Scale your collaborative app

In this stage in the app growth lifecycle, you use the learnings from previous ad-hoc, pilot motions to programmatically activate existing customers and sell to new customers via all possible initiatives. The following growth levers are pertinent at this stage:

What should you do during the Scale stage?

Become CSP channel ready for the Teams app

Once transact SaaS enabled, listing the SaaS subscriptions for your app on the Teams marketplace gives you access to 90,000+ reseller partners (called cloud solution providers or CSPs) around the world. These CSPs manage a significant customer install base. You can scale your business through this channel without making a full investment in solutions, experts, salesforce, and events. You can instead get to market faster, and at exponential scale, compared to selling solely through your own sales motions.

To scale your app, become CSP channel ready (see CSP Channel Readiness Guide for Teams app ISVs). After that, your app appears on Teams apps that have become CSP Channel Ready public handbook. Apps successful on the marketplace may have an opportunity to get featured on this frequently promoted public landing page.

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Onboard CSP resellers to extend your app’s sales reach

After you become CSP channel ready by completing the prerequisites, browse through the CSP list on the Partner Center to find resellers to negotiate a partnership.

You can find detailed partner profile information in the Partner Center or using the public partner finder on AppSource.

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Tailor SaaS offers for customers and CSP resellers

Teams marketplace allows you to create private offers, that is, time-bound pricing of your SaaS subscription for Teams app with customized, prenegotiated terms for CSPs. You can also create private plans for targeted customers to offer negotiated pricing.

Help your sales team secure large new customer deals leading with your Teams collaborative app. Offer private pricing to your customers via the Teams marketplace, leaving tax remittance, payments, and subscription billing to Microsoft.

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Digital webinars for existing customers and new prospects

Host digital webinars at regular cadences to showcase the value of your Teams app to customers. Your customer success team and presales or sales team must funnel relevant existing customers and new prospects as preferred leads to invite for the webinars. Ensure that you include links to sign up for the webinars on your app’s landing page on your website and your Microsoft Teams Store listing. It attracts new, exploratory users who may be interested in learning more about your app.

Get in touch with your field, account, or engineering representatives from Microsoft to request their participation in hero instances of these direct-to-customer webinars.

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Digital advertising campaigns to target customers for app install and use

Generate interest from new customer accounts and drive traffic to your collaborative app listing in Teams marketplace using paid media campaigns executed on your social channels. Connect with the ISV Marketplace Success Rewards Program team to seek guidance for your digital campaign, identify target customer accounts and personas, collaboration on paid media plan and possible budget funding. Check with them for the success metrics you should measure, such as:

  • Click-through rate.
  • Cost per click.
  • Number of clicks.
  • Number of MQLs generated on the landing page.
  • Number of visitors to the app’s listing in marketplace.
  • Resulting number of Teams app installs.

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Publish customer demand and app’s impact story

Share real customer stories using a four to five-minute video. Nominate a customer and gain their commitment to participate in the story. Work with the customer on the narrative. Ensure that you include the benefits derived from your collaborative app, showcase resulting increased employee productivity (preferably quantifiable gains) and how customers prefer to use your SaaS service inside Teams as a collaborative app. Use this video for demand generation, digital marketing campaigns or showcase on public pages.

After developing it, host these customer stories on the landing page of the Teams app on your website. Link this video in the marketplace listing of your collaborative app. Promote it via paid, earned media, or social media posts to highlight the success of the app.

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Showcase Teams app in leading industry events

While building traction, you showcased the collaborative app in Teams during your annual customer conference. It’s time to expand the coverage to well-known public industry events where you've a prominent presence or conferences which you sponsor. Your executives can include the Teams app in their keynote or showcase your innovation center stage. Doing so is bound to attract both existing and new prospective customers.

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User retargeting and re-engagement basis app analytics

A key product-led growth initiative, use signals from your app analytics to retarget users who have recently engaged with your app in Teams but haven't reached a value realization milestone defined by you. Users who haven't visited your app or churned recently must be re-engaged to bring back to your app.

