The Business of Selling to Schools

hello everyone and welcome to today's

webinar the business of selling to

schools we appreciate your taking a

break from your busy day to join us

before we start the program I'll review

just a few quick housekeeping items

we're going to be covering a lot of

information today about the education

market and how to maximize your sales

and marketing efforts but we will leave

time at the end of the presentation for

questions you can go ahead and send in

your questions as they come up for you

throughout the presentation and we'll

put them in the queue to be answered at

the end just send a question simply

click on the questions tab on your

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type your question into the top box and

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we'll get it and as I said we'll put it

in the queue to be answered at the Q&A

period at the end if you have any

technical difficulties during the

presentation please use that same

question feature to get our attention

and we'll do our best to resolve the

problem for you we will be providing you

with a recording of the webinar and a

copy of the PowerPoint slides again

there's a lot of data and charts and

graphs and good stuff that you're going

to see today don't worry too much about

taking screenshots and taking notes

you'll get a copy of the PowerPoint and

that recording by email probably

tomorrow morning so keep an eye on your

inbox for that we'll also be posting the

materials to the agile website at a July

Sun edcom so if you miss that email or

it ends up in your spam box okay take a

look on the website and you'll be able

to access them there as well now let's

get started I'm pleased to innovate

introduce our speakers today verlan

Stevens and Scott Brooks as agile

education marketing CA oh and managing

partner Berlin Stephan specializes in

helping companies use data to better

understand the specific traits and

nuances around education and then use

that information to drive

decision-making that produces successful

results with educators Berlin has

developed this unique expertise over

more than 30 years spent compiling

managing and analyzing large information

databases after graduating with a

Bachelor of Science and Mathematics with

an infant emphasis in computer science

from Boise State University Bruin went

on to hold senior management positions

including director of information

technology and database compilation for

quality education data vice president of

development of code correct and director

of M firm

technology for the Arabian horse

registry of America he also served as

director of information systems at

health decisions international and

director of operations and product

management at IHS health information

Berlin uses his passion and expertise in

data trending and market intelligence to

spearhead to agile data compilation

efforts and to guide customers in their

sales and marketing efforts to educators

Berlin is joined today by Scott Brooks

who is vice president of corporate

development for agile Scott has more

than 25 years of experience in a variety

of corporate and business development

leadership positions including vice

president of corporate business

development at Kuragin and Managing

Director at Iran he also has experience

building software and services

organizations from the ground up as an

entrepreneur he launched and solar

successful software company to IBM built

and ran software and services practices

and serve as a key member of leadership

for several tech data companies Scott

earned his degree in computer and

information sciences and support from

Queen's University in Kingston Ontario

we're excited to have Rona Scott with us

today and are excited to dive into the

data that they've got to share so I'm

going to go ahead and hand the program

over to Scott now well thank you very

much Emily and thank you for that

introduction we're gonna start off by

talking about you know the education

market information today we're going to

talk about market intelligence we're

going to talk about the purchasing

lifecycle and so on and first of all I

want to say you know why do you even

really care about this and really it's

about the marketing to the right

educator at the right time with the

right content and understanding the

school year by cycle and what educators

are looking for when they're looking for

it is essential when marketing to k12

you can use this kind of information in

various areas to build and grow your


using up-to-date market information

helps you build better business plans

and product plans it helps you determine

if you even have a viable market for

your product or service using this to

develop better products and realistic

business plans can really help you build

a company that educators trust and then

secondly knowing that segment you're

marketing to allows you to be more

specific and innovative in your

offerings and your messaging and allows

you to craft your marketing to capture

the attention of the right people at the

right time and then your marketing team

can use the same information to target

messaging and content more thoughtfully

because really the days of mass mailing

and general messaging are over we're

going to cover how marketing can use

this information to personalize content

across channels districts and educators

and improve your marketing are alive and

as I'm sure you're well aware the

decision-making process and buying cycle

in this market is very unique from

others so we'll talk a little bit about

the process and how we can navigate

through it and then thirdly when your

sales reps reach out you want to make

sure that they have a substantive

conversation with these people because

it takes time to get someone on the

phone and respond to email in our posts

during a sales cycle and you don't want

your sales reps to just get that far

along to simply ask a superintendent you

tell me about your district by

understanding what's most important to

the person in the specific district that

they're in at the specific time reps can

build a stronger lasting relationship so

on the next slide we're going to start I

thought I would start off mostly with a

few interesting facts about the

education sector and the first one is

that decision making and purchasing is a

group activity most schools and district

purchase decision purchase decision

makings are made collaboratively by

groups of educators this means that you

can't just target one title in a

district or even if that job title is

the one who signs your purchase orders

it's important to understand all of the

players who need to be involved and what

roles that they play for instance for an

online literacy program you'll

