Referrals - Qualified leads
Up until March we were doing really well receiving referrals from Microsoft. Not always in quality, but certainly in quantity and we'd spend some time having to filter out really opportunities. Since April though the number has dropped off a cliff with nothing coming through.
Has something fundamentally changed with the referrals or are we missing something as an organisation. Our competency status etc has not changed and I've seen no updates from Microsoft on the referrals scheme as part of the MPN.
Nearly 7 months since I raised this and still no actual response from Microsoft, and know of other partners that are in the same position. Do any unmanaged partners ever receive leads now?
Since our leads stopped we've continued to gain additional competencies and moved in to advanced specializations, but still nothing even in the areas related to the specializations.
We've given up on ever having a PDM assigned to us or getting a straight answer out of the few contact we've had, so reaching out to the community to see if anyone can shed some light on this.
Nearly 4 months later and still no leads and no answer to why all of a sudden they disappeared. In that time we've continued to maintain our competencies and gain advanced specialization, but nothing and hear the same thing from other partners.
We've been told we won't get a PDM, but no explanation why or what you have to do to get one, so to us they seem to be like unicorns.
Hi @JASA1976 ,
Thanks for following up. I did get a feedback (pardon the delay I was OOF ☺)
It looks like this is a known issue internally and now the business owners are actively working to remedy the impact.
There are multiple open cases on this topic, so no need for you to submit a ticket to support.
I am checking to see if there is any communicated ETA for the fix.
I unfortunately got the first line respond to me today where they were trying to tell me that Microsoft have no control over the leads. I quickly realised he was talking about Marketplace leads and realised he had no clue about qualified leads. After 15 minutes I eventually got him to escalate the call again, but don't hold out much hope of a positive response as i don't believe he knows how to ask the right question.
Unfortunately we no longer appear to have an account manager that we can go to when we have issues like this.
Received a response today which I don't believe for one minute.
"The internal team reached back to me and informed that unfortunately we do not have any control over qualified leads, the only way to get qualified leads is to wait.
Since there are no further actions we can do in our end, please advise if we can archive this case."
We also have not received any qualified leads or customer generated leads in over one year. Ever since they switched the partner finder to this new app source location it’s just terrible to even locate the partner directory for a customer. Microsoft told me that it was because we had too many offerings in our profiles so we reduce them and still nothing. They just need to admit that the way they go about the referrals and leads now it’s just terrible and go back to the old way that actually works for partners to generate revenue which generates revenue for Microsoft. Simple!
At least you had some genuine feedback however wrong it might have been.
As you say it would be good for Microsoft to clarify how the leads are assigned, the whole marketplace/co-sell and how that's supposed to work and what as a partner you can do to influence that. If they simply said only partners that generate over $10 million in CSP revenue then at least as a partner you would no whether it was worth the investment and something worry about or if you are miles from that target.
So my support ticket was closed as the support team seem to fail to understand the issue or how the qualified lead as actually work and they keep referring to marketplace leads. I've had 2 different people in Microsoft comment that there's a known issue, but the support team fail to follow this up.
I reopened my support ticket only for it to be closed again straight away. The first line refuse to allow me to speak to their escalation as it's not allowed, but there's a clear breakdown in communication between them, and no options to speak to an account manager or escalation since Microsoft did away with them.
Having the exact same issue, no qualified leads since mid-march this year, before then was a steady stream of leads.
I've raised this with MS support as well as escalated this to territory account manager and both just say there are simply no leads.
I'm not confident that this is an accurate answer. I wish I had more info to share on this.
This is one of the response that I have which sets out the principles, but doesn't answer why we now receive no referrals.
How as a partner are we supposed to know how we measure up against these principles? Just for context and some idea what you must now need to achieve to get referrals for principle 1 I was told by the support team we were one of the most responsive in our region, on principle 2 we are a CSP tier 1 partner so have a certain minimum of revenue to achieve each year, and we have 16 gold and 1 silver competency. We are an unmanaged partner with no PDM so seemingly have no way to escalate or get any details of how we measure up
‘Throughout FY21 we have been making changes to the process that selects which Partners are eligible for referrals from some of our internal teams. These changes impact the volume of referrals that some of our Partners receive. Please be assured that Microsoft is continually reviewing the Partners eligible for referrals to ensure we have the right mix of capabilities.
Partners will be in the best possible position to receive qualified referrals if they:
1. Accept the referrals they do receive in a timely manner, and perform well with those referrals
2. Deliver strong performance (e.g., ACR, revenue, customer adds) across all customer segments
3. Earn the credentials (Competences, Advanced specialisations) that are aligned with Microsoft’s solution areas and their core sales capabilities’
They did the same thing to us, cut us off in March 21’, we haven’t had a lead since and it’s terrible they did us like this. In fact they’ve been emailing customers directly and having them buy licenses straight from them instead of CSPs. They even had the nerve to send out emails to clients asking them to review our access to their environments resulting in a lot of our clients cutting off our delegated admin permissions for no reason and not renewing licenses.
Did you ever find out from them why they stopped sending you any leads? When I've asked I've had promises of finding out why from different contacts and resources and then eventually they just go quiet.