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How I Sold a $12M IoT Managed Service Contract to a School District

Added to IoTplaybook or last updated on: 11/13/2019

Forget what you know about bidding for public sector work. This innovative IoT platform and sales process just changed the game.

Selling technology to schools can be a frustrating process. You submit multiple proposals and navigate endless committees and approval processes to find out you’re just bid fodder. You do a lot of leg work so the prospect can get better pricing from an “insider” who already had the contract.

I recently spoke to Terry McFarland and Jack Knocke who let me in on an IoT platform and sales process that bypasses all of that. In fact, Terry recently sold a $12M dollar deal to a district of 28 K12 schools. He did it quickly, by leveraging a powerful influencer that gave him the inside track.

The IoT and AI platform they sold literally locks them in with the school--in fact, now all new technology must use their platform!

So, if you’ve ever wondered how to make money with commercial IoT or, if you’re an IoT vendor who wants to build out a channel then, go to freeiotclass.com, where I’ll show you the actual Playbooks, IoT managed service providers, like Terry McFarland and Jack Knocke, are using to make 7-figures or more recurring revenue right now.

What You Will Learn:

  • The lucrative IoT opportunities in the education system
  • How to sell a $12M managed service contract to a school district
  • The structure of Terry and Jack’s resale model and how it affects future buying decisions
  • How Terry sells the Interlogix one-touch lockdown system to public schools
  • How Terry used a case study to reach key decision-makers

IoT A La Carte

Terry McFarland and Jack Knocke are collaborating on nearly $12M in IoT work for schools in K-12 and higher ed. Terry McFarland is the owner of Seamless Communication systems, a telecom agent and cloud-hosted voice over IP MSP. Jack Knocke is the owner of IoT Advisor Group, a firm that helps channel partners launch their IoT practices. They linked up through a mutual connection in the telecom space, intent on reinvigorating Terry's IoT business model and expanding his product set to achieve greater success.

Terry's largest vertical used to be medical. However, when it comes to IoT, many of the HCAs and HSAs are using their own resources. The medical organizations tend to follow a stringent corporate structure, and it is hard to break into them. But the education system provided Terry with an entirely new set of opportunities.

One-Touch Lockdown

Before Terry moved to Florida, he spent eleven years in Colorado working for the Jefferson County School District. He was there during Columbine, which inspired him to take significant interest in school security. Terry's experience in education yielded a deep understanding of the IT needs in that niche. So, when Jack came into the picture, he found an IoT solution that meshed with Terry's background and skillset.

In Terry's case, IoT encompasses anything and everything relating to IT infrastructure. But Jack helped him narrow his primary focus to campus security in K-12 and higher ed. Terry's offering improves the safety response process by tying existing technology together and enhancing it with advanced technology. IT teams do not want to adopt an entirely new system, so Terry preserves what is already in place and makes it more effective.

Terry and Jack's role is to get their vendor in the door. They operate with an agent commission resale model and make money on every dollar sold. However, Terry also works with the vendor on installations if it falls into his area of expertise. This system creates multiple streams of revenue for him, but the model is a one-time commission. You don't have to be technical to sell this when you are an agent, and there are always opportunities to upsell.

Summary

The "one-touch lockdown" encompasses all of an institution's existing technologies with software that ties them together. But the best part is that Terry's offering is a la carte. Clients can pick and choose what suits their needs. However, many of the clients end up ordering more from the menu before the installation is complete.

Active shooter scenarios are a significant driver behind this type of offering, but preparation is critical for reacting to any level of threat. There is a massive need in this market, so with Terry and Jack's strategy, you can profit while increasing the safety of schools across the country. If you are interested in learning more about the work they are doing, listen to their podcast episode, One-Touch Lockdown, with Terry McFarland and Jack Knocke.

About Terry McFarland and Jack Knocke

Terry McFarland is the owner of Seamless Communication Systems, which offers expertise in networking, phone systems, cloud services, carrier services, and IoT solutions.

Terry has been in the Telecommunications industry for over 28 years. He started out as an installation technician and then transitioned to a Telecom Engineering position at a large school district in Colorado. Terry oversaw all telecommunication equipment design, installation, as well as project managing all carrier installations. After eleven years with the school district he moved to Florida where he worked for Bell South/ AT&T and was dedicated to another large school district designing, engineering, and maintaining their voice infrastructure. Eventually, his knowledge and passion led him to owning his own company, Seamless Communication Systems.

Outside of work Terry enjoys being with his wife and five boys which entails attending a lot of football games, as four of the five are still playing in either high school or Pop Warner. Terry also enjoys riding his Harley as time permits.

Terry is always available for consulting and can be reached at tmcfarland@seamlesscs.com.

Jack Knocke is the founder and lead consultant for IoT Advisor Group, a consulting company that helps IT Solution Providers (MSPs, VARs, SIs, Agents) effectively build a practice around new technologies including IoT and connected devices. Knocke’s intuitive focus on the partner business model ensures a plan and execution focused on partner strengths and capabilities to build a substantial complementary recurring revenue stream. Knocke also supports Vendors and Distributors as they seek to provide compelling messaging, effective operational processes, productive compensation plans and engaging onboarding to new Solution Providers. As an engaging speaker and a knowledgeable educator, Knocke has hosted numerous MSP workshops providing an interactive opportunity to learn, build relationships, role-play new approaches and build a new sales funnel.

Knocke is a 30-year veteran of the telecom industry. Prior to founding The VAR Advisor and IoT Advisor Group, he spent five years as COO for master agency MicroCorp. Inc., where he automated, streamlined and guided the business through 400 percent growth and facilitated two acquisitions. Previously, he held senior business development and operations positions including InPhonic Inc. (INC Magazine # 1 Fastest-Growing Company, IPO 2004). Before that, Knocke spent 14 years with GTE/Verizon leading new initiatives in Marketing, New Product Development, Systems Integration, Product Fulfillment and Finance.

How to contact Terry McFarland and Jack Knocke:

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