Manage co-sell opportunities in Partner Center
Appropriate roles: MPN partner admin | Referrals admin
As a Microsoft Partner, you can now take complete advantage of co-sell opportunities. A co-sell opportunity is a collaboration of multiple parties to sell products that meet a customer's need. This article will help you understand how you can use the power of co-sell in Partner Center to effectively co-sell and acquire new customers.
Types of Co-sell opportunities
Co-sell opportunity is where one or more Microsoft sales representatives are actively engaged in the deal to help solve a customer problem. The opportunities can originate from a customer account where a Microsoft sales representative invites the partner to participate in a co-selling activity or from a partner where they need more help from Microsoft sales to close the deal.
Co-sell opportunity – This is where one or more Microsoft sales representatives are actively engaged in the deal to help solve a customer problem. The opportunities can originate from a customer account where a Microsoft sales representative invites the partner to participate in a co-selling activity or from a partner where they need more help from Microsoft sales to close the deal.
Partner to Partner (P2P) – This is where one partner can invite other partners in the Microsoft Co-sell ecosystem to collaborate. Partners can optionally invite a Microsoft sales representative to the deal to help close the deal. Both partners and Microsoft can be invited even after creating a deal, as long as it is prior to complete. (Note that complete includes won, lost, declined, and expired.)
Private deal – This is when a partner decides to work independently on a deal that has been created in Partner Center. Partners can give visibility to Microsoft sales team or invite Microsoft sellers seeking active help after creating the deal. The details of the deal are not shared with Microsoft sales team until the time partners explicitly select yes for the question "Would you like Microsoft sellers to view this deal?" or request Microsoft sales team help by choosing one of the options for the question "Identify the kind of help that you need from Microsoft?".
Partner-led deal - These are deals where a partner decides to work independently on a deal, but is okay with giving visibility of the deal details to Microsoft sales team members. Partners can invite Microsoft sellers after creating the deal. These deals are eligible for deal registration when an incentive eligible solution is a part of the deal. Inviting Microsoft seller is not required for deal registration if the incentive eligible solution criteria is met. You can make a deal partner-led deal by answering yes to the question "Would you like Microsoft sellers to view this deal?"
Solution Assessment (SA) – These types of deals can be created only by a set of partners who are vetted by the solution assessments business team for performing technology assessments for customers using or planning to use Microsoft technologies.
Private deals, even though they are not truly collaborative, are included in the co-sell opportunities tab to provide an easy path to upgrade any pipeline deal in to a co-sell opportunity in any non-terminal stage (won, lost, declined and expired).
Access the Co-sell section
To access the Co-sell section, follow these steps:
Sign into the Partner Center dashboard.
From the left-navigation menu, select Referrals, followed by Co-sell opportunities.
You will see three, top-level tabs in this section:
Inbound – All the opportunities that are sent to the partner from Microsoft sellers for collaborative selling are available in this tab.
Outbound – All the opportunities that are created by the partner are available in this tab. Partners can create three different categories of opportunities – co-sell, private, and partner to partner.
Favorites – Opportunities marked as favorites in the Inbound or Outbound Co-sell opportunities tabs will be shown in this tab. Mark any opportunity as a favorite by clicking on the heart icon on the opportunity in the list view. You can remove the opportunity from favorites by just clicking on the same icon again.
Create a Co-sell opportunity
To co-sell with Microsoft, partners need a commercial-ready solution, an engaged sales team, and a strong go-to-market strategy. They must also meet specific additional criteria. For more info, see Become co-sell ready.
To create an opportunity on Partner Center, click the New Deal button in the Co-sell opportunities tab.
Select your customer
Select the customer for a specific deal. Enter their location and start typing the name. The suggestion box will start showing recommendations based on the search criteria. Since many companies have more than one business entity in the same location, you may see multiple results. If you're not sure which to choose, you can confirm which D-U-N-S Number belongs to your customer. Be sure to select the exact match for the customer with whom you're working.
Once you click Select the customer, you'll be prompted to enter the name, phone number, and email address for the person who's your main point of contact for this deal. These details are optional and are required only if you are planning to invite Microsoft sales to help you with the engagement. Select Next.
Be sure that you have obtained the customer’s consent to provide their contact information to Microsoft for the deal. Microsoft may use this information to contact the customer directly.