potentially need to reach out to

curriculum directors technology

directors and literacy specialists at

the district level depending on the size

of the district you may also want to


intendant's and assistant

superintendents now librarians

principals assistant principals

technology coordinators and lead

teachers are also important to include

at the school level

each of these job titles has different

needs and questions so each of their

perspectives should be addressed

specifically in your marketing

communications and to back that up for

example here is a group of people that

are involved in decision making for an

EdTech EdTech purchase there's lots of

different people that play a part in

purchasing your product from the IT and

curriculum directors to the media

specialists and teachers make sure you

know who you are messaging what each of

these people are looking for and when

they want to hear your message now

interesting fact too is that the length

of time it takes to make a purchase

decision it's fairly consistent across

all product categories however

purchasing decisions are rarely made

quickly more than half of the schools

over 52% take between one and six months

to make purchasing decisions with less

than 40% taken between one to three

months now interesting fact 3 is the

majority of schools almost 60% finalize

their budget in q2 April May and June of

each year that means they've decided

what products that bill purchased but

the actual purchases most likely won't

occur until the summer where 60 to 70%

of purchases occur between late May and

late August so now let's go on to the

overall purchasing lifecycle now we all

know in that k-12 education is an

exciting market but depending on the

product or service you're selling the

purchasing cycle can be a little bit

bewildering and often frustrating and

paving the way for a smooth sales


starts with tailoring your marketing

communications to provide what educators

need at each stage of the

decision-making process and in k-12

timing is essential you must connect

with educators at the right time you

want to understand when how and to whom

to market throughout the year so to

optimize this k12 by cycle we look at it

as three stages and that lead towards

the purchase decision planning awareness

and familiarity and consideration and

trial and then hopefully that rolls into

a purchase and I'm going to go into each

of these in a little bit more detail as

we go over there but a quick overview

now is that May June and July is when we

basically create the plans within the

education sector and then August through

December you're building awareness and

familiarity they want to know start to

learn who you are this is a company and

product level branding effort on your

part it answers questions like who are

you what are your products and why

should I care and then January through

April is when k-12 starts to express

their interest and they want to see a

little bit more about your product and

maybe even kick into a trial and then in

early summer is now when they're

interested in purchasing they pass it to

the purchasing department and they want

to actually have your product purchased

and ready to go

for the start of the school year now

this is a 12-month cycle that we're

looking at here it's really a nine month

consideration into a purchasing in the

summer most products can fit within this

but but you'll find that some more

complex might take a little bit longer

you'll have to maybe tack on a few more

months on the awareness phase and other

phases throughout this but the key is

the consideration and trial phase from

January to April tends to be fairly

locked and stone based on the annual

school year for for the educators as

well and then if your product is kind of

supplementary or discretionary spending

you can basically be

quote by now message out there on pretty

much throughout the entire year so if we

go to the first phase planning is this

is where you create a plan and you

should be creating plans every year and

this really happens and focuses through

the months of May through July and this

is when educators assess their needs and

do their research even though students

are gone for the summer school and

district administrators are still hard

at work

this makes summer a good time to connect

with these decision makers whose time is

at a premium when they're in the school

session so while classroom teachers

certainly had lighter schedules in the

summer they still are using their time

out of the classroom for activities like

professional learning and lessons

planning they're also researching new

products and programs to support their

teaching now to maximize the planning

months you want to scale back your

marketing just a little bit in the

summer but it's important to stay in

communication with them even if it's you

know on a less frequent basis you can

optimize your website for your target

keywords as that educators evaluate the

previous school year and assess their

plans for the coming year they're likely

to head to the Internet to find answers

ideas and solutions so make sure your

website pops up on page one or two of

the search engines for the keywords and

phrases most relevant to the challenges

your product solves for the educators

and then also share evaluation tools and

planning guides because your SEO may get

them there but you have to have the

content and answers to help keep them

there so you could have Rubik planning

guides articles that detail how

strategies are implemented and with the

results with what results are the kind

of content educators are looking for for

the during the summer months you can

also share it over your email and social

media as well and feel free to even host

some webinars because educators have a

little bit more free time to attend

those that's the planning phase

so now only jump to the awareness and

familiarity phase by the time the doors

open in August all major purchases for

the new school year have been made so

it's time to start guiding the educators

on their journey towards their next

buying season the types of questions

that you want to have them be able to

answer is who are you why should I care

how are you different and how can you

ease my considerable burden so lead

leads are basically what you're really

looking for during this period so you

want to focus your marketing tacit

tactics on top of the lead funnel

generation email continues to be one of

the best ways to generate and nurture

leads during this time of year you can

use email to share newsletters and

content like case studies white papers

and videos that showcase what your

product does and why it's better than

other solutions and competitors Direct

