Winmill was recently named the winner of the Micro Focus Apex Sales Enablement Competition. Winmill earned first place in this contest; this is a testament to the hard work, determination, and skill of our Application Security team.
Micro Focus established this competition to invite partners who were performing well and give them the opportunity to move up the partnership ladder to the top “gold” or “platinum” tiers. Many competition participants were consistently selling MicroFocus products on an annual basis, in amounts ranging from $50,000 – $600,000 annually. The training and specialized knowledge gained from the competition is intended to help boost partners to more than one million dollars in annual sales, making them eligible for the platinum tier of partnership.
In addition to raw sales numbers, Micro Focus also hoped to pave the way for stronger relationships with their partner companies, leading to an increased exchange of services and a larger pipeline of shared clients.
As a long-term and solidly performing partner of Micro Focus, Winmill was pleased to enter the sales enablement competition. The results were mutually beneficial to both parties. All Winmill sales associates have enhanced their solution-selling capabilities for Micro Focus products. Micro Focus channel, marketing, and sales teams now have a much better understanding of Winmill’s Cyber Security service offerings and where Winmill is adding value for mutual and prospective clients, creating the opportunity to align Winmill with customer initiatives.
Contestants had several milestones to complete to accrue points toward a total score. Milestones included activities such as attending Micro Focus training sessions, creating business plans, working on program launches, engaging in content creation exercises, and other activities that ultimately resulted in each contestant learning how to provide top-notch services to Micro Focus.
Because every milestone is a demonstration of the lengths Winmill is willing to go to satisfy its clients, we would like to share a few of the valuable insights we learned along the way.
Passion and Determination
The path forward was rigorous and the competition fierce; the contest spanned six months, and only a handful of teams held on to the very end. Ultimately, Winmill pulled off a narrow win by one milestone and 900 points out of a total of nearly 27,000 points.
Far beyond specialized and client-specific skills, Winmill proved that clients can expect to have a team of hard-working, dedicated, and talented individuals who will put the time and effort in to maximize results.
A company’s client response—from the first client interaction through the finish line of successful project completion—is affected heavily by the content they generate. Blogs, newsletters, and social media posts are just a few types of content that present the public face of the company.
Internally, companies also use content to put their services in front of representatives. These representatives connect clients with the businesses that can best help them. Without great internal content, companies may flounder because their representatives may not have a clear picture of what the company offers.
That’s why the most important content creation endeavor Winmill faced was to build a company profile. Company profiles, while not client-facing, give internal representatives a concise and detailed representation of the services and skills a company offers to potential clients. As such, building a solid company profile means improving a business’s chances of securing recommendations and landing new clients.
Similarly, Winmill created “appointment-setting content,” consisting of service overviews with use cases and examples of some of the most common challenges that Winmill solves.
The content combination ensures that when Winmill is matched with a potential client who could benefit from a Micro Focus solution, both parties have confidence that Winmill is the best solution to the client’s problems.
Lead Generation Skills and a Crucial Mindset Shift
The milestones worth the most points dealt with hitting goals for making deals and landing new registrations. After all, these numbers drive the actual success of a business and provide a measuring stick by which to gauge improvement.
However, landing new deals doesn’t happen overnight; it’s the result of many months of hard work and skills development. And perhaps one of the best ways to learn is to ask experts in the field.
Micro Focus has relationships with several external sales consulting and marketing experts in a variety of areas. To boost lead generation skills and overall knowledge, contestants had the privilege to meet with these experts and interview them about techniques to increase their ability to find more qualified leads.
One mindset change for Winmill was that its executive briefings need to include experiences with other clients so that everyone has the same information and inside knowledge. For instance, when Winmill meets with a potential client, we give them access to industry insights and details of our experiences with other customers facing the same issues. That way, the potential client knows who we are, what we do, and how we will be able to solve their problem.
This is a mindset change from the traditional approach of responding exclusively to a client’s listed pain points or using a templated sales pitch to a more active engagement style that shows the client exactly how Winmill solved this problem for customers in the past and how Winmill will help them achieve the same success.
This expert advice helped us focus on our own capabilities as a business. We landed seven new productive meetings right away.
Specialized Knowledge and Certifications
Winmill worked toward and achieved six different certifications over the course of the program. Each certification was thorough and extensive in scope and depth. A typical certification included ten to fifteen lengthy training videos, each with quizzes of their own, followed by a comprehensive test at the end.
When the Winmill team needs to deepen its skills and experience to improve clients’ businesses, we are willing to go the extra mile every time. Contact us to find out how we can help you.