Enter the details of the current deal. The fields, defined below can change as you are actively working with the customer to close the deal.
|Deal name||Mandatory||The friendly name to identify your deal at a later point of time.|
|Location||Mandatory||The MPN location scope of the referral. Referral users with this location scope can view the referrals if they are part of the team. Referral admins and referral admins with global scope can view the referrals irrespective of the location. Location cannot be edited after creating the referral.|
|Estimated value||Mandatory||The value of the deal based on the information available while creating the deal.|
|Estimated close date||Mandatory||The date by which you expect to close the deal with the customer.|
|CRM ID||Optional||Tag the deal with the ID of the opportunity in your respective CRM for tracking purpose.|
|Marketing campaign ID||Optional||Capture the marketing campaign that resulted in the deal. This filed can help you track the ROI of a certain campaign if you tag all the deals originating from the campaign with the same ID.|
|Notes||Optional||Update all the latest information to provide visibility to other employees from your company working on the same deal or trying to understand the current state of the deal. You can also use this as a communication on record for discussions between Microsoft sellers/other partners with your company.|
Add team members
After adding the deal details, add the employees that will be working on this specific deal. You will need to enter the name, phone number, and email address of the employee. These details are mandatory, and you need to have at least one contact with all the details entered for you to create a deal. These details can be changed even after creating a deal. Recent contacts from your previous deals are shown on the right side for you to quickly add them to the deal. For P2P deals, the team can have employees from both your company and the company sending the invitation.
In this section, you need to provide the information related to the solutions that will be part of this deal. This is a mandatory section where you must add at least one solution to create a deal. The solution details can be changed after creating a deal. There are multiple types of solutions that can be added to a deal, which are described below
- My company’s solutions: These are co-sell ready solutions that are published by your company
- Microsoft: These are solutions owned by Microsoft
- Other third-party solutions: These are co-sell ready solutions that are published by other partners in the Microsoft co-sell ecosystem
- Solution Assessments: These are the assessment types, which an eligible partner can select based on the customer need
Only one assessment type can be selected for a solution assessment deal and no other solutions can be added. Once a solution assessment is selected, the partner has to choose the location for which the assessment is being created. This is needed for correct incentive payouts.
Once you have provided the solution information, select Next to move to the section where you can decide the selling type. You have four options if you chose solutions from the first three options in the solution type and not a solution assessment:
Private deal: If you don’t invite Microsoft and create an engagement at this step, it will be of the type private pipeline. Microsoft sellers will have no visibility into the details of this deal. You can create a private deal by selecting No help required at this point of time for the question "Identify the kind of help that you need from Microsoft?" and No for the question "Would you like Microsoft sellers to view this deal?". You can always upgrade a private deal into a partner-led or active co-sell deal before the deal reaches a terminal state (won, lost).
Deal registration is not applicable for Private deals. Exercise caution while creating a private deal with incentive eligible solutions as they will not be eligible for deal registration in Partner Center.
Partner-led deal: If you wish to not seek any active help from Microsoft sales team, but want to give them visibility in to your pipeline, you can create a partner-led deal. You can create a partner-led deal by selecting No help required at this point of time for the question "Identify the kind of help that you need from Microsoft?" and Yes for the question "Would you like Microsoft sellers to view this deal?". These deals are eligible for deal registration even though Microsoft seller is not actively involved in helping the partner. The requirements for deal registration are having an incentive eligible solution in the deal and won status of the deal.
Co-sell deal: If you select any option other than the default selection for the question “Identify the type of help you'd like from Microsoft”, the deal turns into a co-sell deal where a Microsoft seller can potentially help you with closing the deal. A request for help from Microsoft doesn't guarantee that a Microsoft seller will participate in the deal. Microsoft sales representatives have 14 days to decide if they want to participate. In the notes section, be sure to identify the type of help you want.
Partner to Partner (P2P) deal: You can invite other partners to the deal by clicking on the Invite partner link. Below is the process for creating a P2P deal.
Select a partner: After clicking on Invite partner, you will be able to start typing the partner name to get suggested list of partners matching the name that you are entering. Select the partner you are interested in to fill more details for that partner. You can only search for partners who are in the Microsoft Co-sell ecosystem and are transacting in Partner Center.
Estimated close date: This is the date by which you expect the invited partner to complete their part of the deal. The date is pre-filled so that you can choose to modify the date only if necessary. It is a mandatory field and can be edited by the partner you are inviting after creating the deal. You can’t modify this field after creating the deal.
Estimated value and currency: This is the value of the deal that the invited partner will have in the overall deal. Make sure that you enter correct value here so that the invited partner can decide if they want to be a part of the deal or not. The invited partner can change this value after creating the deal. You cannot modify this field after creating the deal.
