Many industries experience seasonal sales cycles, even more dramatic than others. What patterns do firms that sell instructional products to K-12 schools observe? Be sure, products employed for teaching and learning are purchased every month, but you can expect major ups and downs through the year. In this article, I'll share insight from successful school sales professionals about these predictable purchasing patterns in order to adjust your school sales and marketing plans accordingly. Here's the essential take-away: you will find two primary drivers behind the seasonal purchasing cycle for nearly any product or service that is intended for teaching -- the calendar and the budget.
Align Your School Sales Plan to the Academic Calendar
The first and primary factor that influences timing for purchasing of curricular materials could be the start date for the academic year. It should seem obvious that the best need to implement new instructional resources is once the school year begins. But the procedure of evaluating services, budgeting for them, and planning to utilize them, starts several months before. And, needless to say, there are a couple weeks of variance in the start date for public schools, beginning in early August and running through early September. Marketing to schools to introduce a fresh curricular product or service in the fall, followed by an aggressive promotion that peaks early in the calendar year and is sustained through spring is an established approach for driving sales for the following academic year.
Spring Surge in Selling to Schools
Purchasing peaks and valleys in the K-12 school market are also suffering from the availability and timing of funds. If your product is going to be bought with a purchase order with funds from the school or school district budget, then a purchasing behavior is driven by the fiscal year. For many public schools, the fiscal year begins on July 1. Accordingly, there is a flurry of purchasing in the late spring and early summer months. If, on the other hand, your product is priced to attract individual teachers (who buy a lot of products with their very own money) then late summer - August and September - may be busy months, and there is another secondary upswing prior to the start of the second semester. 英語教材 買取
Education Market Research Reveals Shifts in Timing
What I've described are guidelines for marketing to schools, not rules. Each product and service may have some variation, and you will find shifts in funding patterns, too, that could impact products entitled to federal program dollars. In recent years, the impact of legislation and economic recession has made K-12 sales forecasting trickier. It is best to research your options to assess what purchasing patterns your product probably will experience in the present and anticipated sales environment. Some basic school market research is an excellent starting point. I also suggest you run tests with your own marketing campaigns.
There is one final word regarding school marketing and the school sales cycle, and that word is patience. If you're considering marketing to schools, know it is rare for sales to happen as quickly and at the amount that product developers plan on. Regardless of how fantastic you think your product is, regardless of the rave reviews you've had from educators who have previewed your brand-new product, be prepared for a slow uptake. The general school buying cycle may be frustratingly sluggish. The first year might appear like a black hole and losing proposition. But, by following a guidelines in this article, and with your ongoing awareness of best practices for education marketing, you'll certainly take sync with the seasonal cycle, and who knows, perhaps you'll beat the odds and your brand-new education product is a wild success with sales pouring in from schools all year long!