The Microsoft CSP program allows its partners to grow their revenue by reselling Microsoft’s comprehensive cloud portfolio along with their innovative solutions. As per Gartner’s forecast, “Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is expected to reach nearly $600 billion by 2023”. The research vice president at Gartner, Sig Nag stated, “Cloud is the powerhouse that drives today’s digital organizations.” This creates a vast range of opportunities for CSP to scale their business and increase the Microsoft CSP revenue.
As per IDC, by 2024, “Partners will generate approximately $1.2 trillion from Microsoft technology which will equate to partner revenue of $10.04 for every $1 of Microsoft revenue.” This revenue will be generated by the value-added services created and sold by the CSP partners. As per the IDC Worldwide Blackbook: 3rd Platform edition, May 2020, “Over the next five years, IT spending is expected to grow 5.7%”. Microsoft considers itself a partner-led company and considers its partners more than just resellers. This approach along with the high demand for Microsoft’s products worldwide allows partners to maximize the Microsoft CSP revenue.
Although the Microsoft CSP program offers partners an opportunity to grow their business, there are many challenges that CSPs face. These challenges include inaccurate or delayed billing, manual bill reconciliation, revenue leakages, shrinking profits, high administrative costs for managing a large customer base, intense competition from other CSPs, customer churn, managing subscription fatigue, etc. These roadblocks hamper business scaling efforts and business longevity. You can read our blog to know more about the unique challenges CSPs face that impede growth.
Top tips to become a successful Microsoft CSP and drive revenue
To achieve business growth and ensure business longevity you must focus on ways to maximize your Microsoft CSP revenue. The following 6 tips can help you build a successful CSP business.
Leverage Microsoft resources
Becoming a CSP allows you access to informative resources and helpful content created by experts at Microsoft. This wide range of resources includes:
- Guides on managing your memberships
- Step-by-step support to build your solution
- Go-To-Market resources to shorten your time to market and create marketing campaigns to drive customer engagement.
- Skill-building courses to earn specializations and achieve expertise. Microsoft offers both technical as well as sales-focused training.
As a CSP, you can use these resources to attract new customers, increase profitability, and grow your Microsoft CSP business. These ready-to-use resources not only help you earn more but reduce the cost and time involved in developing them on your own and lead to cost savings as well.
Create a Microsoft business profile
The Microsoft partner center is equipped to do more than just manage your CSP account. You can create a business profile in the partner center and generate leads for your CSP business. These leads are either generated because of Microsoft’s marketing campaigns and promotions or are the ones that reach out to Microsoft seeking solutions to their business problems. Depending upon the customer’s requirement and CSP’s expertise and preferences, Microsoft refers such credible and qualified leads to its CSP partners. Pursuing credible leads results in a higher conversion rate and helps you save time by shortening the sales cycle. The time saved can be used to build better relationships with existing customers and further develop the business.
Potential customers that reach out to Microsoft are usually looking for specific solutions. To stand out from the crowd, make sure that your business profile has all the relevant details about your business, focuses on your capabilities and expertise, and is up to date. To know more about building a winning Microsoft CSP business partner profile read our blog.
Reduce costs by using automation
Serving a large customer base requires a sizable number of resources in terms of time spent as well as manpower. The increased workforce needs to process the orders manually, manage subscriptions, generate invoices, track payments, etc. increases the costs of running the business. Even with a large customer base, the increased cost of operations will impact on the bottom line. The huge workload of manual bill management often results in inaccurate, missed, or delayed invoicing, and the inability to diligently follow up on payments leading to poor cash flow.
Dealing with inaccuracies in billing further increases the workload of the teams. Processes like order and subscription management, billing, payments, etc. can be completely automated leading to cost savings eventually. Features such as self-service portals further reduce the need for manual intervention giving you time to focus on other crucial business functions. Billing automation tools not only leads to cost reduction but increases Microsoft CSP revenue opportunities by helping you bundle products and services and cross-selling and upselling to your customers.
Expand your catalog with ISV solutions
Customers are often looking for a one-stop solution for their business needs. To make potential customers choose you amongst all the competition requires you to expand your portfolio. As a Microsoft CSP, you need to sell value-added solutions along with Microsoft cloud services to earn more revenue. You can expand your offerings by either developing solutions in-house or bundling third-party solutions along with Microsoft solutions. Independent Software Providers (ISVs) publish their solutions on the Microsoft commercial marketplace.
You can expand your catalog by selling ISV solutions to your customers to meet their business needs. Selling niche ISV solutions saves you the time and costs that would have been spent on developing a new product. You can build a relationship with an ISV and receive margins on selling ISV solutions. If there are solutions published by ISVs that you would want to sell to your customers, you can reach out to ISV to enquire about the private offer margin i.e., a discount on the original product price they are willing to offer. You can learn more about the ISV Marketplace margins here.
Build long-term customer relationships
Building a customer-first culture goes a long way in strengthening and nurturing your existing customer relationships. To increase your Microsoft CSP revenue, you need to focus on increasing the average revenue per customer. One way to achieve this is to convince project-based customers to move to a subscription-based model. This will help you build a recurring revenue stream for your CSP business. To keep the recurring revenue stream steady, you need to provide a great customer experience, without which the churn in your customer base increases leading to lower profitability.
Building a strong relationship with your customers not only ensures long-term recurring revenue but also opens up newer avenues of income generation via cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Happy and satisfied customers not only spend more but also function as brand advocates who spread the word about your business which can help you gain new clients. To improve customer experience, offer self-service capabilities to your customers. This allows the customers to learn about your solutions at their own pace and make purchases at their convenience. The transparency in pricing and billing provided by the self-service experience helps in earning the trust of the customers and building long-term business associations.
Earn solutions partner designations
Customers are not just looking for products but solutions to their business problems. For this, customers look for CSPs who have the necessary skills and industry specialization to fulfill their business needs. Microsoft has introduced six Solutions Partner designations: Solutions Partner for Security, Solutions Partner for Modern Work, Solutions Partner for Business Applications, Solutions Partner for Data and AI (Azure), Solutions Partner for Infrastructure (Azure), and Solutions Partner for Digital and App Innovation (Azure). Attaining a Solutions Partner designation in one or more Microsoft solution areas gets you a customer-facing badge for that particular solution area. This makes it easier for customers to identify and select a CSP partner who has the necessary expertise and capabilities for which they are searching. Earning a Solutions Partner designation is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition, market your capabilities, secure sales, and drive Microsoft CSP revenue.
How C3 can help CSP maximize profits
You can maximize your Microsoft CSP revenue by partnering with C3. By using the advanced technological ecosystem provided by C3, you can explore newer revenue opportunities, optimize operations, and reduce operational expenses, differentiate yourself from the competition, and significantly improve customer experience and win their loyalty. The following features offered by C3 can help you increase revenue-
- Self-service– give your customers the self-service experience and make their transactions seamless.
- Accurate invoicing – automate your billing system to generate accurate and timely invoices that can control revenue leakages.
- Sell bundled solutions– create product bundles and earn more profits by cross-selling and upselling to your customers.
Book a demo today to know more on how to maximize your Microsoft CSP revenue with C3.