Erika Childers 15 min

Keys to Becoming a Successful AWS Marketplace Seller


What are the characteristics of a successful seller on AWS Marketplace? Hear from Jen Valverde, Sr. Manager, AWS Marketplace, as she delves into the key factors that differentiate the best from the rest. Discover the winning formula for success in building internal alignment, setting the right targets, cultivating co-sell relationships, and effectively leveraging tools.



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[silence]

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I'm waiting for my screen to come up here really quickly so hang tight with me.

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All right, it looks like it's up on my side so hopefully it is on yours as well

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I wanted to do a quick introduction and thank you for having me today.

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I am Jen Valverty and I lead the AWS Marketplace team for the Americas region.

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I represent both the buyer and the seller experience.

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And today I'm here to chat with you about what are the best practices or the

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characteristics of successful sellers on AWS Marketplace.

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A little bit of background about myself, I've been at AWS on the Marketplace

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team for the last five years.

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I started out as a category manager for Endpoint Security and then worked my

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way to Marketplace Development Manager before leading the team.

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So a lot of experience with ISVs in their journey on Marketplace and how they

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become successful.

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And over the years by far, the biggest question that we get asked is what are

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other ISVs doing in order to be successful on the Marketplace platform.

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So what we did was we created a framework of business best practices and

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buckets that we know are absolutely crucial and needed in order to be

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successful on Marketplace.

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And it really starts with AWS Marketplace selection. If you're playing a game

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of Monopoly, this is a do not pass go if you don't have the product.

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Not only needs to resonate with an AWS buyer and a cloud buyer, but it also

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needs to be presented in a way in the catalog that makes sense for your product

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And what I mean by that is are you leaning into the product platform using

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features and functionality that Marketplace provides for its customer base,

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flexible payment scheduler, standard contract, those sort of things.

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And what's your product built in a way that makes it easy to consume. If you

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have a product like growth strategy, are you listing your product on our

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platform in a way that is easy to consume in that way.

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Does it deploy automatically? Is it something that's easy to find, try and buy?

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And then when a buyer does want to double down and go into a contract with you,

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are you available to

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do those contracts in a way that an AWS buyer wants them?

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I'd say next is really a commitment to AWS Marketplace being a true route to

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market. And the way that we look at this is, are we meaningful to your revenue

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as an ISP and how do you measure success and are you committing resources, time

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and energy into AWS Marketplace as being a true route to market?

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The next pillar that we evaluate is sales and marketing alignment. And there's

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a whole lot that goes into sales and marketing alignment. So I'm going to

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double down on this here now. I think there's some questions to along these

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lines.

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When it comes to sales alignment specifically, what we want to see is that your

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sellers are incentivized to try and lean in with Marketplace, but also to co-

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sell with AWS.

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And rather than it being a traditional channel where you may expect us to bring

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opportunities, what I want you to think about in this sales alignment is really

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, how do you get the most out of the AWS relationship and selling on the

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platform?

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And if you're thinking about a sales methodology like MedPIC, there are several

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items in there and data points that we can team up with you on in order to get

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closer aligned within our joint opportunities.

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So rather than think of it as a top of funnel, lead generation source, what are

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we doing to really go arm and arm with you and your product, AWS, when we're

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going after these customers.

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What information do we have that we might be able to help you with? Is it who

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you'll have to overcome in sales ops? Is it legal? Is it procurement? Really,

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our sellers have sold into these accounts? And so how can we best help you?

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And then taking that information from successful selling into your marketing

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strategy. How are you aligning what it is you're seeing success within in your

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marketing strategy? And are you pointing your traffic in the right way to our

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platform when it makes sense?

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Are you nurturing those leads in a way that is very cloud specific, making sure

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that you are accounting for your marketing campaigns within the data that you

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're finding when you're selling with us.

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And then when we move over to the right here, this is where the rubber really

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meets the road. If you're building a practice to sell a marketplace and you

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haven't taken operational efforts, you can't get it.

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You can take an operational excellence into account. You might be building for

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one, two or three private offers. What you really want to do is build towards a

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hundred and a thousand private offers. Are you putting the right strategy and

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process in place to be able to account for that? Are you recording these things

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in your CRM integrations? Are you making sure that the process of working with

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us is scalable?

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And the next is enablement across the board. So enablement looks like, you know

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, enablement for your field sellers. It is enablement for your finance team. It

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is enablement across the board for sales operations and legal all of it.

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I usually use the, like, a litmus test for sales alignment as to whether or not

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they've been able. If I can ask a seller at an ISB, what the value prop of

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marketplaces and how they've used it.

