Go Summarize

GTM for K12 Founders

Zoom recording
0 views|4 months ago
💫 Short Summary

Various founders and CEOs discuss education-focused businesses, pricing strategies, and challenges in the education sector. The speaker shares experiences transitioning from music to tech, emphasizing creating great content and understanding customer needs. They highlight the importance of relationships, community building, and targeting the K12 market for revenue growth. Strategies for sales cycles, seasonality, and product adoption in schools are discussed, with a focus on building a successful go-to-market strategy. The video concludes with a closing ritual encouraging audience participation.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Introductions from participants Alberto, Greg, SEMA, and Kevin sharing their interests and topics they're excited to learn about.
02:06
Alberto is interested in operational practices and go-to-market strategies for B2B tech startups.
Greg is focused on creative handwriting and storytelling in education.
SEMA runs a literacy consulting company and seeks insights on structuring sales and revenue roles.
Participants express excitement to engage in discussions with Vlad during the session.
Entrepreneurs in the education sector discuss their businesses and seek advice on scaling, marketing strategies, and overcoming challenges.
05:10
Businesses include lesson plan creation, online language platforms, student data management, and personalized student guidance software.
Timing in K12 education is emphasized, with a focus on leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes and operations.
Collaboration and learning from each other's experiences are highlighted as key drivers of innovation in the education industry.
Creating a supporting organization to work with schools and collaborating with vendors and nonprofits.
07:22
Vlad, former head of Revenue at CESA Learning and founder of Vocabulary, a tech startup, shares insights on the K12 space.
Plans to discuss experiences at tech companies like Seesaw.
Excitement for the presentation and Q&A session, with survey feedback guiding the discussion.
Transition from Music to Tech Sales
10:57
The speaker began his career as a music major but shifted to the tech industry through a company utilizing hip-hop to teach vocabulary.
Growth in Sales and Marketing
Over five years, he developed the sales and marketing department for the company, selling books and CDs to schools before transitioning to digital products.
Relocation to California
He and his wife moved to California to further their work in education technology.
Transition from Schoolzilla to Seesaw.
12:09
Speaker's shift from data warehousing to sales and marketing for more direct impact.
Seesaw's freemium model for teachers, expanding to premium products for schools and districts.
Emphasis on solving teachers' problems and gaining their love for the product.
Growth of Seesaw to 20,000 customers in five and a half years.
Speaker's Current Activities
15:03
The speaker is currently spending time with their children, playing tennis, and advising Founders and operators.
Uncertainty about Future Career
The speaker is unsure about their future career path but finds fulfillment in working in K12 sales and the impact schools have on society.
Emphasis on Equity in Education
The speaker emphasizes the importance of equity in education and serving students in need.
Rapid Turnover in School Leadership
Highlighting the rapid turnover in school leadership and the potential for network effects in K12.
Finding Reward in Selling to Schools
Despite challenges like COVID-19, the speaker finds selling to schools rewarding and impactful.
Importance of Pricing and Packaging in Education Industry.
19:49
Site licenses are advantageous for scalability and ease of use in the education sector.
Different pricing models, such as per user or flat rate, can impact sales success in schools and districts.
Flocabulary priced site licenses at $1,200 per school, offering unlimited access for teachers and students.
Strategic pricing strategies are crucial for building a successful business in the education sector.
Educational hip-hop music videos were used to teach subjects like vocabulary and math, along with a weekly rap video covering news.
21:55
Content was initially free to promote engagement, with some on rotation.
Free trials were offered to schools to spread awareness and reduce sales friction for teachers to access and use the content effectively.
This approach allowed for efficient scaling with minimal sales team involvement.
Challenges of partnering with independent reps and channel partners to sell a new product.
23:55
Offering incentives and commissions may not be enough to motivate reps comfortable with existing products.
Reps are financially incentivized and tend to take the path of least resistance to meet sales targets.
Importance of understanding human behavior and motivations when introducing a new product through independent reps and channel partners.
Conferences in K12 education are valuable for brand building and making connections, but may not always result in significant sales.
26:16
Exhibiting at conferences can lead to unexpected opportunities, such as securing deals with major entities like the New York City Department of Education.
Creating great content that solves user problems is a powerful go-to-market strategy that can drive engagement and success in the education sector.
Importance of creating great content for successful go-to-market strategy.
27:45
Budget for content in schools can come from discretionary budgets, curriculum and instruction budgets, tech budgets, or specific language learner budgets.
Challenge the belief that a budget is needed to buy the product, emphasizing that people will find a way to pay for content they want.
