EdTech Trends for the 2020-21 School Year
The back-to-school season is a critical time for education companies. District leaders begin identifying what they need for the upcoming school year, and focus on gathering information about available options.
But this year, given the industry-wide impact of COVID-19, there will be changes to the school buying cycle.
Here are the key takeaways from our latest webinar, Back-to-School 2020: Success Strategies for Marketing and Sales Teams.
B2S 2020: EdTech Marketing Tips
- Personal connections and relationships are crucial. If you have a relationship with a prospective customer, there’s a higher chance that they’ll recognize your name and respond to an email or phone call.
- Remember your existing customers. How can you and your team support them this year? Marketing efforts targeting current customers should be a top priority this year.
- Focus on your value proposition. Demonstrate empathy and listen to customers’ and prospects’ needs. Right now, quality service is more important than products and features.
- Review your company website. It’s likely your company’s website has always been central to your marketing efforts (if not, let’s discuss why it should be), and this fall, it’ll be even more critical. Ensure your website has the information that prospects need, and is easy to find.
- Support the education community. Align, or realign, with the mission of the schools and districts that your education company serves. Find ways to give back, and consider how you can go above and beyond to serve educators, students and families.
B2S 2020: EdTech Sales Tips
- We must be able to sell virtually now – and forever. As a result of the changes prompted by COVID-19, district leaders are going to have new expectations. It’s important that sales teams are able to meet the demand, and are comfortable selling their product both in-person and virtually.
- Restart the conversation. In the edtech space, we must prospect for meetings – not business or customers. Be diligent in your outreach, and continue the conversation where you last left off.
- Don’t give up. On average, sales team members give up after conducting 1.6 “touches” – we need to be more proactive. Schedule meetings over the phone, or request a video call. We can’t be afraid about ruining relationships before they even begin.
- Be intentional and give first. When you’re reaching out to a prospect, give them something first. You’re an expert in your company’s vertical. Talk to your buyers and learn about the challenges they are encountering, and what they need. This way, you’ll be ready to share helpful insights with prospects to establish your credibility.
- Think people-centric (not product-centric). When sending emails to prospective customers, begin with your purpose. For example, “The reason why I’m writing you today is to ask you for a meeting.” We know that educators receive a lot of mail; by focusing on the purpose we can avoid diluting the message.
To learn Matt Gambino’s ingredients to an effective sales email, download the webinar.
Stay in-the-know. Use resources like Feedly to monitor keywords, such as virtual learning and COVID-19, and subscribe to industry newsletters such as CB&A’s Education Marketing Insights to receive helpful information to share with your team, customers and prospects.
In our Coronavirus Impact on Education Marketing report, 26 percent of education vendors stated that their 2020-21 marketing budgets are going to remain similar to 2019-20. Districts will still be gathering information this fall about what they will purchase in spring, which means a large portion of your marketing budget should remain allocated to lead generation.