Once you have successfully published your SaaS offer in the cloud marketplace, the natural next expectation is to make your first cloud marketplace sale. There are several ways this can play out. If you have existing customers in the cloud marketplace who were in fact the reason you traversed this new path, making your first sale will be easy as you can capitalize on their pre-committed spends. However, you would need to adopt a strategic approach if you wish to make your first sale successful and convert it into a recurring cycle. Here is a quick guide for ISVs to take their initial steps for successful first cloud marketplace sale.
Prepare your team for the first cloud marketplace sale
Selling in the cloud and selling through other conventional channels can be quite different. Right from marketing the right manner to displaying the unique capabilities to sales tactics and closures, all aspects of your first sale are different when you enter the cloud marketplace. Invariably, you need to prepare your team to adapt to these changes to make your first cloud marketplace sale. If your team members are not aware of the new tricks of the trade, you will have a weak sales pipeline and a difficult time in making your first sale. Encourage your team members and provide them with upskilling opportunities, certifications and workshops on selling in the cloud marketplace, organized by respective cloud providers. Your sales teams need to make an initial contact with your potential customers to understand their motives. They must understand from the customers if they have a mature cloud strategy and whether or not they have a plan to move their workloads to the cloud. An affirmative answer to these will help your sales team know how to approach the customers to make the first cloud marketplace sale.
Leverage cloud commitment
When you move to the cloud marketplace, chances are that customers for your first cloud marketplace sale are already there. Multiple enterprises today have committed cloud spends that they wish to utilize for SaaS products. For instance, customers make a contractual commitment with Microsoft in the form of Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment (MACC), for specific amounts of Azure spend over time. You can research about some of the enterprises that are using the cloud platforms. The ones that have cloud commitments can be your direct customers. You can create a value proposition for them to use their committed cloud spends to transact with you, without the need to secure additional budgets. This will make your first cloud marketplace sale happen very quickly.
Educate your customers
To make your first sale in the cloud marketplace, you need to educate your customers too. The best way is to encourage your customers from other channels to try the cloud marketplace. Educate them about the several benefits they can leverage if they start transacting through the cloud. For instance, the administrative hassles of contracts and due diligence can be reduced. Similarly, multiple budgetary allocations can be avoided and your customers can commit spends on the cloud and utilize them over a period of time. Furthermore, you need to educate your customers about the benefits of your SaaS offering in the cloud marketplace. This will include introducing the top features and value that you can bring to them, as well as, sharing how engaging with you via the cloud marketplace is a double win for all. Educating your customers with the right information will definitely help you make your first sale.
While your existing customers who already have committed cloud spends would be one type of your potential customers, you need to identify other prospects also who can help you close your first sale. As an ISV selling solutions in the SaaS space in the cloud marketplace, your ideal customers are those who have decent sized cloud partnerships and committed spends. It is true that no company will explicitly state on its website that they have committed cloud spends, but a little research can take you a long way.For instance, some of your large company targets are likely to have press releases or partnership announcements with one of the top three cloud providers. Furthermore, you can also get more information from your cloud provider by engaging with them through various avenues and workshops and ticking every checklist that comes your way. Additionally, you may want to build deep relationships with your potential targets to understand their committed/prospective cloud spends. For a successful first sale, you need to have comprehensive knowledge about your prospects to be able to capitalize on the same.
Understand your deal type
When you are selling in the cloud marketplace, you can publish public and private deals. The former are generally the same for all and visible to almost everyone. However, when it comes to the latter, you can customize your solutions to meet the needs of your customers. Based on your solution, you need to check which deal type is ideal for your customer base. Whichever way you go will require effort, investment and time. Therefore, it is best to focus on the deal type which makes most sense for you to avoid effort and resource wastage. Here, you can also take inspiration from others in the same industry to see which type of deals bring in the maximum revenue. Your objective should be to concentrate your efforts in that direction to close your first sale soon.
Don’t cut down on incentives
One of the best ways to close in on your first sale instantly is to provide quality incentives to your sales teams. We are sure that you have a tried and tested incentive structure to power your sales in the conventional channels. However, if you replicate the same for the cloud marketplace, you will not get ideal results. This is especially true because selling in the cloud marketplace comes with a transaction fee. If you are cutting that transaction fee before paying out the incentives to your sales team, you need to rethink your approach. Rather than cutting down their incentives, you should look at the transaction fee as a sales cost or expense. You need to acknowledge that your team members are also investing their time and energy into upskilling themselves to sell in the cloud marketplace. In such a situation, if you reduce their incentives, you will reduce their motivation levels and push them to focus on sales through conventional channels. Therefore, to land your first cloud marketplace sale, provide the right incentives to those driving sales.
Leverage marketing solutions
The final step to making your first sale in the cloud marketplace is to let your potential customers know you are out there. As an ISV, you can have a great SaaS product, but unless you market it well, you will not be able to attract customers your way for your first cloud marketplace sale. Therefore, marketing your solutions the right way is very important. However, you don’t need to be overwhelmed by the same. All top cloud providers offer go-to-market solutions and other benefits for their partners.You can capitalize on a range of resources and a library of tools around customizable content and sales-specific collateral to communicate your pitch in the most authentic and effective manner. Leverage the available resources, support and incentives to market your presence in the cloud marketplace through social media, blogs, emails and other platforms.
Make your first sales today
These six tips can be a great starting point for you to make your first cloud marketplace sale. However, even before you gear up to make the first sale, you need to have a stellar presence out there. Here, you can collaborate with SaaSify to leverage our zero engineering platform to take your SaaS solution to the cloud marketplace within a week. Furthermore, once you reach the cloud marketplace, SaaSify enables billing, provisioning, management, monitoring, reselling, administration and support of Software as a Service solutions and cloud services for independent software vendors. Book a demo to get started with your sales today!
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