You are on page 1of 45

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Process Playbook

Author: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................ 3 ACCELERATED SALES PROCESS OVERVIEW .............................................................................................. 4 ACCELERATED SALES PROCESS ........................................................................................................... 5 1.0 QUALIFY ................................................................................................................................................. 6 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 RESEARCH LEAD................................................................................................................................. 7 INITIATE CONTACT & ENGAGE.............................................................................................................. 7 STRUCTURED DISCOVERY..................................................................................................................... 7 PROVOCATIVE INSIGHT........................................................................................................................ 8 CREDENTIAL PARTNER......................................................................................................................... 8 BUY-IN DEMO................................................................................................................................... 9 CONFIRM SOLUTION SET ..................................................................................................................... 9 ALIGN THE BUYING PROCESS.............................................................................................................. 10 SECURE BDM ACCESS ...................................................................................................................... 11 BDM ENGAGEMENT SEE FOLLOWING SECTION ................................................................................... 11 SEND ALIGNMENT E-MAIL/LETTER & QUESTIONNAIRE ........................................................................... 11

QUALIFY PROCESS FLOW .......................................................................................................................... 13 1.10 BDM ENGAGEMENT ......................................................................................................................... 14

BDM ENGAGEMENT PROCESS FLOW ...................................................................................................... 18 2.0 PROOF .................................................................................................................................................. 19 2.1 2.2 SOLUTION VALIDATION ..................................................................................................................... 19 TRIAL ENGINE MANAGEMENT ............................................................................................................ 21

PROOF PROCESS FLOW ............................................................................................................................. 23 3.0 CLOSE ................................................................................................................................................... 24 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 PREPARE SOLUTION PROPOSAL .......................................................................................................... 24 REVIEW WITH SALES/DELIVERY MANAGEMENT ...................................................................................... 24 PREPARE PROPOSAL PRESENTATION .................................................................................................... 24 DELIVER PROPOSAL PRESENTATION TO BDM & PROJECT LEAD ............................................................... 25 ASK FOR THE ORDER ........................................................................................................................ 25 IDENTIFY & HANDLE OBJECTIONS ....................................................................................................... 26 SECURE AGREEMENT TO CLOSE DATE .................................................................................................. 26 E-MAIL CLOSING DOCUMENTS ........................................................................................................... 26 CONTRACT REVIEW & EXECUTION ...................................................................................................... 27 DELIVERY HAND-OFF ....................................................................................................................... 27 POST MIGRATION SURVEY ................................................................................................................. 27

CLOSE PROCESS FLOW .............................................................................................................................. 28 APPENDIX A - SALES CYCLE CONTROL DOCUMENTATION .................................................................. 29 APPENDIX B SAMPLE ALIGNMENT E-MAIL/LETTER............................................................................ 31 APPENDIX C ACTION PLAN ................................................................................................................... 33 APPENDIX D DEMONSTRATION PLAN ................................................................................................. 34 APPENDIX E TRIAL PLAN ....................................................................................................................... 35

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook APPENDIX F CLOSE PLAN ...................................................................................................................... 36 APPENDIX G ENGAGEMENT COMMUNICATIONS ............................................................................... 37 APPENDIX H BUY-IN DEMONSTRATION MODEL ................................................................................ 43

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Executive Summary
Every Microsoft Office 365 sales cycle contains a Strategic Tipping Point, a specific moment when the prospect decides (consciously or unconsciously) to buy from one of its competing vendors. More often than not this moment occurs during the product demonstrations or, failing that, during proposal reviews. Unfortunately it has become increasingly challenging to create differentiation based on solution set (product) or price, which makes it challenging to create a discernible strategic tipping point. Product parity, coupled with a buying community intent on implementing solutions quickly (and paying for them through subscription licensing) means that most solution selections will be biased by the buying process itself rather than by product capabilities (demo). Customer buying behavior is changing as well, with prospects engaging sales professionals much later in their buying process than ever before, which significantly reduces the amount of time we have to influence the prospects vision and buying criteria.

The primary objective of the Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales process is to trigger the strategic tipping point early in the buying sales cycle by executing sales tactics that create a proMicrosoft/Partner bias. The Accelerated Sales approach results in: Shorter sales cycles Lower cost of sale Decreased project risk (for both partner and prospect) Enhanced executive access Project scope clarity Defined go/no go decision points

The Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales process differs significantly from a traditional solution selling approach. The objective of this document is to outline those differences as well as provide a supporting toolkit of sales assets and templates that partners can use to quickly operationalize this new sales motion.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

3 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Accelerated Sales Process Overview


The Accelerated Sales Process is comprised of three distinct phases: Phase I Qualify The majority of the heavy lifting and positioning is completed during Qualify; which effectively compresses the first three phases of a traditional solution selling model. Coming out of phase 1 the sales professional will have: validated the opportunity meets pre-defined accelerated criteria qualified the prospect based on business case secured an understanding of the selection process and selection criteria aligned the prospects buying motion with the partner selling motion secured access to the BDM (business decision maker) delivered a 5 10 minute buy-in demo confirmed the desired solutions set aligns with the partner offering determined proof activities required to make a choice/decision validated the above through an alignment e-mail/letter/action plan

Phase II Proof The Proof phase focuses on providing the prospect with the comfort they need to proceed to contracting, as well as on surfacing and handling objections. The primary Proof activities are: satisfying outstanding technical concerns demonstration to a broader stakeholder group (if applicable) managing the trial process (if applicable) securing an agreement to proceed to a proposal review

Phase III Close The Close phase focuses on handling hidden objections and mechanically closing the transaction. The primary Close activities are: development and delivery of a solution proposal (.doc) development and delivery of a proposal presentation (.ppt) handle outstanding objections execute agreements

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

4 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Accelerated Sales Process

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

5 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

1.0 Qualify
The primary objectives of the qualify stage are profile the prospect and re-align the prospects buying process.

