Erika Childers 17 min

How Digital.ai Leverages Marketplace to Win Deals


Hear from Michael Williams, Strategic AE at Digital, to get the seller’s perspective on bringing a deal through Marketplace, the success he’s seen through this channel, and his recommendations for how organizations can maximize Marketplace enablement for the field. Michael will share how he’s leveraging the Cloud Marketplaces to meet customer demand, accelerate the sales cycle, and win bigger deals.



0:00

All righties.

0:05

Hi, everybody.

0:08

It's good. We can't see anybody else, but I know there are 10.

0:12

Just really quick introduction. My name is Amy Callahan. I am one of the

0:17

enterprise accounting executives here at tackle. And today I have the honor to be able to chat with

0:27

Mike Williams from digital. Mike, I'm going to pass it over to you to introduce

0:30

yourself and a little bit about digital.ai. All right. Thanks, Amy. Privilege is mine, by the way, just so you know.

0:35

I'm Mike Williams. I'm the senior senior account executive for digital AI.

0:41

I have a great name, digital and AI. So you've probably heard of those kind of

0:46

before. But what we do. I'm work the Bay Area primarily in the software

0:51

development area at Silicon Valley.

0:54

And that's my my charger. The company is digital AI is a combination of a

1:01

private equity roll up that we did about four years ago with some best of breed

1:06

companies.

1:08

And what we do is we solve the problem of software development life cycle. So

1:12

all digital transformations that have gone awry. There's no issues. They have

1:17

less visibility.

1:19

They have tools, sprawl, etc. We help solve those problems for the top airlines

1:24

, the top financial institutions in the world.

1:28

Now, the top gaming companies in the world and technology companies in the

1:31

world as well. So excited to be here and talk about how we can make more.

1:37

How we can all make more money and maybe even work a little bit less. I don't

1:42

know. Oh, that would be great. And Mike, I mean, everybody, Mike is very humble. He's

1:48

been hitting club for 21 years. So we all have a lot to learn from Mike here.

1:52

And we all want to be at club as accounting second. So Mike, can you just share

1:55

with me through your tenure of selling?

1:58

What has your journey with marketplace been and from your perspective? Can you

2:02

share and office the brew? What that looked like for you in the last couple of

2:06

years?

2:07

Yeah, so great, great question. So the reality is, is that, you know, I've been

2:14

in, been selling for quite a while, as you know, 20 years is club or whatever

2:19

is my, is a good thing. But that just means I'm old.

2:23

That means I've seen that I've done it. Right. So, but like really about three

2:27

to four years ago, it was business as usual, right? It's just the hard slog of

2:32

selling, right?

2:34

Where you've got enterprise selling, you've got multiple buyers, you're just

2:37

trying to win deals. And something unlocked about three or four years ago,

2:44

really, to let me understand that these market places out there occur basically

2:50

, we're starting to form.

2:52

And I didn't really understand it too much because I wasn't quite sure of how

2:57

would it affect me? Like, why would a cloud hyperscaler like Google or AWS or

3:03

Microsoft that matter?

3:06

Why would that affect me? And in fact, in some cases, I'm even competing with

3:09

them actually, right? So I had to kind of really dig in and figure out what

3:15

these were and what was the big issue, what was the big deal?

3:18

And what I found was the fact that there's these whole market places out there

3:23

that tackle is actually helping to create essentially and helping to you to get

3:30

listed.

3:31

And I found that there was potential opportunity, huge opportunity, that I wasn

3:39

't even aware of.

3:41

So here to four, I've been selling into these deals, trying to grab budget from

3:45

the owners of those particular, whether it's engineering or whether it's a

3:50

product or what have you.

3:53

And here come to find out, there's this huge transformation budget or cloud

3:59

budget that's enterprise-wide.

4:02

And it's tied into these marketplaces. And so I just started to do my math and

4:11

our homework and obviously our alliances people got involved with tackle.

4:15

And what we learned was that the kind of business that we do, part of it is a

4:21

listing on that marketplace, which is a good thing.

4:27

So we figured out, we have to be on the marketplace. And I was reading up about

4:32

companies that literally had grown 3,000% in revenue because they were on this

4:38

marketplace.

4:40

I'm like, well, we got to get there. We got to get there. So we finally got

4:45

there. We got into the marketplace. It happened to be AWS with their

4:50

marketplace.

4:52

And then I learned that there is a whole other side to it, which is the

4:55

procurement side.

4:57

So that basically helped me to believe that the procurement people now are

5:02

looking at this.

5:04

And oh, by the way, if I can have my solution on the marketplace, I found out

5:10

that it actually takes the spend from that cloud budget and choose it down so

5:17

that they don't have to take as much commit for like AWS AWS.

5:21

Or Google, they don't have to do it all in just cloud compute. It can be done

5:26

through marketplace spend as well.

5:29

And therein lies the aha moment, like, oh my God, this is this is, there's

5:34

found money here. There's there's situations that are happening, but that I

5:40

wasn't aware of.

