Tapping into Economic Buyers: How Knack Shifted Buyer Messaging to Bump Deal Values and Sales Growth
- Shifted team from selling to lower level contacts, to selling to Deans of academic units, Provosts and VP’s, at colleges and universities
- Doubled the number of higher education clients in one year, from 20 to almost 40 campuses
- More than doubled average contract value from historical range of $20k-$40k
- Enabled team members to grow careers and be ready to step up into senior roles Knack needed to fill to scale the organization
Knack is a peer-to-peer tutoring platform enabling higher education institutions to supplement existing academic support services and create a more personalized, equitable, and accessible support experience for every student. The company is starting to expand into tutoring for K-12 students and is also beginning to deliver their service through corporations who want to offer access to the platform as a benefit to their employees and their employees’ family members, but higher education remains their main area of focus.
As a scaling business approaching $1M in revenue, the team at Knack came to Winalytics knowing they needed a repeatable prospecting and selling process that would enable them to scale much more rapidly. They were seeking a set of playbooks and processes to guide team members and provide a foundation for accelerated growth. Their CEO wanted to build early in the company’s growth trajectory the right go-to-market playbooks and processes to scale to a $10M company.
Winalytics started the engagement with Knack focused on the presented need: a set of playbooks and processes to guide their team in prospecting and selling in a repeatable way. Early on in the engagement, however, the Winalytics team recognized another core issue. The Knack team was selling at too low a level. While the team at Knack knew this was a challenge, they had not yet developed a plan to address it. Where they really wanted to be selling was higher up, to Deans of academic units, to Provosts and to university and college CFOs.
With a new focus on enabling the sales team to sell higher up, Winalytics worked with Knack on building out value playbooks aimed at the higher-level roles the Knack team knew they wanted to reach. The playbooks mapped out the value of the platform in terms that would engage these senior leaders. They needed to understand that Knack provided not only a more cost effective tutoring alternative but also a more effective approach in terms of having more students engage in tutoring and having them engage more frequently on a repeat basis – metrics that contribute to greater levels of students’ academic success.
In addition to value playbooks, Winalytics built out a set of prospecting and sales playbooks to support a repeatable process of selling to Knack’s target senior-level buyer personas. A key element of these were simple snippets capturing Knack’s success to date with large public universities such as the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, Indiana University and the University of Akron, as well as with leading private institutions such as Fordham.
A year after working with the Winalytics team, Knack CEO Samyr Qureshi described major outcomes as two-fold. First, the team doubled the number of higher education institutions using Knack from 25 to 50 campuses. Second, and just as importantly, average contract value increased dramatically, from a typical range initially of $20k to $40k, to a new typical range of $70K to $75k.
A third area of success was in building team members’ skills and success in ways that helped them develop their careers as they worked to scale sales at Knack. Austin Doyle, a key stakeholder working with Winalytics shared his own experience as a case in point. After reaching out to a number of stakeholders at the University of Mississippi without gaining any traction, Austin used the new value messaging to rethink his approach. He developed a campus-specific business case outlining what the university could achieve with Knack’s better approach to tutoring. Not only was he able to engage the university’s Provost, but the Provost quickly became a buyer and a reference.
Austin additionally credits the Winalytics playbooks and coaching program with giving him the roadmap he needed to be successful in growing his career and enabling him to step up into a VP of Partnerships role managing enterprise selling. Knack needed to expand the team as they grew and Austin was ready. Since taking on the new role, he has successfully hired and on-boarded additional team members including two new Sales Development Reps and an SDR Manager to further grow the business.