Cloud Marketplaces and Why They Matter to ISVs

Invisory cloud marketplace go-to-market dashboard

Cloud marketplaces are reshaping how we buy and sell software. For ISVs, cloud marketplaces like the Azure Marketplace, AWS Marketplace, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Marketplace, Salesforce AppExchange, HubSpot App Marketplace, Snowflake Marketplace, and the ServiceNow Store offer a streamlined way to sell software, enter new markets, and drive revenue. For consumers, shopping within cloud marketplaces is more convenient, cost-effective, and secure.

With hyperscalers reporting billion-dollar customer commitments and hosting thousands of apps the challenge of listing, going-to-market, co-selling and standing out in a crowded field can feel overwhelming. 

Whether you’re brand new to the clouds or looking to build a strategy for your next listing, keep reading our cloud marketplace GTM guide for ISVs to ensure you don’t leave any stone unturned.

Benefits of selling and buying on cloud marketplaces


Buyers no longer want to engage vendor by vendor. Researching and purchasing from a single marketplace streamlines the buying experience.

Customized pricing

Marketplaces like Azure and AWS enable private offers, which allows ISVs to tailor their pricing to an individual customer’s needs.

Simplified legal procurement

Legal reviews and red-lining can slow down the sales process and kill deals outright. Marketplaces offer standardized, pre-approved contracts that streamline the legal process, shortening the sales cycle.

One invoice

The marketplace takes care of international taxes, currency conversions, sales taxes, and all of your invoicing. Selling on marketplaces reduces the risk of non-payment, which saves your accounting and finance team time chasing payments.

Security & confidence

All applications on a marketplace must meet strict security, compliance, and technology requirements, which builds trust with buyers and sellers alike.

Faster implementation

The buyer is probably already using the cloud service provider whose marketplace your listing is hosted on. Implementing their technology with yours will go much faster. Strict architecture review ensures the apps listed are built to align with cloud provider solutions. 

Access to new revenue streams and audiences

Listing on a marketplace opens up your solution to the entire cloud providers ecosystem. If you’re not listed, eager marketplace evangelists  won’t know you exist.

Drive customer satisfaction

Removing friction from the buying process should be every B2B seller’s goal. Purchasing through the marketplace allows for faster legal, financial and technical diligence. Not to mention the ability to access dollars already committed with that cloud service provider (CSP). 

Marketplace purchase decreases committed spend

Committed spend is the amount pre-purchased by a cloud customer to help drive down costs. These commits are use it or lose it, and statistics say that a high percentage of committed cloud spend goes to waste. Purchasing software from a CSP’s marketplace allows buyers to use that cloud committed spend, meaning less wasted spend and easier budget conversations.

Developing a cloud go-to-market strategy

Once you’ve identified which cloud service provider (CSP) marketplace is right for you, you are ready to start your GTM journey. Listing will require technical resources or a partner. Getting listed is only the first step in launching a successful marketplace channel. Shortly after listing, many ISVs find they haven’t seen the success they expected or unlocked the incentives they anticipated.

Developing a GTM strategy that aligns with the rules, motivations and processes of your given marketplace is key. 

  • Understand the rules and requirements of listing and launching 
  • Meet requirements for transacting 
  • Develop cloud marketplace specific messaging
  • Strategize co-selling 
  • Produce thoughtful collateral
  • Build and enable a team to support

Breaking down your cloud GTM strategy

  • Rules and requirements

    Each marketplace has its own set of rules and requirements for listing, launching, co-selling, and transacting. Before you get started, make sure you know the rules of the marketplace you are listing on and that you have a team in place to help execute the technical and marketing requirements.

  • Transacting and co-selling

    Some cloud marketplaces allow transactions immediately after listing, like AWS, whereas Azure requires additional steps. Co-selling on platform with hyperscalers has its own set of rules. Co-selling with Salesforce does not require technology at all, but does demand personal relationships to be built. Ensure you know the rules where you plan to play. 

  • Develop cloud marketplace specific messaging

    Moving your basic homepage platform messaging and repurposing for your cloud marketplace is not going to get you the attention you require to make an impact. Determine your better together story - how your solution + the CSP brings unique value to customers. 


  • Strategize around co-selling

    Learn how your CSP internal teams sell and how they are motivated. Create a plan to communicate and enable these teams to get the most of their attention.  

  • Produce thoughtful collateral

    Create impactful marketing material like one pagers, landing pages and battle cards that speak to the CSP internal and external audiences.

  • Build and enable a team to support

    Listing, launching and going to market is a team sport. It will require the help of technical resources, marketing and sales - at a minimum. Cloud alliance leaders and teams will also help take you from 0-100 with less struggle.