Supporting Objectives:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Create a pro-Microsoft/partner bias Satisfy BANT criteria (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) Change the prospects anticipated scope. Confirm prospect is open to a Cloud/SaaS solution set. Engage with BDM. Identify the project business driver. Identify and re-align the customers buying/selection process.

Supporting Documentation:
Tips: The Prospect is primarily interested in Education. SaaS vs. On Premise Cost? Timeframe to implement? Partner qualifications? Solution depth/breadth? Risks? Unspoken Question: Should we fund this project? The Partner is primarily interested in Qualification. Qualification Business drivers, priorities, competition Competitors? Business case? Buying process? Selection criteria? Unspoken Question: Has the prospect already decided to buy from someone else? Engagement Communications Qualification Checklist Discovery Question Inventory Buy-In Demonstration Script SaaS vs. OP TCO (optional) Alignment E-mail

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

6 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

1.1
1. 2.

Research Lead
Objectives: Validate the prospect meets fundamental qualification criteria such as industry, functional requirements, size, geography and revenue (see qualification checklist). Identify and research the prospect leadership team and potential relationship links through social media sites.

Action Plan: a) Sales professional reviews profiling information, social media, web-site and any relevant publicly available financial information to define the call plan and objectives. b) Formulate at least 5 three layer Discovery Questions that drive prospect engagement, curiosity and disclosure. c) Identify the most likely executive project stakeholders and probable business challenges.

Tips: The individuals tasked with researching technology solutions seldom have insight into the economic challenges and strategic imperatives driving their projects. Asking layer 2 and layer 3 questions focused on business benefits and industry drivers (that cannot be answered by lower-level researchers) provide a strong segue into scheduling a followon conversation with the actual business sponsor. See Discovery Questions for suggested layer 1/2/3 profiling strings.

1.2

Initiate Contact & Engage


Objectives:

1.

Secure a conversation with the project lead and credential yourself as relevant and knowledgeable.

Action Plan: a) Utilize the required Introduction E-mail, Voicemail, Follow-Up E-mails and Opening templates to drive the prospect to engaging directly. See

Reference Engagement Communications Appendix G for guidance on structuring engagement communications. Tips:

1.3

Structured Discovery
7 | Page

Objectives:
Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Identify the prospects personal involvement in the project. Identify business and economic drivers behind the project (why does it HAVE to be funded?). Identify any risks the prospect feels are relevant to project success. Ask questions that only a BDM (Business Decision maker) could answer to open the door to a follow-on business sponsor conversation. Uncover prospects understanding of SaaS/Cloud consumption. Validate prospects comfort with a SaaS/Cloud solution. Identify the selection process the organization has landed on to determine which vendor or solution they will be moving forward with. Understand WHY they are proceeding with this process. Determine WHO will be involved in the selection process.

10. Understand WHY these individuals are involved. 11. Identify WHEN the selection process has to complete. 12. Understand WHY this date is important 13. Identify the selection criteria the organization will use to land on a preferred solution set. 14. Understand the priority of the various selection criteria. Action Plan: a) Formulate an inventory of relevant Discovery Questions (business case, selection process and risk related questions). Reference the Discovery Questions document for recommended questions.

1.4
1.

Provocative Insight

Objectives: Provide the prospect with an insight or information that they would not have uncovered during their on-line research. This insight should be industry specific or risk related. The purpose of the provocative insight is to break the predictable rhythm of typical sales calls (question/response) and steer the conversation into a more meaningful direction.

Action Plan: a) Partners should have 3-5 documented provocative insights for each industry they actively pursue.

1.5
1. 2.

Credential Partner

Objectives: TAILOR your company credentialing to align with what the prospect shared during discovery Position your organizations ability to impact business metrics (industry specific if possible)
8 | Page

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook 3. Credential your company relative to the prospects industry, project or business requirements.

Action Plan: a) Understand what the prospect is looking for in a solution provider and a solution PRIOR to positioning your organization. b) Formulate and ask specific Discovery Questions about vendor expectations and the desired vendor profile to determine what the prospect is ideally looking for in an implementation partner. c) Do not verbally vomit all over the prospect. The goal is to have the prospect ASK YOU questions about your organization.

1.6
1. 2. 3.

Buy-In Demo

Objectives: Anchor your solutions unique capabilities and differentiation early in the sales cycle. Create a visual link between your solutions strengths and the challenges the prospect has shared with you. Differentiate your organization by transitioning from discovery to demonstration without the support of a technical resource.

