So you are running an EdTech company and want to make sure you are all set to get into the market.
You’ve most likely gone through different information about the EdTech industries and the opportunities in this field.
By the time you reach this article, you must have learned that selling to educational institutions is about finding the balance between best practices and innovation. Therefore, it is essential to come up with a concrete B2B Edtech marketing strategy.
So before you spend a lot of time and money on your marketing strategy, make sure you’re avoiding the following common mistakes.
1. Defining the Wrong Sales Process
Many first-time Edtech marketers often make the mistake of considering the sales process with educational institutions to be the same as other B2B industries.
But wait! Reality on the ground is different.
Most of the purchasing by schools and educational institutions is season-based.
It is easy for new Edtech marketers to say, “we will take an account-based marketing approach.” However, deciding the marketing approach while selling to schools and educational institutions is not easy without sufficient market research.
The sales process in this industry is unique and requires a lot of patience to yield results.
2. Misidentifying the Decision-Makers
Similar to the other industries, it is important to develop an ideal customer profile before you start with your marketing initiatives.
Sounds simple? No.
Unlike other B2B industries, Edtech industries involve multiple decision-makers.
You cannot consider one buyer persona or decision-maker while ignoring parents and students, as they are also the influencers in the decision making.
If you’re attempting to close larger deals, it’s also important to understand that stakeholders like management bodies, teachers, PTAs, and students are influential.
3. Failing to Convey Brand Story
B2B EdTech marketers and companies try to create a first impression by using fancy buzzwords in their brand message or while walking to their prospects.
But hey, why do you need fancy words?
Most Edtech marketers think that schools and educational institutions prefer vendors who use fancy and visionary words.
Don’t get into it. It’s a myth.
The value your product will bring to their daily operations is what matters while selling to educational institutions.
For instance, the term “AI” as a concept isn’t inherently valuable to schools: it’s the impact they experience that determines value.
In the industry where competition is more, and decision-makers are many, cutting to the core of your offer is especially key.
4. ‘Trying’ to be a Thought Leader
Trying to be a thought leader when you are not can lead to undermining your company’s credibility.
As an Edtech marketer, you want to build brand loyalty and trust. This doesn’t mean you need to be a thought leader or an industry expert who knows everything.
Schools and educational institutes want someone who can understand their problems and provide the solution to resolve them.
You can listen to the prospects’ issues on various platforms, leverage them, and elevate the expertise of others: it’s more authentic, and can build stronger brand loyalty.
5. Patronizing in the Name of Empathy
When selling to the educators, masking opportunism in the name of empathy will not always work in your favor.
B2B Edtech marketers fail to understand the real problems of the educators and thus end up using terms that can offend them.
Educators are disciplined and have strict behavior. Thus, you need to put thought into what you are putting before them. They consider these little things while evaluating vendors.
Give more importance to their process, values, and system. Claiming that your product is at the center of learning is likely baseless, and can come across as out of touch or condescending.
6. Using Price as Primary Differentiator
It’s a fact that schools and educational institutions want things to fit in their budget. However, like other B2B industries, the price of your product cannot be a primary differentiator.
Instead, try to add value to your product like getting the performance report of every student on the app, and other things that can help teachers cut down the time spent on their administrative tasks.
When selling to educational institutions, being least expensive amongst the other vendor will not work if the product doesn’t satisfy the needs of your prospects.
Additionally, every customer expects a negotiation at the final stage. Lowering the price will leave no room for your sales reps to negotiate further on pricing.
7. Targeting Larger Accounts Without Base
It can be tempting to take your education tool to the enterprise space. And this should be your goal in order to be a successful Edtech company.
However, approaching the enterprise at the early stage of your business with only a minimum viable product is the biggest mistake often repeated by the Edtech companies.
You need a strong client base with relevant success stories while approaching the enterprise space.
Sales reps often start chasing big accounts without a defined plan, yielding no results at the end.
Changing the approach away from education to enterprise consumers will necessitate more expertise while developing the product. Otherwise, it will weaken the experience for all users.
8. Taking Similar Approach at Different Levels
Edtech marketers need to understand that this industry does not follow a one-size-fits-all model.
Every school is different, every level of schooling is different, and so are their challenges, budgeting, and buying processes.
The budgeting and buying processes are completely different for K-12 schools, the college level and beyond.
Understand the buying process and have different plans in place for different levels.
9. Prospecting Without Prior Study
Selling to educational institutions is a continuous process of prospecting, constant outreach, closing sales, and repeating. Prospecting without sufficient information is doing cold calling and waiting for something to happen.
Emails are the best way to reach decision-makers and engage them with additional personalized information.
The best way to do it?
Use Edtech data solutions to take a proactive approach towards the accounts that have higher chances of converting into a good customer.
Edtech is one of the most rewarding fields. Getting close to your users and incorporating them into your product and content development can make you a successful Edtech marketer.
Try SalesIntel’s accurate education email lists to perform right prospecting, reach the decision-makers faster, and close more deals using technographic and firmographic data of each account to widen your client base.