WEBINAR

Keys to Marketplace Success in 2021 with Lacework & Snyk

The Transcript

Don Addington:
Cool. Well, let’s dive into it. I think we’re relatively stabilized. We’ll have some more people joining in, but obviously we’re recording this, so we’ll be sharing it out for folks. And so just kind of wanted to get us kicked off today. We’re here to talk with a couple of great friends of Tackle, Michael and Udi, from Lacework and Snyk. So we’re going to chat today, really, about sort of the keys to success in marketplace.

Don Addington:
And I’ll get us teed up in a second, but wanted to do a quick round of intros. So Michael, if you want to maybe get us started and then we’ll go to Udi and then we’ll get rolli...

Don Addington:
Cool. Well, let’s dive into it. I think we’re relatively stabilized. We’ll have some more people joining in, but obviously we’re recording this, so we’ll be sharing it out for folks. And so just kind of wanted to get us kicked off today. We’re here to talk with a couple of great friends of Tackle, Michael and Udi, from Lacework and Snyk. So we’re going to chat today, really, about sort of the keys to success in marketplace.

Don Addington:
And I’ll get us teed up in a second, but wanted to do a quick round of intros. So Michael, if you want to maybe get us started and then we’ll go to Udi and then we’ll get rolling into this.

Michael Musselman:
Sounds good. Thank you for having me. I’m looking at this slide. There’s a lot of words there. Essentially, I’m running and leading all of our technology integrations and go-to-market partnerships at Lacework. I’ve been doing this for a few years. Previously, I led a sales engineering team, was a sales engineer. And I realized that much of you on this call are much like me. So you realize, when you get to this point, you’re leveraging a lot of your experiences and working in other functions in the business; selling, contracts, partnerships. And I think the marketplace and the discussion we’re going to have today is a very good testament to you’re going to need a lot of help to make it successful. So drawing from your experiences and asking others for help in your business, that’s pretty typical.

Don Addington:
Awesome. Thanks. Udi.

Udi Nachmany:
Yeah. So I’m not sure where you got this paragraph from, but I think it’s fine. I’m a bit stressed now. So I head up cloud alliances at Snyk. I’ve been with the company for about two years. The company’s five years old and I’ve been in the cloud open source container space since about 2013. And this is my third time around as a vendor on the marketplace and, so far, the most successful. So I think, like Michael said, it takes a village and there’s a lot of learnings that I’m excited to share. Bear in mind that Snyk is on the beginning of its journey.

Don Addington:
Cool. Yeah, we’ll definitely get into that kind of background and history a little bit, as we get rolling. I don’t know where my paragraph came from either. At least I don’t feel bad, but at least it’s a little shorter. So I’m the CRO for Tackle. I’ve spent my entire career in software sales and came to Tackle a couple years ago. We were quite early on in our journey. I think, as most of you know, Tackle’s a SaaS company. And one of the things that attracted me to Tackle was the ability to go work with other software companies and help them sell and really figure out what’s become a really important leg of go-to-market in the cloud world. And that’s marketplaces. Right? And how to sell in an increasingly cloud-first world.

Don Addington:
And it’s been a great journey so far. It’s a ton of fun to go talk to folks like Michael and Udi. And we were kind of joking before the call, last year when we were traveling, had the opportunity to.. We were at a conference overseas and Udi’s over in the UK. We were able to go meet up in person and we’ve been able to follow the journey of a lot of our customers and really contribute in a meaningful way. And that’s one of the things that’s been great about the work that we do at Tackle, is just bringing together this community of marketplace sellers and folks who are all trying to solve the same problems.

Don Addington:
And I think no greater testament to the community we’ve put together today in that we’ve got Snyk and Lacework, who overlap a little bit in some of what they do and still willing to come on and chat with us about their marketplace game and how they’re doing it. And so thank you to both of you guys for the collaboration and making the Tackle community what it is.

Don Addington:
We’ll get launched into the conversation today. Udi, you gave us a little bit of good backdrop there. In Lacework and in Snyk, we’ve got a couple of companies that are just crossing the chasm, right? In marketplace, you have your listings and you’ve started to do some transactions. And so along with that comes learnings, all along the way. And so we’ll try to decompose what some of those learnings are for the benefit of the broader audience here. And I think there’s a continuum on this marketplace journey spectrum from, okay, we’re going to do it to what is it going to take us to get in? And how fast can we get there and how quickly, easily can we do it, to how do we operate? How do we really generate revenue? And once we’re doing that, how do we operationalize that and make it something that’s digestible for the business?

Don Addington:
So we’ll probably touch a lot on the front end and the middle part of that continuum today, but I thought you guys might start us off with … You both had some different paths to marketplace. And Michael, you got started at Lacework and you all had a listing, I think, when you first joined in. Wasn’t quite operating the way that you wanted it to. And Udi, you kind of brought marketplace in as an evolution from where you were at. So if I could have you guys talk a little bit about what was the decision process to get into marketplace, what took you there, and talk about that journey for people.