Action Plan: a) Identify and validate the 2-3 key requirements that the prospect shared were critical to project success. b) Position standard OOTB functionality as a commodity and focus the prospect instead on the unique elements your solution provides. c) Demonstrate one (1) differentiating vignette that aligns with a challenge the prospect shared.

d) Validate that your solution meets the primary selection criteria. e) Collect information to populate the Demonstration Plan. See Buy-In Demonstration Samples Appendix H

1.7
1. 2. 3.

Confirm Solution Set

Objectives: Confirm your understanding of the desired solution and capabilities. Identify any desired functionality the prospect feels may not be included in your core offering. Confirm that your solution is a high-level functional fit for the prospects stated challenges.

Action Plan:

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

9 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook a) Ask the prospect to share their perspective on the brief demonstration, as well as any important requirements that appear missing. b) Probe to uncover other functional challenges that would drive a deeper requirements gathering session. c) Capture all requirements (at a high-level) that fall out of the realm of configuration and will require additional discovery.

d) Request copies of all project requirements documentation that the prospect has compiled (which sets us up for the survey questionnaire at the end of the call).

1.8
1. 2. 3. 4.

Align the Buying Process

Objectives: Identify and document all proof steps the prospect requires to make an informed choice. Communicate what you will require from them to support their goal of making an informed choice. Ensure the prospects buying process aligns with your sales process (see Social Exchange Theory Appendix A) Help the prospect understand the value of modifying their current process and how that change reduces project risk.

5. Position the Assessment/Questionnaire as a critical step in ensuring the prospect short-lists the appropriate vendors and solutions. Action Plan: a) Ask the prospect to share the anticipated proof steps (product demonstrations, trial expectations, technical due diligence, etc.). b) Validate your understanding of the prospects buying process c) Clearly communicate that you will also be asking questions on an ongoing basis and explain why that is important to the integrity of the selection process.

d) Communicate any incremental process steps that will be required (trial review meeting, incremental executive access, etc.) for both parties to land on a solution definition. e) Secure a return date for the Assessment/Questionnaire.

Tip: The fewer the proof steps the shorter the sales cycleask the prospect how their organization landed on the proof elements (demos, trial, references, etc.) if they have experience with them previously, there effectiveness.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

10 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

1.9

Secure BDM Access

Objectives: 1) Secure access to the BDM to drive incremental discovery and differentiation. Action Plan: a) To secure access to the BDM, leverage the project leads inability to answer some of the business case related question asked earlier. a. What is the measurable business case behind this initiative?

b. What are the perceived project risks? c. What other strategies are being entertained to resolve the business challenges you shared with me?

b) Use the Objection Handling communication model to work through any resistance to BDM engagement. Tip: Gatekeepers will seldom provide access to BDMs unless they perceive a significant advantage (to either themselves or the project) or a significant risk in not doing so. Arguing that BDM access is a benefit to you will not produce positive results.

1.10 BDM Engagement See following section 1.11 Send Alignment E-mail/Letter & Questionnaire
Objectives: 1. 2. Confirm buying process alignment and mutual action items that need to occur between today and contract execution. Confirm your understanding of the business and project drivers, as well as the required capabilities and anticipated impact.

Action Plan: a) Send an Alignment E-mail/letter articulating your understanding of the business drivers, required capabilities and anticipated benefits. b) Optional - attach an Action Plan with your understanding of the activities required by the prospect to make an informed choice. Tips: Send an Alignment E-mail/letter to the prospect within 60 minutes of your phone call confirming your understanding of their business drivers, required capabilities and anticipated benefits. This communication may include an overview of your organizations capabilities, relevant industry
Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks 11 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook qualifications and next steps. NOTE: No software or solution information is to be sent at this time. This needs to be a VALUE ADD activity! Only include relevant content (industry report, SaaS vs. OP analysis, etc.) if it is directly related to the conversation (see Alignment E-mail Appendix B)

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

12 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Qualify Process Flow

Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

13 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

1.10 BDM Engagement


Objectives 1. 2. 3. 4. Differentiate your organization (and its approach) in the eyes of the BDM. Secure a deeper understanding of the prospects business challenges, project drivers, required capabilities and anticipated benefits. Facilitate a Cloud/OP, op/ex vs. cap/ex conversation to understand the economic and risk drivers behind their interest in Microsoft Office 365. Complete the profiling/discovery process: All senior executives and managers are identified - including the Executive Sponsor and Economic Buyer (could be the same). The importance of senior management participation is communicated. The top 2-3 core drivers are identified. Time lines live date is clear. The motivation for this live date is clear (compelling event is identified).

Tips: Business Executives will grant time to sales professionals who: Understand their core business drivers and business initiatives Convey how they can deliver value to their company Have the power to make decisions Listen more than they speak (ask intelligent, relevant questions) Speak in terms of measureable benefits and risk mitigation

1.10.1 Contact & Engage Objectives: 1. Secure a commitment to a 15 20 minute mutual discovery session.

Action Plan: a) Research BDM background (social media) for shared connections. b) Reference your conversation with the project lead and request 15- 20 minutes to better understand the prospects selection process and business drivers. c) Briefly credential your organization (relevance) and your conversation with the project lead.