Significance of content as a winning strategy for solving user problems and attracting customers.
Importance of Access to Educational Tools and Technology in Schools.
30:02
People are willing to pay for products they want, especially if reasonably priced.
Understanding school budgets and prioritizing spending is crucial for educational institutions.
There are plenty of educational tools available to educators for enhancing teaching and learning.
Start-up companies often emphasize a lean team structure with defined roles and responsibilities.
Success of B2B companies like Vocabulary and Seesaw driven by market signals.
34:26
Companies pivoted products based on feedback and interest from schools and teachers.
Seesaw started as a tool for kids but evolved into a popular teacher tool due to positive feedback.
Founders adapted products based on user reactions.
Importance of listening to customer input for business success highlighted.
Challenges in transitioning from charter schools to districts in the education system.
36:18
Difficulty in translating success and building for different user demographics.
Complexity of school data and the importance of avoiding the charter to district jump.
Struggle in creating integrations and interoperability in educational technology solutions.
Challenges of Integrating School Systems.
38:35
Custom integrations in school systems are time-consuming and resource-intensive, particularly when landing big early customers.
Responding to RFPS can be a significant time investment with low success rates if not already engaged with the district.
RFP processes tend to favor vendors in prior discussions, making winning bids unlikely without prior engagement.
Building relationships with schools or districts before RFP openings can improve chances of success.
Importance of building relationships with schools and educators for product development.
41:10
Begin by connecting with friends, family, and teachers to gain introductions and valuable advice.
Show commitment and passion by listening, caring, and following up with educators, fostering their involvement in the product journey.
Attend conferences and engage in conversations to establish connections, similar to dating or making friends.
Edpuzzle founders built their product successfully by gathering teacher feedback through open communication and staying in touch with educators.
Key to success is focusing on solving user problems, leading to enthusiastic teachers and value for users.
44:46
Building relationships with teachers and students is crucial, with administrators being last in line.
Selling to K12 has advantages due to a well-defined universe of institutions and contacts.
It is advised to get initial proof of concept and traction before seriously selling to schools and districts.
Strategies for Enhancing Customer Satisfaction and Driving Sales.
46:59
Use school and district lists to preload CRM with unique IDs for institutions.
Tag leads with institution IDs for easier tracking and revenue generation.
Prioritize customer satisfaction to boost new sales and attract capital for startup growth.
Happy existing customers are key for renewal rates and attracting referenceable customers.
Importance of building a strong community around a product for success in social media promotion.
48:57
Seesaw achieved high scale in K12 education by empowering key influencers like Tech teachers and decision makers.
Investing in champions who support your product is more effective than viewing them as gatekeepers.
Hiring a dedicated revenue operations person can be a game-changer for organizations, focusing on data analysis and strategy rather than manual tasks like spreadsheet management.
Importance of Understanding School Sales Cycles.
51:32
Q2 and Q3 are crucial for revenue generation in the education sector.
Strategies like pilots and proofs of concepts can accelerate sales during these periods.
Budget cycles in schools are inevitable and should be leveraged for revenue growth.
Annual price increases can be used as a strategy for revenue growth in the education sector.
Benefits of targeting the Australian K12 English-speaking market for revenue growth.
54:11
Testing in Australia is important to optimize back-to-school campaigns and revenue goals.
Understanding the sales funnel is crucial for planning revenue targets, hiring, and marketing campaigns.
Realistic expectations regarding customer conversion rates at each stage of the funnel are necessary to avoid overestimating results.
The sales funnel concept is fundamental for successful sales and marketing strategies.
Key Highlights on K12 Education Space:
57:35
Founders should consider product growth versus B2B strategies, as some districts prefer bottom-up product adoption while others require top-down sales.
The most effective strategy combines both methods to maximize success in the education market.
Understanding district needs and vendor lists is crucial for successful adoption of educational products.
A balanced approach is key to navigating the complexities of the education market, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Importance of quick time-to-value for product adoption.
01:00:29
Rapid implementation is crucial for driving product growth.
Lack of product growth at the administrator level in K12 education is questioned.
Challenges faced by school leaders are highlighted.
Speaker encourages founders to connect on LinkedIn and engage with the startup community.
Conclusion of the video segment.
01:02:09
Participants engage in a closing ritual by putting their hands in the middle, doing a countdown, and cheering 'go team'.
The speaker invites everyone to join the ritual, thanking the audience for their participation.