Michael Musselman:
Sure. I mean, I can start. So this is the first time I’ve really ran a co-sale/marketplace. I’ve done this role before, but I would say, my last company, it wasn’t necessarily a fit. That’s not where our buyers necessarily were driving us to procure their technology, but I quickly figured out here, this is exactly where we need to be. Right? This is where our buyers are starting to ask our team, “Hey, do you guys sell on the marketplace?” And so that’s, where there’s smoke, there’s going to be fire. So I wanted to get ahead of that.

Michael Musselman:
Turns out, like I said, when I got here, like most smaller companies … Udi mentioned them being in here for five years. I think we’re about the same. Actually, we’re coming on our sixth year. Same deal. Originally, the CTO and the engineering team had quickly built something, connected it to the marketplace. And I certainly walked in the front door and I was like, “Awesome. There’s something already here, so I can build upon this,” but like many of you, I go read the listing, I’m like, “Wait, that’s not exactly how we talk about our technology or what we’re solving.”

Michael Musselman:
I went and poked around engineering a little bit to see who maintains this, who owns the marketplace stuff. And I quickly realized that this was a project that was kind of a box that was checked, but there really wasn’t a continuous development around it. There really wasn’t a continuous project around it. So immediately, it’s like, all right, well, what do you do? You come to a decision where you know the outcome you want, but how do you get there?

Michael Musselman:
And fortunately enough for me, our organization had already started talking to Tackle. So it was really just me kind of figuring out, right in the middle of a sales cycle, why, what, how. And so the decision criteria really was just about if I could decouple the engineering from the go-to-market stuff, do people at Lacework think that that’s a good thing or is someone happy?

Michael Musselman:
And so I immediately went straight to the head of engineering and our CTO and smiles. They’re like, “You mean, we can turn these servers off? We can disconnect some of this stuff?” And so I was like, “All right. Well, the decision’s already made.” Now it’s just a matter of how do I hook this to the rest of the business process? And you don’t know what you don’t know, kind of getting into it. And I think we’ll touch on that a little bit later, but at least in the beginning, it was really, if you think of this, there’s a lot of moving parts. There’s the whole business function and meeting your customers where they are and there’s the technical side of this. And anyone, as a perfect example in the A2BS marketplace, Alexa Reed, just go look at the onboarding guide for the marketplace. It’s a pretty thick read and that was part of actually my decision criteria. That was how I put this in front of a couple people and I was like, “Which one do we want to do?” And it was pretty overwhelming, right?

Michael Musselman:
So then the natural thing is you just kind of start moving forward and we will get into more of it, but I think that was a start.

Udi Nachmany:
Yeah and as far as Snyk goes, we did have marketplace listings but not on the cloud marketplaces. So we were very fortunate to have a bottom-up premium go to market until today and that put us in a position where we were so focused on the developers. Where are the developers consuming software? So it’s more like GitHub, Heroku, those kinds of places. So when I came into the company, that was the concept of marketplace, it was that. And the fact that you have such a nice inflow of inbound business, also it makes management thinkers, like why do we need to spend money and time on listing on A2BS or Google? What’s the point of that? Because we are doing so well on our own, but it’s kind of like getting to where the puck is going to be, so I came in and really tried to focus on what is it going to take to open up a cell with motion with these major accounts?

Udi Nachmany:
And I knew from previous companies that you can’t do that really effectively without a marketplace presence, so the primary reason for it was that rather the actual numbers coming through for the short term, obviously long-term it has to justify itself financially and it’s on that path, luckily. Knowing what I know, what I knew from before about what it takes to build a marketplace listing to Michael’s point about just look at the documentation and get a sense of it, and also in a high company, the most expensive resource you have is taking a software engineer out of the roadmap. That is by far, it’s more than CO, it’s more than anyone else. It just made perfect sense to engage with a company like Tackle for the execution of that. I’ll talk a bit later about that discovery journey.

Don Addington:
Cool. Perfect. Yeah, I think there are a few things in there that maybe tie back to expectations when you are thinking about setting yourself up for success and I think one of the areas of expectation setting, and you kind of walked into it, I think Michael is just like, “Hey, we’re going to.. an integration to a marketplace equals a strategy for marketplace”. Right? I built a thing. Who built it? Well, we have a couple of engineers to build in integration and then it gets thrown out there. Well, A. Was their business involvement in creating the right thing with the right positioning? And to set you up so you can do the type of deals that you want. So that’s just kind of, are you aligned with what you’ve built and the way you want to transact? And the other thing is the longer tail of the ownership there.

Don Addington:
I think, Michael, you brought it up, we’re doing a little prep for 0000000. Once you build something as an engineer, you own it. It’s sitting on a server somewhere. Somebody’s got to own it. Somebody’s got to update it. Somebody’s got to pay attention to it. And it’s less of building a widget and walking away. That’s actually oftentimes, underestimated. So those two things we see; underestimating when it’s just figuring out how to get into marketplaces. I just throw a thing up there and get the listing up there and then a lot of the work is done, right? So I think you..

Michael Musselman:
I can validate it with we had a listing, it was making almost no dollars. So it’s not about the integration. It’s about why wasn’t it performing as it was? And then when you go fishing around for who owns that product, there really isn’t. It was built, but there wasn’t ownership, and Udi is completely right. Is if it’s not core to your business, like from the developer’s side, it shouldn’t be something that you are spending a lot of time doing. It’s an easy decision.