Script: Good morning Mr. BDM. My name is XXX and I am calling on behalf of XYZ Partner. I spent some time on the phone with John Smith yesterday discussing your web conferencing initiative and he suggested I connect with to directly to better understand your perspective on this initiative. These conversations typically take 15 20 minutes, is now a good time talk?

Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

14 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook 1.10.2 Validate Project Drivers

Objectives: 1. Validate what was shared by the project lead. Project drivers are generally functional in nature and deal with operational challenges therefore BDMs often have a different perspective on priorities and business drivers. Uncover incremental requirements or capabilities that are important to the business community.

2.

Action Plan: a) Share the Business/Project Drivers and ask for the BDMs perspective on their priority. b) Ask if there are incremental Business/Project Drivers and/or critical functional requirements that are important to the leadership team. 1.10.3 Business Case/Driver Discovery

Objectives: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Determine the PRIMARY business challenge driving this project (growth, cost reductions, risk reduction, etc.) Determine if the BDM has documented and/or validated a business case to justify project funding. Identify incremental business case elements that will be impacted by the project. Identify any strategic operating metrics that will be impacted by the project Identify any economic or strategic implications that result from NOT funding this project. Introduce INCREMENTAL business value elements that other prospects have realized.

Action Plan: a) Formulate and ask business and risk related questions (Reference the Discovery Questions for recommended discovery questions).

1.10.4 SaaS/Cloud vs. On Premise Discussion Objectives: 1. 2. Uncover prospects understanding of SaaS/Cloud consumption and the inherent b enefits of Cloud. Validate prospects comfort with SaaS/Cloud solution sets.

3. Identify Cloud/SaaS related hidden objections. Action Plan: a) Formulate and ask SaaS/Cloud specific questions.

Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

15 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

1.10.5 Educational Insight Objectives: 1. Provide the prospect with an insight or information that they would not have uncovered during their on-line research. This insight should be industry specific or risk related. The purpose of the educational insight is to break the predictable rhythm of typical sales calls (question/response) and steer the conversation into a more meaningful direction. Introduce incremental business benefits that other organizations in the prospects industry sector realized as a result of similar investments.

2.

Action Plan: a) Partners should have 3-5 documented educational insights for each industry they actively pursue. b) Introduce INCREMENTAL business value elements that other prospects have realized. 1.10.6 Buy-In Demo Objectives: 1. 2. 3. 4. Anchor your solutions unique capabilities and differentiation in the mind of the BDM. Drive the BDM to expand on his/her solution vision. Create a visual link between your solutions strengths and challenges that the prospect shared. Differentiate the Partner by transitioning from discovery to demonstration without the bringing in a technical resource.

Action Plan: a) Identify 2-3 key requirements the BDM feels are critical to project success. b) Position standard OOTB functionality as a commodity and focus on the unique elements your solution provides. c) Demonstrate one (1) differentiating scene that aligns with a key challenge shared by the prospect.

d) Validate that your solution meets the prospects high-level selection criteria. e) Collect information to populate the Demo Plan. Tip: BDMs often have a shorter attention span with regard to product demonstrations. BDM buy-in demos should short (2-5 minutes) focused on high-impact capabilities and MUST be aligned with the business challenges discussed in 1.10.3.

Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

16 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook 1.11.7 Confirm Solution Set

Objectives: 1. 2. 3. Confirm your understanding of the BDMs vision and desired capabilities. Identify any required functionality the prospect feels is missing from your solution. Confirm that your solution is a high-level functional fit for the challenges shared by the prospect.

Action Plan: a) Ask the prospect to share their perspective on the brief demonstration, as well as any important requirements that were not seen. b) Probe to uncover any other potential functional capabilities that would drive a deeper requirements gathering session. c) Capture all requirements (at a high-level) outside the boundaries of standard configuration that will require additional discovery.

d) Clearly ask what else the BDM will need to see to feel comfortable funding the project. 1.10.8 Draft & Send Alignment Letter/Action Plan to BDM

Objectives: 1. Confirm buying process alignment and mutual action items that need to occur between today and contract execution.

Action Plan: a) Send an Alignment E-mail articulating your understanding of the business drivers, required capabilities and anticipated benefits. b) Optional: attach an Action Plan with your understanding of the activities required for the prospect to make an informed choice. Tips: Send an Alignment E-mail/letter to the prospect within 60 minutes of your phone call confirming your understanding of their business drivers, required capabilities and anticipated benefits. This communication may include an overview of your organizations capabilities, relevant industry qualifications and next steps. NOTE: No software or solution information is to be sent at this time. This needs to be a VALUE ADD activity! Only include relevant content (industry report, SaaS vs. OP analysis, etc.) if it is directly related to the conversation (see Alignment E-mail template).

Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

17 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

BDM Engagement Process Flow

Mark Stuyt - Partnerworks

18 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

2.0 Proof
Objectives: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Review and validate the Questionnaire/Survey/Assessment. Complete the profiling process; collect any outstanding technical and functional requirements. Validate the prospects requirements align with your organizations solution capabilities. Manage the prospects trial experience to ensure they are satisfied Microsoft Office 365 meets their functional requirements. Expose and address all objections (stated and hidden) prior to moving to the Close phase.

