How a Fractional CMO Helps Sales Teams Sell to Schools
Anyone in the industry knows that education sales is different than typical B2B sales. The process to sell to schools varies based on state and district priorities, and it can take six months to 2 years, depending on how complex the purchase is. Plus, there are many stakeholders involved, and some aren't even part of the sales process (like students or parents). Sales teams in the education industry have a challenging job and marketing can help. With a Fractional CMO, sales teams benefit from a senior-level marketing partner.
Here are five ways a Fractional CMO supports sales teams who sell to schools.
Build a brand for your education company: A company with a recognizable brand is influential in the buying process for teachers, professors, and administrators. A Fractional CMO helps identify a brand message for your company and generates awareness among the schools you're targeting. The sales process is much better for a sales team when they don't need to explain the educational product because your prospects are already familiar with the brand.
Generate leads: Whether it's through inbound marketing or the use of data and technology, a Fractional CMO contributes to lead generation. Inbound marketing involves creating content (like guides, videos, events, competitions) that interests teachers and administrators, bringing them to your company's website to learn about the educational product you're selling. Generating leads through inbound marketing won't happen overnight, but the return on investment will pay off in the long term. For quicker lead generation, a Fractional CMO knows to implement technologies that uncover which school districts are searching for a product like yours, visiting your site, and opening and clicking on your emails.
Target schools and districts: Since the needs of schools vary by district and state, it's beneficial for education sales teams to develop lists of target accounts. A Fractional CMO supports that approach by running account-based marketing campaigns. By organizing similar schools into groups, your marketing efforts are more specific to the needs and opportunities of the schools you sell to than sending an email blast to lists of teachers and administrators. This approach also helps align marketing and sales efforts, so both teams work towards the same goals.
Nurture relationships at scale: It's hard for one salesperson to stay in touch with hundreds of contacts throughout the pipeline. A Fractional CMO helps nurture prospects by setting up a marketing automation tool that integrates with your CRM. With this integration, marketing can send and automate emails to prospects and notify sales when there is increased engagement activity.
Support new team members and product launches: As your sales team grows or you release new products, you'll want to quickly onboard team members on how to sell your product to schools. A Fractional CMO helps by creating materials to train and onboard sales team members. For example, outlining your value proposition, how you compare to competitors, and identifying funding and grant opportunities your sales team can leverage in conversations.
We've experienced that companies that sell to schools benefit when marketing and sales work together. Selling to schools can be a long process, and it's most effective when relationships are built, and outreach is thoughtful and not generic. A Fractional CMO can support sales in the education industry, from establishing the right messages to bringing in leads and targeting specific schools and districts.