One of the biggest obstacles many Education Technology (EdTech) salespeople face is reducing the long sales cycles. As you know, unlike B2C, the B2B sales process includes getting a variety of decision makers and informing them of the value of your product or service. It usually takes a long time to convince them that your option will meet their needs. Since everyone has a different point-of-view and there is so much competition out there, the sales cycles can be quite long. According to a current report by Demand Gen, the Buyer’s Journey for many B2B buyers if getting longer and more challenging, which isn’t great for those involved in the sales process.
But there is hope. There are a number of strategies that could help reduce your sales cycle in Education Technology sales.
1. Identify your Buyer Personas
Do not make the mistake of trying to engage those who are not interested or are unqualified. You will find yourself in a long sales cycle that doesn’t produce any sales. Before you start the sales process, take some time to know who you are targeting. Your Buyer Personas (also known as your ideal customer) can be ‘Physician Philip’, ‘Hospital Administrator Alice’ or ‘Medical Director Daniel’. Your buyer personas need to be the decision makers of the companies you are targeting and key influencers. Once you have identified your Personas, you can describe them based on the following questions:
- What are their duties?
- What are their goals?
- What are they trying to solve?
- What prompts them to buy?
- What stops them from buying?
The answers to these questions will show you how to best approach them.
2. Send out an initial video
Typically, leads only know what a salesperson looks like after meeting with them. To produce this connection before the first meeting, consider sending a prospective customer an intro video describing why you have an interest in them (flattery), something beneficial to them (a study you carried out, etc), and a call-to-action (“let’s schedule a time to talk”). By doing this, when you talk to them on the phone, they will be more aware of you. These videos don’t need to be highly-produced or cost a lot of money. A good smartphone and good lighting will do. Our favorite tool to make a video is called Soapbox by Wistia.
3. Offer pre-sales meeting content
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to have the sales visit with a prospective customer that doesn’t have any information to engage with. This means that you may need many meetings before they are ready to make a decision. But they don’t have this kind of time. Instead, send Lead Nurturing Emails with useful content they can browse in their own time. For instance, if you are trying to sell x-ray equipment to “Hospital Administrator Alice,’ send her a link to a blog post that gives data on how managers save time with new tools. You can also send out comparison charts that show the benefits your product holds over your competitor. Keep strategically informing your leads throughout the sales process to position yourself as a useful source.
4. Give post-sales consultation content
After the first sales visit, the prospect will likely have some questions. Your obligation as a salesman of your Education Technology firm is to handle these questions and concerns and overcome any barriers. You can send out follow-up emails with reports, case studies, or videos to help with this. This content can be used for other potential customers, too. Conquering these hurdles using content will help reduce the sales cycle.
5. Be upfront about pricing
Your potential customer wants to know about the prices of your product or service. Nevertheless, many salespeople skirt around the issue of cost until late in the sales process. This will only add more time to the process. It might also cause you to lose the trust of your prospective clients. Being clear with prices early in the sales process will help save you from issues later on.
Make this easier by showing the value of your product, so the cost is viewed in context. You can also use phrases like “starting at $” or “from $.”
6. Use social proof
Social proof can help you win the trust of your prospect more quickly. You can send them case studies showcasing the ROI or effect of your product or service. Make sure the firms showcased in the case study resemble that of your prospect’s company. Additionally, you can find a common connection on LinkedIn that could help with an introduction. This strategy is even more effective compared to just sending out cold emails. According to the B2B news network, 84% of B2B decisionmakers start the buying process with a recommendation. You can also invite the prospect to a live event where current customers will be. Your prospect will then likely make the buying decision much faster.
The final word
As hard as it may be to concentrate on anything other than closing sales and meeting your goals, it is critical for you to also take time to know your leads inside and out. Your sales cycle must be linked with the lead nurturing process where you are positioned as the expert while building trust and enhancing the chances of making a sale.
It can be hard to do this all alone. Responsify works with Education Technology (EdTech) sales and business development pros to offer strategy, support, and help in executing these tasks. By collaborating, we aid marketing and sales people tactically bring in brand-new site visitors, convert them to qualified leads, and then satisfied consumers.
We’ve helped lots of sales pros like you integrate Inbound right into their sales procedures. Book a complimentary strategy session now to get help examining the methods you can use to close your sales cycle!