Tackle is a software company that works with other software vendors to help them get listed and start selling fast through the Cloud Marketplaces like AWS Marketplace, Azure Marketplace, and GCP Marketplace. But before you get listed on Marketplace(s), you need to answer some initial questions: Are we ready, are we prepared, and do we know what it means to engage with the Marketplaces and to build a successful strategy to actually drive repeatable, sustainable, significant revenue through these channels?
There are three main questions that we like to dive into with our prospective customers to determine if they are Marketplace ready.
Do you have Organizational Support?
This is not a solitary pursuit. This is not a one-man or one-woman band here. Running a productive Marketplace business requires alignment with groups like sales, channels and alliances, marketing, and finance. Understanding what you are really looking to drive through Marketplace is going to help you build support for this program and put the muscle behind it that you need to make it successful.
Sales is key here. You’re going to want your team to know how to leverage Marketplace, how to position it with your customers, and how to use it as a competitive advantage. Bring that group into the picture early and help them understand what it is you’re trying to drive and work on that collaboratively. Then understand what key KPIs you can look to drive, measure, and reflect your success, such as:
- Acquiring customers faster
- Larger overall deal size
- Spending less time in negotiation and/or vendor management
Those are three things that you can track through Marketplace that should really improve by working through these Cloud Providers.
Are you Partner Ready?
All three of the Cloud Providers have partner organizations that you should be engaging with. You should understand who your partner manager is, what programs they have available to work with you, and where you fit into their ecosystem. They all operate a little bit differently and there’s complexity across all three. However, there’s a ton of benefit that comes from working with these groups and a lot of opportunities available. You should understand what it means to partner and what’s the give and the take of the relationship.
Make sure you understand the answers to the following questions:
- How do we get to co-sell with your field? What does that mean?
- How are your field reps incentivized?
- How will our teams work together?
- What do your partner-seller agreements look like? What am I agreeing to?
- What are the listing fees?
- What am I going to get out of the relationship?
Understanding those things up front, before you go diving right into Marketplace, is pretty important.
Are your Customers There?
The third thing that we really look at is one of the most important factors in determining your success in Marketplace: Are your prospective buyers already strategically aligned with one of these three big Cloud Providers? Chances are the answer is yes.
Most companies these days do have a relationship with one of those large Cloud Providers and if they do there are some beneficial reasons for them to buy your software through those Marketplaces. Identifying that early will give you a good feel for whether or not you fit within that ecosystem and whether or not you can benefit from it.
Better yet, you’ve got a customer who’s asking to buy you through AWS. “Hey, can we just put you on our AWS bill? It’d be a lot easier for us. We already have a relationship there and it’s pretty hard to bring on new vendors right now.” That’s a great leading indicator that you’ve got a customer base who is looking to leverage the efficiencies that these Marketplaces bring to the plate for them. Listen for those opportunities.
Those are three of the key areas that we look at when we’re trying to help software companies understand if they are ready for Marketplace. At Tackle we can help you understand how to get Marketplace ready. It doesn’t have to be a long and involved path, but it does have to be a path and a program that you put some thought and some strategy behind in order to really get the most out of it. If you have more questions reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend one of our weekly Cloud Marketplace Office Hours.