Build and grow your unified communications messaging practice
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Build and Grow Your Unified Communications-Messaging Practice. Introduction. Ken Thoreson - Acumen Management Group, LTD Jemima Herman – Product Manager David Alexander – Unified Communications Product Manager Nicole Noel – Project Manager. Agenda. Introduction to the workshop and purpose

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Introduction l.jpg
Introduction Practice

  • Ken Thoreson - Acumen Management Group, LTD

  • Jemima Herman – Product Manager

  • David Alexander – Unified Communications Product Manager

  • Nicole Noel – Project Manager

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Agenda Practice

  • Introduction to the workshop and purpose

  • The business opportunity of a Microsoft UC-Messaging practice

  • Overview of playbook and how to use it

  • Building your UC-Messaging practice—workshop activity

  • Business Builder workshop summary, action plan

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Purpose of workshop Practice

To provide partners who are planning to or have an existing Microsoft Unified Communications-Messaging practice with:

  • Ideas, concepts, and tools to help increase the growth and profitability of their practice

  • A playbook for building sales and profits, promoting commitment, and retaining the sustainability of the workshop

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Why Create a Playbook? Practice

  • To learn best practices for growing a new or existing practice

  • To learn new principles and techniques for business management, sales planning, and marketing

  • To understand resources from Microsoft to assist you

  • To apply these insights and techniques through the Playbook exercises

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Why Business Builder for Practice Unified Communications-Messaging

The Microsoft goal is to assist partner community in building a sustaining business model:

  • Develop and strengthen profitable customer relationships

  • Increase the volume of business

  • Increase existing customer penetration ratios

  • Adding increased levels of net-new customers

  • Implement innovative products/solutions and services

  • Increase market penetration

  • Improve operations and reduce costs

  • Build high-value connections with partners and suppliers

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Market Dynamics Practice

  • Complex IT systems

  • Increasing security threats and economic challenges

  • Increasingly mobile workforce

  • Regulatory requirements

  • Geographically and organizationally dispersed project teams

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Market Dynamics Practice

  • Low employee productivity

  • Need for increased levels of communication

  • Need for better key performance indicators (KPIs) and dashboard metrics

  • Economic justification

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Business Builder Playbook Practicefor UC-Messaging

A working playbook

  • Tailored to your practice needs

  • Microsoft products integrated with Acumen Management best business practices

  • Microsoft resources integrated with product focus

  • Partner-focused for ongoing, long-term utilization

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Play One: Perform Business Assessment and Business Planning Practice

Evaluate your business, your practice, and the elements that should be included in your business plan:

  • Perform a Business Assessment

  • Evaluate Your Practice

  • Case Studies for Strategy Development

  • Developing Your Vision for the Next Two Years

  • Building a Management Dashboard

  • Learning and Development Plan

  • Building Your Practice Statement

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Play Two: Market Assessment and Marketing Plan Creation Practice

Analyze your market and create a six-month marketing plan:

  • Perform Market Assessment

  • Develop a Marketing and Sales Funnel

  • Determine Your Ideal Client and Market Focus

  • Craft Your Message

  • Position your Practice

  • Developing a Marketing Plan

  • Ready-to-Go Marketing

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Play PracticeThRee: Develop and Analyze Your Sales Strategy

Build a UC-Messaging solutions-based sales team:

  • Review, Develop, and Analyze Your Sales Strategy

  • Create Sales Training and Development Plans

  • Microsoft Incentives

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Developing a Practice Assessment Practiceand Business Plan

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Business Planning Practice

Business Planning must consider:

  • The environment of the market and your company

  • Overall and Microsoft resources available to you

  • Your personnel

  • Your marketing capability

  • Training programs

  • Banking relationships

  • Hiring projections

  • Growth considerations

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Business Planning Practice

A process to establish the goals and objectives to achieve business success:

  • Typically annual

  • Frequently financially focused

  • The basis for functional plans

  • Focused on outcome, not process

  • Rarely detailed enough for individual or department action

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Business Planning Practice


  • What are some of the specific factors you will be facing in 2010?

  • What assumptions are you making about the market in 2010?

  • What assumptions did you make about your product offerings in 2009? Still true?

  • What assumptions did you make about your company capability in 2009? Still true?

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Business planning Practice


  • What went well in the past year?

  • What did not go well?

  • What are the key drivers?

  • What are the key metrics?

  • What are the risks?

  • What are the opportunities?

