The U.S. state, local and education (SLED) sector represents one of the largest marketing demographics in the world with purchases of roughly $1.5 trillion annually and nearly a half million competitive sales opportunities for businesses. Based on market size alone, the opportunity to grow a SLED portfolio is huge and can make even the most apathetic, teem with enthusiasm. However, given the size and variety of potential solutions involved in a SLED proposal, these ‘target rich’opportunities can be highly complicated and daunting. Therefore, when planning your growth strategy, avoid being everything to everyone; it will lead to wasted time and resources. Instead, focus on an aligned, well-targeted approach by choosing a specific geographic area, technology solution, and segment.
Consider starting with a specific geographic area where your local sales representatives can support a SLED territory. Next, define the focus of your technology solution and lastly, segment the SLED market within which your targeted solution will be applied. Below is an example.
- DMA: Southeast Washington/Oregon
- Segment: K-12
- Solution: Networking infrastructure and security
Putting the above into perspective, the Southeast Washington/Oregon DMA (designated market area) comprises over 490 school districts and over 3,600 schools. Specifically identifying the technology solution focus helps to carve out specific target opportunities and allow you to establish productive, time-saving and meaningful dialogue around networking modernization and/or (cyber/physical) security with decision makers within the focused K-12 segmentation*
Narrowing your focus with a more structured approach helps align your business development strategies with your channel partner’s priorities while also navigating and nurturing relationships delivering meaningful business outcomes.
Top SLED solution priorities to consider and discuss with your channel partners may include:
- Infrastructure Modernization: Leverage next-gen technologies such as cloud, hyper converged solutions, and software opportunities, which offer increased security, reliability, and a reduction in costs.
- Safer Schools: As targets of both physical and cyber threats, security solutions for schools will help keep students, staff, and data safe and secure.
- Smart Cities: Using data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability, create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and working in cities and rural communities.
- Transportation: Connected and autonomous vehicles, keyless fleet management, traffic analytics and local zoning/planning policies that support transition development.
Are you ready to narrow your focus, build your plan, and grow your SLED portfolio? The Tech Data Cisco SLED Accelerator Program can help you navigate this complex channel through data driven decisions. Our Tech Data Public Sector solutions market experts can also provide strategic direction in building solutions and creating ways to help drive revenue.
About the Author
Carolyn Eagen is a Senior Solutions Consultant for Cisco Solutions Group at Tech Data. Her sole focus is to help Partners grow their Cisco SLED practice. Her consultative end-to-end 360 approach is designed to drive growth through data-driven decisions and help Partners leverage Tech Data’s enablement offerings and other government solutions. Carolyn has over 20 years of professional experience in the public sector, higher education, and leading top performing sales teams in the US.
(*) If required, the K-12 segment can be further segmented to Private/Public/Magnet/Charter K-12 schools, etc.