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Channel Partners: How to Upsell Office 365

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Give Your Customers They Tools They Need, Wherever They Are

Office 365"Would you like to upgrade for a dollar more?" is a classic example of an effective upsell pitch.

Upselling, of course, is a sales technique used to sell additional solutions, tools or services to existing customers.

While some channel partners will try to upsell everyone and anyone -- regardless of whether or not the customer actually needs the additional service -- partners can focus primarily on the customer's experience and goals.  Upselling on these criteria benefits both the partner and customer tremendously.

Within the realm of unified communication solutions, a clearly valuable avenue for upselling is the feature-rich collaborative package of Office 365. Why should partners upsell their customers to Office 365? Easy: 

  • Upgrading to Office 365 means you are no longer tied to a PC or laptop. Any major project can be adequately completed on tablet or even mobile thanks to the seamless integration of Office 365 and OneDrive cloud storage and app usage. Customers can effectively collaborate from the road.
  • Similar app packages can't compete. While functionality between these app packages is similar, Office 365 contains the gold standard of app collaboration (complete with direct app integration with Microsoft Teams) and will be the best set of tools for productivity.
  • The transition and migration is very simple and inexpensive. Microsoft is making Office 365 for small and midsize businesses simpler and cheaper. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, CallTower can customize an Office 365 solution that can leverage your existing on-premise investments while gradually migrating you to the cloud.

Upselling in itself is a difficult undertaking - you will need to adjust your sales strategy and make sure approaching your customer with a pitch is appropriate. Take a look at these tips to make sure your Office 365 Upsell strategy is effective:

1. Understand Your Customers' Success

Before you can attempt to sell the additional value of Office 365 to your customer, you need to have a firm grasp on what kind of success is important to them. Early in your relationship, you should set aside time to sit down and discuss what your customer wants to gain from using your product or service. Explore not only the immediate goals, but also the customer's larger, long-term plans.

Cultivating a deep understanding of your customer's priorities is important for building trust right from the start. If you know what your customer values and where she wants to go, then you can identify areas where additional products and services can help down the line.

2. Find Customers with Upsell Needs

Not every customer is a good fit for an Office 365 upsell, and you should never, ever try to push additional products or services on someone who doesn't truly need them. As a general rule, if you can't explain how the additional purchase will benefit the customer's overall goals, then it's not an upsell worth pursuing.

Instead, focus your upselling efforts on customers with an evident gap in their current plan. If a customer wants to increase her reach, but you don't think she's going about it the right way, there's probably an opportunity to sell her on an upgrade.

3. Provide Value ASAP

Nobody is going to invest additional resources into buying from your business until you've proven that it can deliver tangible results for their business. To set yourself up for a long and mutually beneficial relationship with a customer, you should focus on providing quick wins as soon as possible.

A quick win doesn't require a ton of effort from you, it just has to demonstrate that you're fully committed to bringing real returns to your customer right from day one -- and that Office 365 can help with that. The sooner you can show your customer measurable success, the sooner you can deepen the relationship and prove your expertise in additional areas.

4. Pitch ideas, Not Upgrades

Your customers need to fully understand why you think an additional purchase is a good idea. If you approach her and say, "I think you need to add Office 365," she might get the wrong idea and jump to the conclusion that you're just trying to line your own pockets.

Always pitch Office 365 within the context of an idea. If you see an opportunity to help a customer increase her leads from email marketing, you should come up with a real plan to help her get there. Don't just tell her that she needs to spend more -- give her an easily understood plan to see where her money will be spent and how it will contribute to the overall success of her business by purchasing an upgrade.

5. Be Pricing Transparent

Put yourself in your customer's shoes for a moment: If someone said you needed to pay them more money for vaguely defined additional benefits, you probably wouldn't bite. In fact, you would probably feel like they were trying to take advantage of you.

When you're proposing an upsell, it's especially important to provide transparent pricing information. Give your customer a complete breakdown of what you're proposing and thoroughly explain the cost and timing involved. If a customer knows where her hard-earned resources are going, she'll feel more comfortable about investing more money in O365.

6. Find trends & apply social proof

Once you've successfully upsold a few customers, you'll begin to develop a better idea of what types of customers benefit the most from Office 365. Keep track of the timing and traits these customers have in common, and incorporate trends into your sales process to proactively identify upselling opportunities on an ongoing basis.

Most people need evidence to convince them before making big, expensive purchase decisions. After all, that's the logic behind the value of customer reviews. Before you hop on a call to try to convince your customer of an upsell, make sure you have the data and evidence to back you up from other customers or reviews who've found success using the add-on product.

For example, if you know the percentage of customers that use the add-on product in addition to the product the customer has already purchased, let them know that. If your company has received customer reviews from happy customers using the additional product, tell them that.  Social proof is a powerful convincing factor -- so if you have those resources on hand that suggest the success of customers using both products to make your pitch more trustworthy.



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