Don Addington:
Yeah, I think one of the other areas that we spend a lot of time talking to the newer entrance to marketplace and marketplace curious is just the idea of starting with something that’s more fulfillment related, right? Hey, we just want to meet our customers where they are spending money already, which is unarguably AWS and GCP and Azure. It doesn’t really matter now what kind of software you are selling. Who are you selling it to and where are they spending their money? And can you go find the people that own the cloud provider relationships? But that’s a leap to make, but we see the buyer in the end pushing people in that direction, like Michael said, your sales team has seen. That sort of motion, a customer thinking, can we get you through if you are in a hole? Maybe dig into that in a minute.

Don Addington:
How important is it, as you guys think about the programs you are building, to establish ownership for this marketplace as a program, right? Because one of the key things we see is that, again, if it’s just the listing that gets thrown out there, who owns the success of it? Who are the stakeholders and who is really.. who has peaked to the fire there? So maybe people can speak to the ownership and how important that is and what that looks like in organization with you guys.

Michael Musselman:
Udi, I’ll let you start.

Udi Nachmany:
Thank you. You are a gent. So it’s very important, but it’s going to evolve, right? So in the Snyk case, where we started from scratch and you always need this group of specialists in their field to help out and relying on Tackle is probably the biggest piece kind of piece or stakeholder in that picture. But in these early days, when the company is moving so fast and the business case is not proven, and basically it’s me trying to prove out the why, it’s basically that one person, two people that have a product management, program management mindset, that own it. It’s very important to have these referenced in finance and sales ops, in sales, in product marketing. It’s just good practice in any initiative, but especially here, we always need to be on top. And then it’s going to evolve, and we see it evolving right as we speak at Synk into more of.. rather than just one person holding the bar for the rest, it’s more of a committee and a full on program that has clearer ownership.

Michael Musselman:
Yeah, we didn’t even touch it in the first program, but I will tell you I went from zero to our relisted marketplace listing in 11 days with Tackle. If we had to build anything, impossible. So if you’re just thinking time to value, that’s another thing to keep in mind. Plus, it allowed me to focus less on managing the product or a PM or even my product management team of the technical side of it, got to spend 100 percent focused on the business end of it. Udi is right, most of us in the role feel like we’re octopus many times. You’ve got eight legs and eight different worlds and most of it is through influence. It’s not through any kind of power structure.

Michael Musselman:
For me, it started with our president/CRO with A. We hear customers asking about this, so are you on board that if we go do this, I’ll help do the education, the enablement around that to the sales team, but you have to be okay with this happening. And, by the way, here’s the economics of this. So it’s going to affect quota, compensation, it’s going to affect a few things so you have to understand this and you have to be okay with this and in return, set the right expectations there. Let’s say, for sure, I spent a lot of time in finance, just RevRaka is different, where you get it, the margins, how the money flows, how you get paid when they get played.

Michael Musselman:
The great thing is that Tackle is just as much of your consulting company as your software is a service provider, so there was no shortage of people who had helped other people through this journey and knew exactly, here is how you can educate your sales team, here’s how you can think about preparing finance for that. And actually, while I didn’t need a lot of it, we did set up calls with finance, with sales leaders, with others.

Michael Musselman:
And so there were sections during the onboarding that allowed the folks that needed to make those decisions, they weren’t just hearing it from me. They heard it from me, but then they got to ask their own questions. They got to feel comfortable with the process. So in that case, that’s great, too. Moving on, you’re certainly touching licensing, you’re maybe creating a new price book, so my product team that handles all of our skews and licensing, I created a whole other price book.

Michael Musselman:
Beyond that, we use sales floors, again, your sales ops, team, your rev ops team, they may want to own the marketplace, they may want you to own it. I’m still in a condition where they are like, “You’re doing a great job! Like, keep going!”. I haven’t been able to offload that yet, but even with them it’s like, hey, well when we quote this stuff out on paper, now there is a digital component here, so does the quote need to be a little bit different? Does the contract language need to be a little bit different? When you are creating that quote in your CRM, what does that thing need to look like? Are there different price books? Are there different templates? I mean, a lot of that stuff, I’m telling you the end result, but a lot of those decisions and that consulting stuff goes up front because those are all things that you need to make be successful in your first transaction, but then as you start scaling this out.

Michael Musselman:
I would actually say the most important thing, and I saw the QA come through, is it’s really, if you’re putting this listing in Amazon or in GCP, you really need help from the other side. While Tackle can absolutely answer every question, can usually help you, guide you through this, an important thing for me was establishing the relationship with my marketplace liaison at A2BS or GCP. It was meeting, they all have different.. your partner, your manager, in all of these cloud service providers, they’re going to have different individuals. But not only do they have their own best practices, guidance, but they are usually the ones that you are building relationships that can help you navigate, actually not just, great, I have a listing, but how do we co-sell with you? How do we navigate bringing people to your public offer, your private offer? And I think that’s the more important, like spend 80 to 80 percent of your time on that side of it, and then you’re very likely to start onesie, twosies, then start building momentum.

