Why They Don’t Call You Back

Market Insight
Why don’t education decision makers call you back? Let’s just say it’s not them, it’s you.
LeiLani Cauthen

Why don’t education decision makers call you back? Let’s just say it’s not them, it’s you.

In the K12 market we are now past the point of 70%-of-students have a computing device to use for a significant portion, or all, of the school day. Of those, many are in a 1:1 deployment and using devices consistently. We saw in 2014, and again in every city we produce events in so far in 2015, two-to-three new districts or schools attending because they are about to implement new 1:1 programs. They are coming because the transition to digital is inevitable, and the question in most schools is how to do it right. Choosing the hardware and configuring the networks is part of the early stages of discussion now, but the real game has shifted to what to do for curriculum delivered over digital devices.

What’s not broadly known is that there are over 7,000 companies in the digital curriculum space vying for the attention of district and school decision makers. These decision makers are questioning how they should spend on digital curriculum content. One aspect of these questions is whether they should buy or create their own for “free.”

Executive time is a factor to consider, and not a minor one, considering the changing aspects of this market. Knowing this, the Learning Counsel has been surveying education leadership at each of our Discussion Meeting events in the past year about their “spare time” to consider all possibilities coming at them from the vendor community, or guide custom instructional design. The response? Let’s just say everyone laughs about “spare time,” and no one says they are “under-whelmed.” At our recent event in Boston, one senior education executive even blurted out, “We’re in a war zone!”

The fact is, nearly every company is sending increasingly frustrated sales staff into the crowded education field. Consider how tradition has changed for education decision makers. Years ago a School Board, Superintendent or Head of School would do a really big deal with usually a single big publisher once every five years or so for all their textbooks and workbooks. That simple era is gone with digital content and curriculum sweeping in.

When you consider the issues, it’s not that education executives have bad manners, it’s that they are all experiencing more phone and email traffic demands on their time than ever before. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to think of any other field that has the volumes of sales traffic that the education industry has today. The whole marketplace is undergoing a shift in how it does business.

Be kind, and be persistent. Your education prospects do need your information and your solutions.

From our view working with the education industry, we advise that it takes your sales staff an average of nine (9) phone calls or emails to reach the top level decision makers today.

LeiLani is well versed in the digital content universe, software development, the adoption process, school coverage models, and helping define this century’s real change to teaching and learning. She is the author of the newly released book, The Consumerization of Learning.

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