Skandia Team GBR

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Talking about Microsoft Ignite Sales Tour

So I didin't wanna start this whole new blog off on a negative tip, but (apart from a couple of free cold beers) I just kinda nearly wasted a couple of hours of my evenin time @ the Microsoft Ignite Sales Tour in Birmingham..

The premise was that you turn up get some powerpoint injected in you and come out a better salesperson; now I aint a sales-guy... but I kinda do some of that in my role so I was hopin' to learn something that was going to help me get some better business focussed traction with customers around the whole collaboration stack..

So maybe I missed something in the slides, maybe the beer was stronger than I thought but that just didin't even come close..
The MPT guy was cool, and the assistants were fine too..but where was the "Ignite" where was the passion..where was the innovation.. I know that Microsoft is running to catch-up on the whole solution selling thing, and its doing an OK job, but at this event I came out for on of the first times ever from a Microsoft jolly..fellin kinda flat ... The Ignite website says that the session wil be:

"...delivered by Microsoft and will help you understand what customers are looking for in these solution areas, the messages that will resonate best with them, and understand the technology behind the solution..."

Man I am damned sure that the other sales guys there didn't get that kinda buzz from the event..they used the old Contoso SharePoint click-through demo (isn't that the 1st cardinal rule broken - never demo Contoso to the customer?) skipped very lightly over WinFX and barely mentioned any new stuff that "customers" are probably gonna through into the conversation; surely if you're trying to sell the Microsoft product stack in the "collaboration space" you should be talking about the SharePoint 2007 stuff, explaining the cool enterprise content management aspects..
The one vaguely cool thing I got from the slide-deck, which I need to dig around to confirm, but it seemed like in WSS 3.0 (hey i'm not a complete techy, I "manage" now - hope thats the right next version number!) there's some basic project management/task management functionality around Gantt charts and task management ..damned sure that that kinda basic functionality would be a great route in to cross-selling EPM solutions and gettin a talking point to your customers...
So there's gonna be a big marketing push around "business benefits and Microsoft solutions" coming on-line in May, and Microsoft are promising no Dino's....
Just to finish, I was at the Business ScoreCard Manager kick-off sales event last Thursday down at TVP, now that was a better show, kinda more like what Ignite should have been... good demo's with Office 2007, MapPoint, BSM and WSS all working together.. THATS solution selling across the stack.. not Contoso...

Right, I'm an optimist, I hope thats my last negative post for a while..see ya later...

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