Michael Musselman:
Lastly, I mentioned it, but get to your sales team, education them on the good, the bad, the ugly. How it works. Set the right expectations. Let them understand what we can control in the process, because it’s taking control out a rep. Also, if you’re doing things with a partner in the middle, like Amazon CCPO, there’s a point in time when we are all out of control. So you just need to make sure that everyone understands what to expect. Just lead them through the whole journey and I think that’s the keys to at least who you need to interoperate and how do you start to go from zero to somewhere pretty quick.

Don Addington:
I want to get into the sales side of things and I think that’s a really important component into the question that popped up there, which for everybody else, a question was kind of, hey, we’ve had a listing out there. It’s been a while. It’s been a year. We haven’t had any traction on it. What’s up? Why’s that? So I want to get into some of the why’s and the how’s of that.

Don Addington:
Before we do that, just one more thing to tie off on, I think just programmatically, as you think about putting together this marketplace program is the idea of the expectation setting and whether reflect on either of the things you did proactively as you’re getting your program ready to go, or retroactively, I wish I would’ve done these things.

Don Addington:
And we have matured our approach over time and tried to give our customers some sort of lens as to what are the KPIs and what are the areas that you should focus on to reflect back to. This is a reflection on you, Michael. This is your marketplace initiative, so do you want to set the stakes coming out of the gates that there are revenue targets that you are going to be able to hit? Or there are customer acquisition targets that you’re going to hit? In year one? Or are there other things you can do to measure, hey, all the business we got. Here are the things that are important. Maybe walk us through how you think about setting yourself up for success programmatically and how to set those expectations right.

Udi Nachmany:
Michael, you start this time.

Michael Musselman:
Yeah. That just depends. Right? That’s a big depends. I, like any other business development function or a net new channel, most of us maybe had a little bit of sales in our background. Someone is going to try to tie you to a number or a KPI or an outcome and when you’re walking into the unknown, that’s a very scary thing to sign up for. In my position, I tried to weasel around, honestly, just being able to set this up, maybe year one, let’s not really treat it like that, but I’m a known entity, I’m not loafing around. I’ll go build it and we’ll start to build momentum.

Michael Musselman:
My president’s a little smarter than that and he pinned me right to a quota, just like any other sales person, right? But how we make up that quota was tied to things that we could generate through the marketplace because every deal that comes through the marketplace, I’m touching. I’m touching sometimes very early, through the middle and definitely 5 p.m., end of quarter, at the very end. So you might as well be a part of sales ops as well. So I think it’s important that you are tied to at least some KPIs or something around that because it keeps you motivated, keeps you focused. Certainly, Udi and I, you can do a million things. There’s an endless amount of work sometimes tying how you get paid or some of your MBOs or KPIs to the outcomes that align to the business objectives. Great. That’s perfect.

Michael Musselman:
So I would say that’s kind of the bigger piece around that. I don’t know. We can get deeper. I think you want to at least be cognicant that it’s going to take a full time job, so whether it’s you doing this alone, you start to have a team doing this, or you grow into you starting to leverage some of these business functions to help you. To build a program around it is an evolution, but it’s definitely a full time job. It can be. For sure.

Udi Nachmany:
And certainly where you come in and you try to sell this initiative internally, I mean a number is going to come at some point. I think it’s important to understand that number might not be what you sell for the marketplace. It might be what these public cloud providers influence for you, introduce, source, leased, etc. etc. So the activity that helps drive over time, of course the marketplace number will have to take a big chunk of that to justify itself. Just to answer that question in the chat, really in a very shallow and quick way, I’d say Tackle for us, as Michael said before, it was a no-brainer in terms of what we need to do and the opportunity cost of doing it internally.

Udi Nachmany:
But then, the discovery of, well we have a trusted advisor here who can help us think through the issues that networked through the cloud teams as well, it’s very helpful to us. But then, that’s all about execution and good execution, but the question about strategy, Tackle’s not going to put that strategy in for you. I remember talking to a counterpart of mine, a storage company about two or three years ago and he said that for him, putting a listing on the marketplace was like opening a nice shop in the middle of a very big and very empty shopping mall, right? It’s like, good luck!

Udi Nachmany:
The question is what are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to have an enterprise fullfillment step, leverage, cloud budgets like EDPs or are you on the other side of no, I’m going after SMB and then I need a different strategy. In the end, Tackle and the stakeholders you have internally. If everyone is doing their jobs, that’s going to secure the execution but not the strategy.

Udi Nachmany:
And I want one last thing, just to reiterate something Michael said. For me, in Snyk, I mean yes, there’s finance, there’s product management, all those teams, but Tells Ops have been the key allies and it’s because it’s a detail-oriented, financed, oriented-ish function that always is focusing on driving the business forward. With that attitude, with that kind of proclivities is very important and that’s why I think, and they touch so many of the other functions as well.