2.1
2.1.1

Solution Validation
Review & Validate Assessment/Questionnaire

Objectives: 1. Engage the BDM and other stakeholders to develop a deeper understanding of the prospects challenges and required functionality. It is critical that this conversation focuses on the desired business outcomes.

Action Plan: a) Coordinate an assessment/questionnaire review session (conference call). Include the BDM if required. b) Mutually review the assessment/questionnaire to validate your understanding of the primary business drivers and corresponding functional requirements shared by the BDM. c) Determine if an Office 365 demonstration is required (not applicable for simple migrations).

d) Identify the CRITICAL demonstration elements driving the selection process. e) Identify SPECIFIC concerns and/or objections the project lead or BDM has about your solution. 2.1.2 Document Demonstration Plan

Objectives: 1. Validate your understanding of the critical demonstration elements that align with the prospects stated business challenges.

Action Plan: a) Create a Demonstration Plan outlining the prospects required capabilities and associated business impacts.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

19 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook b) Forward the Demonstration Plan to the BDM and relevant stakeholders that participated in the discovery exercise. c) Specifically ask them to confirm your understanding of their business challenges and corresponding functional requirements (is there anything we missed that is critical to your decision making process?). This is a critical step as it will determine how much effort is invested in the demonstration process. Facilitate Solution Demonstration

2.1.3

Objectives: 1. 2. 3. Visually demonstrate Microsoft Office 365s ability to impact the prospects business challenges (proof) that were identified during discovery. Create a clear linkage between improved capabilities and the prospects ability to address the business challenges and pains uncovered during discovery. Engage the prospect stakeholders in the solution demonstration (Mr. BDM, how do you see your project teams leveraging web conferencing and IM to improve their estimating efforts?).

Action Plan: a) Limit introduction to 1 slide (2 minutes), validation of project elements to 2 slides (5 minutes) and total presentation to 40 minutes. Leave 20 minutes (minimum) for Q&A. b) Validate your understanding of the business challenges, project objectives and required functionality. c) Draft 8-10 engagement questions (at least 1 for each stakeholder) to drive engagement and validation.

d) Clearly ask if there are any outstanding concerns or objections at the conclusion of the demonstration. e) DO NOT RUN LATE! 2.1.4 Trial Close

Objectives: 1. 2. Validate that the prospect is legitimately considering your solution. Uncover hidden objections.

Action Plan: a) Ask a temperature check closing question like Mr. BDM/Project Lead, based on what youve seen so far, and assuming that we meet all of your functional requirements, do you see any reasons why your organization COULD NOT move forward with our solution? Tips: We ask closing questions early in the buying process to flush out hidden objections that may surface later.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

20 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

2.2

Trial Engine Management

Objectives: 1. 2. 3. Minimize the risk of the prospect being confused by the trial evaluation. Influence the prioritization of the solution components. Minimize the effort required to support the prospects trial evaluation. Identify & Contact Trial lead

2.2.1 Objectives: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Identify the individual that will be facilitating the prospects trial evaluation. Secure an understanding of the evaluators objectives, primary areas of focus (proof elements), and evaluation approach. Provide guidance on how to maximize their trial experience. Convince the prospect to run a condensed or accelerated trial process (7 14 days maximum). Ideally have the BDM establish this duration for the trial lead.

Action Plan: a) Contact the trial evaluator and secure an understanding of their objectives, primary areas of focus, and their trial strategy. b) Determine if the trial evaluator has sufficient experience to navigate the trial process without guidance and/or if the trial scope is sufficiently complex as to warrant a guided tour. c) Schedule a trial review session immediately following the 7-10 day trial period. Document Primary Proof Elements

2.2.2 Objectives: 1.

Document and validate your understanding of the prospects trial proof points (what does the trial evaluator have to see to recommend Microsoft Office 365?).

Action Plan: a) Document the trial proof points in the Trial Plan (which includes the business content collected from the BDM). b) Forward the Trial Plan to the trial evaluator (cc: project lead and BDM) and request a response confirming your understanding of the trial objectives.

2.2.3

Facilitate Guided Tour/Training

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

21 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook Objectives: 1. Familiarize the trial evaluator with the Microsoft Office 365 capabilities and overall structure, navigating them through the more complex application components (that are documented in the Trial Plan).

Action Plan: a) Schedule an orientation session with the trial evaluator. b) Coordinate a Lync session (plan on transferring control to the prospect). c) Review the Trial Plan and primary focus areas/proof points.

d) Jointly work through one of the complex requirements and capabilities deemed critical the evaluation process.

2.2.4 Objectives: 1.

Forward Workflow Scenarios

Provide industry or business process specific workflows that will help guide the trial evaluator through the standard functionality to limit the risk of them not finding what they are looking to evaluate.

Action Plan: a) Identify and forward the most appropriate Microsoft Office 365 business process scenarios. 2.2.6 Objectives: 1. Reconnect with the trial evaluator at the conclusion of the trial evaluation to confirm they explored all of the required capabilities documented in the Trial Plan. Trial Review

Action Plan: a) Follow up with a scheduled trial review meeting. b) Revisit the prospects trial objectives and proof elements. c) Provide required support and guidance to remedy any objections or concerns.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

22 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Proof Process Flow

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

23 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

3.0 Close
Objectives: 1. 2. 3. 4. Present your proposal; inclusive of pricing (software and services), project plans and statement of work directly to the BDM. Clearly communicate the economic and strategic value of moving forward with your organization. Handle all outstanding objections and close the deal. Inoculate your deal from any last-minute competitive threats.

