The Modern Demand Center: Nine Steps to Cloud Sales Transformation (Part III)

In year two of Microsoft’s Demand Center transformation, Microsoft continued to build a business and a community of support around Microsoft Azure – as well as a nine-point year-over-year increase in billed revenue growth rate. As the program entered year three, it became the foundation for the new norm and was expanded to support all of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise solutions. Organizational changes were made to ensure alignment and consistency across the enterprise.

In the final three steps of the nine-step process towards impactful Demand Center transformation, Microsoft solidified key partnerships and developed key champions along the journey that could help make this broader enterprise change happen. If you missed the first two parts of the series, take a moment and learn how to begin your journey and build a community around the vision.

Partner with Other Teams within your Organization

If you want to build a Demand Center model, you can’t operate in a silo. It’s important to build relationships to effect real change in any organization, whether it’s a large one that has been around for years, like Microsoft, or a mid-market company striving to achieve fast growth.

Specifically, the Azure Demand Center team partnered with field marketing, IT, and engineering when it broadened its Global Demand Center to be enterprise-wide. Sales and marketing took the time to meet with these groups, communicate openly, and discuss the product and Demand Center model to ensure success of the program.

Know Your Planning Cycles

When making an organization-wide change like a Global Demand Center model, make sure you know the planning cycles and when budgets are set to ensure the transformation you want to make can be made.

The Microsoft Global Demand Center team aligned the transformation for Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise solutions sales models with the turnover of the fiscal year, to ensure involved departments like field marketing, IT, and engineering weren’t already executing on other plans.

Bring Along Someone Who Has Done This Before

The challenges your organization faces when implementing a sales transformation like a Demand Center are probably not extremely unique. Process experts like SiriusDecisions have worked with companies for years to address common challenges, and have recommended frameworks, academic research, and best practices to tackle these pain points.

Microsoft also found that companies like N3 helped distill down and apply the SiriusDecisions’ frameworks to meet the needs of the Azure Demand Center. The process can be overwhelming – so having a partner who can help right-size activities and transform and execute initiatives on the company’s behalf is critical. These partnerships, along with paying attention to planning cycles and working with the right people inside the organization, are critical components to ensuring the success of a sales and marketing transformation.

At the close of year three, after starting small, selling the vision, building a community and involving the right people, Microsoft experienced a 433% increase in new leads and 42% increase in qualified pipeline. The company launched nine campaigns across 86 countries in 22 languages – a truly global effort. Due to this significant revenue impact, Microsoft’s only full Global Demand Center is now used as the demand generation model within Microsoft.

Interested in learning more about building a global Demand Center? Check out Microsoft’s presentation on building a best-in-class Demand Center presented at the SiriusDecisions Summit. Ready to start your sales transformation journey? Check out our Revenue Services, Consulting Services, and Practice Areas, and contact us to learn more.


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About the Author

Marcel Florez

As N3 President, Marcel applies his deep experience in technology sales, marketing, and consulting, and extensive knowledge of the Cloud, to support demand and revenue generation for N3’s technology, software, and manufacturing customers. Connect on LinkedIn

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