Mail can make your organization's stand

out from the crowd

believe it or not it's still actually

coming on as a resurgence now and

printed material are kept longer than

emails or other materials downloaded

from a website so it has longer shelf

life and then webinars workshops and

conferences can all be a big lead

generator and are highly effective ways

to introduce their company and start

conversations with educators you can

reach a wide national audience with

webinars and also use recorded webinars

for ongoing leads gen on your website

and workshops conferences may be more

localized than webinars but nothing is

more powerful than that face-to-face

meeting and then put yourself in the

spotlight as well use social media it's

a perfect way to it's a perfect

marketing channel to share content and

help educators to get to know your

organization and you can even start to

use PR at this point to showcase the

successes of your current clients

because they want to know how it's going

to fix their burdens what how it's going

to benefit them and the fall is also a

really great time to sell directly to

classroom teachers particularly products

like classroom

decorations supplemental materials such

as workbooks flashcards apps classroom

supplies and so on because teachers

spend on average four hundred and ninety

dollars of their own money on their

classroom themselves so it's definitely

an opportunity for you to capture some

of those funds as well so from the

awareness phase we want to roll into

what's the consideration and trial so by

now they've gotten a really good feel

for your product your brand awareness is

done very well your calls to action at

that time we'll learn more find it a

little bit more now you want to get to a

point where more than half of the

school's finalized their budgets in

April May and June so this means really

that the start of the calendar year has

an important time to be in front of the

educators they can't budget for your

products that they don't know about them

so that awareness and familiarity phase

is critical and now we want to give them

information they need to make decisions

when educators research solutions for

the classrooms and schools or districts

there's a specific information or seat

they're looking for as you can see here

in the slide and when crafting your

spring marketing campaigns make sure

you're making it easy for educators to

make informed decisions by proactively

providing the information that they need

marketing channels that tend to work the

best at this time of year email is

always continue sending those emails in

the spring but you might want to shift

your focus from providing overi

information and inviting people to learn

to delivering strong information around

efficacy and results push for demos and

product trials and your calls to action

make sure you're staying in touch with

all the leads you generate in the fall

spring is the time to move them forward

in the decision-making process if you

use content marketing to generate leads

start to send more product focused

information and less general content get

people excited about the product and

what it can do for them Direct Mail

works great here as well depending on

what you're selling spring is a great

time to send catalogs and products

product samples and educators still rely

on and share catalogs even in the

digital age and webinars workshops and

conferences spring is a great time to

put your customers to work for you and

list them to share your product is

working how your product is working and

being used educators want to know that

your solution has worked for classroom

schools and districts that are similar

to their own testimonials this is the

time to use them invite your customers

to present during a webinar or at a

conference and then keep your visibility

high again put your customers to work

writing blogs articles you can share

with the education media and across your

social media channels showcasing how

your product is working and what kinds

of environments it's working in and part

of that consideration trial on the next

slide would be what are you actually

what are people actually going to

respond to so you need to know who you

are communicating with and when and

you'll see that it's not a

one-size-fits-all so we drill down in

here a little bit more one thing agile

that we're constantly doing is gathering

information and developing tools and

solutions to help marketers understand

the education market and we gather it at

the district the school administrator

and teacher level through various means

including performing regular surveys

similar to this one recently we asked

educators what do you really want to

know from vendors about their product or

service and then you as marketing and

sales people not only have to understand

the market who's in it the role they

play the part that they play a decision

making and when to connect with them

depending on which district size that

they're in but at the end of the day it

really gets down to who has used this

product and did it work how is it going

to solve my problem or problems and and

personally how am I going to pay for

this and principals are less interested

in features than they are about how is

this going to make my life better and

who's already used this to make it to

show some testimonials and if you think

about it in the types of marketing we're

talking about you only really have a few

seconds to get their attention and make

sure you're hitting them with something

that they actually care about and then

now once you've gone through all of this

then BOOM you're at the summer you're at

the very end you're at the purchasing

side of it in the next slide and summer

is the best time of year and not just

because it's like sunshine and long days

but summer is when 60 to 70 percent of

purchases are made in the school market

and it's summertime when all of your

hard work generating and nurturing leads

over the previous nine months starts to

pay off so hopefully at this point

congratulations you've made a sale and

now we can convert into what really

feeds into this from a an information

standpoint so we've talked mostly about

the buy cycle and the timing right now

now we want to get into the information

intelligence and demographic side of it

so this is when I'll pass it over to

Voight thanks god appreciate the

Passover and the intro part of this

particular presentation so we all know

the u.s. education market tends to be a

somewhat fragmented market between the

schools the district's charter schools

early childhood centers and it's really

a matter of starting to break that down

into manageable pieces and really

understand the characteristics of who