Don Addington:
And back to the idea of KPIs, getting away from owning a number, I think it’s great to own a number. I think it makes this a legitimate piece of your revenue strategy and then ties you even closer to the sales teams and we’re going to talk about the sales teams next. But I think on the path to really owning that number, and really being able to get behind the number, being able to decompose some of the things that can buy you more investment into the channel. If you don’t have ten million dollars through marketplace in year one, or whatever the number would be a magic number for you in year one. Can you measure some things like, oh the deals we got through, what was the sales cycle? What was the cycle time? And is that maybe faster than a deal that we would do direct? If you’re a land and expand, is that time between the first deal and the second deal, does that collapse? Did our time with legal, did that shrink when we did those deals? Where are those parts and components of the cycle that you can measure and say, hey, of the business that we got through, here are the things that we are experiencing.

Don Addington:
We believe if we invest more in this channel, we can get more of the same and some of the cost of sale comes into play there, right? Hey, of the business we got in, here is the cost of sale behind this business. So I think being smart about those things as you start to set up the program might for a little while relieve some of the pressure of hey, where is all the revenue? It’s like, hey, of the revenue we got, we’ve been measuring these things and we can tell a really good story. So I think you’re setting yourself up for success if you can do some of those things early on.

Don Addington:
But let’s talk about a really big key to success and that is working with sales and really, your sales team is going to be the front end of this marketplace effort. You can do a lot of co-sale work, there’s a lot of things you can do and we will get into that, but getting the sales team bought in. Maybe talk about how important that’s been to you all and I think Udi had a great comment a while back about having a very narrow window for sales forgiveness and you’re trying to set this thing up and make it sound like it’s a better way to sell, and a lot of ways it is, but it also takes some learning and you’ve got to go through the first couple and start to get your emotions down, so there’s going to be some learnings in there. How do minimize those zero flinch moments? Again, to borrow a phrase, right? So the sales buy in and kind of making the process as easy as possible, if you guys could talk about that.

Udi Nachmany:
Yeah, I think like something Michael mentioned before, no sales person likes to lose control and even though this is a more efficient and simpler process, in many cases it doesn’t matter because it’s a new thing. I’m not sending a PO, an offer by fax, or whatever and it’s just a bit of a black box. And I don’t think there’s anything to do about that rather than have them see their peers succeed the marketplace. But in terms of how to get sales on board, for us, it’s been about offering an additional option that is completely additive, doesn’t replace anything, doesn’t cannibalize our direct, our channel motions, can in the end talk about the promise land, talk about the co-sale, the expanded pipeline, the deeper partnership we’re going to have, the constantly demystify and simplify.

Udi Nachmany:
I had, so we are almost a year in and I had last week on the same day, one rep surprised that we’re trying to fulfill to enterprise on the marketplace. This is a week after sales training right? Like, oh I thought this was just about SMB soft servers. Like, no. And two hours later, somebody saying, “But I thought we had to attach an MSA to every listing.” Like, “No, that’s not what we said.” So contantly drive that message, simplify, demystify and there’s blog post by this influencer. I think his name is Don Addington about how to build your sales strategy in phases. I think that was a brilliant blog post. It was circulated widely within Snyk and just about this a tool to add to your toolbox. Mention it early, not because the deal would go there. Mention it early because you want to position your company as a company that understands enterprise procurement and that is marketplaces are a fact of life, so constantly drive that message and be collaborate and in the end, a success will breed more successes in sales. That’s always, always the case.

Don Addington:
Yeah I want to talk. Michael, I want to have you weigh in as well, but that the control issue comes up a lot and I find it to be a really interesting one, and this ties in, maybe, to one of the questions that I got added to the chat here around public versus private offers and so marketplace sort of.. the AWS marketplace kind of got its start as more of a self service type of operation where you’ve got a developer who’s needing to use a tool, browses around to find it, swipes a credit card, uses it for a couple hours, spins up, spins down. That was kind of the origin of marketplace, right? And where it’s grown and evolved to today as, yes, those capabilities are still available, but where we see real revenue pumping through the channel, it’s typically via these private offers, which are a custom offer between you and a single buyer where you can, today, each marketplace has varying degrees of flexibility with what you can do with a private offer.

Don Addington:
But most of them, you can pretty much create a facsimile of what you would do directly in the context of a private offer, regardless of what’s on your public listing. You’re putting that together. There’s challenge there, right? That’s where Tackle does come into play to kind of guide our customers on how to do that because there can be complexity, but it’s interesting having solo software, this illusion of control. If you’re doing mostly private offer business, which most of our customers are, you’ve got your normal sales cycle, you’re asking some questions maybe early on in the sales process about whether or not the customer or prospect is strategically aligned to one of the cloud providers and if the answer is yes, then you know you’ve got a path to talking about maybe marketplace is a route. But, you’re really running the sales process the same, right up until we’ve got to capture those details, the MSA, the pricing, the term in a private offer. And that bit, we can help make not such a black box, but, man, where else do you get a solid deal?

Don Addington:
And basically what you’re giving your buyer is here is a link, click it and you’ve bought our software. That’s more control that you usually have in an enterprise sale where you are running around trying to make sure that this person, now we’ve got seven levels of approval to go through and this first person hasn’t clicked a button and that one is on vacation and I just kind of laugh a little bit when we talk about the control around the marketplace deal. Once you get the motion down and the actual execution part, there’s a lot of friction reduction there. There’s obviously a path to get there, so I think it’s pretty interesting that we all come up against the same issue when we’re talking to the sales teams.

