Our guest contributor for today’s blog is Chanda Wong, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Modern Work Field & Partner.

Update December 9, 2022: The on-demand webinar for “Meeting the Changing Software Technology Needs of SMBs” is now available. Hear from Hannibal Scipio, Principal Analyst at Forrester, about best practices for setting your businesses up for success in winning and retaining SMB customers. The presentation is also available for download.

Today's businesses are looking to reduce costs and optimize operations as they shift to a world of hybrid work. But supporting the many aspects of hybrid can add costs and create additional unwelcome processes, especially for small and medium businesses (SMBs) with fewer resources.

For partners, this is a massive opportunity to help SMB customers use Microsoft 365 to enable hybrid work and, ultimately, do more with less. We’re here to help you understand the challenges your SMB customers are facing so that you can deliver customized solutions that lead to greater satisfaction and loyalty.

#1: Attend the "Meeting the Changing Software Technology Needs of SMBs" webinar on December 6th to learn more about SMB needs and how you can help

Understanding how to meet the evolving and maturing needs of your SMB customers is crucial to a successful partnership. With this in mind, Microsoft commissioned a research study with Forrester to learn what steps partners can take to enhance SMB customer retention and loyalty.

The study, "Meeting the Changing Software Technology Needs of SMBs," included responses from 470 SMB decision makers from across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Findings showed that SMBs are looking for:

  • Increased Security: 54% of SMB respondents cited “security and compliance risks in working with 3rd parties” as a top challenge when making decisions around purchasing software solutions.
  • Improved Productivity: 71% of SMBs said “variability of locations our employees can work from” impacts their decision for selecting software solutions for employees.
  • Return on Investment: 44% of SMBs ranked the ability to show ROI or potential productivity gains as significantly impacting software solution purchase decisions.

Interested in learning even more about the challenges SMBs are facing, what they want from their software solutions, and the opportunity for partners? Join us on December 6, 2022, at 10AM PST to hear more from the recent Microsoft-commissioned Forrester study and learn best practices from our guest speaker Hannibal Scipio, Principal Analyst at Forrester, for setting your businesses up for success in winning and retaining SMB customers.

#2: Pitch the Do More with Less Campaign for SMBs

Now is the perfect time to reach out to SMBs as they rethink and shift their investments in tools and technology. We created the Do More with Less Campaign for SMBs — a set of resources, including the SMB New Customer and Upsell Promoto help you confidently pitch how Microsoft 365 can help them do more with less.

In fact, according to the Forrester study, nearly 65% of SMBs prefer to purchase software solutions as packages, in a “suite of solutions” that meets all their business needs. 

This is good news for partners, as Microsoft 365 is a complete solution for SMBs. Customers can save money through vendor consolidation, and they can boost security and improve productivity all with one premium product.

The Do More with Less Campaign for SMBs will help you grow revenue by acquiring new customers and upgrading existing customers to more premium products. Head over to the SMB Partner Portal page for everything you need to launch your campaign today.

#3: Join the Project Orland for Microsoft 365 Public Preview now

Using data to understand how customers interact with a product or solution can not only help you anticipate your customers’ needs throughout the stages of the customer lifecycle, but it can also help you increase the lifetime value of your customers. In fact, 58% of 464 partners in the Forrester study felt that their retention rate for SMB customers is lower than they’d like, and nearly 70% rank improving customer acquisition as a top priority.

That’s why we’re excited to share that Project Orland for Microsoft 365 a customer lifecycle management experience is now available in public preview for Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners. Project Orland offers Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven customer insights, actionable recommendations, and prescriptive guidance to help you grow your business.

Project Orland, which is based on data science and modeling used internally at Microsoft, has benefitted from ongoing partner feedback to create a robust experience that addresses the phases of a customer’s lifecycle by incorporating vendor consolidation, upsell with security, and hybrid work scenarios, among others. When you anticipate and respond to these needs, you can increase customer satisfaction, retain subscribers, and grow your business through managed services.

Start building your customer lifecycle management practice with Project Orland for Microsoft 365 today. Sign up for the Project Orland public preview.

Grow your customer insights, grow your business

Understanding your customers’ needs — and how you can help them use Microsoft products more efficiently and effectively — is a key step to building your partner practice. Attend the thought leadership webinar featuring Forrester on December 6th at 10AM PST, launch your Do More with Less Campaign for SMBs campaign, and strengthen your CLM practice and accelerate your growth by joining the Project Orland public preview today.


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