How Edtech Companies Can Sell to Charter and Private School Markets
Selling to charter and private school markets is a different sales arena altogether, especially if you’re used to selling to public united and independent school districts that can easily have upward of 100,000 students or more.
A large number of school districts in the United States have fewer than 2500 students, but charter and private school enrollments are even smaller. Think 50/50: almost 50% of these schools have 50 students or less.
Here’s how you can leverage a small market to optimize your visibility and sales:
Network, network, network.
Networking is everything with smaller schools because they connect with other small schools like themselves. One of the smartest things you can do is sell to the networks or associations to which these schools belong. Look for common networks like these:
- Design Networks – These networks are based on a comprehensive approach to curriculum and often rely on philanthropic contributions to keep their doors open.
- Principles Networks – Schools with similar values, philosophies, and principles often form support networks.
- Managed Networks – Seen most often in charter schools, a managed network, like KIPP or IDEA, is overseen by a charter management organization.
By knowing how your edtech solution fits within one (or more) of these networks, you’re more likely to close the sale.
Create customer experience.
Getting in the door can sometimes take years in charter and private schools. To develop the kind of partnership that will pay off handsomely for you both, seek first to understand the school’s “pain points.”
What prevents them from achieving student achievement, and how does your product help them? Be prepared to discuss the implications of Internet access, hardware, software, devices and even professional development.
As you are working on creating rapport with school leaders in this market, check in frequently and share relevant information.
Small charter and private schools often have budgets as small as their enrollment, making it hard for them to take advantage of the edtech you offer. In addition to adding educational technology programs, the school has to provide professional development for the teachers who will be using the program in the classroom. What can you offer that’s different – and necessary?
Provide value to your clients by showing how your edtech product can help them solve problems stemming from purchasing of to implementation, and you may find the charter and public school markets embracing your edtech product.
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