Tackle’s Take: How We See the Co-Sell Software Market Evolving

Tackle is honored to be named a champion by Canalys in their 2023 Global Co-Sell Software Leadership Matrix and it’s validating to see co-sell being recognized as a strategic initiative that needs to be a part of every ISV’s go-to-market strategy. The Canalys matrix covered a wide array of co-sell partner types including influence/marketing, transaction-assist, Marketplaces, PRM, and customer retention partners—showing that this is a broad space with many adjacencies.

In working with more than 550 ISVs over the last seven years, we have learned that co-selling with the clouds is different from traditional B2B co-selling and requires consistent investment and resource execution across people, processes, and technology to create a meaningful revenue channel for software companies. 

“Co-selling with the clouds requires investment across people, processes, and technology to create a meaningful revenue channel.”

As the market around co-sell matures, we foresee a leadership matrix focused on Cloud GTM emerging, or being specifically researched as a sub-category, due to the significant market opportunity and the unique complexity of co-selling with the Cloud Providers. Cloud GTM would encompass solutions that bring Cloud Marketplace operations and co-sell together into a unified process that’s integrated with your CRM to accelerate your path to revenue through the clouds. 

This is a new market, and yet, so much has already changed in the past year around how Marketplace and co-sell are positioned. As we enter 2024, we’re excited to be a part of the continued evolution around this convergence story that will look much different a year from now.

 

Co-selling with the clouds requires a unique operating model 

Each Cloud Provider has their own co-sell platforms with their own set of requirements, language, rules of engagement, metrics that matter, and large sales organizations to navigate.

If you are going to make partnering with the Cloud Providers a meaningful revenue channel, it’s important to create a co-sell operating model that’s broken down into four workflows: sharing deals, accepting leads, closing your deals, and vocalizing your wins together. 

 

Marketplace + co-sell must go together 

Once the co-sell strategy is operationalized, the right technology is critical in order to drive adoption and scale. The Cloud Providers have made it clear that co-selling is just one piece of the puzzle and that Marketplace investment must be made alongside in order to drive partnership growth. 

For most ISVs today, co-selling and Marketplace act as separate workflows, almost entirely manual, and disconnected from the broader go-to-market system. Our 2023 State of Cloud GTM Report found that nearly 50% of respondents’ biggest point of friction is integrating Cloud Marketplace and co-sell with their core business systems and operational workflows. To reduce this friction, ISVs are leveraging solutions like Tackle’s Cloud GTM Platform to unify Marketplaces and co-sell automation and they are powering this with cloud buyer intent data to accelerate their revenue through this channel all inside the sellers’ system of record. 

 

There’s no compression algorithm for experience 

We recently announced that Tackle has processed $5B in transactions through our Cloud GTM Platform and has seen a 100% YoY increase in transactions. The insights we have into enterprise buying and selling patterns through the cloud can only be gained from hundreds of customers processing tens of thousands of co-sell transactions and billions of dollars in private and public Marketplace offers.

At the end of the day, you need a partner who knows the ins and outs of each Cloud Provider and how to navigate their co-sell systems. Tackle acquired CORE Consulting, owned by Erin Figer, more than a year ago to expand our capabilities here. For 10 years, CORE worked with the top Microsoft, AWS, and Google ISVs to operationalize and scale co-sell in their organization, and this acquisition allowed us to ensure we have the most complete cloud co-sell solution and services in the market.

In addition, after continuing to hear from our customers that one of the best things about Tackle is the people and the Cloud GTM knowledge they gain from calls with us, we rolled out our Strategic Services offerings. These offerings are designed to guide and accelerate your organization’s journey toward Cloud GTM success. ISVs can now leverage Advisory Workshops, Cloud GTM Coaches, and Co-Sell Managed Services for every stage of their journey.

As you can see, cloud co-sell is a complex machine. We’re excited to see analysts lean into covering these solutions, and we always welcome conversations about the industry and where it’s headed. 

See Tackle's Cloud GTM Platform in Action