SBSCs must pass the online Sales and Marketing Assessment [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Good morning folks – I am Harry Brelsford – the publisher of the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book and each day I like to hold a virtual book reading by posting up a few passages.

Here is my effort today and I speak towards the need to complete the Sales and Marketing Assessment in your path to become SBSC.



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!

Chapter 1Introduction

Successfully Pass the Online Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment

This is clearly one of my favorite components of the Small Business Specialist Community program and reflects the world we live in as small business technology consultants and VARs. The prototypical small business technology consultant is a sole proprietor businessperson serving other small businesses. As such, you must wear many hats including technician, business owner, and sales person.

So, Microsoft has correctly determined that a successful Small Business Specialist must be sales and marketing savvy. Three cheers! Speaking only for myself, I can say that I’ve made more money with the sales and marketing skill set (namely, business development) than I have carrying the tools as a technician. But don’t misinterpret that last comment, as it takes the “full package” to be a well-rounded and well-respected Small Business Specialist. The main point is this: embrace, don’t fight, sales and marketing.

Time to get geographic and look at the online sales and marketing assessment from a popular sociology vantage point of global “haves” and “have nots.” Sociologists in the research and academic communities are deeply concerned about a widening socioeconomic gap between developed and emerging countries. Study after study suggests that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That is, the “haves” get more and the “have nots” get less. I can offer casual support for the sociologists’ empirical work from my own travels to over 25 countries to promote SBS and the SMB consulting opportunity.

Enter the Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment as one small step in trying to save the world. Hear me out on this theory. Whereas, wealthy American small business technology consultants have grown up around a developed business community and probably have benefited from “table talk,” where they overhear successful sales and marketing techniques and approaches, my friends in India, the Dominican Republic, and other emerging markets didn’t enjoy the same competitive advantage growing up. Truth be told, I can think of some American small business technology consultants who might get lucky and be able to pass the Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment without studying (an approach I don’t endorse, but I do acknowledge). But,

Chapter 2Small Business Specialist Community

my friends in developing countries can truly benefit from studying for and passing the Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment. These “have nots” can take pride in passing this online assessment and quickly elevate and assimilate into the “haves” community. In sum, I see the preparation required for and the successful completion of the Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment being of the greatest benefit to the eager and earnest small business technology consultant in developing countries!

Chapter 15 is devoted to the Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment. After our technical deep dive into the certification exams, I elected to end the book by bringing you back to business reality and prepare you to pass this REQUIRED online assessment!

IMPORTANT: To further build credibility regarding my “pocket MBA” preaching, I direct you to a legacy article I wrote many years ago about the value of testing business drivers in the Microsoft Certi­fied Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification program, submitted as evidence for your review at: asp?EditorialsID=1 7.


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