Don Addington:
Looks like Michael dropped out for a second.

Udi Nachmany:
He’s back. Good.

Don Addington:
We will have him back. So Michael, I guess same question. As you’re getting your sales team to get queued up to get behind marketplace, you talked about it being a continuous and continual effort. So maybe you want to talk about some of those things you’ve done to enable and remain relevant.

Michael Musselman:
Yeah, sorry about that. Unstable internet. I’ve been having some weird issues.

Michael Musselman:
To go back, it’s a mixture of the control, but I think also complexity. So Udi mentioned it, there’s a bunch of little intricacies and steps. I think at the beginning, just educating people on why we are doing this, big picture stuff. Certainly, like discovery questions to ask your prospects early and often and think through that. I think that’s good education. I pulled a lot of that content from Brian, from Tackle, from the marketplace folks. They all have tips and tricks, experiences with others before I got there. So I leveraged a lot of that, put it in my own kind of words and then obviously got in front of the entire sales team to do that. I think it went fine, but I know with most education it’s about repetition.

Michael Musselman:
But it’s not always about me saying it, so I actually had Brian offered from Tackle to jump on the entire call with our sales team and hey, I sell through the marketplace, you guys are going to start selling through the marketplace. And I leveraged that relationship to say, “Hey, sales rep to sales rep, here is someone doing it. How do you do it? What do you get asked?” And so it was a little education, but a lot more Q&A as well. And I think, even though it was similar to what I said, it was just coming from someone else who was doing it and I think for anyone who’s ever been a salesperson or trained salespeople, that you either having the experience or doing the job yourself goes a lot further than someone who is telling you here is what to expect and some of that stuff.

Michael Musselman:
So I would say that that was the cord getting the flywheel started. Once you do your first couple transactions, I think we didn’t really talk about it, but measuring is important so all of these things that you want to do in the end, you have to start with how you are tracking and measuring, sourced, influenced, marketplace. So you have to have a process to keep track of that so you can move forward a couple months and look back and be able to report what the effect was. Whether it’s accelerating your pipe line, or just statistic for that being said. But, after you do a few, you learn the bumps and bruises, you figure out the process, you figure out the process for your organization.

Michael Musselman:
And then certainly, I think that happened was I put a lot of the initial sales reps that went on this journey with me up on a pedastal amongst their peers, and it wasn’t me talking about why it was helpful, how it accelerated the deal, it was number one sales rep telling you. So I think those are just little tactics that I’ve learned over time to just motivate sales or get people to get behind it. That’s the case. And then the little activities behind that, so all of us want to co-sell with your cloud service provider.

Michael Musselman:
Well, I pretty much just started putting, not gauged, but I started putting things in front of the sales team, which is don’t ask me to help you until you’ve done your first marketplace deal. But then I also spent a lot more time with the people who were doing it because I knew what I was going to get out of them. And then again, I would promote them as being successful and doing big deals and doing this stuff so I think that’s kind of the tactic you could use for at least the sales side and the early motivational stuff. To pivot to the other question, which was really about, sorry, remind me again. We were talking about..

Don Addington:
Well actually I want to maybe summarize a couple of things you said there.

Michael Musselman:
Sure.

Don Addington:
In terms of, I think first deals are super, super important. You know, coddle that deal. Surround that deal with love. If you’re a Tackle customer, come to Tackle and we’ll help you build the private offer, and if you don’t use Tackle, same story. You still want to surround that putting the deal together, making sure you’ve done it the right way, does your rep know what to ask for, there are different complexities that they’ll go through in a marketplace sale cycle. They replace some complexities that you would do in a direct deal, so I think it’s kind of same-same, but it’s just something new.

Don Addington:
So surrounding those first couple with all the love and support that you can to make sure they go as well as possible, back to that window of forgiveness with the salespeople. You know, you’ve got one that goes sideways, or a first couple that goes sideways, and it’s like, “Ugh, marketplace is hard.” And that kills me because our team has done so much through marketplace, our customers have done so much through marketplace and we know what good looks like, but we’ve also run into a lot of the seams and the problems. And doing the best that you can to make sure you support those first ones, and secondly, I call it the billboard of success. Make sure you are thinking about your billboards of success and taking those first wins and putting the reps up on a pedastal and telling the stories and sharing the stories. We’ve got a slack channel.

Don Addington:
At Tackle, we have everybody do a quick two minute win, just a quick Loom video, or however you want to record it and we’ve got a library or catalog of wins. Hey, here’s what went wonky on this deal and here’s how we solved it. Reflecting that back and keeping that relevant and farther up I think is super important.

