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AWS Marketplace for Startups: Boosting SaaS Sales for Growth

AWS marketplace for startups
AWS Marketplace for StartupsCloud marketplaces are increasingly becoming the preferred channel for software selling and buying. In fact, research by Canalys expects that by 2025, cloud marketplaces will grow to more than $45 billion, representing an 84% CAGR. Furthermore, some software vendors that are active on cloud marketplaces are reporting a 600% year-on-year growth via this channel. Thus, it is a no-brainer for startups to assess cloud marketplaces as a robust sales channel to create a global footprint.  However, many early-stage startups are likely to have several questions about getting started. To make this journey seamless, we have curated this article outlining how AWS marketplace provides a unique opportunity for startups to boost their SaaS sales.   

Why should startups sell on AWS marketplace? 

First things first, let’s lay out the top benefits that startups stand to gain when selling through the AWS marketplace 

Reach 300K+ customers 

With cutthroat competition and a desire for early wins, AWS marketplace provides startups a sweet spot to 300K+ active customers. On the one hand, there’s direct access to thousands of customers, with chances of being pioneers of your solution in the AWS marketplace. On the other hand, startups also can build partnerships with AWS resellers who can further act as their agents to accelerate the pace of sales.  

Access millions of pre-committed dollars 

Most customers on AWS marketplace have pre-committed budgets that they wish to spend on marketplace purchases. When startups sell through the AWS marketplace, they can easily access their budgets, which generally don’t require a lot of approvals, leading to bigger deal sizes. 

2-3X faster deal closure 

Most startups, especially the early-stage ones, struggle with credibility in the market. Many software customers are reluctant to try out new Independent Software Vendors. However, when selling through the AWS marketplace, startups get a seal of approval. This way most customers gain greater confidence and are more open to buying the startup’s offering. Invariably, customers are able to skip the lengthy paperwork and due diligence processes, leading to faster deal closure. This enables startups to shorten their sales cycle and close more deals in a short span of time. Not to mention, the sooner the purchase happens, the faster startups receive cash flow, which is always a dire requirement, considering 29% startups fail as they run out of cash.  

Buyer preference 

Overall, there is a buyer preference when it comes to AWS marketplace selling. Most customers find it more convenient to buy through the AWS marketplace, which has a faster turnaround, AWS marketplace managed billing, as well as the convenience of purchasing software with a few clicks.  Invariably, the AWS marketplace facilitates quick and early wins for startups by opening up new customer fronts, accelerating the sales cycle and fostering revenue growth. In the longer run, this serves as a potent proof of concept for startups to attract funding and scale sustainably.  

AWS marketplace for startups: Accelerating growth 

As a leading marketplace, the AWS marketplace provides special support and incentives for startups to fast track their revenue growth, customer acquisition and build business sustainability. While there are several programs for startups ISVs along different objectives, the three main areas of support include: 

Build 

This includes providing startups with the technical support and enablement needed to build solutions which are enterprise-ready, well-architecture and compatible with AWS marketplace. Immersive workshops, architecture reviews, etc. help startups accelerate product development. Finally, startups can also work with AWS Partner Solutions Architects to optimize solutions based on customer demand and use cases.  

Go-To-Market 

AWS marketplace helps startups get comprehensive visibility to better reach customers by featuring them in case-studies, joint webinars, blogs, events, etc. Furthermore, startups also access the Marketing Development Funding (MDF), to strengthen their GTM plans and generate leads.  

Co-sell 

Finally, sales enablement by AWS marketplace helps startups receive dedicated support from co-selling specialists to drive engagement with the AWS Sales and field teams. At the same time, startups can get access to customer introductions and when on the right path, they can expedite their journey to AWS ISV Accelerate Program for co-selling Invariably, AWS marketplace has startups covered by providing them with technical, sales and marketing support. It ensures that startups are set up for success and not just left to find their way once they have their first successful listing. And this is just the beginning. Once startups qualify for the ISV Accelerate program, a plethora of shared broadcasting, selling and incentives, including reduced fees, follows.  

AWS marketplace success for startups: Key metrics  

As a startup, it is important to underscore the ROI to gauge whether or not selling on AWS marketplace is making sense or not. Here are some of the metrics to understand where your startup stands in the AWS marketplace journey.  

