In recent blogs, we’ve covered how Tackle leverages Cloud GTM to drive revenue, and even how we use a data-driven approach to super-charge our Cloud GTM strategy. But there’s much more to the story than the benefits of Cloud GTM for the sales and revenue side of the house.
As conversations at ISVs focus on driving efficiencies during times of economic uncertainty, the role of Cloud GTM in helping companies accelerate growth is becoming more important. Building out a Cloud GTM strategy can not only drive revenue, but also create efficiencies across the org.
Actions certainly speak louder than words. At Tackle, we use our own products to power our Cloud GTM strategy, and what we’ve found is that the benefits extend well beyond revenue. Here are a few voices from our G&A team explaining how Cloud GTM has shaped back-office operations.
Accounting and billing efficiencies
For most ISVs, keeping up with invoices, taxes, payments, and collections can eat up a considerable amount of time and resources. Sometimes it can take a small army of accountants to ensure that all the bows are properly tied when it comes to the back-office financials.
For Accounting Manager Evan Johnson, Tackle’s Cloud GTM strategy has streamlined operations in three key areas: invoicing/billing, taxes, and collections. “Cloud GTM is definitely something that you want to take your time to understand, learn, and build your processes around,” he advised, “because it will be beneficial for you down the road.”
First, billing and invoicing is greatly simplified, and the chances for errors are virtually eliminated. “You don’t necessarily have to worry about not billing a customer by accident, such as if you get bogged down, if you’re busy, and you forget to send the invoice,” said Evan. “You don’t worry about that—the Cloud Provider does.”
What’s more, the burden of collections also falls on the Cloud Provider. “The Marketplaces are really good at chasing collections down themselves, because they have a stake in it as well.” And the chances of having to pursue delinquent accounts are reduced, because the Cloud Providers are typically invoicing customers for multiple products (including the third-party software purchases made through the Marketplace) in a single cloud bill, which makes the accounting simpler for the customer, while at the same time ensuring that the ISV gets paid on time.
And when it comes to the dreaded “T” word (taxes), Marketplace transactions greatly simplify things (at least in certain jurisdictions, such as the US). “We just don’t have to worry about it,” said Evan. “That was a huge win for us, because when you’re dealing with direct sales, you have to remit taxes to certain states depending on what service or product you provide. With Cloud GTM, you don’t have to worry about that, because the Marketplace takes care of it.”
Ultimately, Cloud GTM helps G&A operate in a more flexible and streamlined capacity.
Ultimately, Cloud GTM helps G&A operate in a more flexible and streamlined capacity. “Overall, you’re able to manage a somewhat smaller team because you don’t need so many dedicated people to handle the taxes, the invoicing and billing, the AR,” Evan said. “You could do more business with fewer people because the Marketplace takes care of a third of what your processes normally would be.”
Evan also points out that ISVs should be aware that these Marketplace transactions do come with a modest cost through a processing fee. “It’s very similar to credit cards or anything else,” he said. “If you swipe a credit card, the credit card processor takes a small fee out of the transaction. So just understand that’s going to be there.” That small fee, however, is more than offset by the cost savings gained through efficiencies in time and headcount.
“With the efficiencies and processes we’ve built through Cloud GTM, we’re definitely better off,” said Evan.
Ellen Thorne, Tackle’s VP of People, noted that Cloud GTM also presents some distinct advantages for the human resources department of ISVs. “When we think about software from a people or a G&A perspective, it all comes down to a couple of important questions,” she said. “How do we leverage software to help us automate, integrate, and scale? And when we’re purchasing software, can we purchase it through the Marketplace?”
When it comes to automating, integrating, and scaling, Tackle’s Cloud GTM strategy paves the way.
When it comes to automating, integrating, and scaling, Tackle’s Cloud GTM strategy paves the way for the company to examine how software purchases fit into the big picture. After all, if new tools don’t mesh with the tools already in use, there’s no point. “We always try to make sure that everything is integrated,” Ellen said. “For example, our new leave-tracking software has to be integrated with Paylocity, because that’s our source of truth from an employee database perspective.”
This approach is about more than convenience and interoperability—it’s also a cornerstone of Cloud GTM, which relies on ecosystems to ensure that products work together to solve complex business problems. “There’s a lot of inner-connectivity that even goes into the procurement process,” said Ellen. “We work through an entire workflow process, so that we’re able to then figure out the impacts by purchasing this tool or software as we think about how we link these various departments together.” The end result of this is not only a robust and comprehensive internal system for making software purchases, but it also encourages collaboration and cross-departmental communication, which helps in breaking down silos.
Just as with accounting, Cloud GTM leads to more efficient growth for the HR team as well. “We’re a remote-first company,” said Ellen. “So think about all of the different states where Tackle has employees, and they have different legal and HR requirements. So instead of hiring one person focused on compliance and legalities for each state plus Canada, we’re leveraging software that can help us do that more efficiently.”
