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  • Larry Gregory

Microsoft Co-Sell Opportunity for Partners

If you’ve been paying attention to Microsoft, you know that cloud (Azure and Office 365) is their top priority. They’ve been communicating the shift to cloud computing for years and providing incentives to transition their partner ecosystem to leverage and sell Microsoft cloud offerings.


What’s New

This year, Microsoft is taking another bold step by encouraging internal sales teams to actively sell with cloud partners. This encouragement is backed by real incentives (including cash awards and quota relief) so it works (unlike altruism-based attempts in the past).

This Microsoft co-sell opportunity applies across partner types, but we will focus on the implications for ISVs.

Managed ISVs

Historically ISVs were either “managed” or not. Being managed enabled access to a partner account manager (such as a “Partner Business Evangelist”) and often came with marketing and development incentive dollars.

Co-Sell Ready

This year there is further managed partner distinction based on the amount of Azure consumed over the trailing 12 months. If you reach the threshold, you can be designated a Co-Sell Ready partner (or better yet, Co-Sell Recommended). This means you can be discovered by Microsoft field sellers and receive leads.

If you are a managed ISV, you’ve undoubtedly been notified of this opportunity. The key is to create a compelling profile in the internal Application Catalog and execute well with the lead sharing tool (including coordinating across sales teams).

Call to Action

These systems are already in place and partners are receiving leads, but take action now to ensure you’re lined up to receive additional leads when Microsoft field incentives go live in January.

Unmanaged Partners

P.S. Even if you aren’t a managed partner, Microsoft still offers light marketing support if you align with Microsoft’s cloud mission. The go-to-market concierge desk provides social media mentions, press release quote support, and other marketing benefits. Ask your local Microsoft contact and they can connect you to the GTM team for consideration.


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