May 26, 2023
If Sales is the engine of growth in a business, then the efficiency of an AWS partner's sales operations is a leading indicator of how successful their salespeople will be, how fast the business will grow, and how much business AWS will share with them.
4 responsibilities of AWS Partner Sales Operations.
AWS Partner Sales Operations has to manage many moving pieces co-selling with AWS.. Not only does growth depend on the orchestration of these moving pieces, but doing so efficiently in the current economic climate – growing without adding more resources and cost of sales – is a strong economic advantage.
At the heart of this orchestration, on the partner side, is the partner’s SalesOps team. While varying from partner to partner, there are four common responsibilities:
These are common sales ops responsibilities. There are also common pain points.
3 AWS Partner Sales Operations pain points.
There are numerous challenges getting in the way of SalesOps doing the best job they can.
Hitting these challenges impacts the entire business because SalesOps play an integral role in the core business revenue process.
The pain points suffered by SalesOps are:
AWS partners that suffer these pain points are likely to report that staff are reluctant to co-sell with AWS, which leads to fewer deals, longer sales cycles, and offers that aren’t competitive because they don’t have the benefit of being backed by AWS.
An indicator of not solving these challenges is the impact on the partner’s progression through the AWS tiers. All AWS partners want to ascend the APN tiers because the more recognition and benefits from AWS, which in turn power the flywheel.
The best way to see these challenges is to walk through a co-sell example.
A walk through a typical co-sell opportunity fulfilled in AWS Marketplace.
From the beginning of a new opportunity to one closed and fulfilled via AWS Marketplace, the process goes something like this.
The point of this table is to show how many hand-offs and touch points the partner sales exec or sales operations has to track for every opportunity.
In an attempt to streamline the process, the sales exec “hands off” opportunities to be managed by sales operations, but this adds more tracking and updates and makes the problem worse.
Given the importance of AWS partner sales operations, the challenges they face and the complexity of manual opportunity tracking with Marketplace deals -- how can they improve things?
4 ways to improve AWS Partner Sales operations.
If an opportunity is a co-sell with AWS – and especially if it is fulfilled via the AWS Marketplace – then there are two problems to solve.
- How do we make AWS ACE co-sell deals more efficient?
- How do we make AWS Marketplace private offers more efficient?
There are four approaches to solving these problems to overcome the challenges and grow the AWS partner business through the APN tiers:
1. Throw headcount at it.
You could add more headcount – more hands, eyes, and brains can handle more deals – but you’re adding cost and still not solving the problem. AWS partners that tried this report the problem gets worse, not easier, the more people you add because you need to track everyone’s work.
More people is not the answer.
2. Use a home-grown technical solution.
Some people develop their own code to glue together their CRM, ACE, and Marketplace Portal – even involving Google Sheets as an additional step. If you have engineering talent, you could redirect them away from revenue-generating customer projects to an internal project…
…but this venture into “homegrown custom code” means diverting your scarce resources into solving a problem that isn’t your core competency. And even if you manage to automate it… systems change and people demand new features, so there’s ongoing maintenance effort and cost.
Office automation or home-grown code is not the answer.
3. Use the free AWS Salesforce CRM Connector
Unfortunately, the AWS connector only does basic synchronization between the partner Salesforce CRM and the APN Portal ACE. More and more businesses fulfill via AWS Marketplace, so that problem still exists. Plus, many partners don’t use Salesforce and need a solution for Hubspot or Connectwise. You also have to enrich this solution with your own CRM workflows to make it work. Otherwise, it’s still manual.
AWS Salesforce CRM Connector is not the answer.
4. Get a purpose-built solution for this specific problem.
The answer to this triangulation between partner CRM, APN Portal ACE, and AWS Marketplace Portal, is to solve it inside the partner’s CRM.
CRMs are extensible through their own marketplace applications, and this is how the Labra Platform solves the problem inside the partner’s CRM.
“Staff want to work with their familiar tools and not have Yet Another Tool added to their plate.”
This is how it works:
The benefit of this approach is to give the power to sales execs and sales operations via the tools they use every day.
This is the most efficient solution because:
- You don’t need more headcount.
- Focus your finite resources on home-grown solutions.
- You are solving the whole problem (co-sell and marketplace), not half.
- You aren’t wasting money on a generic PRM that doesn’t solve this unique problem.
Sales are the engine of growth in a business, and sales operations are tasked with making this engine efficient. There are a number of problems that make each sale harder than it needs to be. There are a few solutions to these problems and the one that works the best is moving all AWS sales operations into your CRM with the Labra platform.
- Find out how to co-sell with AWS from your CRM with Labra
- Find out how to do AWS Marketplace operations from your CRM with Labra
- Get in touch with Labra and ask us anything about optimizing AWS partner sales operations.