The Microsoft CSP program is a great way to get started in the cloud services industry, with various subscription options available. Some popular choices include Microsoft 365, Microsoft Azure, and Teams.
Recently, Microsoft launched a new customer experience program called NCE for its seat-based offers. This update to the company’s licensing programs, tools and services is designed to make things easier on partners, which in turn will provide a better customer experience.
But these changes have also increased the complexity.
Microsoft CSP partners need to fully understand the market they are in, what customers’ needs are, and which business plans will work best for them. Working with various CSPs, we’ve compiled a complete guide with information that will help you market your CSP business. If used correctly, you’ll find yourself at the top!
This guide explains the following topics:
- Importance of marketing for CSPs
- Define your unique selling proposition
- Instead of selling products, sell value and solutions
- Strategically package your solutions and deliver seamless product purchase experience
- Keep track of your marketing efforts and keep them up to date
Importance of Marketing for CSPs
Marketing has changed a lot in the last few years. Technology is transforming businesses, and it’s also affecting how you market your products or services!
Working with partners around the world in multiple markets, we realized that many of our partners were using a marketing strategy that was simply ‘features’. Many partners believed that excellent product features and great service were enough to get leads, but that’s not enough in a cloud-driven world. You need the right strategy and an engaged customer base if you want your business to be successful.
Using the right marketing strategy is the key to your success. The right marketing can increase your sales and revenue for your cloud business. It can build your brand reputation, thereby increasing the trust of your customers which can lead to a long business association. Understanding your customers’ needs is essential for lasting, long-term success. A good brand image paired with services that are in demand can help you beat the business competition.
Define your unique selling proposition
Your potential customers are overwhelmed by the abundance of options in your industry. They struggle to decide who deserves their attention, time, and trust. It can be a difficult process for them as they don’t have the experience to know what separates one competitor from another.
To be successful in a competitive market, you have to make your unique selling proposition clear enough that your customers understand what your business is about and how it is unique from other businesses.
When it comes to making your unique selling proposition worthwhile, certain best practices are universal across markets and can be applied by any business owner.
Identify your target market
The first step in any marketing journey begins with knowing the type of industry you are trying to reach. This is important as it helps you understand which channels will best reach out best to the customers. When you’re marketing your CSP business, it is important to first identify the industries that need solutions from a company like yours. Then you should focus on finding people in those areas who can understand the products and would benefit greatly from their use.
To identify your target market, you must:
Understand the Mind of Your Ideal Customer: Before you start working on the qualities that set your business apart from other similar businesses, focus on your current customer base and understand their business needs and characteristics. This is because prospects with similar interests can become your target market. Creating your customer data is an important part of understanding who you are serving.
When considering your ideal customer, consider the following:
- What does your customer want?
- What factors drove your customer’s buying decisions?
- Why do you think they chose your business over your competitors?
Identify how your business solves the problems of your ideal customers: List the benefits you can bring to any business when they buy your product. Be specific and now, list the industry types that will have business needs that your product/service can meet.
Make your business unique to your customers: Now that you know what problems your ideal customers face, it is time for them to know about all the reasons why they should choose you over your competitors.
Create the right pitch
You’ve understood the mindset of your ideal customers, explained how your business can solve their problems, and told them why they should choose you over your competitors. However, this isn’t enough for them to consider you. It is time to show off what makes you different from everyone else by communicating the unique value your business offers.
Let’s take the example of GitHub. It clearly describes what it stands for and who it is for.
Another example of USP is Zappos, an online retailer. It explains clearly what a USP means and why one should have it. By pitching the uniqueness of its offering, Zappos has fixed its place in the market and has become one of the leading online retailer stores in the world.
It says, “Every Zappos order comes with FAST, FREE Shipping, plus a FREE 365-Day policy.”
Instead of selling products, sell value and solutions
Most products are made to fit all solutions. They are designed for a wider audience and are not a good fit for an individual customer’s needs. Solutions, however, are a combination of products and services. Solutions are designed with the customer in mind and ensure that the problems of each customer can be solved by the journey’s end.
Selling value and solutions require you to change the way you do business. Instead of selling products, you focus on building real relationships with people. The solution-sales approach is about finding new ways to help your customers reach their goals. This can be done by providing them with cost-effective, high-quality products or services specially customized for them that help you build long-lasting relationships and get referrals from your satisfied customers.
Here are a few points to consider:
Create customer personas
The more detailed your customer persona is, the better. It will help you with marketing strategy and targeting specific audiences that need what you offer!
Include factors such as gender, age range, profession, and other demographic information, as well as personal information such as their pain points, desires, what’s important to them, etc.
See the example of a customer of a digital marketing agency:
Not sales, but customer service
Change your sales department’s goal from just sales to complete customer service. This means better understanding the needs of your customers. This can be done by simply estimating what problems or challenges the customer faces and designing specific solutions to those concerns in advance. That way you are not only selling something but providing value with every interaction!
Strategically package your solutions and deliver a seamless product purchase experience
Marketing cloud business is all about packaging the solution in such a way that it attracts and appeals to the customers. Whether you are providing just one service or a bundle of products and services, you will need to name your products or creatively package them. Naming your products is important because it helps your customers understand what you are offering. The simpler and clearer your product names are, the easier it will be for your customers to understand.
When naming a bundle offer, you need to be more strategic than just adding the names of all the services. You can find out what significant value or USP your bundle offers and who it is ideal for and how it impacts your customer. By naming bundled solutions like this, you will not only make it attractive but also help your customer understand how each product and service complement each other. Marketing is all about finding the right words and striking a chord with your customers. If you use this tip, you will be able to get higher conversion rates for the bundled offers!
Keep track of your marketing efforts and keep them up to date
The key to success is not found through a single marketing strategy but rather a well-thought-out plan that takes into account your business needs and wants. It can be difficult at first, especially if you are just starting with new technologies or campaigns, but you need to put in the time and effort to fix your place in the cloud business. To do this, you can use modern Business Intelligence and Analytics tool to review the progress of your various marketing campaigns and techniques. You can see how your marketing is performing in real-time with data points and evidence and make adjustments in your priorities accordingly.
To help you track your marketing campaigns, there are many intelligent tools in the market like RackNap, a cloud, and non-cloud billing and provisioning automation platform. It allows you to track everything from billing to sales to marketing in real time through a single dashboard.
RackNap simplifies the way cloud businesses market, sell, and manage their products – a unique way to achieve more productivity using cloud technology.
We’re all ears! Let us know how do you market your CSP solution? Drop us a comment or send us an email, and let us share the knowledge.