I am a huge fan of the Cloud Hyperscalers. They are awesome, and I love working with them. However, they are always looking for new partners that can help them grow their business.
Over the last five years, I’ve spent hundreds of hours leading co-sell accelerators to help small, medium and enterprise businesses become cloud ready and get noticed by tech giants.
I’ve worked with Microsoft, Google and others to create strategies that drive value for their partners. I regularly work with companies looking to partner with one of these providers so they can be effective ambassadors and true business partners. I have found that there are a few questions that are asked over and over again by them:
- How to get seen?
- What are necessary steps I need to take?
- What is the magic sauce to become their strategic partner?
This article is an attempt to provide you some insights and act as a strategic guide to get you started the right way.
The partners who implement these solutions grow their businesses dramatically.
It’s clear what customers want out of their technology partners — they need someone who understands their needs, solves their problems, and stays at the cutting-edge of innovation.
A lot of tech businesses have partnered with “cloud hyperscalers,” such as Microsoft or Google. As a result, their solutions are often built on other companies’ technologies. It’s important to remember that customers want to engage with your tech businesses because of your expertise and ability to deliver unique solutions.
What makes you stand out from the competition?
They all invest in clearly defining unique value proposition, differentiated solutions and develop cosell go-to-market and sales enablement strategy. This guide should help you anticipate common tech business hurdles. Here are the most common challenges — and a few tips to address them:
1) Capitalize on recurring revenue by leveraging marketplace: Recurring revenue models benefit customers and businesses. There’s a reason most businesses have moved away from one-time purchases and toward subscriptions. Make sure you capitalize on this trend early so you can optimally develop a solution around it and make it available on their marketplace as a transactable offer.
2) Focus on your solution differentiators: As technology becomes ubiquitous, there is less and less differentiation between products and services. It’s easy to become redundant — to succeed in the long run you’ll need to find new ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.
3) Invest in building digital transformation execution models: The current digital revolution is driving the economy forward at an unprecedented rate. Businesses that embrace this shift and leverage it to drive change will be significantly more successful than those who don’t. New tech businesses have an advantage in that they can build their solutions around these important trends.
4) Build a Sustainable Sales Team: Flattening revenue streams and high turnover in sales teams have become common realities in the tech industry. This is a concern for many companies, especially smaller ones that don’t have time or money to spare. You’ve already done the hard work of identifying a target market and developing a solution to meet their needs. Now it’s time to sell your solution. Where do you begin? Here are three critical steps:
- Build the right sales infrastructure, processes, and relationships to efficiently close deals.
- Identify and execute strategic initiatives that will drive business value.
- Provide a path to success for your sales team to win more deals.
5) Prioritize Strong Co-Sell Marketing Practices: The fastest way to grow a business is through successful go-to-market campaigns, programs, and events. Successful marketing campaigns also increase brand awareness and sales. To develop a great marketing plan, you must identify your target audience, understand what they want and why, and understand how they want it delivered.
Once you know this information, you can campaigns and events that drive them toward trials or annual contracts. Then you must determine how much you’re willing to spend on each marketing channel based on the size of your business or financial goals (advertising costs will vary based on the number of contacts in a particular database). Kickstart your business with this co-sell event marketing planning toolkit.
6) Build a Customer-Centric Support Model: Building a customer-centric business model is one of the most important challenges to tackle early on. First, you need to understand your customers’ needs and how they want to be supported. Customers want answers quickly, sometimes through self-service, other times through chat or phone conversations with knowledgeable agents. They also want consistency across every channel. And they expect their data to sync, so they don’t have to re-enter their contact information and details about their inquiry. To provide this support, you’ll need a modern platform that can integrate with existing systems and enable you to pull in the relevant data for each customer interaction. You’ll also need a single view of your customers that displays all the interactions your team has had with them so far and helps you capture sentiment around each interaction. This platform should be able to scale with your business.
7) Allocate Proper Funding For Marketing, Product Development, and Sales Enablement: Your company needs funding to get started, but it also needs to keep its engine running. That means making investments in marketing and sales that drive good returns. Cash management can make the difference between success and failure in this space — start with a sensible budget plan.
8) Grow Your Business by Building the Right Team: Having the right people by your side can make or break your business. It’s important to have people who are knowledgeable about the product or service you’re offering and who bring the right skills and experience to move the company forward. For example, if you’re starting a tech company that specializes in app development, you should hire an app developer with years of experience — this gives your team credibility.
9) Maintain a consistent online presence
Tech businesses that aren’t online or haven’t put enough thought into their online presence face a massive opportunity cost. Your website and social media presence can make a powerful first impression, bringing clients to you.
If you’ve partnered with hyperscalers, your customers expect more than just a name and address. They expect to be able to find you online and for your website to include company information, contact information, a directory of products and services, customer testimonials, press releases, and most importantly, case studies.
Case studies demonstrate to your customers just how much success your business has brought to their customers. It’s an essential part of building your brand, and it lets them know that you have expertise in the industry they’re working within.
A consistent online presence can also help you with your SEO efforts. Search engines will identify when you have multiple websites for one business (a common problem if you have several domain names), and will rank you lower because of it. Create one website to hold all company information and all subsites you want to create for specific products or services.
10) Measure What Matters: The most important metrics are those that align with your business goals. Here are the top four metrics to measure:
- Joint Customers: The number of customers who use your solution.
- Profit: How much money you make per customer.
- Consumption: How much cloud consumption is driving and contributing to the Hyperscalers growth.
- Social Impact: The degree to which your programs drive diversity talent recruitment, carbon footprint reduction, and more.
Ready to jumpstart your business? Hop on a one-on-one consultation to establish your Microsoft co-sell GTM game plan. The Meylah team will condense everything you need to know into a one-page plan, and then walk you through the planning, promoting, and setup process for your events. Partners who have implemented these solutions have grown their businesses dramatically.