Startups should use this co-selling technique for successful partnerships with cloud hyperscalers | TechCrunch

When it comes to maintaining the health of your technology startup and/or services business, especially in times of uncertainty, there is no lifeline more powerful than qualified leads. To fill that pipeline, buyers need to feel certain that your solution, application, or product is the best, most trustworthy choice, and this is where things tend to fall apart. How can a startup establish the level of trust needed for a new audience to commit when they’re just starting?

This is where Meylah’s “Better Together” co-sell GTM strategy comes into play.

With a staggering 17% of the $13 trillion B2B (business-to-business) spending dedicated to it, “co-sell” dominated cloud marketplaces in 2023. With this seismic shift, the doors have swung wide open to reveal new customer segments and untapped revenue streams, setting the stage for an enticing business opportunity. Before going into the details of the “Better Together” GTM co-sell strategy, I want to lay the groundwork for what “co-selling” means.

Co-selling is a collaborative GTM partnership between SaaS (software as a service) companies and large cloud hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and others. This partnership involves a joint effort to build, market and sell joint technology solutions and services to customers. At its core, co-selling is joining forces with cloud hyperscalers to jointly develop solutions, attract customers, and leverage the partner’s sales and/or customer success team to drive value for existing customers.

Since July 2023, co-selling with cloud marketplaces has become the new gold standard, as they are intricately intertwined and essential for forging prosperous partnerships with cloud services that ultimately enrich your business, your buyers, and your partners.

In the cloud co-sell model, the transformation happens at three levels simultaneously. The growth on the first level is product-led, which means the product is built on a hyperscaler’s cloud infrastructure. On the second level, the joint solution is usage-based monthly recurring revenue (MRR), which looks like billed revenue or cloud consumption revenue. Lastly, on the third level, the growth happens when the solution-based offer becomes available on cloud marketplaces to help customers transact and onboard to a trust-based buying engine in order to meet their cloud demand and budget constraints.

The basis of the co-sell GTM strategy is built on intimately understanding the problem and debunking the most common myths of the partner experience.

The basis of the co-sell GTM strategy is built on intimately understanding the problem and debunking the most common myths of the partner experience. The problems that most partners are currently experiencing are poor alignment, hitting annual recurring revenue (ARR) goals, driving GTM efficiency, opening new routes to market, improving sales productivity and lack of understanding complex investment planning and return on investment (ROI), which results in poor measurements and ineffective tracking.

Meylah played a critical role in supporting Microsoft’s launch of the #buildfor2030 initiative, honing in on what startups need to become “co-sell ready” with cloud marketplaces.

When crafting your co-sell GTM strategy, adhere to these five guiding principles:

  1. Alignment is key: Successful partnerships require alignment not just in goals, but also in mindset and philosophies. When both parties share a common vision and approach to business, the partnership is more likely to flourish.
  2. Expect 5x ROI: To justify investments and partnerships, it’s crucial to set high expectations for ROI. A 5x ROI minimum ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and that the partnership brings tangible benefits.
  3. Streamline your GTM plan: Funding should come from multiple sources, which means a streamlined and focused GTM plan ensures that efforts are concentrated on key objectives. Additionally, funding from multiple sources diversifies support and minimizes dependency on a single entity.
  4. Transactable via marketplaces: In an increasingly digital world, the ability to transact through online marketplaces is essential. Making your joint customer offer accessible in this manner enhances convenience and scalability.
  5. Invest strategically: This can be the catalyst for capturing the attention of hyperscalers. These investments not only demonstrate commitment, but also showcase your company’s potential for growth and innovation.

After you’ve identified your co-sell partner, there are four essential documents that every prospective partner must have in place when engaging with hyperscalers: the co-sell GTM assessment, the #BetterTogether company information evaluation, the co-sell solution-offer information breakdown, and the GTM plays and investment model. The following sections cover what each document is and why it is essential.

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