More than a month has passed since AWS re:Invent and the AWS Marketplace continues to accelerate as a new route to market for ISVs and channel partners. Here are a few proof points to consider: ISVs are reporting 80% larger deal sizes when transacting on AWS, 40% shorter sales cycles (from 5 months down to 3 months), and 27% more deals closed through AWS Marketplace versus other channels. These numbers help validate that ISVs and channel partners are gaining exposure to the large customer base on AWS Marketplace, which last year accounted for billions of dollars in transactions.
As a partner-led organization, Cisco is committed to being where our customers are while working together with our channel partners. And this includes — more than ever — transacting via the AWS Marketplace. Working as One Team — Cisco, AWS and our mutual channel partners — our customers rely on us to help them achieve or exceed their outcome objectives and user experience expectations.
So let’s look at the three best practices Cisco and our partners are following to maximize the value we deliver to our customers by leveraging AWS Marketplace for success:
1. List the right products
The AWS Marketplace is an online software store that allows ISV and channel partners to market and sell their software and services to AWS customers around the world. Therefore, it’s important that Cisco lists the products from its large, market-leading portfolio that truly deliver value to AWS customers. Today, this includes offerings that enable several use cases, such as cloud and data center networking, multi-cloud, IoT, security, full-stack observability, and hybrid work.
Most recently, Cisco has added the collaboration use case by listing the Cisco Webex Suite Named User offering on AWS Marketplace and through the AWS private offer. The Webex Suite Named User offers a per-user, subscription-buying model that enables customers and partners to provide the Webex Suite service to individuals, teams or departments, and to add additional named users as adoption grows. Webex Suite Named User includes a comprehensive set of cloud-based collaboration tools, including cloud calling, meetings, messaging, webinars (1K), polling, Vidcast and whiteboarding.
2. Align the sales teams around co-selling
Because AWS Marketplace represents a new route to market, Cisco and our channel partners’ sales teams need to be aligned with multi-partner co-selling motions transacting on AWS Marketplace or via CCW. Multi-partner co-selling is a sales strategy where two or more partner companies sell together offering holistic solutions. This approach can lead to increased deal sizes and profitability by enabling partner access to new decision makers and new buying centers, including AWS Marketplace.
The reality is that no single vendor — even companies the size of Cisco — has all the skills, knowledge and intellectual property required to deliver complete solutions that meet the business outcome that customers want. It takes a partner co-selling team to drive digital transformation for our customers.
Cisco enjoys market leadership in several architectures and use cases. Complementing our product offerings, our channel partners have incredible reach as trusted advisors into their customers’ technology stacks, as well as a robust menu of value-added services. And when those services are combined with Cisco offerings, we can deliver solutions that more precisely meets our customers’ unique needs. Add AWS Cloud and AWS Marketplace to this joint value proposition and you have an unbeatable combination.
However, enabling co-selling takes focus and change management. For instance, sales compensation models must be adjusted to motivate co-selling which results in AWS Marketplace bookings. Trust is the foundation of sales, so a defined communication plan centered on co-sell wins is paramount to ensuring the right behaviors are placed on the spotlight for all to see. This then triggers a domino effect of repeatable wins and undeniable trust.
3. Invest in developing processes to ensure operational success
Booking through AWS Marketplace requires partners to invest resources in building the operational foundation to process the bookings. For instance, when booking through AWS Marketplace, the partner generally sees margin — not topline — revenue. This can create required changes with existing sales compensation models that pay on topline revenue. That said, partners that manage their customers’ annual spend commitment per the predetermined AWS Enterprise Discount Program could recognize topline revenue.
In other words, integrating co-sell pipeline markers and data into a partner’s current sales pipeline may require planning and change management of existing processes. For instance, changes may be required with existing sales compensation models to properly motivate co-selling behavior with Cisco and AWS.
Accelerating opportunity and growth
Many will argue that the AWS Marketplace is still nascent with plenty of growth opportunities available for Cisco and our partners on the near- and long-term horizons. The AWS Marketplace value proposition is just too strong to ignore. It makes it easy for customers to buy, provision, and instantly gain value from their purchases. Individual buyers can make their purchases independently, while taking advantage of AWS Marketplace’s single platform to manage and pay for software and services. In addition, software purchases made on AWS can be used to “burn down” customers’ committed spends.
Partners! Now is the time to engage with us and AWS and be part of the journey that brings incredible value to our mutual customers running on AWS.
For more information, visit the Cisco and AWS partner page!
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