School is wrapping up across the country, but for education companies, summer is no time to kick back and relax. With next year’s sales revenue riding on the ability to prep during the summer, the first step to success is understanding the selling cycle:
As the sales cycle shows, being fully prepared at the start of the school year is critical, with a successful new customer implementation strategy operating alongside a strong leads acquisition program. The only way to get to those? Strategic and tactical planning during the summer. We encourage companies to convene a Sales Planning Retreat to focus exclusively on these plans. We often facilitate these retreats, asking the hard questions and focusing on seven key tasks:
- Assessment: Consider what worked and what didn’t work in the previous sales year. What should you keep doing, start doing, or stop doing? What risks do you anticipate and how can they mitigated by fall?
- Sales Goals: Set your 2018-2019 school year goals for new business and renewals, which will allow you to build a sales and marketing strategic and tactical plan that can be broken down by month. By comparing that plan to the sales cycle, you can then set monthly and weekly lead acquisition targets. (For earlier stage companies, this may just be a guesstimate, but having a stake in the ground is an important start).
- Lead Acquisition Plan: Think about what kinds of outreach you can utilize most effectively. These could include hosted workshops, lunch ‘n’ learns, hosted webinars, trade shows, e-mail, social media advertising, print advertising, and school site visits.
- Current Customer Plan: This plan helps ensure your current customers have a successful back-to-school implementation and continue using your product so you can ensure renewals.
- Product Plan: Consider how the release of new products and features can be timed to enhance and support the selling process.
- Training Plan: Think through how you will ensure high quality, consistent training throughout the school year as new teachers cycle in.
- Communications Tool Review: Make sure your CRMs, web site, and communications tools are ready to achieve your established goals.
If you are interested in doing a Summer Sales Retreat with Arc, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.