Optional Learning Resources [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Goood Morning! I am Harry Brelsford, the publisher of the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer and I love to hold a daily virtual book reading. Here is today’s passage on alternative learning resources for you to consider.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com

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!

Optional Learning Opportunities

To become a Small Business Specialist Community member, you should engage in appropriate educational opportunities. I like this requirement because it supports a “life learner” approach to the Small Business Specialist Community program and encourages ongoing professional development.

First and foremost, you are strongly encouraged to join the 70-282 online study group hosted by Beatrice and Harry (that’s me) at MSN. Click over to http:// groups.msn.com/70-282examcram and, after you apply and your admission is accepted, you should see a screen similar to Figure 2-2.


Figure 2-2

Be part of the community! Join the 70-282 newsgroup and accelerate your journey to completing your requirements to be a Small Business Specialist. As of this writing, the group has over 1,000 members.

Note there is also a study group for the 70-631 certification exam athttp://groups. msn.com/70-631ExamCram. As of this writing, the group has over 100 members and is growing rapidly!

There are some online learning opportunities which are updated frequently. For example, during 2007, there are 50 Webcasts relating to both technical and business topics. Known as 5W/50 webcasts, these session are found at www. mssmallbz.com/sbstraining.

You are strongly encouraged to complete 10.5 hours of online training as listed in Table 2-2. Two highly recommended courses, “Selling the Microsoft Solution to Small Business” and “Small Business Solutions Accelerators,” are described in further detail on the following pages.


Chapter 2Small Business Specialist Community

Table 2-2

Strongly recommended but optional training and readiness curriculum.


Sales and Marketing (3 hours)

Technical (7.5 hours)

Selling the Microsoft Solution to Small Business (1 hour)*

Designing, Deploying, and Managing a Network Solution of the Small- and Medium-Size Business (1.5 hours)

Volume Licensing Essentials (1 hour)

Windows XP and Office Small Business Edition (1 hour)

Competitive Selling With Respect to Open Source (1 hour)

Supporting Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Parts 1-4 (4 hours). See Chapter 12, Table 12-2 for a list of URLs.


Small Business Solutions Accelerators (1 hour)

* Highly recommended by both authors and Microsoft’s Small Business Specialist Community team!

Selling the Microsoft Solution to Small Business

Lesson 1: Selling to the Small Business Market

·                       Define the small business market.

·                       Describe the small business decision maker.

·                       Outline the keys for selling to the small business market.

Lesson 2: Identify and Reach Your Target Market

·                       Describe Microsoft Small Business segments.

·                       Outline the process for creating a marketing plan.

Lesson 3: Determining Customer Needs and Creating a Winning Message

·                       Describe the needs of small business segments.

·                       Identify which products to sell to which segment.

·                       Create a value proposition.

Lesson 4: Case Study Practice

·                                          Define value and cost for customers’ solutions.

·                                          Describe how to keep customers

IMPORTANT: Guess what’s missing from this course, which is a crying shame? A learning module on overcoming objections! That’s what a superior salesperson does best. You try to get a customer to articulate one or two key objections and then you find creative ways to overcome them. I discuss overcoming objections at length in Chapter 6 of SMB Consulting Best Practices (ISBN: 0-974858-06-4,

SMB Nation Press).

Small Business Solution Accelerators

Small Business Solution Accelerators

·                                          Introduce the Solution Accelerator Model.

·                       Provide prescriptive guidance on how to get the most value from the accelerators for your business.

·                       Help make your solution implementations more predictable and repeatable.

Solutions Training

·                       Delivers prescriptive training on solutions for small business based on a SBS network.

·                       Helps make your solution implementations more predictable and repeatable.

Both authors can speak ad nauseam about the Small Business Solution Accelerators, found at: https://partner.microsoft.com/global/productssolutions/ smbsolutions. Harry wrote the Peer-to-Peer Networking With Windows XP solution accelerator and assisted with the technical and editorial review of the Small IT Solution document (and he maintains a close relationship with the Microsoft segment team to this day!). Beatrice holds a seat on the Small Business Solutions Accelerator advisory board. But self-promoting accolades aside, the

Chapter 2Small Business Specialist Community

real context is this: These excellent solutions accelerators are the basis of the current “SBS FRANCHISE” curriculum theme on the SMB Nation Summit global workshop tour in 2005. (Learn more about the SBS FRANCHISE at http://www.smbnation.com.) It is a good investment of your time to investigate these solution accelerators!

Last and not least, be sure to read Eric Ligman’s blog (he is in the Microsoft USA small business area). You’ll find it at http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/ and tell him Harry sent ya!


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