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[probably] the most comprehensive guide to Marketplace
I think we can all agree that selling solutions through marketplaces has gained such a huge momentum. Why? Mostly because a marketplace's nature is an easy procurement channel - imagine, everything is consolidated into one bill issued by Microsoft (in this case) and you can sell across different countries without having to deal with the tax process yourself.
From the perspective of your customers, some commitment towards buying your solution is decremented, so a good bit of pressure on their side is lifted, which eventually results in more of them getting the chance to try out your solution which only means more leads for you.
This is simply the new way of doing business in the cloud! Microsoft's Commercial Marketplace exists out of Appsource, with a business focus, and Azure Marketplace, with a technical focus.
So are you a Microsoft partner? Do you offer a B2B SaaS application to your customers? Then continue reading below probably the most comprehensive guide to publishing and making your solution transactable on Marketplace.
Step 1: Set-up Partner Center
The first thing you need to do is making friends with Partner Center before creating a new offer. Make sure you have the access rights and get ready to:
- Set-up the tax profile
- Set-up your pricing model
- Upload the required marketing assets
Resources: follow this link to learn exactly how to do it!
Step 2: Technical configuration
For the second part of your transact adventure you will need to collaborate with a developer within your organization for the implementation of the Marketplace API. The good news is that we offer a fully functional community-led reference implementation with sample code for developers interested in publishing transactable SaaS offers in Microsoft's marketplace.
Resources: check out the step by step guidance through the SaaS Accelerator and the Azure Managed Application Offer sections here!
Step 3: Selling through Marketplace
So you made your solution transactable on Marketplace. Now what?!
One of the main assumptions within the ISV community is that once a solution is on Marketplace, Microsoft will start promoting it and selling it to customers like there's no tomorrow. The truth is, making your solution transactable is not the destination, but it is a crucial step on that journey.
"Will Microsoft ever going to sell my solution?" - YES! But YOU have to make it happen first.
My colleague Johan Aussenac created an awesome document explaining how you can actually sell through Marketplace and make Microsoft love to sell your solution. Please, please, give it a read here.
Though my main takeaways are as follows:
- Microsoft loves business cases! Have your first customer/s purchasing your solution through Marketplace and share the story with us and the wins in Partner Center - this will generate that attention and traction around your solution.
- With little to no preparation, it is very unlikely that Marketplace will work in your favor - you still need to have a strategy in place to generate that demand.
- Be able to articulate and make it crystal clear what the added value of your solution is.
- Keywords, keywords, keywords - optimize the "in-store" search.
- Unlock traffic acquisition by making use of marketplace rewards (they depend on the level of sales performance an ISV reached on Marketplace).
- "My customers are not on Marketplace" - they for sure use different search engines to look up available solutions for their needs, you just have to learn how to direct them there.
This whitepaper is full on insights, tips and examples on how to master the sales process on Marketplace, so please spend a few minutes on it to learn how to make the most out of Marketplace and onboard on this exciting journey with Microsoft! Land your first sales on the Commercial Marketplace