Selling education technology to industry professionals

CIOReviewIndia Team | Friday, 24 May 2019, 10:38 IST

Selling education technology to industry professionals

There are many great, even life-changing innovations that have changed their industries from the ground up. And many of them faced more than their fair share of ridicule and criticism in the beginning stages of their development and ongoing implementation. EdTech is one of them. In fact, education technology is still so relatively new, that industry professionals even now, as we speak, continue to push back against it.

As an EdTech startup, there are some important lessons that you need to learn, before you try to sell in the industry. Sure, the movement has already started: modern students can now study higher education in AI and Machine Learning, and entire courses, learning materials, and even degrees are available online now as well as traditionally. But EdTech still has not taken off entirely, and the core underlying reason for that is lack of understanding – from both sides of the merger.

Offer more than technology, offer solutions

The education industry has experienced a crazy evolution over its time, but the introduction of EdTech is the most advanced of them yet. A lot of education professionals have been in the industry for a long time, and they know that traditional education works. So, their mentality is very much “why fix something that is not broken? Especially if it will take over my job eventually?”. This is an understandable point of view, especially of those who are not familiar with technological reach.

So, approach selling EdTech as what you are - a startup. Do the research – from all angles.Understand their side. Do not simply tell them that technology is the way the whole world is moving, but actually give them solutions. Show them what EdTech can do, and why they should trust the modernisation of their field to you. What are you offering that will strengthen education? What makes you special?

Understand who you are marketing to

Students today are not the ones that need convincing of EdTech’s potential and scope for impact. Most (if not all) of them have grown up in a world where technological influence is as much a part of their upbringing as the family dinners or sporting activities they played as children. The task, of course, is to sell to educators who have been in the game for longer than you care to admit or think about.

These are individuals who are fearsome that their positions in the industry are going to eventually be phased out if EdTech continues its trajectory. They do not know the power of EdTech. So, take the time to explain it to them. Explain how EdTech can help them be better at their jobs, not override their jobs. Show your initiatives in action, let them see the benefits for themselves.

Achieving success as an EdTech startup

At the end of the day, achieving ongoing success as an EdTech startup demands a principle running of trial and error; you are going to make mistakes, but as long as you take those mistakes and immediately learn from them and evolve to better, you will likely be fine.Knowing your market is paramount, and understanding how EdTech looks to someone in the industry who is unfamiliar with technological influence, is just as important.

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