Steps 3.1 to 3.6 should be highly repeatable in an Accelerated Sales motion. Proposal Presentations should not take longer than 30 minutes to produce.

3.1
Objectives: 1.

Prepare Solution Proposal

Draft the final Solution Proposal (that reflects the inputs provided by the BDM and project lead).

Action Plan: a) Modify your organizations standard solution proposal to reflect any variances specific to this project.

3.2

Review with Sales/Delivery Management

Objectives: 1. Secure sales and delivery management support to release the proposal.

Action Plan: a) E-mail or review the proposal with sales and delivery management.

3.3
Objectives: 1.

Prepare Proposal Presentation

Prepare a high-level PowerPoint presentation for review with the prospect BDM and project lead. Expect that this presentation will be forwarded to other project stakeholders.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

24 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook 2. Clearly communicate that your organization fully understands the business drivers and project objectives driving the initiative. Ensure focus remains on the business value/business case.

Action Plan: a) Modify your pre-defined Proposal Presentation to align with the prospects unique business challenges and functional requirements. b) Clearly articulate the anticipated business benefits. While it is not always possible to uncover the measurable benefits ($) of each project, your organizations defined solution set will likely be designed to address very specific business challenges (ideally industry specific). c) Proposal includes projected project timelines (Gantt chart) as well as the software and services estimate.

3.4
Objectives: 1. 2. 3.

Deliver Proposal Presentation to BDM & Project Lead

Create alignment between the prospects business challenges and your solution capabilities. Identify and overcome all outstanding stakeholder objections. Secure agreement to proceed to contracting discussions.

Action Plan: a) Schedule a 30 minute session with the BDM and project lead. b) Review your Proposal Presentation via Lync (in person if local). c) Revise final content as required.

3.5
Objectives: 1. 2. 3.

Ask for the Order

Secure commitment to proceed to contract discussions. Flush out any hidden objections. Identify any outstanding negotiation items.

Action Plan:

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

25 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook a) ASK FOR THE ORDER. Script: Mr. BDM, based on our ability to address the business challenges you shared with us, and given the positive impact this project will have on your consulting organizations productivity, do you feel comfortable moving forward with our organization?

3.6

Identify & Handle Objections

Objectives: 1. 2. Handle all outstanding objections. Secure commitment to proceed to contracting.

Action Plan: a) Follow the prescribed objection handling model until all objections have been addressed.

3.7

Secure Agreement to Close Date

Objectives: 1. 2. Secure BDMs commitment to a defined contract completion date. Document all action steps required to complete the contracting process.

Action Plan: a) Explain the purpose of the Close Plan (if applicable), which ensures both parties are aware of, and in alignment with, each others time frames and requirements to complete the contracting process. b) Explain the benefits of the close plan (ensures the appropriate resources are available to implement the project efficiently and on time, removes surprises from the closing sequence, manages mutual expectations, provides a framework for scheduling negotiation/closing resources). c) Capture all of the prospects anticipated closing activities (see Close Plan Appendix F) and suggest others that appear missing (if obvious).

3.8
1. 2.

E-mail Closing Documents

Objectives: Send the BDM and project lead an electronic copy of both the Proposal Presentation & Solution Proposal Send BDM and project lead (if applicable) all relevant contract documentation.

Action Plan: a) Complete closing documents (MSA, PoR, etc.)

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

26 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook b) E-mail electronic copies of the Proposal Presentation and Solution Proposal IMMEDIATELY after the BDM proposal presentation. c) E-mail the closing documentation under separate cover (but on the same day).

d) Forward a meeting invitation to BDM to review the legal documentation.

3.9
1. 2.

Contract Review & Execution

Objectives: Review legal documents with BDM and negotiate terms (if applicable). Complete the contracting process (all documents executed).

Action Plan: a) Manage to the Close Plan timeline. b) Overcome all latent objections (buyers remorse)

3.10 Delivery Hand-Off


Objectives: 1. Transition account ownership to delivery team.

Action Plan: a) Schedule conference call to introduce your project lead to the BDM and customer project lead.

3.11 Post Migration Survey


Objectives: 1. 2. Eliminate customer churn through a 30 day post-implementation/go-live survey. Resolve any outstanding business concerns or technical challenges

Action Plan: a) Schedule conference call with the BDM and project lead to review the migration and implementation process. b) Capture suggestions and recommendation for process improvement.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

27 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Close Process Flow

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

28 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix A - Sales Cycle Control Documentation