Remember, your goal is to get users to experience value at the earliest by using your collaborative app. By converting your user who tries your app into a sticky, habitual user is eventually going to result in paying customers.

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Coactivation in mutually identified existing customers

Based on the list you’ve shared with your Microsoft field, account, or engineering representatives while building traction, it’s time to execute coactivation and adoption of your collaborative app in customer accounts with significant seat sizes. Your customer success team will play a major driving role in this motion. They can work alongside business decision makers, IT decision makers, and end-users, that is, employees of the customer organization who are going to use your app inside Teams.

Remember, just enabling the app inside Teams won't be enough. Instead, adoption and change management practices led by your customer success team such as organization-wide emails at regular cadences, flyers, retention campaigns, user trainings, identifying and scaling through app champions in each team, gamification and constantly keeping an eye on app usage metrics within the customer’s tenant is required to form a habit among users.

To plan and support the rollout of your Teams app in your customers’ organizations, follow the guidance, resources, and best practices available here.

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Growth hacking via in-product scenario experimentation

Continuously monitor what’s happening inside your collaborative app through analytics and measure the value end-users are obtaining. To positively impact product and business metrics, such as number of app installs, activation rate, task completion, new user retention and churn, referrals, and so on, a rapid, always-on experimentation work stream allows byte-sized tweaks to your app experience. It results in more control and less risk compared to large changes spaced far apart.

Ensure that you instrument code and track analytics for your app from the first version. Upskill your dedicated Teams app crew or your existing SaaS product growth team of PM, development, and UX design on Teams platform to take ownership of this work stream to derive maximum ROI.

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Where can Microsoft help?

Coactivation in mutually identified existing customers

Microsoft will evaluate coactivation opportunities in large customer accounts. Evaluation is based on customer interest, adoption opportunity (sold seat size in customer account), and so on, among other criteria.

Support joint customer success story development

Connect with the ISV Marketplace Success Rewards Program team to seek guidance and execute. You'll be able to utilize Microsoft slide templates, customer story intake form, customer interview template, and vendor video production, or copy writing services. Introduce a creative team to the customer. Help facilitate the interviews and review processes until the story is approved by all parties. Microsoft team will make sure your customer story is published to the internal Microsoft Teams Platform Resource Library and the Transformed by Teams portal.

Select, area-specific marketing to local Teams customers

Your field, account, or engineering representatives from Microsoft will reach out to include your collaborative app in specific, local subsidiary-drive GTM opportunities focused on Teams customers located in the subsidiary’s market.

Best practices for analytics-driven app engagement

Strategic developers, who are part of the invite-only Teams engineering’s build-with partner program, get access to best practices based on data signals for your app to improve acquisition, activation, engagement, retention, and virality of your app on Teams. Teams engineering will bring in PM, UX design and developer support resources to work alongside your product crew on the next set of app enhancements.

High-touch support for select, joint new customer pitches

Get in touch with the Microsoft field, account or engineering representatives to discuss partnering during pitches you make to new customers. Microsoft will use discretion to partner on such opportunities based on customer interest, adoption opportunity (seat size in prospect customer account), and so on, among other criteria. Microsoft will primarily help land the value of the overall Teams collaborative app platform, letting you own your app or solution pitch.

Include your app in global outreach to Microsoft sellers

Expose your solution to Microsoft field sellers and executives through an on-demand webinar featuring your speakers and content. Microsoft posts your on-demand webinar to an internal site and promote it to Microsoft sellers. Share the internal Microsoft on-demand webinar link with your Microsoft contacts as well. Connect with the ISV Marketplace Success Rewards Program team to check eligibility, seek guidance and execute this motion.

Host customer roundtables to promote the app

Participate in a customer roundtable session with Microsoft to highlight the value of your Teams app to customers. Connect with the ISV Marketplace Success Rewards Program team to check eligibility, seek guidance and execute this motion. After that, a Microsoft Marketing Program Manager will reach out to you about participating in a customer roundtable session based on campaign alignment.

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Next step

See also

Strategize and execute growth for your app