you're talking to and who you're trying

to talk to what they're interested in

and and be able to group those down and

have appropriate messages it Scott said

it's so important to get the identify

the right educator the right time and

with the right message so that your

marketing efforts are effective leading

to that sales cycle in the summer months

we can see here we've got over 16,000

school districts 150,000 schools and in

total we see a huge amount of churn in

that that marketplace he was get an

annual churn rate of over 20 percent I

was just reading an article yesterday on


local school district here in Colorado

of Harrison and they saw they're seeing

this year a 26% turnover in their their

overall staff 26% of their teaching

staff their superintendent is left there

just seeing a massive kind of churn and

we certainly see overall in our file

that's on a certainly on the high side

but there is a fairly constant fairly

high rate of change on the k-12 side we

see more than a million educators come

on each year and a million educators

leave it's a very dynamic space let's go

ahead and talk a little bit about what

the districts really look like we

recently kind of broke down the

districts and really started to segment

we'll look at them a bit differently

from the the largest mega districts at a

hundred thousand students down to the

smallest at fifteen hundred students and

below and some of those are clear down

to you know fifty sixty students so the

diversity of this market in terms of the

size of these organizations is fairly

dramatic as well as the the kind of

numbers that fall within each one of

those if we look at the mega districts

there's really a very small number of

them I was even surprised myself I

pulled the numbers for this that there

are only thirty of these districts in

the country that have more than a

hundred thousand students on average

it's right around two hundred thousand

students they have 12 thousand teachers

three hundred schools and their average

budget exceeds two billion dollars these

are the Dallas Chicago LA Unified type

of districts they're a very challenging

group to be able to to sell to almost

always takes a direct sales team that

has the ability to get in interact with

the right people they are characterized

by large Committees of a lots of

different people the stakeholders are

across a large group and typically take

a long time for them to to make

decisions and gather and form a

for this group communication is varied

you know email social digital and web

advertising your website Direct Mail can

be a possibility so there's really you

know these guys are going to be a

particularly challenging group and take

a long it's a long sale cycle with a

significant investment in terms of to be

able to reach into those those schools

in districts the next group is is what

we characterize is a large district more

than 10,000 students and 924 in the

country fall into this category on

average about twenty three twenty five

thousand students 1,500 teachers 35

schools they're an order of magnitudes

from our first group so we're the first

group was to over 2 billion these have

245 million in terms of average budget

so you know we're things scaled down but

we're talking about a much larger group

here instead of the 30 we had initially

we've got 924 in this group to work with

and starting to understand what those

districts look like how they make

decisions we still have you know

committee level purchasing and there's

going to be teams of people analyzing

looking at making these kind of

decisions and so still the kind of reach

out is very similar to the large ones in

terms of the the overall channels we're

utilizing and how we're reaching out to

those but these will be characterized

with quicker decision making than the

very largest districts smaller numbers

of people being involved less

stakeholders fewer number of schools

being impacted with with the purchasing

decisions our next group is our medium

districts so four to ten thousand

average six thousand students ten

schools in the district almost five

hundred teachers now we're down to 75

million dollar budget but we're up in

terms of numbers to sixteen hundred

almost seventeen hundred districts have

fallen to this cat

Corie they start to have those common

characteristics these you know are

characterized if we look at districts

like a Flagstaff for a Barstow Unified

in California so nice medium-sized

districts where it's easier to connect

with the right people because there's

just so many fewer in the organization

when we're only talking the entire

district having under five hundred

teachers you know if we look at the the

ratio of you know ten schools we only

have ten principles we're reaching out

to so the scale starts to come down and

become much more manageable in terms of

understanding who they are and what

their needs are our next group small to

medium sized districts our numbers keep


you know those with more than 1500

students we've got 3,300 of those five

schools on average 31 million dollar

annual budget so continues to scale and

up in terms of numbers of available down

in terms of number of people were having

to interact and understand what's going

on in the smallest group those with less

than 1,500 students represents over

10,000 of the sixteen thousand school

districts fall into this category they

have an average of only two schools 56

teachers and so and an average budget of

just under ten ten million dollars so

the large number here one of the things

that really characterizes these small

districts is the large number hats that

are being worn you know we've got two

schools in terms of real administrative

level people we probably have a

superintendent and two principals and so

we're really dealing with a very small

group of high-level decision makers and

they're each wearing multiple hats you

know either one of the principal's is

taking on maybe the elementary principal

also manages all their elementary

curriculum or the superintendent takes

on curriculum for secondary

understanding their additional roles and

things that they're doing is important

but we're communicating now

with you know we don't have the large

committees we had in the other one but

we still have distributed

decision-making but on a much smaller

scale than we did these districts have

the ability to make much quicker

decisions and move more quickly than the

larger districts we look next at how

decisions are made we we saw some of the

earlier pieces around what's important

but you know I think again one of the

most the the piece I liked on this one

was really around aligning with the need

that's the number one factor in terms of

buying decisions

