I have a SAAS product which is based on a Microsoft platform. The product is used by IT departments. It can be sold by Microsoft account managers as well as Microsoft system implementation partners. The only criteria for my product is to position it in large, enterprise accounts. What can I do to influence the Microsoft ecosystem (Account Managers as well as Implementation partners) to sell my product?
The two obvious answers are to 1) network your ass off, and 2) make sure the product blows users away in both quality and support.
If you have any inroads with your sellers, go to where they are and convince them that your tool is going to make everyone's projects better. If you can't convincingly make that argument, work on improving your product and/or confidence before continuing.
If you have competition, monitor for complaints about their products. See what frustrates their users and make sure you're not making the same mistakes in your product. If your product offers a clear solution to that problem and the user is complaining publicly (e.g. on Twitter) then offer the solution and incentivize the switch.
If you can't sell direct to customers, then you'll probably want to target industry events where your sellers attend. You could sponsor MS-focused conferences and find a way to display convincing case studies and/or let people see the tool in action as a selling point.
Most importantly, remember that clients don't hire fancy tech; they hire solutions to problems. In the first ten seconds, no one cares what tech stack it was built in, how clever the algorithms are, or anything else about what makes it work — they only care about whether their problems can be solved.
Show them how your tool will solve their problems faster and easier than anything they've ever tried before, and with fewer painful side effects.
Based on personal experience, what I've found is that it's very difficult to start selling your product through channel partners if you have done very little direct sales. In order to put their credibility on the line, potential channel partners will want to feel convinced of the value your solution can bring their customers.
The best way to do this is to be able to demonstrate existing implementations, ideally with a clear before/after ROI calculation. So I'd say that you should go and close a couple sales yourself before trying to go through channel partners. This will also give you useful feedback about how best to position your product, which you can later use in your channel marketing materials.
Do you have a network of these individuals who would utlimately make the sale for you? If you have connections, you could offer demos or some type of product evaluation so you could get some success stories to help you leverage the product.
Whenever you pitch to these people, always remember, "what's in it for me" - me, being the account managers. Without the account managers clearly understanding the benefits, you'll never get them to sell for you.
I have some other ideas around strategy here if you would like to chat.