The Education Technology (EdTech) sales cycle today could last anywhere between a couple of weeks, to months, to even years. Sales specialists in the industry estimate an average of eight months per cycle. According to Demand Gen’s current report, cycles could be even longer due to the increase in B2B manufacturers. On top of that, buyers are investing more time doing research before buying. This means that a salesperson is doing less pitching during the sales cycle, but the length stays the same.
There are great strategies for reducing the Education Technology (EdTech) sales cycle such as
Aligning your content with the Buyer’s Journey
Potential customers go through various phases of the Buyer’s Journey. Therefore, sales content must be tailored to correspond to each phase of that journey. This will make it easier to inform clients, guide them through the process, and eventually convert them into happy customers.
- Awareness Phase: At the beginning of the sales cycle, your leads don’t know exactly what they need, but want more information. This is when your potential customer tries to determine issues that should be resolved and the goals they have. As a result, before you start “selling,” offer the prospect informative content that will adequately resolve their concerns. This could be blogs from your site, infographics, e-books, or whitepapers. As you help your potential customer recognize their issues, you can determine whether or not your Education Technology (EdTech) product and services could help them. Doing so will help you concentrate on leads that are qualified as opposed to those that are not interested.
- Consideration Phase: This is when leads recognize their issue and have decided to fix it. They are looking at various options to solve the problem. You need to give them content that positions you as an authority in the industry and details various options for their issues. Whitepapers, webinars, case studies, and professional overviews will help encourage leads to buy from you and not your competition. But remember: your content in this phase should not discuss your particular Education Technology (EdTech) business’s services right now. Instead, it should focus on informing leads. An excellent example of Consideration Stage content is Buzz Sumo’s professional webinar collection where leads can get suggestions, techniques, and ideas from various content marketing masters.
- Decision Phase: Here, your leads have identified what approach they want to take to meet their needs. They are comparing the pros and cons of various offers from different Education Technology companies and trying to determine which is best for them. Content like video clips, comparison charts, free trials, and item summaries are great for this phase. Other ways of leveraging content are industry-specific case studies, blogs, and short articles that contract your Education Technology (EdTech) services’ toughness, and calculators that help your Education Technology (EdTech) potential customers in determining ROI of options.
Use email automation systems to inform leads
According to a Salesforce State of Marketing report (2017), 67% of marketing and sales leaders use automation software. It also states that in the next two years, an additional 21% will start using them. You can dramatically reduce your sales cycle with automation. For example, rather than manually releasing your social media posts and sending out Lead Nurturing Emails, you can use software to do it automatically. The content in your automated emails and social media posts will nurture your potential customers and make it easier to convert them into customers. Automating your sales initiatives will not only reduce your sales cycle, but will also reduce your cost per lead. Automation will free up your time and help you concentrate on other important sales rep duties.
Offer methods to request rates, then show value
Your prospect will first want to know the price of your product or service. If your Education Technology software program or equipment is widely-known or competitively-priced, you could include a “Request a Quote” button on your site. This could help you start the conversation to learn as much as possible about their needs before you provide the rate. Then you can show value accordingly. This helps you to be receptive to engaged potential customers in the Decision phase of their Buyer’s Journey, and will lessen your sales cycle considerably.
Follow up your content with frequent phone calls to help potential customers
Blogs, social media posts, whitepapers, case studies, and reports are great ways to engage with and inform your leads throughout the sales cycle. But, as a proactive salesperson, you want to reduce that cycle, and getting your leads on the phone will help you do that. Phone calls allow you to develop a connection with your leads. They also offer you the chance to react to any concerns a lead might have. A report from The Marketing Donut found that 80% of sales calls require five more sales calls after you meet the prospect. But remember that telephone calls should not be to just seal the deal. Use them to inform the lead of the value of your offer. This means a phone call can be used in any phase of the Buyer’s Journey.
The big takeaways
Education Technology (EdTech) sales cycles could be exceptionally long, and it’s vital to reduce the cycle for every prospect on your list. The tips laid out above are part of the Inbound Sales Methodology. This will help you plan your strategy throughout the sales process in a way that makes both you and your leads happy. With this method, a customer knows their needs will be met throughout the sales cycle.
It can be very hard to do all of this alone. Responsify works with Education Technology (EdTech) sales and business development pros to offer strategy, support, as well as help in applying these tasks. By collaborating, we assist marketing and salespeople in tactically drawing in brand-new website visitors, converting them to qualified leads, and then speeding up the closing process.
We’ve helped lots of gifted salespeople weave the Inbound Methodology right into their complicated sales process and close strong deals. Don’t hesitate to book your free strategy session to help you assess your current methods and find ways to shorten your sales cycle!