Tackle’s AWS Marketplace Seller Guide: Decoding the People and Programs

Decoding the Benefits, People & Programs Behind AWS Marketplace

AWS Marketplace can be a complex organism on its own and is just one part of an even more complex ecosystem within the AWS Cloud. Getting to know the ins and outs, understanding the lingo and roles, and figuring out which programs to start with can be a bit daunting.

But have no fear! Tackle has got your back. In this blog, we’ll cover co-selling and partnering with AWS, what makes AWS Marketplace so valuable to sellers, the roles you’ll run into along the way and how they help, and we’ll touch on a few of the great programs you can leverage in your AWS partnership. 

Let’s start with the basics:

What is AWS Marketplace?

AWS Marketplace is an extension of the AWS Cloud; it’s a digital storefront that customers can use to find, buy, deploy, and manage third-party software, data, and services that customers need to build solutions and run their businesses.

The success of the Marketplace seller goes hand in hand with the success of AWS Marketplace as a whole so AWS dedicates a lot of resources to it. Sellers, known as ISVs (Independent Software Vendors), will have a whole cast of players assigned to help with different needs. We’ll cover these roles and players later on in this post. 

There are numerous perks that come with listing on and selling through AWS Marketplace, including end-customer ease, faster and bigger deal opportunities, and co-selling benefits from AWS. One of the key benefits of Marketplace is the end-customer experience. With AWS Marketplace, buyers can get simplified billing for software purchases all in one place on their AWS bill instead of numerous direct bills to ISVs. 

There are also incentives for buyers to add software purchases made through Marketplace to their AWS EDP, or Enterprise Discount Program, where companies with high cloud consumption commit to specific yearly spends in order to get higher discounts. This program is also valuable to a seller because it means a buyers’ EDP budget has already been approved and they want to draw down on that spend, so the deal process can go faster and easier.

AWS has many dedicated programs and teams that aim to help with key functions—like co-selling programs with teams that help expedite and assist in deal closure so it is important to understand and lean into partnership efforts. 

What are the key AWS Partner Programs? 

As a seller on AWS Marketplace, an ISV will become a member of APN or the Amazon Partner Network. There is a new Partner Path being rolled out this year that details the requirements needed to achieve every level of partner status. All partners have an account in the APN portal which opens up access to trainings, webcasts, marketing resources, information about partner status, as well as some amazing Amazon friends. 

This is also where you can access ACE, APN’s Customer Engagement portal. The ACE Portal is a way for your company to collaborate with AWS sales and account reps to close more deals (this is called co-selling). Since AWS reps have quotas for assisting partners in closing deals, they are motivated and incentivized to help and bring new leads into your pipeline and help close them. 

What is co-selling with AWS?

Once the initial process of obtaining partner status is complete, it is important to begin working to co-sell with AWS. The place to do this co-selling is in ACE.

ACE, or Amazon Customer Engagement, is found under the “My Customers” tab in APN. Through this portal, a seller will submit their deal pipeline to AWS and, in turn, receive a set of contacts that will help them co-sell on those deals through the AWS Marketplace. It is a requirement for many partners to use the platform and they must “Launch,” or close, a certain number of deals to maintain status year after year. 

Check out this blog about how to activate the flywheel with ACE and kickstart the co-selling engine. 

Understanding this platform and utilizing it provides a partner/seller with immense value. Our customers and Tackle have seen incredible success with closing deals faster, creating valuable relationships, and receiving AWS leads due to our engagement with ACE. 

Another feature of AWS Marketplace is the ability to leverage CPPO, or Consulting Partner Private Offers, which allows consulting companies to utilize the software’s listing on AWS Marketplace to resell the solution. In essence, it allows easier transactions for consulting partners wishing to sell solutions via Private Offer to their clients and allows for flexible pricing and more autonomy for consulting partners. 

We also want to highlight that AWS has numerous other programs and promotions to help sellers find success. Inclusion in these programs and projects is 100% dependent on your PDM/PDR and their relationship with your company. 

How to sell on AWS Marketplace: What you need to know to get started

When a deal gets registered to co-sell, partners will receive a collection of contacts with various titles. It is important for partners to understand what each role’s goals are and how they can work together to help you find and/or close opportunities. Let’s start with the PSM. 

The AWS PSM or Partner Success Manager is dedicated to increasing Marketplace adoption for all partners. They aim to promote deals going through Marketplace and Private Offers as well as co-selling. These players are valuable as they may have pre-existing relationships with many accounts and have helped Tackle with warm intros and gaining trust from buyers. 

The next vital contact that has brought immense value to Tackle and we suggest every ISV invest in is the PDM.

The PDM or Partner Development Manager is interchangeable with a PDR (Partner Development Representative) and is a seller’s right hand person. These individuals are assigned directly to your organization and are dedicated to helping you succeed. Your PDM or PDR is the first line of defense when you have questions or any issues involving AWS. Having a quality PDM has helped Tackle partner with AWS on deeper levels. Sellers are eligible to be assigned a PDM based on their partner status in the new Partner Path. PDMs/PDRs can also help you get involved in niche programs and achieve unique statuses, so having a great relationship with them is invaluable. Furthermore they can help you become eligible for, and use MDF. 

MDF stands for Market Development Funds. The goal is for AWS to help high-level partners bring in leads and they offer funding to help. Once a certain partner status is achieved, partners can apply yearly for funding that can be used for events, advertisements, or other lead generation activities. This also reinforces the need to invest in co-selling as a partner needs to use ACE to qualify for MDF. 

AWS also offers you contact information for Account Executives (AEs) or Account Managers (AMs). Different people use different terminology but these folks are motivated by deals closing on AWS Marketplace. They have specific quotas around Private Offers closed and revenue transacted on Marketplace by their accounts, so they want you selling and will help. Tackle has found these AEs to be valuable at referring new leads and doing warm introductions to their other accounts after partnering with Tackle initially. 

The last most common contact you receive in ACE is an ISM, or ISV Success Manager. These folks aim to help ISVs on Marketplace, which oftentimes means listing on and purchasing from Marketplace. They are unique because their territories are made up solely of ISVs (software companies), which is Tackle’s primary customer base. We have found them to be another important role to connect with, and we have presented to many ISMs and found that they will connect us with their accounts frequently.  

Get The Complete Playbook to Cloud Marketplaces to uncover best practices on how to launch, scale, and optimize your Marketplace strategy.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Who sells on AWS Marketplace?

Independent software vendors (ISVs), data providers, and consulting partners all sell their software, data, and services in AWS Marketplace. The ubiquity of AWS allows these companies to potentially reach millions of customers.

What type of products are sold on AWS Marketplace?

AWS Marketplace features a variety of third-party software, data, and services. Popular categories include DevOps, security, networking, business applications, machine learning, operating systems, professional services, and data products. These are available through a variety of deployment methods and pricing options.

Who shops on AWS Marketplace?

AWS Marketplace attracts a wide range of B2B software buyers—from small companies to large enterprises—looking to solve business problems. The variety of products and services available through AWS Marketplace makes it easy to find solutions from security to machine learning.

How does AWS handle payments to ISVs?

AWS acts as the billing mechanism on your behalf. The two most common payment options available to buyers are credit card and invoicing. Purchases with upfront payments are billed immediately upon subscription.

Seller success on AWS Marketplace

AWS Marketplace as a whole has been architected for seller success, and they continue to invest in quality programs and people that help make AWS Marketplace easier and more valuable. Schedule a demo with Tackle to learn how we can help you get listed in AWS Marketplace and make the most of Marketplace selling.