As a newly minted Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner (what a horrible marketing name to be saddled with) –congratulations. There is a brave and profitable new world awaiting you. There is also a myriad of things we need to get up to speed on, and quickly, and a lot of things we can do to help ourselves in the process.
As Progressus software – we’re in the same boat. We’re new to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (relax – everybody else is too), we are still in the early stages of being a “proven solution”, and we are severely “under challenged” in terms of customers and Partners putting heavy activity burdens on the product. We need to use this stage of our product maturity to really dig deep into the mindset of our customers and partners and make sure we are addressing their real concerns.
Most importantly, there are ways we can help each other in this process – the first and easiest of which is referred to by various analogies – from “eating you own dog food” and “taking you own medicine” to “scratching your own itch” – they all mean essentially the same thing. USE YOUR OWN PRODUCTS! Use the products that you market and sell to your customers in YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
For us as Professional Services Companies – that means using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Progressus PSA together to run own our practices. That also serves other purposes too – as we can now feel the same pains and pleasures our customers do with the products we represent. We “become” the products.
From a software standpoint, this is huge. Can you imagine selling a product to a customer and saying to them “I read the marketing material – but I have never used the product…buy from me anyway.” No – you can’t, and you wouldn’t want to do it either.
In this age of digital information overload, your prospects have probably already digested the marketing material and website more closely than most of the salespeople on the street, so they are prepared to punctuate sales conversations with really good questions – which average salespeople won’t be able to answer. UNLESS they’ve used the products and can relate personal experiences to the conversation. There is almost nothing more valuable in addressing an objection than an answer of: “We addressed that early on in our use of the product, and we determined that the best practice might be like this…”. You are no longer a salesperson, but a problem identifier/solver/best practice maker – before they have ever had a problem. Is there value to that? (That’s rhetorical – you know the answer…).
Secondly, we are in the somewhat unique position to be able to use our own products. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Progressus PSA were built together to be a custom fit for Professional Services Organizations – LIKE YOU! If we were in the manufacturing business, making say – fins for a jet turbine – could we “use” our own product? Likely not. But that’s not what we do, is it? We are Professional Services people, marketing Professional Services to other Professional Services companies! Who understands the Professional Services market issues more than a Professional Services company – LIKE YOU? (See “rhetorical” above).
We need to be leveraging this position of power and empathy to our customers. The “issues and annoyances” we encounter while using our own products internally will likely/certainly be the same as those of our Professional Services customer, and the sooner we can identify and address those annoyances, the better. Ideally, we’ll recognize it long before a customer ever sees it. That’s a huge win for all of us, but most importantly, the CUSTOMER. In the long run, isn’t that why we are here, to serve the customer? Yes, we get financial, career, and personal benefits as well, but most mission statements I see all revolve around the idea of “customer” – so let’s set ourselves up to serve them as well as we possibly can.
We’ve got a great partner program in place that provides everything you need to run your business and make money with Dynamics 365 Business Central today, and I’d love to talk to you about it anytime – just shoot me an email!
Look out for part 2 of this series, where we’ll look at ways we are assisting the Partner Channel in “scratching that internal itch”.