Insight June 28, 2019 TRN Team Writer

4 critical roles have emerged to enable growth and customer centricity in an evolving Ed Tech market

As the Ed Tech industry continues to grow, leaders are redefining the makeup of their organizations. Several traditional roles are being phased out and replaced with titles that reflect new priorities and responsibilities. Over the last 12 months, The Renaissance Network team has noted the deliberate change in job titles as companies strive to increase organizational performance and utilize data-driven insight to improve customer interaction.

Below are four roles that will gain more prominence within Ed Tech organizations looking to establish sustainable growth and educational impact:

Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) 

Top positions within the C-suite have begun to evolve. The need to streamline and integrate commercial expertise has led to CROs becoming a prominent business development mainstay within Ed Tech organizations, often replacing traditional CMO and SVP of Sales positions. The role has been a crucial part of the technology industry since the mid-2000s, and now many Ed Tech CEOs (often with engineering and education backgrounds) recognize a need to add data-driven growth and leadership expertise in order to bring customer and channel perspectives.

The position is ultimately responsible for removing silos between sales, marketing, and operations to create a collaborative environment resulting in an engaging customer experience, increased customer retention and sustainable growth.

What to look for when hiring for the role:

Expert integrator of sales and marketing, CRM maverick, C-Suite accelerator, strong understanding of technology, performance driven team builder.


Director of Growth 

In 2016, the Harvard Business Review highlighted a growing trend of startups hiring growth managers to drive revenue. Since then, there has been a shift to combine analytic-driven sales and marketing roles to more integrated positions focusing on increasing the quality of customer engagement and monetizing touchpoints. Specific growth-related titles such as Growth Manager, Growth Hacker and Growth Marketer are now defined as must have positions to optimize revenue and satisfaction through the entire customer journey.

A Director of Growth has three primary responsibilities: define a company’s growth plan, coordinate and execute across the organization, and optimize the revenue funnel. Rather than recruiting from traditional marketing backgrounds candidates are being sourced based on subject matter experience relating to data-driven growth and customer engagement, including product marketing management and e-commerce positions.

What to look for when hiring for the role:

Propensity for monitoring and evaluating, student of marketing technology stack (e.g. Content Management Systems and Digital Marketing Platforms), experience with both demand generation and management.


Pedagogical Advisor 

Building sustainable growth within Ed Tech relies significantly on the educators and end users engaging successfully with the correct systems, programs, and tools to enhance their learning. Pedagogical Advisors play an essential role in the success of this partnership by working with curriculum directors and providing training to educators. The position requires previous experience within education (preferably within a teaching capacity), an empathetic understanding of learner needs and an ability to deliver thoughtful direction and support, thereby improving results for teachers and students.

The role is ultimately responsible for increasing usability and developing a trusted partnership with customers to deliver end-user success and drive growth. This position also provides vital customer feedback and data to product development teams, providing greater awareness of the pedagogical impact of their offerings. Responsibilities often carry KPI’s based on scheduled trainings, usage rates, and retained revenue.

What to look for when hiring for the role:

Experience as an educator, production of educational instructional materials, an ability to build strong relationships, persuasive presentation skills.


National Education Consultant 

Over the last two decades, solution selling has been a cornerstone of business development for technology companies. However, this sales strategy is now becoming less effective in Ed Tech as customers increasingly come to the table with superior information and a deeper understanding. More educated administrators, educators and parents have necessitated a sales shift to deliver insight allowing end users to make their own informed purchase decisions.

Subject consultants can be an impactful component when interacting with potential net-new customers. They are specialists who focus on developing a deep understanding of the customers’ needs and provide high-quality insightful engagement. The ideal candidate for the role often possesses shared educational experience with the customer. The approach is less aggressive than traditional solution selling, and, instead of probing the buyer with questions, leverages and communicates an authentic understanding of buyer needs. This approach establishes trust while becoming a proactive source of value to customers.

What to look for when hiring for the role:

Subject matter expertise, enterprise level understanding, ability to communicate both student impact and school efficiency.

This list was comprised from our 23 years of building international Ed Tech teams. If you have any additional thoughts or want more information about growth directed roles, please leave a comment or reach out for a conversation.

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