Every sales cycle, even an accelerated sales cycle, has many moving parts and a myriad of factors to consider as it unfolds; Deal size, sales cycle duration and level of stakeholder engagement all contribute to the potential for delay, derailment or loss. The closer we are to the end of the sales cycle the higher the prospects perception of risk. Risk leads to fear and fear leads to inaction. To mitigate the risk of a no decision, we need to establish expectation alignment with the buyer and maintain it throughout their buying cycle. Unfortunately, few buyers actually know how to methodically and pragmatically facilitate an effective selection process. Sales cycle control documentation enables us to help the prospect better manage their buying process, which inevitably leads to a higher percentage of funded projects (fewer delays/no-go decisions) and more positive project outcomes. Once we have committed to pursue a sales cycle AND facilitated a meaningful, mutually beneficial discovery conversation with a prospect, it is critical that we then actively manage their buying process. The most effective way of achieving this is to confirm what we and the prospect have agreed to (business case, project objectives, decision criteria, timeline, off-ramps, etc.) through sales cycle control documentation. Doing so supports a number of key objectives; it increases our understanding of the opportunity, helps us manage our time more effectively and increases the prospects confidence in your organization and its recommendations. Sales Cycle Control Documentation is comprised of simple documents (less is more) that confirm what we have discussed with the client and articulate a jointly defined path forward. To effectively drive an accelerated sales process it is recommended that partners configure one of the following for each defined (vertical) solution set: Alignment E-mail/Letter Action Plan Demonstration Plan Trial Plan Close Plan (optional with small transactions)

How Do They Work? Following a meaningful prospect conversation we send a confirmation confirming what we have discussed and agreed to. This accomplishes a number of objectives: We communicate to the buyer that we are organized and listen well.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

29 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook We confirm our understanding of the conversation (the prospects business drivers, project objectives, required capabilities, timeline, selection process and anticipated benefits). If we have misunderstood anything the buyer will likely clarify immediately. We establish a high-level engagement framework and timeline based on a shared understanding of the project goals, regardless of how small the opportunity is. Why Do It? Sales Cycle Control documents improve close ratios by creating a different relationship with the BDM. BDMs, by virtue of their roles, typically value structure, process and discipl ine, and will transfer this value to sales professionals that exhibits those traits. Sales Cycle Control documentation benefits all of the stakeholders in the sales cycle internal and external. If parties change during a sales cycle (reorg or extended sales cycle) the Sales Cycle Control documentation will ensure the sales cycle continues to progress without having to revisit ground that has already been covered. As a CLOSING tool, confirmation and documentation allows the sales professional to show the BDM that a great deal of work has gone into the due diligence buying and selling side, which gives the BDM confidence that sufficient work was completed to warrant a decision and contract. Below is an example of an Alignment E-mail that is sent to prospects at the conclusion of the Qualify stage. In addition to this example, other documents that partners should develop are: Demo Plan, Trial Plan, Action Plan and Close Plan (though not all are applicable to every opportunity).

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

30 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix B Sample Alignment E-mail/Letter


Primary Business Driver Bill, Thank you again for taking the time to share your business objectives and e-mail project goals with me today. What I took away from our conversation is that the primary challenges driving your project are: Current ISP mail does not provide adequate archiving Shared company files are hard to locate and manage It is difficult to quickly onboard new consultants IT support is becoming increasingly complex and expensive Not all consultant smart phones and tablets can access company data

Desired Capabilities Based on these challenges, you suggested that the primary capabilities you are looking for are: Hosted (cloud) e-mail service that can add/subtract users as required Easy to manage structured internal file sharing Web conferencing Ability to share project documents and view consultant schedules Internal and external instant messaging to multiple devices types

Anticipated Impact You suggested that with these capabilities your organization would: Improve compliance and reduce business risk Improve estimating accuracy by 5% Experience same day consultant onboarding Avoid a capital investment in server infrastructure Improve consultant productivity and utilization by 3% Lower IT costs by 3%

Next Steps I look forward to working together over the next 3-4 weeks to determine how Microsoft Office 365 can address your project objectives. The next steps in this process are:

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

31 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook Facilitating a mutual discovery session with John Smith Completing, returning and reviewing our migration assessment Reviewing your Microsoft Office 365 trial experience Mutually determining if your organization would benefit from a Microsoft Office 365 solution demonstration Please confirm my understanding of our conversation, or clarify/add to what I have captured above, at your convenience. Best regards, Mark Stewart Microsoft Office 365 Solution Specialist

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

32 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix C Action Plan

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

33 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix D Demonstration Plan

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

34 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix E Trial Plan

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

35 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix F Close Plan

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

36 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix G Engagement Communications Introduction E-mail


Subject Line: Critical Microsoft Office 365 Trial Support Information Good morning John, Thanks for expressing an interest in Microsoft Office 365! As Acme Systems Office 365 solution specialist Id like to connect to better understand your trial expectations and project objectives to determine how I can be of assistance. While every organization and project is unique, some of the benefits that many of our clients have realized are: Reduced IT costs/risk Improved anti-virus protection Business class e-mail

I will be reaching out in the next 48 hours to share with you how Office 365 facilitated these benefits for many of our clients. Alternatively, please forward a day/time that works best for you. Sincerely,

Office 365 Solution Specialist

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

37 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Engagement Opening #1
Good morning John. This is Peter Smith calling from Acme Systems, following up on YOUR recent Office 365 trial request. Microsoft forwarded your contact information to us specifically because of our experience working almost exclusively with Professional Services Organizations. Do you have some time to share what led you to exploring a new e-mail system?