if understanding what their needs are

and the schools are pretty explicit in

terms of producing that we know all

kinds of information in this market from

the number of ALL type students the

number of Title one students the

ethnicity mix we understand huge amounts

of information on student performance

and on a particular school is this

school performing well in the middle or

are they a struggling school and so we

have a huge amount of information that

we can really understand the particular

school and what their needs are and we

can make sure that as we're marketing

and reaching out that we're putting out

the right message to the right group

there's no reason to put out a message

about struggling students to a very high

performing school

that's not their number one challenge

you have to make sure that when you're

reaching out you understand the needs of

the district and the school and you're

aligning to that and making sure that

that's what's going to get you get you

the the response that you're looking for

is having that right message you know

the other the other side that you know

go ahead I'm sorry back up one they do

whatever one more comment there the the

other thing is the you know most the

factor most likely to turn off of a

vendor off people to a vendor excuse me

offers that aren't relevant to my job

you know it's just again you got to

understand your audience or you're

actually damaging your brand reputation

by putting out

irrelevant messaging to a particular to

a particular person so part of it is you

know it's really starting to understand

more and more about what our districts

thinking about what are they talking

about and several years ago we developed

our ed intel product where we're going

out and gathering you know large amounts

of information about schools and

districts and what they're actually

talking about we we built our own data

mining capability to go out gather this

information and this mean one of the

first times where we really started to

look at the trending in those areas and

what that looks like in terms of what

are people talking about and how

frequently next slide please so when we

look at that it was really interesting

to see we I took the information we had

starting in 2016 and our current

information from from 2018 our ED Intel

data is updated constantly so we're

constantly out gathering this

information because of the large number

of districts and schools that we're

gathering this information from it takes

two sixty days to make the entire

circuit each time so this information is

constantly changing there's always new

information being added and when we look

we can see things that are you know

everything most things have trended up

if we will and the biggest gains are in

areas like stem you know we two years

ago we had about forty five hundred

districts talking about stem we now are

over 8,000 districts that are talking

about stem and the stem activities in

their district project-based learning

has been a big gainer

we went from around 3,500 districts

talking about that to over six thousand

districts now focused on project-based

learning blended learning another big

game you know we went from just two

years ago only 2,500 districts now well

over 4,500 districts that are focused in

it and talking about blended learn

the opportunities that presents for

their clients are for the clients for

their students the next one is flipped

learning whoops I'm sorry

not quite

flipped learning flipped has continued

to gain but not at quite the same rate

that some of the others are online

learning has gained but very steady

competency-based learning has been

pretty flat and that term in particular

is used in certain states very heavily

but not necessarily universally across

but by understanding not only the trend

information and what's important and

what are people more and more talking

about but we can also drill down very

specifically to exactly what districts

are talking about these particular

topics so when you go in you can start

the conversation knowing that they're

already having they already have blended

learning in place or they already have

competency-based or project-based

learning and so you can start the

conversation knowing more about the

district and hey maybe you should try

this thing you know what phase they're

in in terms of their evaluation and

discussion thanks

we also look at things like particular

devices so we can see that iPads two

years ago a little over 8,000 districts

were had specific discussion around

iPads now it's over 12,000 so that has

continued to climb and the fact that

12,000 out of the 16,000 districts are

have discussion of iPad on their website

that's that's pretty pretty interesting

to me I was really surprised that the

numbers were continued to be that strong

chromebook went from right around 4,000

to 8,000 so they've doubled in the last

two years one to one has continued to

overall to climb climb steadily so I've

gone from 4,000 to 7500 a little over

7500 and again it's important when

you're approaching a you know with a

particular product knowing what the

environment is what platform are they

running on do they have the one-to-one

do they have the bandwidth necessary to

support the product there's no reason

going out and chasing after schools that

don't have the the technology to support

a particular product yeah focus your

efforts on those that really do have the

underlying capabilities

changing a little bit we're going to

move on into kind of a different areas

how do how do our educators gather

information you know it was interesting

survey we did that word of mouth

continues to be the most dominant method

that educators gather information they

talked to other educators followed by

email so reason our email has continued

to be you know a strong performer is

that's where most of you where a large

where a majority of educators continue

to get solid information but they're

also conferences webinars publications

you know they gather information from a

large number of areas and it's important

in your marketing efforts to continue to

make sure that wherever that educator is

reaching out that they have that you

have the information for them the second

one is purchases heavily influenced by

another educator sending on a link so

you know you you do see that you know

that is a prime factor in in copying

others that they think will be

interested in a particular topic one of

the things that's really changed with

the the whole word-of-mouth is you now

have an opportunity to listen in to that

so social media has really given us the

opportunity to listen in to the word of

mouth so when an educator reaches out to

their group of friends or their group of