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And also, how are you measuring success? Are you enabling the team to report on

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and see the success through marketplace? Are your deal sizes larger? Are they

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faster? Where is it that we're providing value in between? And that really

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makes a difference here.

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And then AWS partner programs is another one that we really need to lean into.

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Are you staffing your marketplace team in a way that is able to lean into the

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programs that make the most sense for you as an ISB?

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So I'm going to pause there for a second. I know that we have Ali on the line

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and see if there's any questions as to really the best way to move forward with

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your marketplace business.

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Ali, can you hear me?

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All right. Well, I have a set of questions that she was going to ask. So I'm

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going to go ahead and anticipate here.

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Let me click on the Q&A section. Oh, there we go. Okay. I've seen in the chat.

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No, sorry. That was a technical fault on my side.

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But the question is, we've seen marketplace and co selling get more and more

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aligned over the years at AWS. What are the main drivers for this and benefits

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for ISB's?

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So one thing that we've really come into over the last few years is alignment

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with our own sales teams, understanding and realizing that we are better

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together going in with joint solutions to our cloud problems.

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And with that, we need ISB's alongside of us. So on the AWS side, we also

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incentivize our field sellers to work with ISB's to come up with the best

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customer solutions.

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And some of the drivers there are really larger deal sizes faster and higher

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win rate. And we see that because we're coming together and working on a

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solution from the AWS side as well.

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Another thing benefit is that there are AWS counterparts have a deeper level of

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understanding of our joint customers selling into these accounts already. It

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might be, what does that environment look like over the next 18 months.

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What projects are planned and how is it that we can jointly go in together to

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solve those problems for our customers.

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And I got another question here from Ali. The majority of the ISB's think that

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CoSEL is all about top of the funnel lead creation.

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I hear you talk about the benefits of CoSEL more broadly. How would you suggest

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ISB's look at CoSEL to ensure they set the right internal expectations on the

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why.

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And I have a great question. I touched on it a little bit earlier as to the

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expectations and resetting that when you look at AWS market place as a route to

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market, it is not a traditional channel where you register opportunities and it

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, you know, I would encourage you not to measure it based off of

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your own business.

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And I think that you're getting as far as that new goes.

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The way you really want to look at it is how do we go in and help augment your

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sales cycle. What is it that the AWS marketplace team, the AWS field sellers

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can do to help you go arm and arm into these opportunities.

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And if you reframe that and work with us more often, you'll find that there's a

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lot of different ways that we can help you.

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All right.

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Brian Kane, an old friend. I love it that we got a question from you. Can you

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share some best practices on working with channel partners.

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IECPPL, especially for ISVs just sharing, starting to bring their channel

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partners into their marketplace motion.

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This is great. We see some ISVs come in and say, we're going to try this as a

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channel and we're only going to go direct.

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And what we end up finding is that it's not the way that customers purchase.

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And when you go into it with a customer first outlook into selling through

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marketplace, you can't ignore channel.

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And what you really want to do is incorporate the channel into your business

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just as you do and make sure that marketplace is an additive to it rather than

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one or the other.

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And CPPO is a great mechanism that we use in order to facilitate those

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transactions.

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We want to maintain the relationships with your channel partners and have

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marketplace be an added benefit rather than a distractor to that relationship.

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Hopefully I answered your question, Brian. Mark Johnston, how important are

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competencies for marketplace offerings?

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Think of competencies as another selection criteria. If you were to go to

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Amazon.com, I know me.

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I have a lot of results to my searches and I'll automatically kind of click the

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prime button.

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When you look at the competencies for marketplace, it's that added selection

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that says not only do we think that this product is good, but it has also gone

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through. A more rigorous process in order to in order to get that badge and that stamp

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of approval. And we really, we not only lean into the competencies, but they're

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also marketed on our site as well. So that's an added benefit for you.

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All right. Did I get all the question in here? Do we have any others? I know I

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have one minute left.

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I will say that if you are an ISV that is thinking about listing on AWS

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marketplace or you already are listed, we have characteristics for successful

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seller workshops and we will go down evaluate each one of these categories with

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you and give

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an idea of how we can help what we think the next steps are and and really how

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we can team up together to be more successful together.

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Let's see here. Tom Wilson for the most successful marketplace firms.

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Are they industry or taking specific industry approach. I've honestly seen it

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both ways. If you have a sales play that resonates with a specific industry, we

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lean into that heavily.

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And if you go more broadly, you may end up finding that you're seeing success

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in specific industries that we can help you with. So I don't think there's a

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right answer here.

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And thank you so much for the opportunity to present today. Please reach out.

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Thank you.

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