Sales cycle 

Startups should measure the impact of selling on AWS marketplace on their sales cycle. Put simply, increased trust, convenience, the ability to access pre-committed funds, etc. enables faster customer conversion. If you are able to close your sales cycle in a few weeks, as opposed to months in other sales channels, then the ROI is quite evident. In fact, shorter sales cycles and faster conversions are effective metrics for investor relations.   

Customer acquisition rate 

Second, you need to gauge the impact on the number of customers you acquire through the AWS marketplace. Ideally, the volume of customers and, therefore, the revenue you acquire through AWS marketplace should gradually increase. AWS marketplace might contribute to >1% of your total revenue in the first year, but it should turn into double digits to reflect on the growth. Here, you may also want to track the number of deals you receive from AWS to gauge the effectiveness of AWS marketplace selling for your startup.   

Contract/ deal value 

Finally, the contract or the value of each deal should also be measured. This refers to tracking the dollar value of each contract or deal you close. While this will have an impact on your revenue, it can also be an effective reflection of deepening credibility among existing and new customers.  

Key insights for startups for AWS marketplace success  

While the benefits and incentives of selling on the AWS marketplace are plenty, following the right approach is integral for efficient resource utilization to unlock success.  

Launch without disrupting your engineering priorities 

Launching on AWS Marketplace shouldn’t require you to divert all your engineering bandwidth. Most startups work in a lean team model. You shouldn’t have to shift your focus away from your core product to code engineering changes just to make your offer compatible with AWS Marketplace. Instead, partner with SaaS enablement platforms like SaaSify, which come with pre-built connectors for AWS marketplace. You can simply leverage their zero-engineering capabilities, transferring the heavy burden to them. This way you can launch in a week, without diluting your product roadmap timelines.  

Set up your teams for success 

Selling in the AWS marketplace requires rewiring your team with the nuances of the new sales channel. They need to be educated about the right terminology, how AWS marketplace selling works, the top use cases and USP, etc. Most startup sales teams don’t understand the transact models and end up giving an inaccurate pitch. In such a case, white-glove onboarding by the right partner can help prepare all your team members, sales, marketing, finance, partnerships, etc. to unlock the true potential of the AWS marketplace.  

Register deals through AWS marketplace 

AWS marketplace opens unparalleled opportunities for active sellers. Invariably, it is important that you register as many deals as possible through the AWS marketplace. Even if you get the deal through a different channel, you might want to share the AWS transaction route as well. On the one hand, your prospect might actually prefer AWS marketplace transactions, leading to faster closure. On the other hand, registering deals through AWS marketplace will help you grab the attention of their sales experts, who can further help you optimize your sales strategy. Furthermore, it can also enable you to unlock co-selling benefits faster, helping you access support for co-branding, joint selling, and even push for deal closures.   

Have a robust GTM strategy in place 

The importance of a GTM strategy can never be overstated. Focus on identifying the right customers, creating the right joint messaging, co-selling with AWS partners, accelerating AWS marketplace deals, growing revenue, etc. Cloud GTM by partners like SaaSify can help you nail your go-to-market strategy with the right resources, expert advisory and much more.  

Get transacting from day one 

Finally, it is very important to have transactable offers from the first day. Essentially, these offers enable customers to purchase your offer through AWS marketplace where AWS takes care of the transaction. On the one hand, customers are able to utilize their pre-committed budgets to buy your solution. On the other hand, they are relieved from multiple invoices and billing processes. This leads to a smooth and productive process for both startups and their customers.  

SaaSify: Unlocking AWS marketplace growth for startups 

As a SaaS enablement partner, SaaSify has helped 100+ ISVs launch their offers on cloud marketplaces, including the AWS marketplace, driving $100+ Mn in revenue. To make the deal sweeter for startups, SaaSify recently launched a curated and exclusive program for them, taking care of all the heavy lifting, which comes at budget friendly pricing. It provides startups with all the technology and resources needed to start their AWS marketplace journey. With SaaSify, startups can drastically reduce their time to go live on the AWS marketplace, which shortens the sales cycle, and results in faster cash flow, a dream come true, right?  If you are a startup, looking to list, transact and grow in the AWS marketplace, book a demo with SaaSify today.

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