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How to Sell to K-12 John Q. Porter

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Presentation on theme: "How to Sell to K-12 John Q. Porter"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Sell to K-12 John Q. Porter
President, Blue Sky Innovative Solutions, LLC July 16, 2014

2 Market Five Force Analysis
LOW MEDIUM HIGH Threat of New Entrants X  Substitute Products/Services X Supplier Power Buyer Power Competitive Rivalry 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

3 Market Attractiveness Grid
CATEGORY WEIGHT 2015 (1-5) 2020 (1-5) Profitability (10%=3) 3 Market Growth (10%=3) 2 Niche Size ($100m=3) 1 Threat of new entrants Substitute products/services Supplier Power Customer Power Competitive Rivalry Fit to Core Competency Weighted Average 15 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

4 SWOT Analysis STRENGTHS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. OPPORTUNITIES WEAKNESSES
THREATS 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

5 Long Term Positioning Goal: To develop and execute a set of strategic and supporting plans that sustain a competitive advantage for the company in existing and new markets. Long term plan should not be directed at any one opportunity. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

6 Long Term Positioning Objective: Long term positioning activities are continuously performed and refined They set the stage for linking Business Development planning with the company’s strategic plan Positioning is not aligned to a particular milestone in any individual opportunity or pursuit; rather, it supports many opportunities across the entire customer/prospect base. These plans lay the groundwork for targeted, customer/prospect—focused marketing and sales activities. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

7 Long Term Positioning Inputs Activities Outputs
Develop 4-yr. strategic plan Company corp. objectives Hierarchy of strategic & other plans Company targets of opportunity Develop annual BU operating plan Company annual 4-year strategic plan Annual operating plans Organize marketing teams Company financial & quality metrics Industry/market reports & trend forecasts Functional area resource plans Explore market areas Perform market assessment Specialized market & tech. studies Selling & B&P plans Comp. analysis & benchmarking assessments Build strategic relationships Lessons learned Position assets Existing business development plans for specific opportunities Define business strategy 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

8 Assessment Phase Goal: Assess the characteristics of an individual opportunity and determine its suitability for pursuit. Objectives: How well an opportunity aligns with the strategic plan and how the company’s capabilities and offerings align with the customer’s/prospect’s needs. Accurate intelligence about the customer’s needs, requirements, resources and schedule are essential to determining how well an opportunity aligns with business plans and objectives. Accurate intelligence about potential competitors is essential to developing a winning strategy. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

9 Assessment Phase Inputs Activities Outputs Assign opportunity lead
Initial capture plan Strategic plans Develop call plan Candidate solutions Annual operating plans Develop customer relationship Understand program requirements Call plan Opportunity info Assess strategic fit Business development database Accept pipeline entry Pursuit review package Identify competition Prepare initial win strategy Business development database update Develop capture plan Prepare for pursuit review Pursuit review 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

10 The Benefit to You Provides understanding of customer issues and challenges and an early opportunity to confirm alignment with company strategy, plans and priorities. Provides opportunity to influence customer’s perception of company and shape the procurement. Provides intelligence on firms that could become key competitors. Allows management to assess whether the opportunity fully aligns with business strategy and provides reasonable win probability. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

11 How to Sell to K-12 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

12 K-12 Market Size* Mkt. Segment Mkt. Size 2012 Mkt. Size 2015
Growth Mkt. Size 2017 K-12 687 B 788 B 4% 853.1 B E-learning K-12 5.4 B 9.3 B 20% 13.4 B Child care 65 B 77.4 B 6% 87.0 B Test prep/ tutoring/ counseling 11 B 13.1 B 14.7 B Instructional materials 20.1 B 23.9 B 26.9 B *GSA Advisors 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

13 SIIA Analysis of the K-12 Technology Market, 2012
Education technology (non-hardware) products and services: 7.97 B Major segments: Content Instructional support (including assessment* and professional development) Platform & administration software tools (including central office, data and IT) Special areas: AP Special Education** ELL materials Online courses*** *Testing was largest growth area; instructional support in general, 36% growth **Highest growth year over year ***Online growth more than 200% 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

14 Key Initiatives in K-12 Assessment/ diagnostic tools
Instructional materials focused on high stakes assessment content areas Special education Analysis tools Hardware Professional development Instructional support services 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

15 Critical Sales Cycle Timelines for K-12
What is the buying season? What is the best time to influence budget allocations? 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

16 Key Decision Makers 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions
School Board Superintendent Deputy Supt./ CAO Schools Special Ed Assessment Curriculum COO MIS Facilities Procurement Finance Human Resources 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

17 Key Decision Makers 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions
School Board Superintendent Deputy Supt. COO CAO 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

18 How to Sell to K-12: The Assessment
Background Research: Does the district have a strategic plan? If so, read it and know it. What are the district’s and superintendent’s next 12 month priorities? Review the district’s budget. Google all key personnel that could influence your procurement and create a dossier on each person. How long has this administration been in place? (It matters whether it is new or has been in place for a while) What are the political dynamics between the board, superintendent and community elected officials? Look for articles in which key personnel have been cited that could give you hints on their strategic direction. Spend time getting to know the district website. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

