Listing your software is good, but no one would argue that selling it is so much better. In a world saturated in digital transactions, there has been increased difficulty both getting to a market and further selling in a market that is inundated with competition and customer expectation of a catered experience. Conducting final transactions not only creates revenue but also establishes customer acquisition and retention; setting the key market players apart from the rest. In order to help customers meet the challenge of selling in an ever-growing market and securing these transactions, Amazon Web Services Marketplace recently deployed the option of Private Offers, increasing both the quantity and the quality of sales through what I like to consider custom quotes. If you want to be a true amazon player, this is where you take the marketplace to the next level.
Let me elaborate with a question: When was the last time you sold your software to an enterprise ‘at list price with standard terms?’ Don’t worry, if the answer is never, you’re not alone. In fact, it is this common reaction that has led to Amazon Web Services’ new pricing enhancement.
Private offers allow sellers to customize their AWS listings’ pricing and terms on a per customer basis; placing the online marketplace in line with the natural selling motion of buyer/seller communication and negotiation. The option can be a Marketplace game-changer when used constructively. The catch though has been one of haste. Time and time again, after hearing about this custom pricing option, clients become excited and find ways to quickly jump to the procedure of setting up this functionality without first establishing a Marketplace foundation. In fact, post listing, Private Offer training has become our most requested training session. While absolutely crucial, training of this sort should be a focus saved for later. Before jumping into logistics, I encourage clients to take a step back in order to think about how to best utilize this functionality and who should care most about doing so– prerequisites to success for Private Offer use.
Prerequisite 1: Sales Reps Must Be Actually Using the Marketplace
It may sound intuitive, but it’s important to mention: you only need to know how to manage Private Offers if sales reps are actually selling via the Marketplace. It is no secret that our most successful clients prioritize educating reps on the benefits of selling via the Marketplace. These clients have been able to tap into and contribute to the promise and ease of digital transaction and communication. Sales has many paths to revenue, and knowing transaction semantics is important, but trust me, they are quickly picked up once transactions are pending. What is most important, however, is the foundational methodology and practice of the sales team. Before mastering the details behind Private Offer functionality, it must become second nature to sales reps to turn to the AWS Marketplace to conduct business. It is then that partners, like Tackle, who are experts in the field, can properly knowledge transfer on customization within the channel.
We at Tackle have spent a great deal of time learning the ins and outs of transacting via the Marketplace. We have found through experience that by working closely with our sellers first to master the world of AWS Marketplace so far so that it becomes the sales channel of choice for sellers and then focusing on the customized experience, we and our customers have the greatest long-term success. With assets built from industry expertise and customer feedback, we walk our sellers through marketplace sales and marketing strategies, plus the operational processes required to list successfully (aka SELL).
Prerequisite 2: Sales Reps Must Care About Using the Marketplace
So, you must be thinking, if sales reps have met prerequisite 1 and are using the Marketplace, why does it matter that they further care about doing so? Great question. The answer comes down to the importance of truly knowing and empathizing with your buyer. The industry is trending toward Cloud Marketplaces. If planned properly, selling and buying via the cloud can be a simplified path to revenue and a necessity for business success.
Amazon is a leader in Cloud Marketplaces for a reason: they spend a lot of time investing in their buyers/sellers. By prioritizing their commitment to a marketplace inventory that is consistently reflective of market trends for customer needs and wants, Amazon has gained unparalleled customer trust. AWS sales reps have secured and bolstered this customer trust by spending significant time ensuring their buyers are getting the most from their AWS relationship, including the Marketplace (plus they get some comp/quota relief for MP transactions). Amazon is motivated to get sellers selling and buyers buying so leveraging this focus is absolutely key, and can have a huge impact on exposure to a motivated buyer pool. By caring about the Marketplace and getting to know your client’s AWS sales rep, your company’s sales rep is able to find fun in co-selling and gain a wealth of knowledge. It is in this extra step of caring that sales reps discover too ways to tap into transactions driven by enterprise clients’ committed AWS spend, which can be applied toward Marketplace transactions (access to committed budget, game changer). Not only does this increase your sales, but also maximizes your customers’ experiences as they receive a simplified and consolidated cloud bill as well as an accelerated deployment process. You then in turn experience a shorter sales cycle as you eliminate the need to establish and negotiate a master agreement. Sounds like a win/win/win, right? That’s because it is.
Once prerequisites are fulfilled, you have what it takes to make the Amazon Web Services Marketplace a compelling sales strategy for yourself and your customers. Then and only then does it make sense to dig into the Private Offer details.