How I Tackle Marketplace with Ben Rice

sarah.connor Admin, Tackle Employee
10 Comments 5 Likes
edited December 2022 in Cloud Go-To-Market

We sat down with Tackle customer and community member @ben, VP of Business Development at Styra, to learn about his Marketplace journey. Read on to hear his story and gain some tips for finding Marketplace success.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Styra.

I am a San Francisco Bay Area tech and security geek. I started off with an Apple II+ when I was 10 years old and have been into technology ever since. Currently, I am the VP of Business Development at Styra, the creators of Open Policy Agent and leaders in cloud-native authorization. At Styra, I work on creating partnerships with other technology companies, VARs, consultants, system integrators, and more. My goal is to increase the size of our sales pipeline through partner influence and help this pipeline close faster with higher rates through partner collaboration.

What has your career journey been like and how did you end up in this role?

After finishing my education, I started working as a District Attorney in Los Angeles County before moving into civil litigation in the Bay Area. But that didn’t last long as the dot com era was just beginning and I decided to open my own high-tech law practice. I eventually moved on to an in-house position at a small security startup that was later acquired by Blue Coat Systems. Being a part of a fast-growing company enabled me to transition from being General Counsel to General Manager to establishing and building an alliance function. I have not really looked back.

Why did Styra decide to add Marketplace as a GTM strategy?

Styra added Marketplace as a GTM strategy because we see a huge opportunity with companies that build software and applications in the cloud. Our strategy is to court those users and developers and close these deals by working with AWS Marketplace.

What’s your advice to others who are struggling to secure executive buy-in for Marketplace?

Don’t wait until your competitors are on the Marketplace. If you can’t transact where your buyers want to transact, you can lose business – even if you have a better product or service. 

If you’re looking to make this argument to your company, try: ‘We are missing out on over $400 billion in annual spending that is going through Marketplaces. This number is going to be over $500 billion by 2024. As more budgets shift to Marketplaces, the more budget we will not be able to access if we are not there.’ 

What are some of your biggest Marketplace learnings so far?

You must have your sellers ask about procurement via Marketplace as early as possible. The ask could even be in the first discovery call: Do you procure through any Marketplaces? Which ones? How do you obtain approval to purchase through Marketplaces?

What Marketplace goals do you have for Styra that you can share with us?

Each quarter, we are trying to transact a higher percentage through the Marketplace. The goal is to have around half of deals go through the Marketplace.

What is something that might surprise people about you?

I once won a calf roping contest at the Jackson Hole rodeo as a youth!

Thank you for sharing with us @ben! Training sellers to ask about procurement early on is a great tip.

If you have any questions for Ben, feel free to drop them in a comment below.