Udi Nachmany:
Just a comment on that control, Don, on marketplace is difficult. I think part of coddling those early deals is making sure, for example, they don’t come in at the end of a quarter, if you can. So I had a deal come in, literally the morning of the day before the end of a quarter. Already, for the private offer and then the customer, the rep remembers, “Oh no”. And so they buy through a partner, so we have to do a CPPO. Right? And now you start this journey of getting in touch with the channel partner that you’ve never spoken to before and luckily they were on it and we were on the phone, on the Zoom on the same day, and the deal went through, but that late stage in the quarter, what a rep is used to is to be, he or she is on slack on an e-mail or a phone and just bugging sales ops to get everything done. And with marketplace, you don’t know the A2BS team that deals with CPPO. So now as a rep, it’s like, “Oh no, I’ve thrown it over a wall. I don’t know what’s going to happen”, actually, if we’d have done it a week or two earlier, you would have seen, the rep would have seen how much easier this deal was to actually process.

Don Addington:
Yeah, that’s actually some innovation on Tackle’s side of things and CPPO’s kind of a work in progress as they move from private, used to be a manual process until they had a self service function right? CPPO is all very hand-spun still on the private offer side of things. Our own experience and our customer’s experience caused us to develop some software and process around come build your private offer in Tackle and send it out through Tackle and we can track it from end to end. And when it goes out and you know when somebody’s opened and you know all those steps along the way, we do try to focus on bringing as much visibility as we can there because I do think that’s important and that’s something that again, you don’t get in a normal sales cycle. Like, hey, I sent my quota over. I’m waiting them to generate a PO, what’s going on? Being able to track along the way is a pretty cool.

Michael Musselman:
I’ll tell you the number one feature that I could not live without, which again, like feature is when you’re wired to the native tools, it’s really hard to figure out when a private offer’s been accepted. Even with your registration, it’s really hard. The native reporting, it’s the last thing in their development road map. So imagine a sales rep not only losing control, but having no idea, did they buy it? Did they buy it? What happened? Have we heard from them yet? And you’re getting a lot of that, so I mean at least, I can’t say this more than enough.

Michael Musselman:
Setting the right kind of expectations, talking a sales rep through, here is the next three or four things, and if you don’t know them then you’re just like living it with them in the first couple deals, but what happens is you start creating education or checklists or these processed documentation that you can just say, “Hey, here’s what to expect, here’s what’s going to happen next.” And this thing is going to take and Udi is so right, there is so much out of control in a CPPO. It’s like, hey look, we are going to need seven days to be safe. But even less, we can do it. But this part may take about a day. This part may take about another day. So if we get it back before then, we are ahead of schedule, but make sure that you leave yourself buffers for some of these things because it’s just not the same but the benefits are so strong for why the customer is doing this.

Michael Musselman:
Don’t lose track of why we are doing this. Like, yes I talk about the complexity. The other thing, your job in our roles is to remove all of that uncertainty and complexity from the sales team. I want my sales team to pull this. I want them to sell like this. So you have to remove a lot of the unknowns in the beginning, until you get a few of these goings and then they’ll figure it out and you can build better content around what to expect.

Don Addington:
Yeah, I mean my team is addicted to our slack channel. We’ve got an alerts channel, real-time alert when an order comes in. It’s like, seeing that thing light up in real time is pretty cool. We know, hey, if we’ve got an account ID and we know the buyers on invoicing terms and we know the person who’s getting the private offer has permission to accept it, we can get that thing done really fast. That can happen, but finding those things and knowing that’s the process, that’s important.

Don Addington:
A couple questions I want to make sure we get some time to maybe dive into a little bit that popped up around renewals and I’m not sure if you all have broadened renewals, which would probably more for you guys be an existing customer who decides they want to buy some more sneak or some more lacework, but this time they want to take it through NWS, that’s a renewal in the eyes of the cloud provider, right? You’ve already got an existing control. Have you guys had to get into those situations and can you maybe talk to those? I think some of the questions were: how do you handle people who want to renew through marketplace? For AWS, there’s a lower listing fee and things like that, but maybe talk through how you guys have thought about renewals and I can add some Tackle content as well.

Udi Nachmany:
So when I say I’m educating sales, this is a tool for you to use strategically. The exception is the renewals team, right? I want to be very careful about pitching this aggressively to our renewals team. They are doing a fantastic job together with our customer success folks at retention and expansion and cross-setting of account, really, really good job. And why should we take that into marketplace is a very valid question in that situation and the answer is it has to make sense for that specific case, right? The customer must be asking for it and it must enable something for us that would be very difficult or impossible to do otherwise.

Udi Nachmany:
In the one case that we had, one of our main customers in the UK, they had a bunch of crunch, and they had some issues and having this come through their EDP was a big part of why they managed to renew with us. This was back in June. And that’s the reason we did it, right? So then you get into a three party conversation with A2BS or Microsoft to Google. It’s like, maybe you can cover the difference for this one year, or whatever. So for me, I didn’t want our renewals to go as a rule through marketplace, because we’re not ready for that yet, even if it was the right thing to do. But for that deal, it was the right thing, and now that customer is expanding probably through marketplace. So even better.

Michael Musselman:
Yeah, Udi is spot on. All of ours pretty much have been net new. I think it starts with who owns cross sales, upsells and renewals. Like if it’s not your sellers, then that’s just a whole other world that you have to educate the value, some of this. I think what I’ve done personally was engage that team, and in this case it falls under our CSM org, and what I did was just kind of here’s this, that. But what I wanted to empower them with is another tactic for negotiation.

