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6 AWS Marketplace myths holding back your sales

Dispel misconceptions and maximize sales with this valuable channel

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Sara Chatt

E-commerce is more prolific than ever, so it’s no wonder that B2B marketplaces have become the fastest-growing digital sales channel. As ideal hubs for buyers and software developers to mingle, partners can use these platforms to find new customers and cultivate long-term relationships.

AWS Marketplace has risen to the top of its class, curating a next-level experience by offering numerous solutions across various categories and high-tech perks:

  • Infrastructure software
  • Business apps
  • Data products
  • Machine learning
  • Internet of Things
  • DevOps

However, with the success and evolution of AWS Marketplace, misperceptions continue to emerge, making it difficult for partners to maximize sales.

You’ll need to break through the noise if you want to boost sales and grow your business, so let’s dispel these AWS myths.

Myth 1: AWS Marketplace threatens my customer relationships

Some partners feel that because AWS gives customers a convenient place to consume cloud-based applications, by design, it eliminates the need for their services. And they fear that the Marketplace will expose and poach their existing customer relationships.

In reality, not only does the private offer process (key word, private) make this first point moot, but AWS marketing exists to build co-selling engagements, not to poach your customers. In fact, when leveraged properly, Marketplace can accelerate your sales. Consider the following:

  • Savvy salespeople go where the customers are. Clearly, people have embraced AWS as a business staple; a 2022 Forrester Report it a top SaaS cloud marketplace.
  • AWS provides a free, built-in customer management tool. Every modern business needs a state-of-the-art CRM. With the Amazon brand backing it up, you can trust this software to make organizational tasks and selling to prospective and existing clients effortless.

Some partners also worry that auto-renewal payments can diminish the financial side of customer relationships. However, if you enable applicable notifications, you can make sure that you never miss a renewal.

Myth 2: I can’t compete with AWS

As an e-commerce titan, the Amazon name is synonymous with success. So if you view AWS as a competitor, you’re missing an opportunity.

Recognizing AWS as a partner is nothing but advantageous. With its years of experience working in the cloud and world-class experts, you can lean on AWS Marketplace for help finding, engaging with, and selling to hungry customers all over the world.

To maximize the partnership:

  • Create clear listings to make sure that your solutions and services get noticed.
  • Make sure that your offerings are competitively priced and that they meet market needs.
  • Seek out and take advantage of co-selling opportunities (ahem, NetApp® + AWS).

Also, although some partners are concerned that they’ll be competing with AWS reps for customers, the system is designed so that AWS sellers make money when partners make a sale. So the AWS reps don’t want to inhibit your sales.

One of the most amazing aspects of AWS Marketplace is its ability to facilitate networking and strategic alliances. When you understand and fully utilize this platform, you’ll build a strong foundation for your current and future business.

Myth 3: I won’t make much money using AWS Marketplace

Building, growing, and incentivizing a sales team takes time, so it’s essential to take a long-term approach to Marketplace. At the same time, lucrative opportunities abound on this platform if you understand how to use it to your advantage.

For instance, NetApp offers front-end discounts for every deal, and when you sell NetApp and AWS through Marketplace, NetApp covers the transaction fee.

Here are more tips to optimize your services and keep your bottom line on an upward trajectory:

  • Take advantage of AWS services like DevOps Guru. Leverage machine learning to help you identify resource limits and uncover operational issues before they impact your clients.
  • Prioritize data analytics. You’re in tech, so there’s never an excuse to ignore data that helps clarify your business and customers (your competition is already doing this).
  • Add value beyond AWS. Give customers a reason to seek out your services. This can mean offering complementary consulting or additional design, migration, and engineering services.

Selling technology and related services always means providing high-level support that clients can’t find elsewhere. So remember to advertise your expertise along with useful cloud-based solutions.

Myth 4: Pricing must be exact every time

Although you want a straightforward pricing system, you don’t need to spin your wheels trying to design, debate, and perfect a singular model. The Consulting Partner Private Offer (CPPO) system exists to allow wiggle room — with custom pricing and variable terms — for each client.

Many partners think that selling through Marketplace means very exact, fixed pricing. However, by using CPPO, you can customize the price to fit the customer and add flexibility as needed. Whether you specialize in software only or bundle your business services with related solutions, your best bet is to create transparent, valuable offers that work for all parties.

Like any business element, overthinking pricing only serves to delay or hinder your big-picture goals.

Myth 5: The private offer process is too complicated.

The private offer system can seem intimidating at first, but once you look into it closely, you realize that the process is quite simple and efficient, with many solutions able to go live within a week. Consider the steps involved:

  1. Get authorization from an independent software vendor (ISV) to sell software.
  2. Create an offer with specialized pricing and terms and send it (email link that points to AWS) to the client.
  3. Complete the transaction (customer subscribes to the offer).
  4. Manage current and future subscription details through on-demand reporting on the AWS portal.

The rewards of this program more than justify any initial effort:

  • Your customers benefit from wholesale pricing on software plus any services and support you add to it.
  • You maintain control of the financial and contractual aspects of the customer relationship.
  • Your clients get a personalized experience — a unique offer, visible only to you and them, that includes customized pricing, license terms, and duration.
  • Everyone benefits from the time savings.

Plus, NetApp’s specialists are available to help you through the private offer process.

Myth 6: The deals are too small

This misconception is easily reshaped once you dissect it. Because is anything related to Amazon small scale?

Consider the 2022 Forrester Report — for cloud providers to even be considered for inclusion in the report, they had to have at least $2 billion in total revenue, have 750 SaaS solutions on the marketplace, and sell to customers with more than $500 million in annual revenue. Clearly, huge companies (prospective clients) patronize AWS.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that only big brands with big needs frequent the Marketplace. Buyers of all sizes flock there for the easy duration contracts, as well as the convenience of handling all transactions in one place through consolidated billing.

As for partners, according to TechTarget, many prefer AWS Marketplace for its CPPO system and flexibility, with which they can find, design, and close deals of every shape and size.

So there it is. Large deals exist in every nook on AWS, and many partners have taken notice. To prepare your team and invest for future business, focus on building the agility and resilience to provide clients with in-demand packages of every magnitude.

Final thoughts

According to the VP of global alliances at CrowdStrike, “Marketplaces are the future for consolidation of services and technology — it’s easy for vendors to get what they want, and customers like it because it’s fast and integrated with their existing AWS services.” There’s little debate about it — AWS is here to stay.

As new ways of doing business emerge, it’s tempting to avoid the discomfort of learning something unfamiliar. In this instance, however, customers and ISVs have already seized the many opportunities that AWS Marketplace provides. As a partner, you can claim your spot among them by learning and understanding the intricacies and key features of the platform so you can better serve your customers.

One of the surest ways to become a thriving partner is to welcome co-selling opportunities. Because customers adore package deals.

With AWS and NetApp, you gain the tools to:

  • Find new clients
  • Accelerate sales
  • Build customer relationships
  • Earn financial incentives

In addition, NetApp gives partners access to their specialists for strategizing and negotiating the best deals on the marketplace. So as you boost sales, you also gain evergreen skills and experience that will help you in other AWS endeavors.

Learn more

For more information about how you can grow your business with AWS and NetApp, contact a NetApp expert today.

Sara Chatt

Sara Chatt is an AWS Partner Ecosystem Business Development Manager at NetApp. She is responsible for driving global recruitment, development and AWS co-selling strategy within an ecosystem of strategic CSP, MSP, VAR/SI, and GSI partners. Sara has over six years of experience in cloud marketplace, centered around Channel Partner and ISV enablement, business development, and leading process optimization efforts to scale revenue and market share.

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