The global public sector will spend over $430 billion on IT in 2018 and, with the right preparation, your team can be in a prime position to maximize profits from this exciting market. Check out these tips to set your sales team up to win more.
Align quotas to fiscal year purchasing seasonality.
Since a major portion of state, local and education organizations adhere to a June 30 fiscal year-end and federal agencies largely align to the September 30 fiscal year-end, it is vital to ensure quotas account for the resulting seasonality in purchasing. When quarterly quotas follow the tradition of being evenly distributed throughout the year by well-meaning sales and finance leaders, public sector salespeople look (and feel) like heroes during major purchasing seasons and failures during purchasing droughts. Correct quota alignment for seasonality will not only improve morale but will also position sales efforts to run in parallel with public sector planning and budgeting cycles.
Encourage specialization for public sector segments.
Where possible, fight the urge to require salespeople to focus on multiple segments within the public sector at once. In addition to differences in fiscal year-ends, federal, state, local, higher education, and K-12 differ in length and complexity of sales cycles, required contract vehicles, buyer profiles, IT security policies, and a number of other key areas. At a minimum, facilitate specialization for federal, state and local, and education segments to allow sales teams to profit from coordinated messaging and buying habits.
Train salespeople to master procurement and contracting details early.
It is vital to learn as much information early on about possible hazards stemming from security requirements, procurement thresholds, legal provisions, decision processes, or contract terms. Salespeople who ascertain this detail early in the sales process through savvy qualification and discovery will accelerate outcomes for the opportunities that matter most.