Leap Consulting create 'own blue ocean' and are badged as Go to Market Ready

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At the completion of the Partner Elevate SalesPlay On-Ramp™ Program, Zaun Bhana from Leap Consulting sat down with our Content Manager & GTM Lead, Hannah, to talk about his journey to becoming Go to Market Ready certified. Here's what Zaun said.

Hi, I’m Zaun Bhana from Leap Consulting in Western Australia, and I thought it would be helpful if I shared my experience in the 90-day Sales Play On-Ramp™ program for Microsoft partners that might be trying to scale up their business.

Where we were before

Before embarking on the 90-day Sales Play On-Ramp™ program, we had used other programs to help us develop campaigns or go to markets, but found that they were heavily focused on execution, but not very helpful when it came time to actual implementation.

We found there was an implied expectation that we had all our I's dotted and T's crossed when it came to delivering our Sales Play campaigns. In fact, we didn't have that knowledge, detail, or alignment with what was required from us, and so we felt as though we were letting our third-party partners down because of the gap between the expectation and outcome.

The team did want to deliver, we were just held back by that lack of knowledge.

Initial thoughts

When I saw the Partner Elevate Sales Play On-Ramp™ program, I thought that it was just another sales techniques or tactics type of program - where there's a bit of build-up, but not something where you walk away with practical learnings.

I was conscious that I didn’t want to be told a few pieces of the puzzle and then feel like I needed to go away and put the rest of the puzzle together myself. The problem with that is you have no idea what it's supposed to look like… you don't know if you're building a hut or a house.

My hesitations when I first heard about the program

I knew this type of program was what Leap Consulting needed, but we'd partnered with third parties before and hadn’t learned anything. We felt like we didn't get a return on our own time. And if we did get results, we couldn't distinctively point to what made us successful or what skills or techniques we should take back into the organisation to continue the activity.

We felt as though in the past we had thrown money up against the wall hoping it would stick, and it didn’t.

Vendors and distributors who have been doing this for a long time assume that everyone has the tools, talent, techniques, and time to execute on a campaign or activity they’re given. There is a big assumption that there is that knowledge, learning and wisdom already in these businesses they’re giving the money to, and often there's not.

My SalesPlay On-Ramp Journey

I first started investing time personally into running through the Sales Play and understanding the templates and the learning which alone was giving me a lot of insight and context. But it was the accountability calls that I felt really drove my behaviour and accountability to keep up momentum throughout the program.

Where typically we might leave our homework until the last minute, tick a box, do the exam, pass, get a badge, and not learn anything – the SalesPlay On-Ramp™ program is different.

You’re not left with an empty victory because partners are kept accountable throughout the process. I felt like it was a commitment that I had to deliver on because I was uploading information, with the Partner Elevate team checking my homework. I haven't done anything like this in a long while in our ecosystem, especially where it has driven this kind of behaviour.

What we learned

The program has really elevated our conversations with clients to another level.

As an example, we were in an engagement recently where - had we gone down the previous path - it would have been a solution-led sale and that’s not what we were aiming for. So instead, we turned the conversation around from a solution sell into a strategic sale, which positioned us dramatically different with the client. We stepped above what they're asking for, and as a result were now competing in an area no one else is.

We created our own blue ocean, that removed any pricing pressures. We got to own that piece of the engagement and separated ourselves from the competition. We ended up having a much higher-level of conversation with the executive team and moved them away from hunting for a pure product solution. Having the ability to reposition our business in that way makes the whole program worth its weight in gold.

My advice

The one thing we can't get back is time. The Program mixes education with information, and then boils it down to a practical level of application in your own business. So, to any Microsoft Partner that is struggling with developing your Sales Play and practically executing on the plan to win new customers, I encourage you to get involved in the SalesPlay On-Ramp™ program.