Businesses that focus on products and services for the education industry already understand the importance of selling to schools. Having a highly defined target market helps your company in the early stages of building its outreach and sales strategies.
Understanding how to sell to school districts, and similar groups, like the many campuses of public institutes of higher education, is an important consideration. This approach means your offerings reach more students, educators and administrators, increasing the benefits of use. Selling on the district level can also lead to opportunities for higher sales and revenue.
Let’s look at some practical advice that will help your company answer the important question of how to sell to school districts – and if your company should consider this method.
Selling to school districts requires a careful strategy and recognition of how each one operates.
Should your company sell to teachers, schools or districts?
Some products or services may be best suited for sales to individual teachers or specific schools. Sales of technology specifically designed to support the unique operational model of charter schools, for example, might be most effective when targeted to individual schools of that type. A tool made for use exclusively in kindergarten classrooms can see better results when marketing to teachers of those students or individual elementary schools. For the many edtech industry offerings that have broad applications, however, a strategy targeting districts can pay off.
While the purchasing process is more involved for districts than individual educators, the opportunity to sell to multiple schools is valuable.
How can you sell educational technology to school districts?
There are many tactics you can use to effectively demonstrate the value of your offerings to school districts, making them view a purchase as an investment in their students, staff or overall operations. Some factors to consider:
- Starting on a small scale: School boards and district officials don’t make major spending decisions lightly. Monica Brady-Myerov, the founder of Listenwise, a tool used to develop listening skills, said her company found success through paid pilot projects with districts, in an article for EdWeek. Many districts will appreciate the opportunity to spend a small amount to start and have their own education professionals evaluate an education solution before fully committing.
- Identifying the key stakeholders: There are about 14,000 school districts across the country. Many of them have relatively low enrollment and staffing levels. This makes the district superintendent a key decision-maker for such purchases, although they will have their own trusted stakeholders who have a major influence on the process. Identifying these influencers and ensuring they’re included and catered to during the early stages of the sales process is vital.
- Prioritizing scalability and flexibility: School districts serve a diverse population of students, from kindergartners to high school seniors. Your offering has a better chance of being viewed as valuable if it can offer something to all, or at least most, of the students in a district. The Tech Edvocate said demonstrating broad value is crucial in this case.
Effective support for district-level sales
Agile is here to help your company craft effective outreach and identify key stakeholders within school districts as you work toward district-level sales. Our current and accurate database of educator, school and district contact information, along with support for building contact lists and email marketing – among many other services – help you connect with district leadership. To learn more, get in touch with our team today.