co-workers or other people they respect

you have the ability now to listen in on

that conversation you get to eavesdrop

and see what's being said and how is it

being said overall educators 71 percent

of educators indicate they're on

Facebook general population fifty-five

percent they're over-represented they

are social by their very nature they

they interact with other people that's

what they do professionally and it's not

surprisingly that that's also part of

how they interact on a personal level

thirty five percent are on Pinterest

fifteen percent on Twitter again they

over represent the general population in

terms of that that particular area

on the right hand side here we can see

that you know on an hourly basis we see

you know on the following the EdTech

hashtag on on Twitter there's a hundred

eighty three tweets in an hour on a deck

the overall audience three point two

five million people fifty five retweets

an hour tweets with images twenty two

percent and so there's a lot of that

information being shared and you have

that great ability to listen in and see

what's being talked about how it's being

talked about and and we all know you

know when we look at the overall the

overall traffic if you will on on

Twitter of the four point of the half a

billion tweets every day 4.2 million are

related to education that's a lot yeah

nearly 10% of the total traffic on

Twitter is around education it's a

powerful area to be able to monitor and

see what's being talked about how it's

being talked about and ultimately

actually engage with these people not

only monitoring but being part of the


so how do you leverage that

word-of-mouth conversation it's through

the use of social currency people want

to have access to share content that's

relevant that they can retweet or they

can send on they can read and they can

share with others so it's important to

put your content into a into a means

that allows you to not only collect the

names of who who are the influencers but

actually work with them to identify

their problems solve it promote a

solution and easily share those

solutions not only listen become part of

the conversation it's the first time

that vendors probably are really part of

that word-of-mouth and being able to

understand what's going on there and

interact with with the particular

audiences so how can you understand

what's going on there's tools out there

that allow you to like TweetDeck where

you can see all the tweets on various

particular topics and you can kind of

have it running and follow what's going

on and you can see what's going on in

future-ready or blended learning topics

and follow the particular hashtags it's

a great way to just kind of see what

educators are talking about what they're

asking about you can also take

transcripts and use those to create

things like a word cloud we can see on

our next screen where we've actually

been able to take a particular

transcript run it into word cloud and we

can see your particular things that are

being talked about and you can then use

that to identify what's going on but in

the end it's really around building

relationships we know that in for

educators relationships matter they say

that you know building relationships is

a is easier and more effective and

reasonable set those classes but really

it's about building relationships and

ultimately that's what you want to do

with these educators is build

relationships with them like the

relationships they're building with

their students

as we wrap up we've talked about when

where why and some of the how biking

cycle can be lengthy we know virtually

all these cycles it's a full annual

cycle some pieces more some people some

pieces less but it's just it's a real

cycle and it's important to know kind of

from your calendar where you're at in

that cycle different districts required

different selling approaches understand

who you're talking to it was on a an ed

week seminar about six months ago with a

superintendent and his big thing was and

they asked him so what do you not like

when you're interacting with a company

says the thing I don't like is them

getting on and just saying tell me about

your district he says all that says is

you didn't do your homework and you

don't know who you're talking to do your

homework at a time and know who you're

talking to the last part is this whole

market is I think fairly unique in that

educators really work collaboratively

decisions are seldom made by one person

in the organization they talk they

communicate they share it's important

for you to understand that be in front

of those influencers and use both your

your your current marketing to do that

but also start to tap into what the

social offerings are and allow that to

give you visibility into what those

conversations look like great well can

so much scott and berlin both of you I'm

sure a lot of really insightful

information and again lots of data and

charts and stats and things for us to to

chew on and noodle on as we head into

that back-to-school season as we begin

our own planning for those really

important outreach to educators

throughout the summer and into

back-to-school so just a reminder to

folks before we get to the QA that you

will get an email tomorrow that includes

a link to view the recording of today's

webinar and also to download these

slides so you'll have access to all of

the stats here that's gotten Berlin

shared with us so guys if you are ready

for some questions we will dive into

those and we've got quite a few so we'll

just get through what we can on before

our time runs out together so the first

one we actually got a couple of these of

different varieties but it's around that

buying cycle and wanting to know you

know how does software compare to a

physical product on this buying cycle

you know is there variation and what's

the impact of the different products on

this buying cycle all right well I'll

jump in and then Berlin feel free to add

your context as well

yeah it's everything that we've seen so

far is that it's basically standard

outside of things like discretionary or

complex sales so it's hard when you're

coming from different industries for

example to understand kind of how

regimented the buy cycle is within the

education sector and the main point

really is to understand how long it

takes for one and the order of

operations that happen within the buy

cycle so because funding generally does

get released between May and June and

you're not they're not going to buy

anything before that because they just

won't have any funds that doesn't

preclude you from getting discretionary

funds at the end of the at the end of

the school year where they have to get

rid of their funds before their year

