Leads in the Microsoft marketplaceBefore we discuss the specifics of the leads that come your way, let’s take a look at some of the basic terminologies and concepts that you will come across. To begin with, leads are essentially buyers in the Microsoft marketplace, who show an interest in your product or service and can be your potential customers. As a marketplace, Microsoft has specific terms for specific leads based on their level of interest. These levels are to a large extent dependent on the type of offer that you publish. A lead will be different for a Get it Now offer vs that for a Contact Me offer. Here is a quick snapshot:
- On top of the acquisition funnel is the Initial Interest Lead. This is most common for Contact Me offers and when customers click on Contact Me for your Microsoft marketplace offer, they are giving a consent to share their information with the seller, which in this case is you, as an ISV. Since the customer here has requested you to contact them, chances are high that you will be able to convert them with the right sales approach.
- Next are Active Leads which come your way when someone has already started deploying your product using the Get it Now option on your offer listing. These leads are specific for transactable offers. While the customer has already initiated the deployment, getting access to their information as an active lead can enable you to upsell and cross sell.
- Finally, the third type of leads result from your offer option of Test Drive or Free Trial. These potential customers would like to get a feel of your solution before committing to it for a long term. These leads provide you with a great opportunity to not only talk about your solution but actually let them experience it, resulting in accelerated sales.
Accessing generated leadsWith 4 million active visitors in Microsoft marketplace as your potential customers, you are likely to receive leads at great speed and volume, especially, once you have established your brand and have explored co-selling opportunities. However, if you do not have the right tools and process to access and manage your leads properly, it will become very overwhelming for you and your team to scale your sales and revenue. Here connecting your Microsoft publisher account to your CRM or Customer Relationship Management system like Azure Table or SalesForce CRM System, is a wise choice. Though optional for most offers, except Test Drive, a CRM connection can help you easily access the leads generated for you in the Microsoft marketplace. The process is quite simple:
- On the Microsoft partner portal, click on the Customer Leads option and select Connect
- A Connection Details dialog box will appear, select the destination for the lead
- Fill in the required details to complete the fields
- Click on Validate link to validate the configuration
- Select Connect and you are done