to call me and I’ll get them up-to-speed.

[info type=”info”]Non-Confidential Information Notice. This post was written by Steve Mordue who is a member of multiple Partner Advisory Councils and is therefore subject to an Enhanced Microsoft Non-Disclosure Agreement regarding information conveyed to PAC Members. All opinions expressed are solely those of Steve Mordue, and no information provided herein is subject to the NDA. Basically, Steve knows a lot more than he let’s on; He’d tell ya, but then he’d have to kill ya.[/info]

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