It Does exactly what it says….

At Microsoft we focus pretty hard on recognising partner organisations, through competency attainment. But often we get asked we what do to recognise individuals that gain qualifications. Well, it’s pretty simple.  For many years, we’ve had technical accreditations for technical staff (MCP, MCSE etc) - but now in addition,  sales staff can get recognised for their efforts too, through our Sales Specialist Accreditation Scheme.

The Sales Specialist Accreditation (SSA) is exactly what you would expect, it recognises your efforts in selling Microsoft technology. Anyone who has tried to compile the list of requirements for competency attainment will have crossed paths with SSA’s (a minimum of two Sales Specialists are required in order to achieve your relevant competency).

See the value….

But don’t view accreditations as “just” another hoop to jump through in order to achieve an end goal - consider it as a way to boost your knowledge as an individual. Whether you’ve been selling Microsoft technologies for 10 days or 10 years, SSA’s have something to offer you. If you’re new to role and looking for a way to get up to speed with what Microsoft has to offer, take some time; check out the online training and improve your knowledge. But if you know your stuff and are comfortable with what Microsoft products are all about, go straight to the test and gain recognition for what you have already been doing (and you never know you may also pick up a couple of things you weren’t previously aware of).

I know the idea of taking exams doesn’t strike frantic excitement into most of us, and I am under no illusion that you are all going to run to your laptops and rush to take the test…. Sure we all have things that we would rather be doing. However a bit like eating your five-a-day, we can all the see the value that accreditations bring.

The assessment can help expand your product knowledge by ensuring you have a basic understanding of features and benefits and how you can articulate them in a manner that will resonate with customers - as well as understanding how to handle customer objections and ensuring you can close the deal, and become a trusted advisor.

What’s involved…

Now another test - whether you’ve read this far because you wanted to learn more about SSA’s or just because you want to win a Windows Phone? The wait is over, thanks to our friends at Westcoast, this is how you can be in with a chance of winning one of two HTC Windows Phone 8’s.

  1. Take and pass any SSA between December 1st - January 31st and take a screenshot/snip of the summary screen that states you passed the assessment. Then forward this to SSAcomp@microsoft.com
  2. You will be entered into a draw to win a Windows Phone 8
  3. To take an SSA, just log onto the Microsoft Sales Specialist website
  4. As with any offer like this, there are terms and conditions that apply – so make sure you check out via the attached

Get better at your job, please your boss and potentially win a phone. Now there are worst ways to spend half an hour in the office aren't there….