Three giants have emerged as the leaders of the pack in cloud computing: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. The top infrastructure cloud providers, hyperscalers, continue investing massively in their data centers. They control 75% of the cloud marketplace market.
These marketplaces opened up business co-selling opportunities, creating a vibrant ecosystem of software vendors, resellers, and service providers. One of the top ways for an ISV to grow is by partnering up with a Cloud Provider for co-selling. This blog post will explore what it means to co-sell and how businesses can leverage them to drive growth.
What is Co-Selling?
Co-selling is a strategic approach wherein two or more companies unite to sell products or services that perfectly complement each other. It’s an effective way to maximize sales and broaden the reach of your offerings. Collaborating with like-minded businesses can create synergistic partnerships that benefit all parties involved.
The beauty of co-selling is that it creates a mutually beneficial situation for everyone involved. Co-selling is critical in a thriving cloud go-to-market (GTM) strategy, fostering robust, mutually beneficial relationships with cloud providers. By working together, both parties can expand their reach, increase efficiency, and drive better client results.
Co-selling presents an incredible opportunity to join forces with leading cloud providers and their extensive partner ecosystem. Doing so can place your product in a thriving channel with potential buyers.
Co-selling with Hyperscalers
Co-selling on significant platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud presents immense opportunities for businesses to unlock their potential and accelerate growth. Here’s a look at each and their advantages:
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon’s AWS has been a trailblazer in the cloud computing industry, offering various services from computing power and storage to analytics, machine learning, and beyond. The AWS Partner Network (APN) is a gold mine for businesses seeking co-selling opportunities.
With over 100,000 partners in 150+ countries, APN is a global community leveraging programs, resources, and expertise to help build, market, and sell customer offerings. As an AWS Partner, you’re uniquely positioned to assist customers in fully utilizing all AWS benefits.
AWS ISV Accelerate
The co-sell program of AWS is the AWS ISV Accelerate program. This program facilitates the joint sales efforts of AWS and its partners to drive optimized business solutions for the cloud. The co-sell model allows partners to scale while leveraging Amazon’s customer base, technical resources, and go-to-market support to accelerate their success. This program empowers ISVs to drive new business and accelerate sales cycles through alignment with the AWS Sales organization.
The APN Customer Engagements Program (ACE) tool is a secure portal that facilitates the AWS co-sell program. Partners can quickly sign up and handle pipeline opportunities with the AWS team using ACE.
Furthermore, the program can dramatically improve an ISV’s ability to expand its customer base, speed up adoption rates, and ultimately increase revenue. AWS ISV Accelerate is an excellent example of AWS’s commitment to fostering a vibrant, mutually beneficial ecosystem within its marketplace.
Co-sell opportunities in Microsoft Azure Marketplaces are collaborative endeavors that involve working with Microsoft sales teams, Microsoft partners, or both. These opportunities span four categories and offer valuable synergies for all parties involved.
- Co-sell with Microsoft sales teams. This entails working alongside one or more Microsoft sales teams to meet customer requirements actively. In this collaborative approach, you can sell your offerings, Microsoft’s offerings, or a combination of both.
- Partner to Partner (P2P) collaboration. This involves working with another Microsoft partner to address a customer’s problem jointly.
- Private deal co-selling is another avenue to share the work you are independently undertaking with Microsoft. This collaboration facilitates better alignment, visibility, and coordination between your efforts and Microsoft’s sales strategies.
- Solution Assessment (SA) co-sell. This category involves working with partners vetted by Microsoft’s solution assessments business team. These partners specialize in assessing the technology needs of customers already using or planning to use Microsoft technologies.
Qualified partners who’ve met all eligibility criteria acquire co-sell statuses. They can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams and any other eligible partner in the Microsoft ecosystem. For co-sell-ready status, it’s necessary that your offer or solution is published on at least one of our online stores: Azure Marketplace or Microsoft. After achieving co-sell-ready status, there are three more requirements to achieve Azure IP co-sell incentive status, including reaching the required revenue threshold and meeting billed requirements.
Co-sell opportunities are managed in Partner Center. Microsoft sellers can send co-sell opportunities to services partners with Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) designations such as Azure Expert MSP or Specializations or Solutions partner designations.
Google Cloud (GC)
Despite being a newer player, Google Cloud has made significant strides, particularly in machine learning and data analytics. GC’s partner program offers many co-selling opportunities, focusing on collaboration and mutual growth.
Through the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program, businesses can co-sell their solutions alongside Google Cloud’s cutting-edge technology. The program provides partners with technical, sales, and marketing support, helping them scale their solutions on Google Cloud.
Benefits of Co-selling with Hyperscalers
Here are some of the key advantages of engaging in co-selling activities with these hyperscalers:
- Expanded Market Reach: Hyperscalers have a vast customer base and global presence. Co-selling allows you to tap into these established ecosystems, reaching customers leveraging cloud solutions and seeking complementary offerings.
- Increased Sales Opportunities: Collaborating with hyperscalers can result in increased lead generation, higher conversion rates, and improved sales performance.
- Enhanced Credibility and Trust: Hyperscalers are well-established and trusted by customers. Partnering with them demonstrates that your solutions are compatible, reliable, and aligned with industry standards.
- Technical Enablement and Support: Hyperscalers provide technical enablement and support to their partners. This includes training programs, certifications, documentation, and access to resources like APIs and development tools.
- Marketing and Co-Marketing Opportunities: Co-selling partnerships often come with joint marketing initiatives. These collaborative marketing efforts help increase brand visibility, generate leads, and create awareness about your offerings.
- Competitive Advantage: Collaborating with cloud marketplace giants can give you a competitive edge. By leveraging their infrastructure, technology, and market presence, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and position your solutions as part of a comprehensive ecosystem.
- Continuous Innovation and Future-Proofing: You can align your roadmap with the cloud marketplace hyperscalers’ product offerings and leverage emerging technologies to deliver solutions to customers. This collaboration helps future-proof your business and ensures you remain competitive.
Harnessing the Influence of FSRs in Cloud Ecosystems
In co-selling on cloud marketplaces like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, simply listing a product is the initial step. Success lies in a strategic and well-thought-out approach, requiring a thorough plan and ongoing effort. The real power of these platforms unfolds through nurturing relationships with Field Sales Representatives (FSRs).
Field Sales Representatives (FSRs) are sales professionals responsible for growing the market share of cloud providers across corporate account customers. They constantly seek ways to aid their partners’ growth and increase their cloud consumption, serving as an extended sales force.
By effectively marketing your product to these FSRs and demonstrating how it enhances cloud utilization, you can unlock a network of salespeople working actively to promote your product and bring customers to you. With the correct setup and marketing, this approach can lead to a self-sustaining sales ecosystem where your product essentially “sells itself.”
The Key to Success in Co-Selling
Co-selling is about more than just selling more. It’s about building relationships, fostering innovation, and delivering superior value to customers. As such, businesses looking to leverage co-selling opportunities should focus on developing quality solutions that complement what these cloud giants provide. Those who can ride the wave of collaboration and mutual growth will be well-positioned to succeed in cloud marketplaces.