5:41

And that's what led me to this. Now, what's interesting is is that just like

5:46

when we found that out, what I realized was that we were going to be able to do

5:49

that.

5:50

And I realized was that, okay, it's like, it's like a, I see it like Walmart,

5:55

right? It's like, okay, well, now I'm on the marketplace.

5:59

And Walmart, it's just like going to Walmart, right? Like you're a product

6:03

person, you got your product and it's at the way back of the Walmart, right?

6:08

No one's going to see it and no one's going to ever get to it. So I had to

6:11

realize that just getting on the marketplace was the first step.

6:17

So you have to do that. And then once that happened, then I realized, wait a

6:22

second, there's people out there selling on my behalf all day long every day.

6:28

And they're at the hyperscalers. They're at AWS. And they're the account

6:32

executives that work that account.

6:35

So I'm trying to sell into this, you know, ABC account, the spend, the money,

6:40

the procurement people want to chew down on their commitment for AWS or Google,

6:46

or Microsoft. So what I'm trying to figure out is, is, okay, how do we help

6:52

each other do that? How do we help each other win?

6:55

So I had to literally, and this is what I would recommend to people is make

7:00

sure that you have the ability to understand number one, the opportunity to get

7:06

registered, but also the opportunity to know who the account executive is for

7:12

those hyperscalers.

7:13

And if you know that, guess what? They're already, they're already geared and

7:17

wired to help you out, but you can't just sit there and expect your product, if

7:22

you will, or solution in the marketplace to sell.

7:25

So that was an aha moment. And obviously, we've done a lot of transactions

7:29

through there. Well, thankfully with the help of tackle and Amy and her team.

7:36

But does that answer your question, Amy? Absolutely. And you know, you touch a

7:42

little bit on CoSEL and that's amazing to hear you as an account executive

7:45

talking about co-selling with the clouds.

7:48

And, you know, that is one way not only to build a relationship, but, you know,

7:52

to get people to lean in to help you. There's multiple people selling with you,

7:57

right?

7:58

Did you have any reservation before you start? Because now you're getting that

8:02

motion, you're selling with the cloud through the cloud, but did you have any

8:06

reservation and selling, you know, through the marketplace in the past? Or did

8:10

you jump in full force?

8:13

Well, okay, so salespeople are very particular people, right? We're a different

8:19

breed, right? We don't like a bunch of people getting in our deals, right? We

8:25

don't want to control, et cetera, et cetera.

8:27

So that's always an issue, right? When you start to think about it. But what I

8:34

realized was that in taking that myopic approach, nobody knew what I was doing.

8:42

Like the procurement people didn't know that I was actually, I have a solution

8:48

that adds a ton of value to the company.

8:52

And oh, by the way, it helps the company to chew down on its commitment to the

8:58

hyperscalers. So essentially, you know, my one reservation was, well, this

9:05

doesn't matter to me.

9:07

Like, what's the big deal? Like, why do I need to include, you know, these

9:11

companies into my selling process and selling motion?

9:15

And then again, like I said, it's like the light went on. It's like, wait a

9:19

second. We have the same goals. I call it, we say, a win-win-win, right?

9:24

The hyperscalers win because it chews down commitment that they have for their

9:29

customers.

9:31

It's a win for me, obviously, because I can sell my deal in basically probably

9:36

an eighth of a time that it takes me to close a deal today on the transaction

9:43

side, which is huge.

9:47

And then it's a win for procurement, right? So the procurement people in the

9:51

company. So I would say the reservation is just kind of getting out of my own

9:55

way, you know, as an old guy seller, right?

9:58

There's like, there's a whole new world out there. And I need to embrace it.

10:03

And since I did that, it's clear sailing.

10:07

That's awesome. So what is next? I know you had like, I got to have the front

10:13

row seat with you recently, and you have wins on the marketplace and you're

10:18

continuing doing what you do best.

10:20

Do you share a little bit about your latest wins and what is next for you at

10:24

digital and how you're planning on scaling this out with your book of business?

10:29

Yeah. So that's the exciting thing. It's literally opened up more opportunities

10:36

than I even knew I had before in one account, right? In, you know, in ABC

10:42

account.

10:43

What I did was, and I found some interesting things out, right? So one

10:48

interesting thing I found out was that most companies out there are dealing

10:52

with multiple hyperscalers, right?

10:55

So they're not going to be just dealing with one. They're going to be dealing

10:58

with, you know, like AWS and Google, or maybe there's Azure and Google or Azure

11:03

and AWS or whatever, right?

11:06

So, so number one, from a company perspective, you know, I recommend you get on

11:11

at least two, two marketplaces because you can, you can have some flexibility

11:17

there, which is what I needed for this deal.

11:20

So, so this deal actually, they came to me and said, I said, Hey, great, great

11:24

news. We can work through AWS, all of that. And they said, well, no, that's

11:30

good, but we're already at our commitment with AWS.

11:35

So, you do Google. Can you work with Google, right? And I said, yes. So, so it

11:40

allowed me to take the spend that they would normally put, you know, and of

11:47

course they're trying to do the same thing as a company.