starts again that's fine you can try and

get some of that those dollars but say

for example if you have a a type of a

product that's an LMS or something

that's 18 to 24 months sales cycle

obviously it doesn't fit the

within this but you do want to have have

this by cycle in in them in your back

pocket to understand when they're going

to for example start to consider your

product for trial which is January to

April so you definitely want to be

focusing all of your efforts even if

it's for eighteen months prior to that

of building awareness and familiarity

with your product so that when January

hits of the year that you're trying to

sell your product then then they would

consider it and and start jumping into

that the purchasing does tend to still

happen in the summer time frame

especially for larger products as well

so depending on the product it's it

really is I would say it's a pretty

standard cycle and you just have to

follow where the money is which does

tend to get at least some time to meet

in june ok great that was very helpful

um so Roland this next question is

probably for you and that is how much do

personnel change throughout the year

versus just in the fall with

back-to-school time you know the the big

numbers in terms of change around the

teachers and those clearly are very

oriented towards the summer months most

of your teachers turnover during the

summer months there are a few during the

year you know where a you know a

retirement comes up or something but

most of the teachers are pretty

committed to a particular calendar year

and a group of students are particularly

are in the group of students their

district administrators that's just not

true at all we see them turnover and you

know there's a large number that

turnover in the summer we see the

biggest turnover of superintendents and

principals in the summer months but we

see you know September October November

we see a whole bunch around the calendar

year IT people turnover every month and

so you know the district's is a very

different thing the their jobs are not

focused on a group of students that

they're committed to at that particular

school year and so we see those turnover

throughout the year and we gather that

information much more frequently because

of that turnover

okay yeah that's helpful it's definitely

a moving target as you well know in your

data compilation work so we're a small

business and just starting up and this

is kind of a two-fold question which is

the best tier of district that we should

start with in terms of opportunity and

also what's the best time of year to

actually launch our product oh so I'll

grab the first one Scott if you want to

talk about time of year to launch so

without knowing the specifics and things

about it it's hard to say a little bit

but we have a lot of clients that you

know there are smaller startups

particularly that focus on kind of that

small and medium size districts and that

have much better initial success there

that it's a much smaller group of people

making decisions they they're they're

much more responsive to being able to

get information via an email or another

manner and and respond to that without

large committees and a lot of time and

so in general we see that as you start

to gather sales though one of the things

we always recommend is try and analyze

who your client base is so you know we

use our profile product to go in look at

what the profile your current sales are

so that we can start to say oh you're

doing great in these medium-sized

districts we can focus efforts in there

we can help you identify who else looks

like the people we've had success with

so part of it is start out with you know

what you think is going to be a

reasonable plan to a reasonable group

then follow whoever the who the

respondents are Scott yeah yeah that's

great because it makes so much sense a

lot of companies think that they need to

go after the large districts the LA

Unified and things like that and they're

just they don't realize just how long

the sales cycle is and how collaborative

the decision making process is so when

you start looking at the decision timing

timing of your product and so on you

really have to look at that size of

district that they're just talking about

so if you're looking at small to medium

sized districts the timing of

trying to go after those you got to

think about when they're going to be

doing their planning they fall right in

we're into the this purchasing lifecycle

that we're talking about this this nine

months to purchasing in the summer so if

they've already depending on when you

want to look at when your your

development efforts are going to be

coming up you want to you want to

definitely tie it into that purchasing

lifecycle if you're looking at the

districts both small to medium sized

because they're going to stay within

that time line and then depending on the

type of product you have you might be

able to get a shorter time line for

something like this because of those

smaller districts you do tend to have

one to a few people making the decision

versus there's a large decision-making

committee up for some of the larger

larger ones so it's hard to say

specifically for which product depending

on the type of product you have but I

would definitely keep an eye on that

made of July timeframe when they're

starting to do planning because then you

want to get that get get they're going

to make their purchase for what they're

already what they're doing you made you

might be able to capture that if it's a

possibility but you're looking at

probably the August to December

timeframe is the best time because

that's when they want to start learning

about the products that they're going to

purchase and and trial the next year

thank you know the thing to remember

though is not to get discouraged with

that long cycle and realized it's going

to be an extended buying cycle yeah

especially depending on the product as

you had kind of walk us through earlier

on in the presentation Berlin we had a

lot of interest both from current agile

customers and some folks who are not yet

using agile data about the ED Intel so

from customers wondering in which data

fields they would look at to segment out

those schools and districts interested

in in this case particularly on PBL but

any of those variable who showed and I'm

just providing a little more information

to those who aren't familiar with that

Intel so you know I didn't tell is 11

different categories of information and

it sold on a per category basis so the

the first one was are all around our

learning methodologies area so you get

to see exactly what learning

methodologies that

particular district as utilizing they're

