Five Ways to Corner the Market for Office 365

market for office 365

This shouldn’t surprise you: A recent article by Windows Central said there are more than 60 million people now using Office 365 at work. If you’re an Office 365 reseller, this is great news. It also means you’ve got to sharpen your strategy to compete with all the other resellers who are trying to get their share of this booming market.

Start your strategy with one important question…Why would clients buy an Office 365 plan from you if they can just as easily buy it from someone else, or even directly from Microsoft? It’s all about value-added services. That’s right. If you want to make more money with Office 365, you have to build a great portfolio. Wondering how to do it? Here are five suggestions.

  1. Build Solutions Your Customers Need

You already know that Office 365 is versatile enough to fit every SMB’s needs. Use this to your advantage. Focus on a few sectors that you know well. Take the time to do a bit of research so you can really understand the challenges your target market is facing. Find new providers or look for solutions with the ones you know. Once you’ve done that, compile a list of products that are available and use it to build tailored services for your customers. By doing this, you’ll be ready to present different offers that address your customers’ specific needs. When your customers see the wide variety of services you’re offering, they’ll start to see you as the go-to person for all things IT.

  1. Get Help from Your Provider

Maybe you’d like a bit of help to resell Office 365. In this case, you can subscribe to Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP) through a partner like SherWeb. This will give you instant access to valuable services like free migration and 24/7 technical support. Let your customers know how important it is to have round-the-clock technical support. When you’re promoting your offer, mention SherWeb’s Net Promoter scores, staff certifications and industry experience. You might be wondering how to bill your customers. It’s a good idea to charge a fixed monthly rate instead of charging per hour or per incident. This is because cloud solutions are very stable and you’re unlikely to be faced with an unusual incident. Charging for technical support makes a lot of sense because the service is provided for end users and your customers will reap the benefits.

  1. Promote Yourself as a Consultant

Technical and migration services are important, but you can also use your CSP partner’s expertise to offer consulting services for Office 365. Planning a presentation? Use the wide range of white-label documents offered by your partner and Microsoft. When you present a polished presentation, your customers will feel like they’re dealing with an expert. They’ll be more confident about the services you’re offering. Your CSP partner also has solutions architects who have solid experience in implementing solutions for Office 365. Invite them to your next meeting. And don’t forget to bill your clients for each of these services. This is another easy way to generate more revenue for Office 365.

  1. Sharpen Your Training Skills

You can be sure of one thing. Not all your customers will be comfortable using Office 365 right away.  Use this opportunity to include personalized training for your customers’ IT personnel or their end users during the migration process. Be prepared to offer several sessions if necessary. You want users to be comfortable with Office 365. Give your customers all the information and tips they need. Once the migration is completed, stay in touch with your clients to see if there’s anything else they need. They might even ask you for more training sessions. Be available. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen your client relationship and make more money. Short on time?  Ask your cloud partner for help.

  1. Take Opportunities to Cross-sell

Are your customers making the same requests over and over again? Think cross-sell. There might be a new product or service they would find more useful. Here’s an example. You deal with a lot of accountants and some of them have asked you how to integrate their accounting system with SharePoint. You could offer them SharePoint Standard or Enterprise editions. Before you present the offer, just make sure you have the proper site collection templates ready for integration.

There’s no way around it. If you want to earn a decent living from Office 365, you’ll have to put more effort into marketing yourself and adding value to your portfolio. The basic margins offered by the CSP program won’t be enough. SherWeb is a CSP partner with solid experience helping resellers build a successful business with Office 365. Find out more about it. Download our free eBook.

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Jason Brown
Jason has spearheaded SherWeb’s global product strategy, specifically for Office 365. Drawing on his solid background in product, marketing and channel operations, he has been very successful in creating products and services for SherWeb’s partners and direct customer channels. It was largely through Jason’s efforts that SherWeb was able to increase sales for Office 365 and position itself among the best partners in North America for Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program. Prior to joining SherWeb, Jason was a Product Manager at Melbourne IT, Australia’s largest hosting provider. He has more than 17 years of experience in IT and online services and holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.