11:49

They're, you know, looking at both different clouds and commitments, right? So

11:54

now, and then we had to get on the mark. We had to get on the marketplace,

11:59

which, which we weren't, which we weren't, as you know, Amy.

12:02

And that was a heroic effort that Sanjay and you and probably 15 people at

12:07

Google helped us with dramatically. And we got on the marketplace, got it going

12:13

, got it live. And once it was live, it was like, boom, five seconds.

12:19

And the procurement person pushed the button and we're good. And we're like, we

12:23

're like, holy, this is awesome. So, but it took us.

12:27

What was it like two weeks, three weeks? I mean, literally from when we said,

12:32

okay, we got to do this to now it's live. So it was amazing. How long or how

12:37

quickly the tackle team got engaged and leaned in with the Google team and got

12:45

us, got us up and running.

12:46

Now, since then, Amy, I haven't told you this, but since then I've already had

12:50

to a meeting with the client exec from the company. I'm just one company I'm

12:53

dealing with.

12:54

He went through and explained to me, here's my number. Here's my number for the

12:59

year. What's my, this is my commit. This is their commit is a company.

13:03

This is also what my number is for markets marketplace. Here's, here's how much

13:07

I can burn out, burn down a marketplace. And this happened to be $2.3 million

13:13

that they could burn down in marketplace over the year.

13:18

And I said, I said, hey, Mr. Mr. Google account executive, I aim to be the guy

13:25

that takes down the whole $2.3 million of that spend just so you know.

13:32

And he's like, he's like, okay, Mike, that'll be great. If you can do it,

13:36

fantastic. Right. So, so anyway, that's opened up. Now, what he's doing is he's

13:41

looking for other opportunities in other parts of the business.

13:45

Because he overarching over arches a number of different organizations that I

13:49

wasn't even involved in. So now he can actually help me to navigate into other

13:53

areas of the company that I wasn't in.

13:56

And again, we have the same goals in mind. Chew down, hit our number, you know,

14:02

make more money and go to club. Go to club. Right. So that's.

14:07

Yeah, I love those as club Thailand is pretty great.

14:12

If you have one piece of advice for all account executives out there. What

14:17

would you say so that all of us can also hit club.

14:22

Yeah, and leverage. So, the one thing I would say is, is, is, if you don't

14:35

embrace the cloud marketplaces in the next now.

14:36

And then, you know, I think it's going to be a big thing. I mean, this year,

14:50

2024, you will be behind the curve, because it's going to be not an if it's not going to be an if, but it's going to be a when that it's going to be huge adoption. It's going to be everybody's on doing this. So you got to get ahead of the

14:54

curve. You got to get your companies. If they're not doing it today, you've got

14:58

to get them involved.

15:00

And then you can't just sit around. You can't like the Walmart example, right?

15:03

You can't just say, Oh, great. I'm in Walmart. My stuff will just fly off the

15:09

shelves.

15:10

Because that's not going to work. Right. Amy, you know, you both you and I know

15:14

that you've got to engage. I mean, engage your tackle person. If you're working

15:18

with tackle, obviously, hopefully you are.

15:21

You're you're a accounting executive from Google or AWS or or Azure Microsoft

15:28

as well.

15:29

Because it's nothing is going to happen unless you engage them and you register

15:33

opportunities. Now, let's I will be clear. Don't waste their time and don't

15:40

call them up and say, Hey, you know, I was wanting to know if you've gotten the

15:45

opportunities going on at XYZ company,

15:48

because they're going to say, no, and hang up on you. Right. Because number one

15:51

, you haven't registered any opportunity. Number two, you haven't even done your

15:56

job to know whether or not it's an opportunity.

15:59

And so you've got to register the opportunity. You got to know what's going on.

16:02

And then you create value with the A.E. And they say, Awesome. We can work

16:06

together. I can help you unlock the potential of getting this deal done. Plus,

16:11

let's look at other deals we can do down the way. So number one,

16:15

get on the marketplaces. Number two, don't sit around, make sure that you're

16:20

actively actively working the deals with the cloud, the hyperscalers.

16:26

And three, you know, have fun, have fun and enjoy enjoy the brand new horizon

16:33

when you're when you're when you're at club and you're spinning up, you're

16:38

spinning all this money or whatever they're spending money on you.

16:41

And it's all good. So that's that's kind of the takeaways, I think, necessarily

16:46

Thank you so much, Mike. I really appreciate the partnership has been so much

16:49

fun working with you. I know you're at RSA. So if anybody watching an RSA come

16:54

say hello to Mike.

16:56

Fine. Amazing. And that'd be great.

17:00

Time today, Mike.

17:01

Yeah. Thanks, Amy. And thanks for all your help. And if Sanji is listening,

17:04

thank you, Sanjay. I appreciate it, man. We'll talk to you later. Have a great

17:09

day.

17:10

You too, Mike. Bye. Bye.

17:12

Bye.

17:14

[ Silence ]

X

This is a test comment.

X

This is a longer test comment to see how this looks if the person decides to ramble a bit. So they're rambling and rambling and then they even lorem ipsum.


author