Schools & colleges are a challenging target for even experienced sales superheroes. This happens because of the complexity of the buying process in school combined with a limited purchase budget. If you developed a product or solution focused on the school market, this blog post will help you set up a sales process specific to the market and close a few good deals. If you are the developer of the product or solution mainly with technology skills, it is advised to recruit a marketing/sales co-founder or team member instead of solely acting on tips gained from articles and books
It is essential to do market study and research before developing and selling your product. You should know who are the potential buyers as the market will be scattered with different kinds of customers. In the case of educational institutions, there will be schools, colleges, training centers, and universities. If you select the school market alone, there will be schools under different categories, for example, government and private. In private also the schools can be divided according to the syllabus they follow like IB, ICSE, CBSE, etc.
Once you analyze these different segments in your potential market, take a total count of customers in each segment and then analyze by geography. However great your product is, you can not reach the entire market. So you have to understand the total available market and total addressable market. You can google for more details and courses on market research
It is equally important to know your product and solution in depth before you start selling. Understand the features and functionality of the solution to prepare brochures and sales pitch. Talk to a few potential customers to understand the early product-market fit and use the information to improve your packaging and pitch. You must compare the product and solution with other providers in the market. This will help you in setting a competing price along with the right pitch.
It is also essential to make sure the pitch is simple for a school customer. As you are selling to a school, you should not make the pitch complicated. The brochures and sales conversation should be as simple as possible. Also, make your purchase process simple and friendly for a school customer. Make all pricing and taxes transparent and have multiple options to accept the payments from the customer.
You will have to analyze the different types of users in school and find out who purchases your solution. There are teachers, administrators, principals, management directors, school owners, etc. who all are involved in the decision to purchase the software. For some products and solutions, you can skip some of these stakeholders. But for any sale with good pricing, you will have to navigate through all of them. Understand the different stakeholders and decision processes in purchasing your solution by the customer.
This is a crucial detail that most of the salespeople miss. The working schedules of a school is different from other business and the different stakeholders come to school on different timings and weekdays. So do your research before starting the sales pitch and improve the approach with the learning you get from experience.