Michael Musselman:
In the right time and place, I think exactly as Udi said, understand what this is, how it works, get my involved, I can jump on the phone with the customer. We can talk through it. I speak the language that they are expecting, but what’s really, really important is, look at this if they’re used to buying lacework in this pattern, then don’t disrupt anything. There’s no reason to make it more complex if this is just the renewal pattern, but if you get into a situation. You know, COVID has created some complexities. Maybe there is a financial problem. Maybe there is a financing problem. Secondarily, maybe this customer doesn’t have the hundred K for the next year that they were planning to give us in cash. If we spread this out over monthly payments, something the marketplace really allows us to do, flexible payment options, maybe that keeps them as a lacework customer versus potentially losing them.

Michael Musselman:
So I think when you get into that, it’s a little bit more, I’ll say defensive than offensive, but it really should just be another tool in the sales reps bag to just understand the customer situation, the outcome that everyone wants, and the benefits to all parties and then understanding the time and the place to do that.

Don Addington:
Yeah, I had one CFO a couple of weeks ago. We were talking about renewals and again, this topic of like, why would you pull something through that we’ve already gotten direct? And now I’m paying out to a partner and an area that AWS has dug into is, this is a partnership. And marketplace is an extension of your partnership with AWS. You can do marketplace without having a solid partnership there, but sort of the more partnership you have, the more beneficial marketplace can be and so getting to the top tiers of their program in ISP accelerate, starts to bring down listing fees and you sending money with AWS, you know you’re going to get, if you have ADP with them, those renewal rates start to come down and so if all of a sudden you’re at a window of three to five percent for a renewal deal coming in, I was explaining this to the CFO, and he was like, “Well, I mean should I? I pay three percent or five percent just to guarantee the collection. Like I don’t have anybody chasing that money down. Like that’s worth it for me.”

Don Addington:
So it depends on what lens you’re looking at the problem through, but I do agree largely on the defensive side of things. I think there can be two angles here. Defensive, like true protection and that diving save of like, hey man, we’re going to lose this customer, and so one of the tools in my hip pocket as the renewals or expansion rep is going to be, well do you have a relationship with AWS when shifting over and that bucket of budget allow you to continue on with this. And I didn’t know you could do that. That’s a good diving save and you’re looking out and all the ways you’re keeping a customer, and then that flexible payment schedule as well can be gold, but the other element is just expanding the contract that they have. We’ve had a bunch of customers with hey, buy her, buys this on direct paper, they buy x amount and then they want more, but they don’t have the budget, but they’ve got a lot of cloud spend allocated to AWS and by the way they need to meet their commitments, be it their EDP. Now all of a sudden, that one year deal grows by double and then they sign up for three years and pay it up front because they’ve got to make their ADP. Like that’s a good renewal solution. Yes, we just grew the business significantly. We will take a bit of a haircut there.

Don Addington:
So I think those are business level decisions. The other wrinkle that comes in is the last question here on renewals and doing multi-years and that’s probably a whole other deeper dive session of kind of stacking up these renewals so that they line up, at least in AWS this year, they’ve added some capabilities that can push that end date of a contract out. So what Tackle does is really try to sync to the end date, if we are adding on another subscription on top of an existing one, pushing the initial one to match with the new one that we are doing. There’s some kind of tips and tricks there. Have you guys gotten into any of those?

Michael Musselman:
I was going to say supringinsly, the things that’s the most important is how it effects the rep’s quota of taking that, whether they want to co-term that deal or whether they want to extend that deal, it actually has more to do with how do I get paid on this than it does with the.. financing doesn’t, whatever, it’s a contract. So it actually has more to do with that than it does with anything else, I find.

Don Addington:
Yeah, and hey, do you want a three month contract or do you want a 15 month contract? I take the 15 every time. Last year, you couldn’t do the 15, right? And so there is some greater capability there. Again, I feel like it’s a marketplace, 400-level course to get to how you optimize that and probably a good chat for another time.

Don Addington:
But I think we are at the top here, so I really appreciate you guys joining us and the questions along the way have been fantastic, so I appreciate the participation from the audience. Nicole, I know, will be making this video available, so I really appreaciate all the particiaption from the audience and of course, you guys helping us out. So thank you very much.

Udi Nachmany:
Thank you. Great conversation.

Michael Musselman:
Thanks for having us. And actually, I mean, Nicole runs them, too. But your office hours are great, too. I mean, I’ve seen Udi on there. A lot of us. So if you’re going through this for the first time, there’s a lot of us that are in the journey, been through the journey. You don’t have to be a customer. I highly encourage participating in that. You’ll find a lot of value, shared assets, some of the stuff that we’ve talked about.

Udi Nachmany:
That’s one. Yep.

Don Addington:
Thank you. Every Thursday we host office hours for those of you haven’t done, it’s just kind of open forum questions. You don’t have to be a customer. Thanks for the plug there, Michael.

Michael Musselman:
Of course.

Don Addington:
All right. Good day, everybody.

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