The five attributes of successful Microsoft partners

ne of the questions I get asked most often is “What does it take to be a successful Microsoft partner?”

In response to this, our US OCP Leadership Team got together and came up with a set of the top attributes of our most successful partners, based on what we’ve learned from observing and speaking with partners who have achieved sustained, high business performance. Over the years, we’ve noticed commonalities in how these partners operate their businesses and work with us at Microsoft. While this is clearly not an exhaustive list of everything our top partners do to perform at a consistently high level, these attributes definitely make a difference.

We shared these five attributes during the US Area General Session at Microsoft Inspire, where we had some of our top partners describe first-hand how they operate and how they apply these attributes as part of their business.

Based on what we’ve heard, the five attributes resonated with many of our attendees. In fact, a number of partners approached me after the event to discuss how their organization stacks up against these qualities.

Unfortunately, not all our partners could be with us at Microsoft Inspire. So, my leadership team and I are going to publish a series of blog posts exploring each attribute in more depth.

Customer Obsessed

I admire companies that are fanatical about customer experience and success. Customer obsession is the foundation of being a great partner. It’s about deeply understanding your customer, their pain points, and the value they want to deliver to their customers. Customer obsession is also about understanding how a customer measures success, including their stated objectives and unarticulated needs. And then being maniacal in helping your customers achieve their business outcomes. During the general session, Alex Brown, CEO of 10th Magnitude, a three-time Partner of the Year Award winner, shared three customer obsession tenets: understand, listen, and anticipate to help your customers gain a competitive edge GSBM.

Differentiated Value Proposition

Having a clear, differentiated value proposition is about understanding what you do better than anyone else on the planet. Clear differentiation in the marketplace is key to standing out among the millions of partners offering technology products and services worldwide. Your value proposition must be something you can easily explain and is well-known and understood by your team, as well as the customers and partners you do business with. We heard how Microsoft partners Axioma and Health Catalyst differentiate themselves by creating transformative solutions in the financial and health care industries. We also learned about Rackspace’s secret to standing out as a managed services provider through differentiated customer service.