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As software businesses embark on their growth journeys, the strategic decision of ‘building or buying’ takes center stage. And the decision is often an indicator of business maturity. As companies scale, they bring in more engineers to build in-house solutions.

Yet, the workforce isn’t the only investment when building sophisticated systems internally. Our business aims to make cloud GTMs more accessible to everyone. We have found that when it comes to revenue-facing processes like cloud GTM platforms, the decision to build or buy is less about maturity and more about having deep domain expertise.

Why is building a cloud GTM platform challenging?

The notions around building an in-house cloud GTM platform are based on the premise that cloud marketplaces are akin to every other sales channel - direct and outbound. Teams are well aware of these channels’ intricacies and have been accustomed to building them for years.

Unlike traditional sales channels, cloud marketplaces have requirements regulated by hyperscalers. Additionally, the lack of complete awareness and the clear path to success is relatively unknown, making it challenging to build cloud GTM platforms. Therefore, building them in-house can pose three distinctive risks:

1. Lack of expertise

Traditional CRMs and ticketing systems have been around for decades, and developers have had the time to standardize them. This means that tech teams have the required know-how to build what they want if they choose to develop a solution in-house.

While cloud marketplaces have been promising channels for growth, they are still maturing. This means the rules of engagement, capability building, and modus operandi are still being learned daily. Building a constantly evolving solution in-house in a nascent market can lead to multiple risks, such as scope creep and feature bloat. At the same time, integrating the software with existing systems can be challenging without expertise. This can put the project in tech debt, making it more difficult to migrate to a better solution down the line.

2. Platform rigidity

Unlike other traditional GTM channels, cloud marketplaces are an ecosystem. They are where buyers, sellers, external partners, and marketplaces find mutual value.

Whether built in-house or bought, the success of a cloud GTM solution depends on the marketplace's evolution. Every time the marketplace upgrades the fine print or launches a new solution, your engineers must re-invest their bandwidth in replicating it within the native platform.

If built in-house, it will be challenging to scale the platform at the pace at which marketplaces are evolving. In any case, your engineering team will end up investing significant bandwidth that could be better expended elsewhere on building a solution that isn’t their core competency.

3. Perpetual scaling

Scaling is a two-pronged strategy.

Prong #1. Building the in-house marketplace platform and scaling it
Prong #2. Building a new capability for another marketplace

For the first prong, the risk is the continuous investment in time and effort from the engineering team. Marketplace listing alone doesn’t guarantee success. Your business needs:

  • Ongoing listing maintenance
  • Co-Sell activation
  • Partnerships with marketplace teams
  • A complete view of your buyers’ journeys
  • The ability to report product usage, also known as metering
  • Reporting capabilities to understand channel effectiveness

For the second prong, building integrations with a single marketplace is hard enough. You must think of how your internal systems communicate with the marketplace interface.

Journey on hyperscaler marketplaces

The same complexity implies when you expand into a new marketplace or launch a new listing.

Building and maintaining a tech stack requires frequent bandwidth across your engineering, sales ops, product, and RevOps teams.

  1. Engineering teams to build, maintain, and scale the platform
  2. SalesOps team to check if your CRM integrations work as expected and if your platform keeps serving the needs of your AEs
  3. RevOps teams to track revenue sources and maintain an engine of revenue recognition

Hence, this is equivalent to having a team run your marketplace listing and operations full-time. Over a 12-month horizon, the associated headcount and resource costs can tremendously cut down profits.

Given these risks, why do companies prefer to build? Because of the following undeniable benefits.

Benefits of building a cloud GTM solution

Many businesses make their “build a software” in-house decision on the following grounds:

  • An in-house solution can be custom-built around the business’s existing technological wireframe.
  • Businesses can completely control the software's features, functionality, and design.
  • Building software in-house makes it easier to define ownership and build custom integrations.
  • Businesses have more governance over their data as it stays within the internal infrastructure.

So, if building offers granular control, why should businesses buy software?

Benefits of buying a cloud GTM solution

Choosing to buy and not build cloud GTM software offers the following benefits:

1. Faster time-to-value

With expert support, the entire listing journey takes only a few hours instead of weeks when done correctly. Vertical SaaS vendors specializing in cloud GTM have deep domain expertise that enables faster turnaround times than in-house solutions, which require your engineers to first develop expertise.

2. Access to domain experts

As a fairly new GTM channel, businesses are still evolving their cloud marketplace processes; hence, custom requests continue to be baked in. This often stretches the process of listing on cloud marketplaces to months. Having a partner who truly understands the business and the platform challenges helps shorten that timeline to weeks without deviating engineering bandwidth.

Also, minor downtime costs are significant in revenue-driving channels such as cloud marketplaces. Every time your listing fails to work, either due to a bug in your code or because you haven't kept up with the changes made by the marketplace, you miss out on potential revenue and leave your customers unattended.

Having a specialized tool helps by taking care of platform uptime. It also helps by being around when your business processes change, so reconfiguring your listings takes no effort.

3. Zero in-house bandwidth consumption

Building a full-stack solution requires minimal engineering bandwidth. Cloud GTM platforms handle the operational legwork and continuous uptime of your tool. This frees up internal bandwidth so your teams can focus on the critical things. They no longer have to solve point-solution issues as the platform’s support team does it for them.

From set-up to scale: The Momento story

As the world’s truly serverless caching service, Momento was no stranger to either cloud marketplaces or operating with velocity. However, having faced multiple challenges, they chose Clazar’s team of marketplace experts to help scale their cloud GTM.

Setting up with Clazar just took two 45-minute conversations. Momento was also able to create a private offer in just three minutes. With visible results, Momento decided to invest more time and energy in the channel, leading to a 36% increase in monthly revenue and a 50% increase in monthly buyers. All of this is without any in-house engineering effort.

Scale revenue, not effort, with Clazar

Don’t be puzzled by the perpetual engineering and operational involvement required to grow on cloud marketplaces. Clazar’s comprehensive platform helps the fastest-growing businesses to launch, manage, and grow across hyperscaler marketplaces.

Want to learn more? Write to us at or talk to one of our handpicked experts.

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