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Alex Shevelenko
Content thumbnail Guide to Breaking into the Enterprise Market

Two reasons cloud startups should engage with channels With the transition to cloud-based sotfware, the world of technology channels is being turned upside down. Channels are hungrier than ever to engage with promising startups. The value to startups in return isn’t always obvious, but there are two big reasons to engage channels: • Efficient scale. No matter how easy your product is to consume, large corporate accounts will transition into an enterprise sale. To manage sales costs, it’s frequently beneifcial to work with a channel organization that has long, trusted relationships. • Entering new markets. As the company expands to new geographies or verticals such as the federal government, channels can provide specialized knowledge (regulatory, accounting, etc.) and access that would take quarters to hire for (or years to build). What are Channels? Channels come in four broad categories, each with their own characteristics and sub-categories: Marketplaces: An online storefront used to distribute and bill cloud-based sotfware, like Salesforce Marketplace. Primarily these services serve as fulifllment platforms (vs. discovery). Marketplaces offer a good way to achieve scale in combination with high velocity or traditional enterprise sales motions. Partnerships: An agreement between two or more organizations to reach the market together, either through technical integration or leveraging for solution completeness (solutions integration, or SI for short). Examples of channel partners include Accenture, Deloitte, or smaller design or development agencies. (continued on next page) 27

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