Marketplaces offer a new opportunity for software sellers, but the mechanics of the channel require some adjustment and a little finesse. Each Cloud Provider is unique, and there can be a learning curve for sales teams to figure out how to adapt their solution for their Marketplace listing.
There’s one type of deal that we’ve seen win over and over again, though—Private Offers and Private Plans.
In today’s post, we’ll cover:
- Different types of Marketplace deal structures
- Advantages of Private Offers and Private Plans
- How Tackle makes managing these types of deals easier
What’s a Private Offer or Private Plan?
In some ways, deal structures on Cloud Marketplaces (MP) are just as you might expect. For some buyers and sellers, a “one-size-fits-all” solution that generally fits most needs makes sense and is a good baseline. Think of walking into a suit store and buying a pre-made piece at a set price.
Then for other scenarios, a buyer’s budget or needs mean they want something a bit more custom. So, the seller works with them to craft the perfect offering at a unique price.
Here’s how this concept translates to the specifics of Marketplaces.
An organic MP purchase occurs when a buyer comes to your public listing, either via your marketing efforts or finding it in a MP search. This type of sale works well with self-service and “try-and-buy” products, or at least one that buyers can spin up on their own without much help. Since there’s no customization (at least for the initial sale), you publicly present a set price and that’s what the buyer pays.
Private Offers and Private Plans
The other type of pricing structure you can choose from is custom pricing. The terms vary by Cloud Providers (CPs), with Private Offers on AWS Marketplace and GCP Marketplace and Private Plans for Azure Marketplace. However, the concept is the same.
This custom pricing option means you work with the buyer to customize their price and terms and conditions. Perhaps you want to offer a specific discount, or your buyer wants to adjust a term like indemnification or limitation of liability (Marketplace sales often come with standard EULAs which are great for easier legal/operations processes). You populate the offer via the MP and then send it to your buyer for approval.
“Wait,” you say, “We already do this with direct deals.” That’s correct! Private Offers and Plans allow you to keep your business as close as possible to how you do direct deals, except you get to leverage the power of their Cloud Provider relationship, which is a major accelerant for Marketplace deals.
These custom offers are also useful because many MP SaaS deals are from large enterprise purchases, with 36% of enterprise companies spending at least $1.2 million annually on Azure alone. It’s unlikely that companies at this level will commit to something like a $1 million software purchase without at least some pricing discussions and customization.
Advantages of Private Offers and Private Plans
We won’t lie—Private Offers and Private Plans do take a little more managing and it can be complicated at first, but we’ve seen time and time again that it’s worth it. Plus, we’ll cover ways to make these custom offers easier to handle. Here’s why we see sellers utilize these to accelerate their Marketplace selling.
Leverage your buyer’s Cloud budget
As your buyer begins to understand how they can use their pre-existing committed Cloud Provider (CP) spend to buy third-party software, you gain a powerful lever for deal expansion. Whereas they may have worked with a smaller budget for direct deals, Private Offers and Plans through Marketplace give them room to grow because the purchase of your software helps them burn down their CP commitment. You can use this budget to more easily secure the first deal, craft a larger engagement, or expand at renewal time.
Strengthen co-sell relationships
Your Marketplace reps can offer an abundance of resources and assistance in working with you to find and close deals. However, CP partners don’t get paid when a Marketplace buyer makes a public purchase. So if you want to create a healthier co-sell collaboration, a Private Offer or Plan is the way to go. On top of the direct benefits to you as a company, it also helps you invest deeper into the important and strategic relationship with your Cloud Provider.
Develop your relationship with customers
Finally, custom offers nurture ISV:buyer relations. By working directly with the seller, you may uncover additional features, services, or terms that they’re willing to pay for that would have flown under the radar at a public list price. The more you learn about your buyers in the offer process, the more you can help them down the line. Plus, more one-on-one time gives buyers a greater connection to your company.
How Tackle Can Help Manage Private Deals
A Private Offer or Private Plan sounds simple now, right? You work with a potential buyer to adjust terms and conditions or pricing. But what happens when you start to send more offers and work with more buyers across multiple Marketplaces?
At Tackle, we experienced firsthand how overwhelming it can be to send and track many custom deals. What does the buyer need? What offer did we submit? Where are we in negotiations? Am I waiting for any information? These are just some of the questions you have to keep track of for every single deal.
As we talked to Tackle users, we realized we weren’t alone. Our sellers were feeling overwhelmed by managing Private Offers and Plans. So, we created a feature called Private Offer Acceleration. This feature helps you bridge the gap between the Private deal process on the Cloud Provider’s end and your company’s quote-to-cash workflow.
Within the Private Offer Acceleration dashboard, you can send Private Offers, track their status, and identify which accounts need action. Rather than managing custom deals on individual Marketplaces, you’ll have a single source of truth.
Plus, gone are the days when you need to connect nondescript offer IDs to customer information manually—your customer metadata and team activity live on one convenient page. You can track deal updates in real-time, such as when customers view and accept offers and collaborate with your team and CP partners to bring deals over the finish line.
Private Offers and Plans give you the power to customize terms and pricing, turning a one-size-fits-all listing into a bespoke suit that fits buyers to a “T.” The result is a strategy that allows you to leverage Cloud Provider relationships to accelerate deals and scale revenue.
Curious to learn more about how to craft Private Offers and Plans? Watch our Office Hours on Private Offers and Private Plans here or our Deal Workshop Office Hours here. And don’t forget to join us for Cloud Marketplace Office Hours every Thursday at 1pm ET to hear more and ask your questions about how to leverage Marketplaces in your go-to-market strategy.