Manage co-sell opportunities in Partner Center to define deals and better meet customer needs

Applies to

  • Partner Center
  • Referrals
  • Co-sell with Microsoft
  • Deal sharing

Appropriate roles

  • MPN partner admin
  • Referrals admin

You can take advantage of co-sell opportunities. Co-sell opportunities are those where there is a collaborative selling done by multiple parties to meet a customer need. This section will help you understand how you can leverage the power of Co-sell in Partner Center to effectively do co-selling and acquire new customers.

Types of Co-sell opportunities

Co-sell – 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 additional help from Microsoft sales to close the deal.

Private pipeline deal – This is when a partner decides to work independently on a deal that has been created in Partner Center. Partners have the option to invite Microsoft sellers after creating the deal to make it a collaborative selling activity. The details of the deal are not shared with Microsoft sales team until the time Microsoft sales help is explicitly sought by the partner.

Note

Private pipeline deals, even though they are not truly collaborative, are included here 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).

There are three top-level tabs in the co-sell 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 two different categories of opportunities – co-sell and private pipeline.

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.

Creating a Co-sell opportunity

Important

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.

You can create two types of co-sell opportunities.

Select your customer

Select the customer for this specific deal. Enter their location and start typing the name. The auto-suggest 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 who you're working with.

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.

Important

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.

Deal details

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.

Field name Mandatory/optional Details
Deal name Mandatory The friendly name to identify your deal at a later point of time.
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 your employees

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.

Add Solution(s)

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

Once you have provided the solution information, select Next to move to the section where you can decide the selling type. You have two options:

Private pipeline 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.

Co-sell deal: If you switch the toggle to yes for the question “Would you like Microsoft's help?”, the deal turns in to a co-sell deal where a Microsoft seller can potentially help you with closing the deal. A request for help from Microsoft is no 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.

Responding to a Co-sell opportunity

Each opportunity moves through a life cycle of its own.

Received stage

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.

Accepted Stage

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 employees to provide the name, phone number, and email addresses of any additional 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.

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 so we can archive it accordingly.

Tip

For certain eligible solutions, after you select Won, you'll 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.

Archived Stage

This is a terminal stage where all the opportunities finally reach. You can view all the leads that are in won, lost, declined, and expired in this stage. There are no actions that you can take in this stage.

Getting more Co-sell opportunities

Here are some tips to help you get more co-sell opportunities that are appropriate to your business:

  • Respond quickly to deals. When you respond in a timely fashion to incoming requests, we'll increase your visibility in future partner search results progressively. Make sure your team responds quickly with your intent.
  • Be choosy with the deals you accept. We monitor the types of deals that you accept and decline and use this information to help find you similar deals. Accepting deals that aren't a good fit won't improve your search results and could impact the quality of the opportunities that you receive.
  • Report back the estimated deal sizes, closing dates, and the final status of your deals (won or lost). We'll use this info to continue to provide you with quality referrals.

Next steps