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Key Business Drivers Practice

  • Existing products and services to current customers

  • New products and services to current customers

  • Existing products and services to new customers

  • New products and services to new customers

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Playbook Exercise Practice

  • Evaluate Your Practice

  • Case Studies for Strategy Development

  • Develop Your Vision for the Next Two Years

  • Build a Management Scorecard

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Group Exercise Practice

  • Rate Your Overall Sales/Marketing/Technical Proficiency in Each Category

  • Rate Management, Sales, Marketing, Consulting and Score Your Results

  • Complete Current and Planned %’s of Revenue

  • Review Pertinent Case Studies

  • White Papers

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Building Your UC-Messaging Practice Practice

Product Information

  • Office Communications Servicer 2007 R2 & OCS R2 Online Services Enterprise IM presence platform. A robust, flexible, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards-based, real-time communication platform that enables: presence-based VoIP call management; audio, video, and Web conferencing; and instant messaging communication within and across existing software applications, services, and devices.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 & Exchange Online Services Email, voice mail, calendaring, contact management. Goes beyond email and today’s stand-alone voice-mail systems to deliver a unified inbox experience that includes email, voice mail, and fax functionality, as well as new capabilities such as speech-based auto attendant that allows users to access their communications from any phone.

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Building Your UC-Messaging Practice Practice

Product Information

  • Microsoft Office Communicator Integrated communications client. A unified communications client that works in tandem with OCS 2007 R2 to deliver: a presence-based, enterprise VoIP softphone; secured, enterprise-grade instant mess-aging that allows for intercompany federation and connectivity to public instant messaging networks such as MSN®, AOL, and Yahoo!; one-to-one and multiparty video, audio, and Web conferencing.

  • Microsoft Office Live Meeting Hosted Web conferencing service. A rich conferencing service designed to help users effectively collaborate, conduct training, and deliver presentations using just a PC and an Internet connection. Improvements to Office Live Meeting include support for e-learning, enhanced audio and video capabilities (including VoIP), a stream-lined user interface, seamless integration with the Office system, and a simple deployment.

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Building Your UC-Messaging Practice Practice

Product Information

  • Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook Email client, calendaring client. Provides an integrated solution for managing time and information, connecting across boundaries, and remaining in control of the information that reaches us. Office Outlook® delivers innovations for quickly searching through communications, organizing work, and information sharing—all from one place.

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Best Fit for Buying UC-Messaging Practice

Best fit:

  • Primary prospects: TDMs (CIO, VP Technology, Chief Architect) or BDMs (CFO, COO, VP Ops)

  • Secondary prospects: IT and Telephony Administrators (IT Pros)

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Questions you may hear Practice

“I’m reviewing alternative communications systems that seem less expensive.”

  • Have you looked at total cost of ownership (TCO)? When TCO is taken into account—especially when analyzing the manageability, administration, support, training, documentation, staffing, uptime, partner solutions, and support for mobile devices—Microsoft UC solutions become more and more attractive. You can build on your existing infrastructure, training, and deployed products to gain greater value from a Microsoft UC solution. Also, you will be able to communicate and share presence with users of public IM services with a single client.

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Questions you may hear Practice

“Do I need Active Directory to run Exchange Server?”

  • In order to utilize the operational, administrative, and security benefits of Exchange and Windows, an Active Directory deployment is highly recommended. There are new tools and enhancements that make Active Directory deployment easier. Go to for more details.

    “Unified Communications isn’t for me. It doesn’t sound like something I need.”

  • One of the challenges businesses face in today’s global economy is how to increase the effectiveness of a distributed and mobile workforce. Microsoft UC solutions enable organizations to seamlessly connect employees. Communicating and collaborating is simple, intuitive, and immediate with UC products such as Communicator. Users can immediately find and contact the right person via email, instant messaging, voice, or conferencing.

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Playbook Exercise Practice

Sample Practice Statement

  • Statement: We provide our business expertise, services and Microsoft solutions to increase collaboration and communication.

  • Strategy to Uncover: Our focus is in the Professional Services market segment.

  • Unique Business Opportunity: We offer our clients industry expertise, a client and industry advisory board along with twice annual client User Group events.

  • Related Practice Areas: SharePoint, Office

  • 5 Questions to Ask

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Playbook Exercise Practice

  • Review Learning and Development Plans

  • Develop Your Practice Statement

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Microsoft Training and Development Practice

Follow these steps:

  • Go to

  • Select “Search for Training Packages”

  • Search by competency—Unified Communications

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Market Assessment and PracticeMarketing Plan Creation

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Product Marketing Campaign Practice

Must understand the following to build a campaign:

  • Dollars required to attain monthly budget/quota

  • Dollars required to enter pipeline at the beginning of each month

  • Number of leads required to achieve pipeline value

  • Defined lead sources and average order size

  • Number of months in the sales cycle or velocity

  • Win/loss ratio on proposal deliveries

  • Marketing funnel vs. sales funnel

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UC-Messaging Marketing Campaign Practice

Determine what marketing activities are required to drive demand:

