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Guest post by Tina Hanson, Partner-to-Partner Lead for the Microsoft U.S. Partner Team.
Happy New Year! I have high hopes that 2012 will be great for Microsoft and its partners. At the end of last year, we launched the Pinpoint Pointers presentation series, short online presentations with audio that help partners use Microsoft Pinpoint effectively to reach and engage prospects. If you have time for just one, I recommend watching “How to Optimize Your Pinpoint Profile.” It’s chock-full of useful information and tips for creating a profile that gets noticed, and it will take you fewer than 20 minutes to watch in its entirety. At the end, you’ll see links to the other presentations, too.
This month, I’ve had several opportunities to talk about Microsoft Pinpoint with U.S. partners, and have appreciated the questions and feedback I’ve received. A common theme is that many partners feel that Pinpoint is just not helping them get customer prospects. But when I talk to partners who are having success with Pinpoint, they have one thing in common—they spend time carefully crafting and managing their profiles, using customer keywords and writing their company and solution descriptions to optimize their listing in search results. This effort is paying off for them with inquiries from new prospects.
Walk a Mile in Joe Customer’s Shoes
Let’s think about Microsoft Pinpoint from a customer perspective. Many customers use keyword search in Pinpoint as their first step in finding a partner to help them. For example:
This is a real scenario that many customers have described to us, and I share it with the goal of illustrating the importance and value of writing your profile for a customer. Notice, for example, that, Joe Customer uses “IT Managed Services” to search. There’s a good chance this is a term many customers might use on Pinpoint—I used the Google Insights for Search beta tool (only because it’s free) to understand how the term “Managed Services” is used across the web.
We Can Help You Get Started Today
Roughly half of the customers who visit Microsoft Pinpoint to find an IT provider use a keyword to conduct their search. If you are not taking the time to implement online search optimization for your Pinpoint profile in the same way you might use search engine optimization for your website, there is a very real possibility you are missing the opportunity for potential customers to find you. The How to Optimize Your Pinpoint Profile presentation I mentioned above offers expert advice that will help you start building a customer-friendly profile that helps get your company and solutions or services noticed. Good luck!
Read the Pinpoint Pointers blog series and related blog posts.
Have a question or feedback about Microsoft Pinpoint or partner-to-partner networking? Email Tina at partnerQ@microsoft.com.