We’ve said it before: Office 365 is a gold mine. And here’s the proof. A recent article in Business Insider said that almost 50 million people use Office 365 at work every month. If you’re an Office 365 reseller, that’s great news. But you’re not alone. There are many resellers just like you who are putting a lot of effort into targeting specific markets and creating great strategies to serve them.
But ask yourself this question: Why would clients buy an Office 365 plan from you if they can also buy it from someone else or even directly from Microsoft? The answer lies in value-added services. The easiest way to make more money in this red hot market is to build a great Office 365 portfolio. Here are five ways to do it.
- Build Tailored Solutions
Take advantage of this fact: Office 365 is versatile enough to fit every SMB’s needs. This makes it easier for you to focus on a number of professional areas that you know well. Take some time to do a bit of research so you can get a real handle on the challenges, needs and constraints of your target markets. Find new providers or look for solutions with the ones you already know. Next, compile a list of available products and use it to build tailored services for your customers. You can also bundle Office 365 plans with these products. This will allow you to present different offers to address specific customer needs. By adding a wide variety of services to your offer, you establish yourself as the go-to person for all things IT.
- Take Advantage of Your Provider’s Added Value
You don’t have to strike out on your own to resell Office 365. 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 just how valuable that support really is. When you’re promoting your offer, mention SherWeb’s Net Promoter scores, staff certifications and industry experience. You might be wondering about billing. Your best bet would be to charge a fixed monthly cost rather than per hour or per incident. This is because cloud solutions are very stable, and unusual incidents rarely occur. It makes a lot of sense to charge for support because the service is provided for end users and it benefits your customers.
- Become a Consultant
There’s more to the CSP program than just technical and migration services. As an Office 365 reseller, you can use your cloud partner’s expertise to provide your customers with advisory and consulting services. Planning a presentation? Use the wide range of white-label documents offered by your partner and Microsoft. Your customers will feel like they’re dealing with an expert and they’ll be more confident about your services. Your CSP partner also has solutions architects who have solid experience in implementing solutions for Office 365. Invite them to your next client meeting. Remember, you can bill your clients for each of these services. This is another way to generate more revenue for Office 365.
- Offer Personalized Training
Let’s face it. Not everyone will be comfortable using Office 365 right away. This is a great opportunity for you to include personalized training for your customers' IT personnel or their end users during the migration process. You should be prepared to offer as many sessions as they ask for. You want users to be comfortable using Office 365. Give them all the information and tips they need. After the migration, stay in touch with your customers to see if there’s anything else you can do. They may ask you for more training sessions. Don’t miss this chance to strengthen your client relationship and make easy money at the same time. Not always available to conduct training sessions? Ask your cloud partner for help.
- Think Cross-sell
Have you noticed that you’re dealing with the same customer requests over and over again? Maybe it’s time to think about cross-selling a new product or service that could serve them better. Consider this example: You deal with a lot of accountants, and some of them have asked you how to integrate their accounting system with SharePoint. What’s preventing you from offering them SharePoint Standard or Enterprise editions? Before you present the offer, just make sure you have site collection templates ready for the integration.
If you want to earn a decent living from Office 365, you’ll have to look beyond the basic margins offered by the CSP program. You’ll have to put some real effort into marketing and adding value to your portfolio. As your CSP partner, SherWeb has solid experience helping resellers build a successful business with Office 365. Want to know more about it? Download our free eBook.
Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.