  • Understand vendor tool sets

    • Ready-to-Go Campaigns

    • Newsletters, Emails, Direct Mail, Marketing Programs

  • Prepare tracking systems

  • Estimate potential costs

  • Define for rolling 12 months

  • Determine average order size

  • Determine priority of events

  • Determine your goals per event

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Sales & Marketing Funnel Measure Dispassionately Practice

Glass pipeline — overall company

Opportunity — EFFORT — RESULTS







Leads Req


Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6


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Review Playbook Practice

  • Determine Top Lead Sources

  • Estimate Marketing and Sales Funnels

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Defining Market Coverage Strategy Practice

Goal: Determine sales and market coverage strategy

  • A, B, C analysis of account potential

  • Clustering of opportunity

  • Territory definition

  • Target accounts

  • Products and services

  • Telesales, inside, and outside organization

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Defining Ideal Client Practice

  • A, B, C client base

    • 15% of clients = 65% of sales/profits

    • 20% of clients = 20% of sales/profits

    • 65% of clients = 15% of sales/profits

  • A, B, C prospect base

  • Call frequency determination into Microsoft Dynamics® CRM and measure

  • Lifetime value ratio

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Unified Communications- Messaging Practice

  • Leverage the Microsoft Unified Communications Solutions competency messaging specialization to help differentiate your business in the market. Show current and potential customers that you have expertise in delivering solutions based on Microsoft Unified Communications technologies.

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Marketing Ideas Practice

  • Executive Forum

  • Business Breakfasts

  • Lunch & Learns

  • Seminars based upon Business Challenges

  • Networking/Partnering

  • Social Media

  • Microsoft Resources

  • Use Live Meeting as a Sales Tool

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Group Exercise Practice

List business challenges UC-Messaging Solves for a Prospect.

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Components of a Good Value Proposition Practice

  • The implicit promise a company makes to its customers to deliver a combination of values, such as price, quality, performance, selection, and convenience

  • The words that describe the compelling reason to buy

  • Includes Partner and Microsoft Messaging

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Ready-to-Go PracticeCampaign

Take advantage of the rich resources to show prospects:

  • How to help their organization increase the value of their information assets

  • How to get the right information to the right people

  • How to make better-informed decisions

  • How to provide IT Pros with a single, extendible platform

    The most common partner wins map to three basic deal types:

  • Solving search needs

  • Helping customers get more value out of existing intranet or portal solutions

  • Building broader projects spanning collaborative business applications, enterprise content management, business intelligence, and even e-commerce sites

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Introducing the Marketing Desk Specialists Practice

Your free, one-stop resource for marketing consultations and best-practice guidance

Schedule your FREE marketing consultation today!


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Playbook review Practice

  • Exercise: Craft Your Message—Review Acumen Value Proposition Tool

  • Review RTG Campaign

  • GOAL: Create Six-Month Marketing Plan

  • Discussion on Attendee’s Marketing Ideas

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Develop and Analyze PracticeYour Sales Strategy

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Business Drivers and Pipeline Metrics Practice

Volume, source, and

conversion percent

Lead to prospect




Prospect to


Volume, pipeline dollars, and

conversion percent




to proposal

Mix percent and

conversion percent

Prove and



Proposalto win

Win percent Cycle time

Avg. $ sale


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Key Business Sales Drivers Practice

Sales driver examples:

  • Average dollars per sales transaction

  • Number of required sales transactions per month

  • Win rate percentage of decisions

  • Forecast accuracy percentage

  • Sales cycle time in months

  • Required pipeline value

  • Sales milestones to win

  • Sales activity to win: cold calls, first visits, proof of concept or demo, proposals

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Key Business Marketing Drivers Practice

Marketing driver examples:

  • Overall lead-to-sale ratio

  • Lead-to-sale ratio by lead source

  • Lead-to-sale ratio for line and vertical business

  • Sources of leads in percentages

    • Website, mailings, trade shows, seminars, telemarketing

  • Overall cost per lead

  • Cost per lead by source

  • Total market potential versus actual

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Playbook exercise

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Training Programs Practice



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    Microsoft Solution Selling Process Partners Practice

    For more information on MSSP, partners can view Microsoft Solution Selling for Partners Online at

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    Partner Sales Resources Practice

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    Playbook exercise

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    Offers to Help Close the Deal Practice

    • Current incentives

    • HELP INCREASE THE return on your investment with Microsoft incentives


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    Action Plan for Growth Practice

    Create six-month marketing plan

    Review the Information Worker Solutions competency

    Go to the Business Builder website for exhibits—this week!

    Review notes, playbook, and slides within one week

    Complete playbook within three weeks

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    Call to action Practice

    • Submit IW Builders CPLS Spreadsheet

      • Giveaways

      • Catering Support

    • Leverage Sample Invitation

      • Click to Attend Site

    • Download the PowerPoints and Playbooks on the ZAAZ website


        • user: iwbuilder password: playbook