talking about so there are other ones

around what web platform and what

purchasing platforms are using in lots

of other areas the one I focused on

there was learning methodologies and the

information is you know is a number of

different data variables around that and

it's it's bundled together as the

learning methodologies portion okay and

certainly folks can reach out to their

agile Account Executive for more

information on Intel and there's also

information on the agile website which

is agile - dead calm and you can find

more details about the different

categories that are available and how

that information is compiled compiled

and can be used moving back to the

buying cycle and what's the impact of

charter and private schools on this

buying cycle how does it differ for them

it actually it really doesn't differ

because they tend to be along the same

the same timeline mainly because people

do are getting in and out of school at a

very similar time I mean there are

definitely some charters that go and

private schools that tend to go through

the summer and so on but it really the

impact is I would I would stay pretty in

line with it sure yeah just one note

there I agree that the cycle is

definitely very similar but just as

Roland was saying with those smaller

districts where there's not as many

people involved in decision-making

people tend to have more autonomy that's

also the case with those private and

charter schools so they can certainly be

a good place to get in if you're a new

company to start building those sales as

you maybe and more time trying to get

into that purchasing cycle for the

larger size districts willingness to

truck I think I think that's information

yeah you know very much in the Charter

kind of realm there is that that

willingness to try new things is

certainly part of the the mentality

there yeah I totally agreed on that

um let's see so in terms of messaging

and your outreach to all the different

people who are involved in

decision-making how do you not step on

toes when you're reaching out to

superintendents assistant

superintendents the curriculum director

all the different stakeholders involved

at least from my perspective the

important thing is to have the the

message needs to be appropriate for that

audience so if you're talking to the

superintendent there's a particular

message that they're trying to that will

resonate with them that they're looking

at and it's not the same that is for the

educator I think the you know so I think

ultimately the way not to step on it is

have the right message for the right

person and and by segmenting it up that

way and understand when we're out

pitching it we're not presenting the

same message to all people within that

organization I think it goes back to

that knowing your audience that Scott

talked about at the beginning in

particular yeah have the right great

message with the right content at the

right time and the content part we

didn't we didn't harp on too much within

this cuz we're to focus more on the

cycle time by cycle but the content is

critical depending on who you're sending

it to and later sending it to them

because you may send something to a

teacher at a different time of the month

or a year than you would to a principal

so that's that's how that all fits in

into the mix as well all right um in the

data that agile collects and you have

any data on cycle of RFPs and in that

what role that plays in the buying cycle

you know we don't we don't tend to

gather RFP information that in general

our feeling is that quite often by the

time it goes to RFP many of the

decisions have already been made

they have already identified who the

leaders are who they've gathered

information from and so you know the

from from our standpoint much of that

work is done ahead of time and by the

time it gets down to RFP level much of

the decision has already been been made

so we don't tend to focus much in much

that particular part of the cycle


this is a question outside of k-12 but

maybe you can comment on it

do you have insight into the buying

cycle for colleges and universities is

it similar to what we outlined here for

k-12 it is we have it we do have some

insight into it and it's nothing it does

not follow a standard model like it does

in the k-12 sector every every College

kind of has a different buy cycle of

their own they all have their own

budgets it's it's definitely something

you have to know which college you're

talking to and the type of college

you're talking to whether it's a

four-year two-year and so on

they are on with famous k12 they

definitely are not it's a different

beast in a different webinar on that

topic what we are getting to the end of

our time we did have some more questions

that came in and we will answer some of

those via social media and then some of

you with some very specific questions

about marketing tactics and strategies

we'll have someone get back in touch

with you individually to address those

so unless you've asked the question

don't worry we will address it once we

wrap up the webinar here and we

appreciate everyone's questions and

helping to continue the conversation

that's gotten Bruins started with us

really great fascinating information and

again I think helpful as we all start to

put on our thinking caps and work

towards that back to school campaign

cycle that we're all heading into a

reminder once again that you will get an

email tomorrow with a link to the

recording in the slide so feel free to

access those take notes and share them

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and your feedback will really help us

create webinars that are useful to you

and we definitely are looking for

suggestions for future webinars so feel

free to share those with us also

speaking of future webinars go ahead and

mark your calendar for our next one

which is coming up on June 21st

Mike LeClair who is data quality and

compilation manager over an agile it's

going to take an even deeper dive into

district demographics and walk us

through how two schools may look exactly

the same on paper but in reality are

dealing with very different initiatives

and challenges and how that impacts how

you're going to sell and market to them

so that's going to be a really

informative webinar as well so keep an

eye out again on your email and your

social media and on the agile website

for information on how to register for

that coming up on June 21st

thank you again Scott and Berlin for

taking the time to be with us today and

putting together all this great


I think it's been helpful to everyone

thank you thanks so much to our audience

we we certainly appreciate all their

time today

everyone have a good afternoon