For many of us, the appeal of AWS re:Invent—AWS’ premier conference for the cloud computing community—is gathering with our colleagues and customers to discuss strategic objectives for the following year, while also learning how to best leverage AWS services and AWS Partners to smash those goals.
This year’s conference was no different. In typical AWS fashion, some phenomenal new services were announced, but what I found truly compelling was the clear focus on AWS Partners to help businesses operate at scale.
Read more: The Complete Playbook to Cloud Marketplaces
This year’s event emphasized the important role of AWS Partners and AWS Marketplace in the overall cloud technology picture, with Marketplace expected to be among the fastest growth areas at AWS.
In the Partner Keynote, Ruba Borno, Vice President of AWS Worldwide Channels and Alliances, highlighted the ways cloud-powered innovation is helping AWS Partners accelerate customer business transformations through the adoption of Marketplace and, ultimately, cloud consumption.
Whenever I have a chance to meet with an AWS Partner, the first thing I cover is the broad AWS ecosystem and how to leverage it to add value to their customers’ cloud projects. This is what we call Cloud GTM. The overarching message from AWS re:Invent was that partners who are already investing or considering AWS as part of their overall Cloud GTM are on the path to success. As Cleveland Research noted in its summary report about re:Invent 2022, “ISV partners who have bought into Marketplace appear to be reaping the rewards of scaling the go-to-market model early.” Cleveland also noted that this continued focus on Marketplace could help AWS potentially generate up to $10 billion in Marketplace revenue in 2023.
1. Data-driven decisions are critical to Cloud GTM success
When you’re considering a Cloud Marketplace as a new revenue channel in your overall strategy, it’s important to know where your customers are buying and how you can partner with the Cloud Provider to maximize the opportunity. This is where data uplevels your partnership with AWS: not only do you want to know that your customers are buying from AWS Marketplace, you also want to know if they are building and investing strategically in their own Cloud GTM.
So how does data help? When co-selling with AWS and selling through Cloud Marketplaces, the name of the game is speed and accuracy. The APN Customer Engagement (ACE) tool offers introductions to your AWS sales counterparts on active opportunities, but without the right data you will be left spinning your wheels on low propensity deals. Similarly, if you want AWS Marketplace to grow as a channel, it’s a lot easier if you have the data to help you get in front of the right buyers.
Tackle’s 2022 State of Cloud Marketplaces Report indicates that the number 1 reason ISVs sell on Marketplace is to unlock co-sell opportunities. The most effective way to do that is to lean on data to determine who to target—not only does this help maintain accuracy with your co-sell motion, it also helps your sellers ensure they’re spending their effort in the right places. What’s more, data-driven decision making extends into providing visibility for sellers from prospect to co-sell to Marketplace transaction. During re:Invent, AWS repeatedly emphasized the importance of utilizing data to make the most of Marketplace.
Read more: Leveraging Tackle Prospect to Identify the Right Buyers
AWS also announced some incremental improvements to AWS Marketplace Seller Insights, its own Marketplace reporting system. These include QuickSight dashboards for sellers to access billed revenue, collections, and disbursements within AWS Marketplace, along with simplifying financial reporting and removing CSVs. This is an important evolution for AWS Marketplace reporting and we’re excited to see investments into these features for partners!
2. It’s all about customer obsession and teamwork for AWS Partners
We all know that the first AWS leadership principle is “customer obsession,” and it was certainly evident at this year’s re:Invent. “Customer obsession” is at the core of the AWS Partner Organization (APO) mission to help AWS customers scale by leveraging AWS Partners. One of the central themes in this year’s conference was the importance of building a strong partnership with AWS to fuel growth.
If you watched Ruba’s keynote, you would have picked up on the variety of verticals that appeared on the screen behind her while she was on stage — everything from retail and manufacturing to government and financial services. All of these industries are at varying stages of their cloud migration journey, but one thing they have in common is the need for partners who understand the unique requirements, challenges, and objectives to build the right solution for their customers.
To help facilitate this, AWS announced the creation of the Partner Solutions Factory, which will help partners collaborate with AWS to develop the horizontal and vertical solutions that help customers solve business problems.
3. Co-selling strengthens the AWS partnership
Related to the “teamwork” theme, AWS spent considerable time talking about the benefits of co-sell.
Co-selling is quickly becoming one of the prime generators to spin the Cloud GTM flywheel. Co-selling is, in essence, the linchpin that holds the flywheel all together, which is why AWS placed such emphasis on it during re:Invent. Co-selling with AWS gives you access to new buyers and new budgets, and helps you build a more meaningful relationship with AWS.
Michael Musselman, Sr. Director of Technology and Alliances, Lacework, spearheaded a breakout session with tips for ISVs looking to co-sell with AWS. The presentation included a checklist of helpful hints to support a co-sell motion with AWS:
- Build the plan
- Operationalize opportunity engagement
- List and activate private offers on AWS Marketplace
- Marketing and demand gen plan
- Publish sales plays
- Set goals and train sales team
- Engage AWS Sales
- Establish performance review mechanisms
Read more: Startup Essentials: Making the Most of AWS Marketplace
4. AWS Marketplace is a crucial part of your Cloud GTM
AWS Marketplace is all about simplifying and speeding up sales cycles — an ideology underscored by Ruba Borno’s keynote. AWS is keenly aware of the role Marketplace plays in removing friction from the software buying experience. A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact study noted that AWS Marketplace transactions result in:
- 40% faster sales cycle than traditional sales channels
- 27% increase in win rates
- Up to 80% increase in deal sizes
In an effort to further reduce software buying friction, AWS announced a new service called Marketplace Vendor Insights that helps speed sales cycles by enabling sellers to make their security and compliance profiles available through AWS Marketplace. With Vendor Insights, customers and sellers can streamline third-party software risk assessments.
Read more: Infographic: The Dawn of a New Go-To-Market Age
5. AWS is leaning into channel partners to help ISVs scale their AWS business
Channel partners remain an important part of the software ecosystem. In fact, Tackle’s 2022 State of Cloud Marketplaces Report found that 55% of enterprise respondents said they view channel partners as complementary to Marketplace while 35% viewed them as neutral.
AWS recognizes this as well, and continues to expand and support its Consulting Partners Private Offers (CPPO) Program, which enables third-party companies such as consulting firms, digital agencies, Managed Services Providers (MSPs), or Value-Added Resellers (VARs) to sell your product on AWS Marketplace via a private offer. This is a rapidly evolving area of discussion, but AWS remains committed to helping these re-sellers succeed—and by extension, helping ISVs reach more customers.
Read more: Tackle’s Guide to AWS Marketplace’s CPPO
Each year AWS re:Invent offers a wealth of content. Luckily, it’s not limited to those who attend in person. Be sure to check out the on-demand catalog for the keynotes, leadership sessions, and many of the speaking sessions offered at re:Invent this year.
At Tackle, we pride ourselves on working closely with our Cloud Partners like AWS and AWS Marketplace to meet the needs of sellers so they can continue to focus on their core business to help their Marketplace revenue soar. If you’re not yet a Tackle customer, you can learn more from our team about how our Marketplace experts can help you start, accelerate, and scale your cloud business. Already a Tackle customer? Reach out to your rep to learn more about the latest from AWS and new Tackle products like Tackle Co-Sell and Tackle Prospect!