Notes: Add the details for why you are inviting the partner to be a part of this deal. Detailed information will help the invited partner to decide if they want to participate.
Add your team: Add the employees from your company who will be working with the invited partner. If the invited partner accepts the deal, they can add their own employees so that both companies have a view of the entire team collaborating on the deal. You can only modify these details before creating the deal. Employee details entered in your deal data are pre-filled to make it easier for you to choose the employees who be working with this specific partner.
Add solutions: Add the solutions that you want the invited partner to bring to the table. At least one solution is mandatory. The invited partner can modify the solutions once they accept the invitation.
Identify the type of help: Identify the type of help: Finally, identify the specific help you need from the invited partner.
Repeat this for all the partners you want to invite to this deal. A partner to partner deal can also have Microsoft seller involved where you are inviting both Microsoft and the partners to the deal. You can also invite both Microsoft and the partners later, after creating the deal.
Respond to a co-sell opportunity
Each opportunity moves through a life cycle of its own.
In this stage, if you have received a new Co-sell opportunity either from a Microsoft seller or from other partners in the Microsoft Co-sell ecosystem, review the details, and feel free to contact the customer if you want to learn more about their business needs. You can take two actions in this stage. accept or decline the referral:
Accept: Enter a name for the deal, edit the estimated deal value, and the estimated purchase timeframe based on your review. Once you established the contact with the customer, you should provide info in the Notes field to explain more about what the customer is looking for. You can optionally enter your CRM ID here (for your reference only), the marketing campaign ID that resulted in the respective opportunity and add contacts from your company who will be working on this deal.
When you're finished, select Next. We'll move the referral to the next stage, which means you plan to actively engage with the customer to address their need. We'll also use this information to help you find similar deals in the future.
Decline: Select the reason you're declining the deal and add any notes you'd like to include, then select Close deal. We'll archive it as Declined and notify either Microsoft or the partner who sent you this opportunity.
If you don't respond within the allotted time (currently 14 days), we'll archive it as Expired and notify either Microsoft or the partner who sent you this opportunity.
Work to close the deal with the customer. If you want to change any of the information you've provided for an accepted referral, select Edit. You can then update the deal name, estimated purchase date, estimated value, notes, CRM ID and/or the marketing campaign ID. You can also select Add your team to provide the name, phone number, and email addresses of any more people who are working on the deal. Solutions can also be edited based on the customer need.
All the deals you have created are in Accepted stage by default.
Once you started working on the deal, you can provide the details of the progress that you are making by marking the sales stages in the deal lifecycle. There are four stages in the deal lifecycle apart from the initial acceptance or creation and the final won or lost stages as mentioned below. Providing these details is optional, but you are highly encouraged to share these to get stage appropriate help from Microsoft sales representatives in a Co-sell deal.
The sales stages will vary if the deal is a solution assessment deal. Marking sales stage is also mandatory for solution assessment deals. Won button will be enabled only after all the sales stages are marked as complete by the partner.
Below is the table showing the sales stages and the corresponding percentages for deals other than solution assessments as determined by the Microsoft Partner Center referrals system.
|Sales stage name||Sales stage percentage||Definition of sales stage|
|Created||10%||Creating an outbound deal.|
|Accepted||10%||Accepting an inbound deal.|
|Qualified||20%||Qualifying the value of the deal and the customer requirements before proceeding further.|
|Developed||40%||Developing the deal further to understand the detailed requirements to either prepare a POC or any other artifacts required for a formal proposal.|
|Proposed||60%||Making a formal proposal to the customer based on their requirements.|
|Negotiated||80%||Negotiating the final terms based on the proposal to get to the final state – winning or losing the deal.|
|Won||100%||Marking the deal as won.|
When you're finished, you can take one of the two actions, which are marking the deal as Won or Lost to report the outcome.
It is not necessary that your company follows the same sales stages. This is how Partner Center recognizes the deal sales stages and will automatically map the stages of your company to these standard stages if you are passing these values using the API. If you are using the Partner Center UX, the percentages as shown in the table are used to mark the sales stages.
Deal Registration Stage
For certain eligible solutions, after you select Won, you will be asked to provide additional information to register your deal. Microsoft will review the info you provide here and may ask for additional details during the review process. For more information, see Register your deals.
This is the final stage for all opportunities. You can view all the deals that are in won, lost, declined, and expired in the closed stage. There are no actions that you can take in this stage.