Naturally, purchasing via the Marketplace also has some clear advantages for Tackle. “As we’re buying software, something that we always want to consider is if we can leverage the Marketplace to purchase it,” said Ellen. “There also could be Cloud Provider credits that are associated with the purchase, so that could be a win-win.”
Because Tackle virtually eats and breathes Cloud GTM, everything in HR centers around building a customer-first company dedicated to helping other organizations craft their own Cloud GTM success story. “Tackle’s roots in the Marketplace have directly impacted how we hire and engage in our remote-first environment,” said Ellen. “Because we can hire from anywhere in the US and Canada, it takes us less time to fill roles and we gain efficiencies in our hiring practices.” That means Tackle is able to hire and develop top talent in Cloud GTM strategy and operations, and in turn, Tackle customers reap the benefit of a fully focused Cloud GTM team that’s as diverse and geographically dispersed as the ISVs we support.
Anyone who has been in software sales for any length of time can tell you that one of the traditional bottlenecks in buying and selling has always been the legal stuff—contracts, negotiating, redlining, as deals would often become bogged down in the legal process. “In most organizations, the legal team would be reviewing every single contract that comes through the door, whether it’s buying (procuring) or licensing out its own product.” said Mellisa Maxwell, Tackle VP and General Counsel. “You’d spend an exorbitant amount of time handling these commercial transactions.”
However, through Cloud GTM and Marketplace, things have changed considerably. Tackle leans on the Marketplace’s standardized contracts as much as possible. Each Marketplace has a standard contract that can be leveraged by both buyers and sellers—Tackle has adjusted our processes to leverage this, and because we are selling in all the hyperscaler Marketplaces, we ensure that we are consistent even with our own terms and conditions, so that regardless of which Marketplace the customer is purchasing Tackle, the terms are all significantly similar. Out of hundreds of deals transacted via Marketplace, Tackle’s legal team only needs to examine a handful. “My team probably looks at 20% of our outbound deals,” Mellisa said. “The rest of them just flow through the Marketplace with our standard order form using the Marketplace standard contract.”
That means Mellisa’s team can concentrate their efforts on the contracts that require extra scrutiny. Additionally, that also means Tackle’s legal team can be more nimble and flexible. “We will handle some ancillary agreements and other regulatory matters directly, but basically, the standardized contracts through the Marketplaces means I can have a smaller team and that team can also focus on a variety of different matters, not just contracts,” she said.
“The Marketplace contracts are pretty much plug and play,” said Tackle Legal Operations Manager Kaila Schnackenberg. “Something like 75% of our customers work with the standard Marketplace contracts. When we’re managing our contracts with vendors through the Marketplace, if they use the standard contract it makes the procurement process faster for us. We know those terms, so it speeds up the legal review considerably.”
Deals move much more quickly, and that’s not only good for Tackle’s bottom line, but also for our customers.
The upshot is that deals move much more quickly, and that’s not only good for Tackle’s bottom line, but also for our customers. “B2B software sales should be just as easy as B2C,” said Mellisa. “There is no reason why it should take 90 days to get a product in and start using it. And so that’s why Cloud GTM is kind of a shift in the way that we think about procuring software, and the value that legal plays to the organization is that we can help make that happen faster.”
Through Cloud GTM, this level of speed and efficiency has been instrumental in fostering a high level of collaboration within the company. “The relationship between the sales team and the legal team is stronger and better at Tackle than in a lot of organizations, because we’re all working together and the sales team doesn’t view us as the gatekeepers,” said Mellisa. “Sales has a path to totally avoid legal: do the deal through the Marketplace with the Marketplace standard contract. So when something does come through legal, sales and legal work together on getting the deal done. Since the very beginning of Tackle’s journey, we focused on strong partnerships and finding a balance between what is best for Tackle and what the customer needs.”
Make Cloud GTM part of your DNA
For Tackle (and many other organizations as well), Cloud GTM isn’t a bolted-on sales motion that only affects the revenue team. On the contrary, it’s a business strategy that permeates the entire corporate culture, from G&A to sales and marketing and beyond. “In a way, everyone at the company is on the Cloud GTM team,” said Kaila.
Sure, buy-in must come from the top, but in the end, Cloud GTM works best when every department or business unit evangelizes for it, leans into it, and maximizes it. Everyone must be on board. “You have to figure it out together, you can’t just have your go-to market team running with this new channel and not communicating to the rest of the company, like G&A, about how to leverage it. ‘Cause it takes a team,” said Mellisa.
Take our three-minute Cloud Go-to-Market Readiness Review to see where your business is on its Cloud GTM journey.