Reducing EdTech Sales Friction (part 1)
Selling EdTech products is very challenging because of the plethora of new tools on top of the wide array of existing tools and the different stakeholders in schools. After talking with several companies, here are some suggestions:
- Demonstrate value quickly. It should be easy for teachers and school administrators to see the value in your product. This may be a sandbox on your website or a brief video demonstration. Asking them to install the product, identify a low-risk unit to pilot it, and integrate the product into their curriculum is a heavy lift. Providing sample lesson plans and content is only marginally helpful because you’d have to provide a large library to cover the range of grades and subjects. And, teachers would still have to meld the lesson plan with their curriculum.
- Support all types of teachers. In order to penetrate a school broadly, you need to target UI/UX “versions” of the product to every type of teacher — innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. This will likely require slightly different a UI/UX for each group to see the value of the product quickly and without significant training effort (see #1 above). You may also want to consider building personas for teachers who teacher different grades and/or subjects as their requirements will be different.
- Teacher and student UI/UX synergy. EdTech tools that have a common interface for teachers and students will flatten the learning curve. This can be accomplished through a single UI/UX or it can be done by providing a way for teachers to “impersonate” a student to see exactly what they are seeing. This is not to say that teachers can’t have additional teacher-only dashboards, but knowing how students use the product will bolster the confidence of the teacher.