Today I'd like to continue our series on what we've learned from speaking to our publishers during Microsoft Inspire in July. During the event, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Markus Mikola, Founder & CEO of ContractZen. ContractZen is a cloud service that delivers corporate governance featuring easy-to-use contract management, board portal, VDR and eSignatures. As one of our earliest publishers to take advantage of Microsoft AppSource's new functionality, I asked Markus what the experience has been like having an offer that customers can buy directly from Microsoft AppSource.
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One of the most exciting changes that has recently come to Microsoft AppSource is the ability to publish transactable offers. The commercial marketplace platform that powers AppSource enables customers to purchase directly from the marketplace and deploy it seamlessly into their Microsoft cloud product. Adding this functionality is a direct result of feedback we’ve heard – and we strive to build a marketplace that meets the needs of both our partners and customers.
Recently, in Las Vegas, Microsoft held it's annual partner event, Microsoft Inspire. While there, I had an opportunity to sit with partners to understand how they are approaching new features to support additional business models within Microsoft AppSource and the commercial marketplace platform. I sat down with Carol-Lynn Grow from LawToolBox, a company that delivers a deadline and matter-management SaaS for legal professionals, to learn how she is leveraging the new marketplace investments to drive her business.
Whether you are new to Microsoft's commercial marketplace or have had a listing for years, you're probably wondering how to get more and higher quality leads. Our goal is to to empower you to be as successful as possible in your demand generation efforts through Microsoft AppSource. As such, we have built a number of resources that Microsoft provides to publishers via Smart Partner Marketing and Marketplace Rewards, but it can be difficult to know where to start. As such, we recently released a Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace Marketing Resources Guide to serve as the simplified starting point for marketing your app and/or service. Download it it now to begin improving your lead quality and demand generation efforts.
This new resources guide sits as part of the Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace Publisher Toolkit on the Partner Network website, and is part of Marketplace Rewards. Here you can learn about the resources provided to you within the toolkit and how to best use them.
The resourcess guide provides a link to the commercial marketplace FAQs, which is meant to help those new to Microsoft AppSource understand the markteplace. Next, you'll find a link to the high-level overview of the marketing best practice guide -- covering information from optimizing your listing to reporting and analysis. There is also a section dedicated to help you leverage the "Available on" badge, which partners use to point potential customers from promotions and/or landing pages to their respective listings on Microsoft AppSource. There are also links to two whitepapers, the first focusing on connecting to your CRM and the second on leveraging test drives. Finally, the document concludes with four next steps that you should take to take your marketing to the next level.
Take a look. Talk to your marketing teams about where you can optimize your demand gen campaigns. Then let me know how it goes. I would also welcome suggestions for additional resources.