Pinpoint Success Story
Strategic SaaS Moves Customers to the Cloud
“How can I get my value proposition in the hands of as many prospects as possible?” In today’s challenging economic climate, it’s a question posed by nearly every business, including Microsoft partners.
Don MacNeil, a managing partner of Strategic SaaS, a Gold Certified Microsoft partner, offers a one-word answer: “Pinpoint,” referring to the online marketplace as “a great tool.”
He says that from his perspective, Pinpoint allows Strategic SaaS to compete on an equal playing field with companies that have far greater name recognition.
“In fact,” MacNeil says, “Partners can make it an unequal playing field by making sure that their customers add testimonials and reviews of their services. This is something that we’ve done and it’s working for us.”
Power to the Profile
Strategic SaaS, headquartered in Houston, Texas, provides a broad portfolio of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions from Microsoft, including Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communicator Online and Live Meeting.
The company’s team of IT specialists helps customers evaluate, implement and support the latest SaaS technology. In the praiseworthy words of its customers, the company is “there when you need them,” “very knowledgeable,” “a rare find,” “caring professionals,” and “fantastic.” These sound bites constitute merely a sample of the rave reviews that Strategic SaaS features on its Pinpoint profile.
MacNeil says, “If we just threw something on our profile that described our company in a factual approach, and if we didn’t take those extra steps to add search criteria and customer reviews, we probably wouldn’t get very good results.
“Pinpoint gives you that instant credibility, if you have the right approach to it. By demonstrating the passion and power of your solutions, you can generate equally powerful leads.”
PROS Takes a Big First Step
PROS, a leading provider of pricing and revenue optimization solutions, took note of the Strategic SaaS’ Pinpoint profile.
Jeremy Lawson, senior IT manager, PROS Revenue Management, says, “I was looking for a partner that could help with our transition to BPOS. We wanted to migrate to a cloud environment and free ourselves from a great deal of management constraint. We also needed to know what we could reasonably expect from BPOS. What could it do? What were its limitations?”
MacNeil says that PROS seemed very happy with the Value Added Reseller (VAR) that was working with PROS on Microsoft Exchange issues, but that the company needed someone who could help them transition to cloud services.
Lawson was aware of Pinpoint, because PROS is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner. However, he hadn’t found the need to use Pinpoint until he began searching for a cloud provider.
“When I contacted Strategic SaaS, it was the first time that I’d used Pinpoint,” Lawson says. “I was very pleasantly surprised. I found it quick, readily accessible and valuable.”
Be Specific, Specific, Specific…
MacNeil says the Strategic SaaS Pinpoint profile emphasizes that the company offers BPOS solutions. He points out that his company’s business model is to sell the entire stack of Microsoft online services, and it opens the door, so to speak, with BPOS.
His practical advice on how to best utilize Pinpoint? “It’s extremely important for partners to be specific in stating their value propositions.” He compares the process to that of job applicants seeking work—job applicants who are more specific in communicating their skills enjoy greater success in the job market.
“Generalists rarely get a second look,” he says.
“If you use jargon, it better be the customer’s jargon. You have to think in terms of your prospects. What do they want to look for? What do they want to accomplish? They will not search based on the words that you want to use,” says MacNeil.
Lawson says that he quickly noted that Pinpoint features Strategic SaaS as a go-to partner for BPOS. Those words jumped out at him and it was a key factor in his decision to contact Strategic SaaS.
Geography is No Barrier
Lawson says that another factor that he considered in choosing Strategic SaaS was its location.
“Like PROS, Strategic SaaS is located in Houston,” he says. “I quickly learned, though, that in the grand scheme, our partner’s location is not critical. I’ve worked very effectively with Strategic SaaS remotely, and I think it’s a really good thing that with today’s technology partners and customers can easily overcome any geographic distances.” PROS operates globally—its world headquarters are based in Houston and its European headquarters are in London.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Strategic SaaS,” Lawson says. “They were quick to respond to my needs, and they were always available and responsive. They’ve set up everything so we can complete a merge environment to online services. I would definitely recommend them as a BPOS resource.”
Pinpoint: ”Lowers the cost per lead.”
One of the really excellent things about Pinpoint is that it lowers the cost per lead, MacNeil says, a factor that’s crucial for every business.
“If someone is actively looking for cloud computing and they find our profile on Pinpoint and contact us, that’s already a great lead,” he says, “and the cost to us is minimal. Once you’ve invested your time and effort to create your Pinpoint profile, it’s fairly easy to keep your profile updated.
“By being featured on Pinpoint, Microsoft more or less gives you an endorsement. Ultimately, if you use Pinpoint properly you should be able to give yourself the advantage that you’ll be one of three partners that a prospect will want to talk to.
“We’re excited about the potential of Pinpoint,” MacNeil says. “It’s an excellent way to appeal to companies that are specifically looking for a product or service, and it sure beats hammering prospects with direct mail or e-mail.”
Call to Action: Associate Your Listings with the Right Categories
When you create or update listings in Pinpoint in your Dashboard, you can associate your listings with up to three categories. Choose the ones that best align with what your offering does. Do not choose a category just because you think it might be popular. The more specifically you define and present your offerings, the more prospects you’ll attract.