How Invisory helps ISVs reach cloud marketplace success

The Invisory GTM cloud solution helps ISVs unlock their cloud marketplace potential across platforms like Salesforce, Azure, and AWS. Invisory’s one of a kind platform delivers actionable insights and key go-to-market deliverables to SaaS companies looking to stand out and maximize revenue in crowded marketplaces while reducing risk and accelerating results. For more information contact or follow us on LinkedIn.

Ready to unlock success?

Your frequently asked cloud marketplace questions

  • What is a cloud marketplace?​

    Cloud marketplaces empower users to explore, sell, and buy cloud services and SaaS applications. As Amazon changed how B2C transact, cloud marketplaces are changing the B2B selling motion by disrupting how ISVs sell software, making it easier for organizations across the globe to find new SaaS solutions that fill whitespace within the cloud providers.

    Cloud marketplaces are sometimes referred to as "cloud app marketplaces."

  • What are popular cloud marketplaces?

    Popular cloud marketplaces include:

    • Salesforce AppExchange
    • ServiceNow Store
    • Hubspot App Marketplace 
    • AWS Marketplace
    • Azure Marketplace
    • GCP (Google Cloud Platform)
    • Other hyperscaler marketplaces, like Oracle
  • Who uses cloud marketplaces?​

    Businesses ranging from ISVs (think tech startup) to public companies like Ford offer SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, applications, as well as consulting services on cloud marketplaces. In turn, organizations of all shapes and sizes search for new solutions everyday. AWS and Azure alone boast millions of annual users. 

    But cloud marketplaces benefit more than just startup and tech companies. Digital transformation is a major consideration across legacy brands, too. Organizations across verticals such as healthcare, financial services, banking, manufacturing, retail, government, gaming, entertainment, telecommunications, education, and other industries search for cutting-edge solutions on cloud marketplaces. Just take a look at all of the customer success stories on Azure and AWS.

    Most marketplaces have lowered their fees from >20% to lower than 3%, which has made listing and transacting through the clouds more accessible to even the smallest ISVs.

  • Challenges of listing and selling apps on marketplaces​

    Unfortunately, the process of listing and selling applications on marketplaces can be challenging, especially for ISVs with limited resources and little experience in the cloud marketplace. 

    Some common challenges that slow down or stop ISVs from listing on marketplaces include:

    • Lack of technical resources for building APIs and compliance features
    • Complicated implementation process 
    • No cloud partnership or alliance team to manage the process 
    • Resistance from sales, who fear they will lose out on quota (this is rarely the case)
    • No executive buy-in
    • No marketing resources to develop a GTM motion
    • Analysis paralysis - unsure of where to start on cloud marketplaces

    And even once your  application is listed, other challenges pop up, such as:

    • Crowded ecosystems that make it hard for new ISVs or solutions to stand out.
    • Your solution is built for one ecosystem, not the others
    • If you’re listing on a hyperscaler marketplace like Azure, becoming transactable takes numerous steps and can be a challenge to know what is required.  
    • Your cloud partners don’t know you exist 
    • Your differentiation is not clear 
    • Under-resourced partnership and alliance team 
    • Product messaging and positioning is not aligned to the ecosystem 
    • Your GTM strategy specific to different ecosystems 

    These challenges have prompted ISVs at every stage of the journey to partner with Invisory. Our go-to-market platform enables ISVs to list quickly, get transactable faster, and streamline their GTM strategy.


  • I don't have a solution but I'm interested in marketplaces. How do I develop a cloud GTM strategy?

    To successfully take your app to market on a cloud marketplace, you will (at minimum) need:

    • An app or service you want to list and sell 
    • An understanding of the steps required to list and pass security review
    • Technical resources (as is) or a plan to partner 
    • Marketing supported assets including messaging and one pagers

    Here's a look at what else you will need to accomplish.

    Investing in the appropriate technical resources 

    You can’t go-to-market on the cloud if your application or offering doesn’t meet the marketplace’s strict technical, compliance, and security requirements.

    Understanding your application and target marketplace is just part of the battle. You’ll need development resources that understand the cloud marketplace, as you’ll need to build an API that communicates with your solution and each cloud marketplace. If you’re listing on a hyperscaler, you’ll also need to configure metering and billing. (The good news is that the Invisory platform offers APIs and pre-built metering features for you). 

    Investing in your cloud partnership & alliance team   

    For many ISVs, the cloud partnership and alliance team is an afterthought. If you don’t have a cloud alliance manager on board, you will need to get executive buy-in who believes in expansion and partnership. 

