Ed Kisman, Vice President, Strategy
Recently I had breakfast with an old acquaintance, who was consistently in the top 10 of our sales force year after year when we worked together years ago. He now works with a well-known educational company, which is respected both in the educational market and B-to-B markets and has a solid history of growth.
When we met, we chatted about the challenges of the recent merger and acquisition within his current organization. His company uses the consultative selling approach when calling on education industry prospects, and when selling in the B-to-B industry they tend to use the transactional approach to selling. These are two completely different market approaches and two completely different selling models.
My friend recognized the challenges his organization is facing as they merge and decided to focus his attention where his experience has helped him succeed the K-12 space. The more we talked about make up of his organization and their objective in entering the K12 market, my mind began to pull up the basics of what I learned and relied upon over the years during my career in the education industry.
As my friend and I agreed, you must always start with the basics:
· Is your company product driven, market driven, or price driven?
· Is there an alignment between sales revenue growth and sales objectives?
· What’s the balance of your sales team?
· Does everyone sell all solutions, or is each person in his or her own silo?
· How does the customer base know you--as a company or disparate products under one bigger company?
· Does the company provide support for continued product development, technical advisement, marketing support, and the right incentive program to drive the right behavior?
As companies merge or become acquired, marketing and support are sometimes found in different silos due to the two different companies trying to merge and enter as one in the K-12 space.
From our point of view, this opportunity is a good challenge and can be addressed in these ways:
1. Company revenue goals must be linked to sales revenue objectives. Sales compensation must be directly linked to #1 and drive the right behavior to deliver the revenue during the right time frames within a budgeted year.
2. The product management, marketing, operations, and sales support must define who you are – product driven, market driven, or sales driven. It is difficult to effectively operate as all three, unless you sell both products and widgets that compliment each other.
3. Market awareness and acceptance: does the market know who your company is and are you accepted as a leader or just another vendor?
4. When you call on a prospect, do you have the support you need? By this, we mean beyond collateral and and a solid CRM. Do you have a territory plan supported by your VP of sales, trial versions, demonstration kits, and more?
Having insights into ways to align your sales strategies in the K12 markets can help you grow your business in this challenging business environment. Making sure you understand that the fundamentals of sales strategies do not change and consistently delivering on your strategy will provide you those winning revenue opportunities.
Contact us at Advancing Global EDU and one of our sales strategists can discuss with you objectives to help your company build revenue in the K12 market.