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Centra Software Case Study

Structuring Sales
BY : GROUP 15
RAHUL KM
Suggested Preparation Questions for
Class Discussion:
1. What kinds of channel services or outputs do purchasers of eMeeting and eLearning software
require
of Centra Software?
2. Are both direct salesforce and telesales equally suitable channels for Centra Software? What
are the
criteria that one should employ to make this judgment?
3. What type of sales productivity is required for both sales forces in order to be profitable? Are
they
now? If not, how long might it take to breakeven?
4. Will the operations of the salesforce and telesales force truly compete with each other or are
there, or
can there be, sufficient means to separate the interests of the two?
5. Even if there is minimum competition between the two sales forces, can Centra Software
derive
synergy from their operation or will conflict be continuous?
6. Should sales or the telesales force make their own choices of customers upon whom they will
call?
7. What decision would you make with respect to the ways that Centra Software should
distribute its
products?
COMPANY
Founded in 1995 by Leon Navickas.
Centra was a pioneer in eLearning and
eMeetings.
Revenue have doubled each year since the
founding of the company 4 years earlier
COMPETITOR
Centra was undisputed leader in eLearning
space but a new competitor was emerging
in eMeetings market.
Also a large number of startups and some
large companies had begun to market
training specific software
Analysts distinguished among firms selling
Content, Delivery platforms and learning
management systems
COLLABORATOR
Alliance Partners, the ecosystem of Centra
consisted companies which helped Centra
to achieve wider market coverage. There
were three kinds of partners:

Infrastructure Partners
System Integrator Partners
LMS vendor partners
CUSTOMER
Centra has concentrated on serving the
larger end of the spectrum.
Typical target customers were divisional line
managers and HR managers
CONTEXT
Sales revenue is forcasted at $50Mn by
2001
Friction b/w telesales and field sales reps.
Confusion abt expansion plans!
Should we just concentrate on Global 2000
customers
5C ANALYSIS
Centra was pioneer in eLearning and eMeetings products that
let firms train employees and conduct meetings over the internet.
Played in the Delivery platform sector
1. eMeeting
Firms run virtual
meetings for internal
and external
audience up to 100
participants
- Simultaneous slide
import
- Multiple choice
surveys
2. Conference
For interactive
seminars and
corporate briefings to
a dispersed audience
of up to 1000
participants. Subset
of Symposium,
geared for a larger
audience.
3. Symposium
Virtual classroom
experience for
hands-on training
and interactive team
collaboration with up
to 250 participants.
- Employee training,
new hire or customer
training.
CENTRA PRODUCTS

WHY CUSTOMERS BUY THE
PRODUCT?

Cost Advantage
Synchronous learning- Corporate learning and teaching accounted for 70%
of corporate training expenditures.
Besides expense on premises, training materials, instructors and the staff ,
there were travel, accomodation costs or salary costs of employees
Other
advantages
Virtual Auditorium offering some advantages of face to face learning
without the need to relocate participants.
Team members sitting at multiple locations could share ideas and talk to
each other with networked computers.
Features offered
by Centra
User can see leader and other participants
Full duplex audio feature- 4 participants can speak at a time
Live application sharing and Whiteboard Feature
Streaming slide presentation
Optional Recording and Playback feature

Telemarketing
Group (4)

Cathy,
Manager
Telesales,
Telemarketing
Field
Sales (40)

Telesales
(8)

Alliance Partners:
1) Infrastructure
Partners
2) System
Integrator
Partners
3) LMS Vendors
1) Tradeshows,
2) Direct mailing,
3) Web seminar,
4) Ad campaigns
Qualify Sales
Enterprise
Sales
Close
Sale
Prepare
Quote
Client
develops
RFPs
Only 30% of
quotes get acted
upon
CENTRA SALES AND DISTRIBUTION
FUTURE OF THE MARKET
E learning Estimated growth of 11bn in 5 years
Geoffrey Moores view on enterprise-wide software
markets










Tele sales 12% of 50mn forecast of 2001


1
st
Stage
Many start ups
Visionary customers
2
nd
Stage
Mainstream market
Less indulgent customers join visionaries
Only 2 or 3 of the 1
st
stage survive
SALES APPROACH
Future Vision - Integrate into the dominant survivor
as suggested by Moore
Targeting Global 2000 companies is a better strategy
Differentiate itself to cater to large enterprise segment
Strategy
Penetrate and then disseminate!
Phased Approach



Tele Sales
Primary
penetration tool

Field Sales
Company
penetration
Department
Dissemination

STRUCTURED APPROACH
Who to target?
Line Managers Educating benefits, ROI,
competitive edge

High Degree of coordination required among Sales
Teams
Ford issue
Proper coordination according to scale of company
Pivotal database

Field Sales Moulded as domain expert
Tele Sales
Target to become the dominant player in a
specialised vertical providing specialised solutions
and diversifying later