Engagement Opening #2
Good morning John. This is Peter Smith calling from Acme Systems on behalf of Microsoft, following up on YOUR recent Office 365 trial request. The purpose of my call today is to determine how I can be of assistance in support of your trial evaluation. Is now a good time to talk about what led you to explore a new e-mail system?

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

38 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Voicemail
Good morning John, this is Peter Smith calling from Acme Systems on behalf of Microsoft. The purpose of my call today is to better understand your initiative so that I can forward you the appropriate trial support guide. (Optional) I would also like to share with you how some of our professional services clients have leveraged Microsoft Office 365 to improve project profitability and accelerate the onboarding of new consultants. I can be reached at (XXX) XXX-XXXX, again thats Peter Smith with Acme Systems at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

39 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Engagement E-mail #1 - Credentialing


Subject: Connect with a Microsoft Office 365 Solution Specialist John, I am following up on my recent voicemail in support of your Microsoft Office 365 trial evaluation. My role as an Office 365 solution specialist is to ensure your trial experience is as meaningful, informative and efficient as possible. To that end, I would like to coordinate a time to provide some guidance that should accelerate your initial setup as well as direct you towards some PSO specific content (best practices, case studies, videos) to ensure you get the most out of your Microsoft Office 365 trial. I have also included links to two important sites that I believe you will find insightful. Your Office 365 home page Click Here Microsoft Deals and Offers Click Here

If there is an ideal time to connect please provide me with a date/time that works best for you. All the best, Microsoft Office 365 Solution Specialist

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

40 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Engagement E-mail #2 Value


Subject: Compelling PSO Case Studies John, Further to my voicemail of this week, I look forward to speaking with you soon to discuss your Microsoft Office 365 trial expectations, project objectives and migration questions. Additionally, I would share some insights into how other companies have leveraged Office 365 to: Improve utilization through improved internal and external communications Reduce travel costs Accelerate estimate creation

Please provide me with a date/time that works best for us to connect live. In the meantime, be sure to take advantage of our informative demo site and extensive library of case studies for insights into how other companies similar to yours have unlocked the value of Microsoft Office 365. Regards, Microsoft Office 365 Solution Specialist

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

41 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Engagement E-mail #3 Closure


Subject: Last Chance to Discuss Your Microsoft Office 365 Trial..... John, To ensure you are aware of all of the resources developed to support your Microsoft Office 365 trial experience I have attempted to reach out a few times to schedule a conversation. Unfortunately, the business challenges that compel many organizations to explore Microsoft Office 365 often get in the way of the trial evaluation process itself; which I suspect may be the case with your organization My experience is that most companies benefit from a short conversation with a Microsoft Office 365 solution specialist during their trial as there is often a lot to consider and evaluate in advance of making an informed decision. With that, I wanted to reach out one last time prior to closing your file. If you would prefer to stay engaged, please feel free to connect with me directly at (XXX) XXXXXXX, or reply with a time that works with your schedule. Sincerely, Microsoft Office 365 Solution Specialist

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

42 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Appendix H Buy-In Demonstration Model


Improve Project Profitability and Decrease Project Risk with Microsoft SharePoint Problem description: The prospects business is growing rapidly, making it increasingly more challenging to manage its internal (historical estimates, SOWs, HR policy information) and client (project plans, contracts) files. Benefit statement: Microsoft Office 365 (SharePoint) enables professional services firms to configure and manage information intranet sites to more effectively manage and distribute both internal and external information. Centralizing estimates SOWs and project plans in a single location that can be easily accessed through any device could significantly increase consultant billings and reduce project risk. Buy-In Demonstration description: Would you be interested in seeing how the challenge you just described could be addressed with an information site configured specifically for professional services firms? Functional Demonstration: Guide the prospect through a 5-10 minute prepared demonstration vignette. Benefit: Centralizing professional services firms critical internal and external business documentation, and making it available through any device should lead to higher utilization rates, more accurate estimates, accelerated project startup and improved communications with your clients. Validation: How would your organization use these intranet capabilities to remove some of the challenges you shared with me earlier?

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

43 | Page

Microsoft Office 365 Accelerated Sales Playbook

Improve Estimate Accuracy and Decrease Project Write - Offs with Microsoft Lync Problem description: The prospect is increasingly hiring and deploying remote consultants, who spend the majority of their billable time on client sites. This shift is making it difficult to secure their input into new estimates as working documents are sent back and forth via e-mail, (and reviewed in the evening), resulting in delays that place new business at risk. Benefit statement: Microsoft Office 365 (Lync) enables professional services firms to include their remote consultants in the estimation process through web conferencing, desktop sharing and instant messaging. Engaging senior consultants remotely, even for short periods of time, can significantly accelerate and improve the accuracy of the estimating process. This ensures your most experienced consultants participate in the scoping of all complex or high-risk projects. Buy-In Demonstration description: Would you be interested in seeing how remote consultants could actually engage in the estimation process remotely? Functional Demonstration: Guide the prospect through a 5-10 minute prepared demonstration vignette. Benefit: Engaging your most senior consultants in a greater number of your complex statements of work should lead to higher more accurate estimates, fewer project write-offs and a more satisfied client base. Validation: How would your organization use web conferencing to improve project-based communications?

Prepared by: Mark Stuyt Partnerworks

44 | Page