    By hiring a passionate alliance leader, ISVs form stronger partnerships with cloud partner sales teams, who can become an extension of your revenue team. If your partner in the cloud marketplace knows and loves your solution, they’re more likely to recommend it. Your alliance team is responsible for telling the story about how the business can offer your cloud partner a symbiotic relationship, which becomes your “better together” story. 

    Check out our guide for making a case for a cloud or partner alliance team on our blog. 

    Choosing the right cloud marketplace 

    Before choosing your first marketplace, the first thing to consider is where your own application is hosted. If possible, that cloud marketplace is the easy first entry into the cloud ecosystem because you will more quickly hit incentive thresholds with your internal spend.  If you’re already on AWS, start there. If all of your customers are on Salesforce, focus on the AppExchange. Next consideration, think about customers, marketplace gaps or whitespace, the competitive landscape, and available SI partners. Each marketplace has a different customer base. You will find more retailers on AWS, and more gaming companies on Azure. 

    Each marketplace has its own unique language to learn, from acronyms to billing idiosyncrasies, so you’ll need to study the marketplace’s unique processes and lingo as well. You can learn more about the acronyms for Salesforce and Azure here.

    Understanding your opportunity, competition, and differentiation 

    As you set goals and make revenue projects, take time to understand the current customer opportunity on the given marketplace. What would it look like if you sold to 10%, 30%, or even 50%? What does success look like in 1 month, 1 quarter, or in 1 year? 

    Once you know your customer base, study your competitors. If they aren’t in the ecosystem, boom - that’s a differentiator for you! If they are on the marketplace, consider how you can adjust your messaging and offering to stand out. Understand what gaps you fill and what makes your solution special.

    And if you’re listing on a hyperscaler marketplace, know that organizations have commitments they need to spend down. This means they have already opened their checkbooks to Azure, AWS, and GCP. Now, they just simply need to find the right solution. 

    Building the GTM motion 

    You’ll also need to develop marketing materials, such as 1-pagers, landing pages, and messaging guides. Unfortunately, getting the attention of a corporate marketing team for partner-based content can be challenging, so here’s a good chance marketing tasks will fall on the cloud alliance team. 

    To make matters more complicated, you’ll need to build messaging and positioning that is specific to each cloud ecosystem. What works in the Salesforce AppExchange won’t fly in the Azure Marketplace.

    Iterating and improving 

    Every ISV wants to increase loyalty and stickiness, reduce churn, create new revenue streams, and differentiate from the competition. This means you can’t just “set it and forget it.” 

    To make the most out of your cloud marketplace listing, you’ll need to actively roll out new features and functionality for your application, build brand awareness, secure positive reviews, foster relationships with cloud partners, and so much more. Eventually, you might also want to list on a new marketplace, which involves leveraging a unique GTM strategy.

  • What is an example of a cloud marketplace?

    Azure Marketplace, AWS marketplace, GCP, Salesforce AppExchange, and ServiceNow Sstore are examples of cloud marketplaces.

  • What is the Google Cloud Marketplace?

    The Google Cloud Marketplace (GCP Marketplace for short) is an online store that allows ISVs and tech-forward businesses to buy, sell, deploy, and manage B2B software solutions on the Google Cloud Platform. 

  • How big is the cloud marketplace opportunity?

    The cloud marketplace market alone (not including cloud-computing in general) is expected to increase to more than $100B by 2026.

  • What are the different types of cloud computing?

    The most common types of cloud computing services offered on marketplace are:

    • IaaS, or infrastructure-as-a-service
    • SaaS, or software-as-a-service
    • PaaS, or platform-as-a-service
    • Serverless computing
  • What are the main types of cloud computing structure?

    The main types of cloud computing structures include private, private, hybrid, and community. 

  • Cloud procurement: What does it mean?

    Cloud procurement is simply the process of buying or obtaining software of cloud services. As an ISV, you have the opportunity to determine the best payment method for both your customers and business. Here are popular approaches:


    Pay-as-you-go is a good option if your application depends on usage, whether you’re measuring data consumed or time used. Basically, the more the buyer uses, the more they pay. 


    Since B2B selling is looking more like B2C, it makes sense that more ISVs offer subscription models. Just like how you can subscribe to the New York Times or Netflix, you can subscribe monthly, semi-annually, or annually to software solutions. 


    Depending on the complexity of your solution, annual or multi-year contracts might make more sense, especially if a services or implementation component is involved. The good news is that marketplaces offer contract templates, which streamline the legal review process.

    Private offers

    Marketplaces like Azure and AWS enable private offers. According to Microsoft, “Private offers allow publishers and customers to transact one or more products…by creating time-bound pricing with custom terms.” They allow an ISV to create one time pricing for a specific customer opening cutomized pricing vs. a one size fits all pricing model.