19 How to Sell to K-12: The Assessment
Continued- Understand how the district is organized. What is the “Theory of Action” of the district– centralized, or decentralized? Look for outside pressures that your product or service could help to alleviate. Does the district have a bias for or against vendors of a particular size? Do you know anyone that could refer you to senior level personnel in the organization? KNOW YOUR COMPETITION! Are your competitors presently providing services or productions to the district or its schools? Understand how the competition positions their products and services. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

20 Proposal Manager & Technical Lead/ Content Expert
Corporate Sales Team Balanced Perspective Delivery Sr. Management Company Advocate Proposal Manager & Technical Lead/ Content Expert Business Development Customer Advocate 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

21 Responsibilities: Business Development
Key external face of the organization Identifies and qualifies opportunity Establishes prospect and customer contact and assesses competitors’ capabilities Overall authority for leading sales process from strategy phase through post-proposal submittal Supports proposal writing team during proposal development to ensure strategies developed in sales process are implemented Continues to feed market intelligence to proposal team 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

22 Types of Sales Configurations
Direct Indirect/ channels Independent Inside Hybrid 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

23 Responsibilities: Proposal Manager
Overall authority and responsibility for leading the proposal effort Responsible for initiating proposal planning Manages all proposal development and review activities 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

24 Responsibilities: Technical Lead
Develops the winning technical solution, driven by the overall win strategy. Serves as principal member providing support by understanding customer technical requirements and assessing competitors’ technical capabilities. Identifies technical risk to the proposal and provides risk mitigation plans to be incorporated into the proposal. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

25 Responsibilities: Senior Management
Should understand all aspects of the proposal. Conducts final review of the proposal for strength of strategy, themes. Reviews final details of cost and price recommendations and technical solution. Makes the ultimate decision that the opportunity meets the strategic direction of the company, with the necessary ROI. Validates that appropriate resources can be engaged to deliver a winning proposal with successful implementation. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

26 How to Identify Sales Talent
Job Factors Sample Interview Questions 1. Quality of Planning: Developing strategies to manage sales consistent with company objectives and customer needs. What is the sequence of steps you follow in developing a sales strategy? What preparations do you make before visiting a customer site? How do you determine the point at which a sales strategy needs revision? 2. Forecasting Accuracy: Forecasting business accurately and on a timely basis. What procedures do you follow in formulating business forecasts in terms of value and timing? What do you consider to be an acceptable margin of variation regarding the accuracy of your estimates? What factors contribute to a successful forecast? How do you identify potential charge backs and prevent them from occurring? 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

27 Sample Interview Questions
Job Factors Sample Interview Questions 3. Prospect Management: Identifying and contacting new leads. How do you identify potential leads on new accounts? Do you like “cold” calling? How do you determine the appropriate levels for making contacts? What was your territory and quota on your last sales job? How did your performance compare with your quota? How do you investigate the potential for expansion of a current account? 4. Account Management: Maintaining existing accounts and obtaining orders of high quality. How do you prevent being limited to dealing with a single function or level within a company? What measures would you take to protect current accounts from our competition? Describe a situation in which you identified a problem and took corrective action before a crisis developed. What considerations deserve the greatest attention in maintaining an existing account? 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

28 Sample Interview Questions
Job Factors Sample Interview Questions 5. Administration: Keeping accurate records, documenting actions and managing commitments effectively. What do you feel are the most important administrative records for a sales representative? Describe three kinds of business forms with which you have experience. What steps do you take to keep within administrative time frames? How do you handle a backlog of paperwork? 6. Customer Communications: Demonstrating a professional sales approach with customers. Characterize an effective sales letter. Compared to others, would you say you are better at making telephone calls or in face-to-face contact? What do you feel are the most important elements of a successful sales presentation? 7. Support Organization Interface: Negotiating and cooperating with others to accomplish optimal utilization of resources. How do you go about gaining the support of another department or organization? Describe an occasion when you cooperated well with others toward the attainment of a common goal. What do you consider to be the important factors in maintaining an effective team relationship? 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

29 Sample Interview Questions
Job Factors Sample Interview Questions 8. Internal Management Interface: Communicating effectively with company management and accepting management’s overall goals. What has been your means of communication with superiors? Describe a situation in which you successfully handled a set of unclear instructions. Compare your written and oral reporting skills. 9. Effort/ Innovation: Persisting with special effort and using innovative problem solving to reach goals. Describe a unique marketing strategy you designed. What was the most difficult order you ever won? How did you do this? What kinds of special qualifications are required of a sales representative as compared with other professionals? What length of sales cycle are you most comfortable with? In what situations are you most inclined to exert additional efforts, beyond the usual standard? 10. Self-Development: Seeking to improve one’s organizational effectiveness through formal and informal channels. What activities do you pursue on your own to improve your sales skills? How do you keep current with product changes? In what areas would you appreciate help improving your skills? Describe an occasion when you responded favorably to suggestions for improvement. 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions

30 Questions? John Q. Porter
President, Blue Sky Innovative Solutions, LLC 7/16/2014 Blue Sky Innovative Solutions


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