Planning to Sell Through CSP Indirect?

Top 3 Considerations

Planning to Sell Through CSP Indirect? Keep These 3 Considerations in Mind

Selling through an Indirect Cloud Solution Provider (CSP Indirect) allows organizations to hit the market quickly. Your partnership with an Indirect Provider allows you the opportunity to start selling with no revenue commitments and without the often-steep cost of a direct partnership with Microsoft. A strong partner team will help your organization navigate the ins and outs of selling cloud services so that everyone is receiving the support they need to run smoothly.

The decision to sell through a CSP Indirect Provider comes with a lot of points to consider. These likely include:

  • Does an indirect partnership align with your long-term business plan and goals?
  • Will the Microsoft cloud solutions drive new customers, increased profitability, and long-term clients?
  • Does an Indirect Provider provide you with the systems and automation to manage your customer operations, such as ordering, billing, and provisioning?
  • Can you expect licensing, technical, and solution support from my indirect provider?

It can be overwhelming at first to sift through these considerations, but it will be well worth your time. Let’s work through everything you need to keep in mind as you plan to sell through CSP Indirect.

1. What are Your Long-term Business Goals?

If you are planning to sell through a CSP Indirect model, it is necessary that you first sort out your business plan. Your organization needs to head in with a clear vision. Establishing both short and long-term objectives with your provider ensures you are building the business at your pace.

Having long-term business goals in mind as your organization devises a strategy for the interim is what will make for a successful first year. SoftwareONE’s ONEClub provides designated account managers to help each organization determine such objectives. This way, you will to start working on a competitive edge that will draw customers to you instead of another reseller.

2. How do You Plan to Find and Nurture Customers?

When selling directly, Microsoft requires you to meet a certain set of requirements such as purchasing a support plan and the ability to provide at least one managed service. With CSP Indirect, you don’t have those restrictions. However, you should still have a plan in place for acquiring new customers. This is where it would be wise to team up with your marketing department to get the word out that you are reselling. Whether you try organic efforts such as social media or put some money behind a small advertising campaign, establishing a presence will help jumpstart your customer base.

Through SoftwareONE, Microsoft also offers pre-built campaigns, content, and use-cases that you can leverage as a partner to drive awareness and demand. SoftwareONE is very well versed in co-marketing with Microsoft and building impactful messaging that reaches a wide audience. Your local account team can help you locate marketing resources, programs and content that you can easily plug into your campaigns.

Furthermore, ensure you are prepared enough to provide the resources required for your customers such as licensing, pricing, solution scoping, and more. If you don’t feel as confident in your knowledge of the Microsoft cloud offerings, consider partnering with a CSP Indirect provider that does. Here at SoftwareONE, for example, we have over 30 years of experience with Microsoft. This way, when a customer throws you a question that you don’t quite know how to handle, you will still be able to provide them with an answer.

3. How are You Going to Approach Onboarding and Provisioning?

One of the added benefits of selling through CSP Indirect is that it accelerates go-to-market rates. Whereas selling directly could take months to get started, your organization can hit the market within days using a CSP Indirect Provider. While this is a great advantage to have, this means you would be onboarding customers sooner, as well. Your local partner team will help you get started with the Microsoft Partner Agreement (MPA), linking your partnership through Microsoft Partner Center, and signing the partnership contracts with SoftwareONE.

Plus, it is also important to focus on building long-term customer value. Customers are eager to adopt Microsoft services not only for the increase of productivity they provide, but the value-added services – such as spend management, cloud support, and governance – that they offer, as well. These value adds are a great way to ensure customers are getting the most out of these tools in the long-term. As the reseller, you’ll be backed by these additional offerings, services, and support that will keep you closely engaged with your customer and continuing to provide new value to them.

Lastly, with a CSP Indirect Provider such as SoftwareONE, users will be provided with a customized partner portal where they can manage everything including ordering, billing, provisioning and license management

Moving Forward with CSP Indirect

At the end of the day, there are a ton of benefits to selling as a CSP Indirect Reseller. Before you begin to reap these benefits, however, you have to ensure you have a game plan to keep your organization and your users happy for years to come.

On-Demand Webinar

SoftwareONE's Guide to the Microsoft Partner Agreement and Onboarding Process for CSP Indirect Resellers

On September 1, 2019, the Microsoft Partner Agreement (MPA) became available on Partner Center for partners participating in the Cloud Solution Prover (CSP) program. All partners are required to accept the agreement, including Indirect Resellers, prior to January 31, 2020, to ensure no disruption of their ability to create new customers or place new orders for existing customers in the CSP program.

Do not fear!  SoftwareONE will arm you with the information needed to lead you the way through the complexities of the MPA and partner onboarding process in Microsoft Partner Center.

This on-demand webinar will guide you through the new Microsoft requirements to ensure your indirect reseller business is compliant. Just fill out this form and get immediate acccess to the webinar.

Be a Part of the ONEClub

If you would like to learn more about how to get started, take a closer look at SoftwareONE’s CSP Indirect offering ONEClub.

Join the ONEClub

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Paul O'Connor

Paul O'Connor

Channel as a Service Global Lead


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