As a Microsoft gold partner, we take our Microsoft certification really seriously. We have eleven certifications – gold and silver – and our presales team has a set KPI that ensures our technical resources keep up to date.
Keeping our sales team skilled in the latest selling techniques always seems a bit more of a challenge. We have training pathways for the relevant Microsoft fundamentals courses (Azure, 365, Dynamics CRM and Power Platform) – and senior and junior sales specialists complete these as part of their induction.
In September 2020, we took on four young recruits to train up as customer success managers. We inducted them over a six-week training programme using a blended approach with The Sales Activator® toolkit (board game, quiz app, coaching tracker, mental resilience assessment, e-learning and face to face sessions and mentoring.)
But a year later our juniors had more experience and needed a more evolved sales methodology, and our senior team needed a skills revisit that was suitable for the complicated deals they were expected to engage in.
Enter stage right: Microsoft Catalyst
Figure 1: What, How and Why Microsoft Catalyst Training?
Participants are trained to use the IDEA FRAMEWORK to drive successful business transformation with customers. The key is being equipped with the skills to speak about Sales Plays and Industry Scenarios in a way that really speak to the business decisions maker’s business problems. And while the Sales Plays revolve around the Dynamics 365 suite of products, our Modern Work sales specialists were able to apply the IDEA framework to the solution products that we propose based on the Microsoft Modern Work product suite. PLUS, we have been able to now get our Modern Work sales team actively engaged with the cross-selling of the Dynamics suite that we offer.
The team learnt a four step approach that covers:
Catalyst certified, our team has access to Catalyst resources like the customer-ready Microsoft Catalyst one pager and the partner-ready Microsoft Catalyst BDM pitch deck.
Figure 2: Resources available at https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/asset/collection/microsoft-catalyst-overview#/
Using Catalyst increases our value as a Microsoft partner to our prospective clients:
With the whole team (including Head of Sales and Managing Director) trained up in the Catalyst training offering that ended in December 2021, we are looking to a very healthy sales engagement with our customers for 2022. I look forward to sharing an assessment of the bigger deal sizes and faster close rates that we experience over the next 12 months.
Lisa is the Managing Director at Infinity Group, she strategically manages all facets of the business and is a certified board member of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP).
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