Cloud Marketplaces are one of the fastest-growing segments in the cloud industry today. According to Gartner, the cloud end-user spending is expected to reach $597.3 billion in 2023, specifically cloud marketplaces which are expected to hit $100B in 2026 from $15B in 2023. This growth has proven to be quite resilient to the overall economic turbulence seen in the past few years.
Cloud marketplaces have opened up a whole new avenue for cloud software customers to discover and purchase from various independent software vendors (ISVs) and B2B SaaS providers. This also comes as a boon for B2B SaaS businesses that have been in search of a simplified and scalable way to find new customers for their specialized software products. In this article, we explore the challenges with traditional channels for B2B sellers, followed by why software buyers are choosing the marketplace, and what selling in the cloud marketplace looks like.
Shortcomings of traditional B2B channels
As we see the landscape of B2B SaaS sales undergo a profound transformation, many of the traditional channels are no longer as effective in the cloud era. We explore a few reasons why that may be the case.
Dwindling offline channels – Offline channels such as outdoor ads and hosting events no longer play the role they used to in the sales funnel. With the shift to digital and cloud, most buyers complete the majority of their journey online. Though events and offline 1:1 engagements can increase brand awareness, they no longer tie into significant or scalable sales. This trend has accelerated further during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earning buyer’s trust – In the initial phases of your company, gaining the buyer’s trust is a huge challenge. Due to limited brand recognition, and resource constraints, B2B SaaS companies often face challenges in crossing the chasm and making it to larger customer segments.
Lack of visibility – Newer companies may struggle to generate consistent inbound traffic to their website or product pages. A lack of visibility can impede organic growth and hinder the company’s ability to reach a broader audience.
Mastering the value pitch – Educating potential buyers about the unique value proposition of a new product or service can be challenging. Convincing different stakeholders of the benefits and differentiation from existing solutions requires targeted and effective communication at different levels using multiple channels.
The expected returns from these channels are not comparable to the growth we see in the cloud marketplace arena. Therefore, every B2B SaaS provider needs to include the cloud marketplace as a part of their cloud go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
3 reasons to choose cloud marketplaces
Here are some of the top reasons why B2B software buyers are choosing the cloud marketplace over other direct and indirect distribution channels.
Marketplace listings are trusted
Due to the technical and business due diligence performed to list in cloud marketplaces, buyers are more likely to trust a listing on the marketplace, even if they aren’t familiar with the seller. This results in better discoverability and deals that are closed faster.
Buyer’s journey is seamless
Cloud marketplaces bring all relevant listings onto a single page, making it easy to compare and decide between alternatives suiting their requirements. This e-commerce-like experience also makes the experience truly digital, seamless, and quicker.
Buyers are also increasingly digital-first, preferring this method of purchasing over traditional event-based and call-based selling. They can also gain access to vendors outside their market or geography.
Streamlined budget approval
Billing for marketplace-listed software is integrated into the cloud provider’s billing. This makes it easier for companies to use existing committed cloud spend in new software purchases from cloud marketplaces rather than other distribution channels. This ultimately results in a shorter sales cycle where the deal size is larger and commitment is longer.
Selling in the Cloud Marketplace
As a B2B SaaS company looking to accelerate your cloud go-to-market (GTM) efforts, cloud marketplaces should be your top priority. Unlike traditional channels that require tons of spending to reach the right customers, followed by months of effort to nurture them, and negotiations to close one deal, cloud marketplaces accelerate those steps, resulting in 80% larger deals.
The most compelling argument in favor of cloud marketplaces is the opportunities they bring for scalable B2B business growth – whether you provide business applications, infrastructure management, or data, security, DevOps, and machine learning solutions, there are several thousands of customers looking for your solutions no matter how niche or specialized they may be.
Embracing cloud marketplaces is a strategic move for any B2B vendor aiming to supercharge growth. The Labra cCommerce Platform provides end-to-end solutions to streamline your cloud commerce experience. With a track record of being a trusted partner for numerous B2B vendors globally, Labra offers accelerated listing, integrated management, and faster deal closures with increased visibility through seamless integration with your existing CRM tools.
A cloud marketplace is an online marketplace where organizations can purchase software and services that integrate with their cloud infrastructure. Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure have their respective marketplaces from where you can purchase and deploy software to meet your cloud infrastructure needs.
Cloud marketplaces can support a wide range of categories. The AWS Marketplace, for example, supports 75+ categories including popular requirements like security, DevOps, networking, ML, data management, etc.
While listing on the marketplace, you can set various keywords, mention similar products, write product descriptions, and add more content, making it easier for buyers to discover your product. You can also link to your marketplace page from social media, your website, and emails, providing a simple and easy-to-use buyer page.
In 2023, all the major marketplaces - AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud marketplaces have lowered their selling fee to 3%, with further discounts available for users who are renewing existing contracts or for deals meeting certain thresholds.
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