(Note: You can also download a slightly modified PDF version of 3 Tips for Selling More E-learning.)
In my previous post in this series I talked about the importance of validation as a driver for e-learning sales. Validation usually takes the form of offering credit, and if a large segment of your potential market needs the credit you offer for one reason or another – to maintain a particular license or certification, for instance – you may have all you need to drive a high volume of sales to individual learners. For most organizations, however, …
Big Sales Can Make a Big Difference
Many organizations, I find, tend to think in terms of sales to individuals. This is particularly true of organizations that sell memberships on an individual basis or that follow a business-to-consumer (B2C) rather than a business-to-business (B2B) model. Even these organizations, however, can often find other organizations within their markets that represent relatively large groups of potential course participants.
Consider, for instance, if your market is nurses. Even if your members or customers are individuals, are there potentially sales to be made to hospitals or HMOs? Or if your audience is accountants, or human resources professionals – large companies are full of them. You get the idea. It may take some time to determine your best targets, but securing a handful of “bulk” sales from large organizations can often take considerably less time and effort than selling the equivalent amount on a one-by-one basis to individuals.
Securing sales from larger organizational purchasers requires actively and effectively marketing to these groups. It also requires a certain amount of direct, personal selling, an activity that is generally absent from e-learning sales to individuals. I suspect this requirement is why many organizations do not pursue larger, B2B-type sales very aggressively, if at all: They do not have someone on staff who plays a direct sales role, and the director of education or whoever is in charge of e-learning products does not think of himself or herself as a salesperson.
In my experience, most people are capable of selling something that they know and care about. It’s a matter of establishing a relationship and explaining the value of what you offer. If you are an established organization in your field, chances are you already have good relationships to tap. If you aren’t, more work will be required, but it is the sort of work you will need to be doing anyway to establish your presence and brand in the market.
None of this is to say that you should abandon trying to increase your volume of sales to individuals – in fact, I’ll come back to that in my next posting in this series – but focusing on securing a smaller number of larger sales can really help to jumpstart an e-learning program.