Before the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions and school districts were thoughtfully increasing adoption of software solutions and tools designed to facilitate distance learning, but there was not a widespread rush to do so. However, when the novel coronavirus began spreading widely in the United States, schools had no choice but to move instruction online – quickly. Many districts were ill-prepared to handle this transition, resulting in education plans that were often fragmented and executed using less-than-ideal technologies.
As schools now contemplate the potential need for ongoing solutions that teachers and administrators can use to deliver high-quality education, there has been an exponential increase in users and business so far for technology companies focused on solutions for the education industry. This represents a massive opportunity for EdTech providers. However, without the right people in place – from the executive management team down to front-line sales professionals – companies risk losing business to competitors who are better prepared to meet the growing demand.
What is the Opportunity for EdTech Providers?
As the pandemic began to unfold and students and teachers complied with their states’ “Safer at Home” orders, free tools like Google Classroom and Google Meet saw unprecedented growth in demand and usage. In fact, MarketWatch reports that the estimated growth for Global Education apps for 2020 is 23.13 percent, with revenue forecasts from 2020-2024 coming in at a staggering $46.88 billion.
In addition to K-12 and post-secondary educational institutions adopting online learning platforms, corporate usage is also on the rise. In fact, Technavio estimates that the corporate learning management system market will grow by $12.48 billion from 2020-2024.
Do You Have the Right People in Place (and the Right Candidates in the Pipeline)?
While most companies want to grow, ironically many organizations simply are not prepared for rapid growth. When faced with this type of opportunity, technology companies often focus on shoring up their sales departments. Of course, it is critical to have enough salespeople – with the right skills – in any environment. However, focusing solely on talent acquisition for sales professionals could be a costly mistake. EdTech providers need to look beyond their sales departments in order to truly be prepared to handle this potentially significant increase in demand for their products and services.
In addition to sales professionals, education companies should start by analyzing the C-Suite, asking themselves if they have the right professionals in place – and the right people in the pipeline. That’s important for several reasons. First, new skill sets will be required for an evolving Education market. Second, when company executives work well together and communicate effectively, the organization stands a better chance of seizing unexpected growth opportunities and of weathering unanticipated storms like COVID-19. Resilient leaders, in turn, are better able to empower and engage employees at all levels to continue doing their jobs – well.
Consider whether your organization has the right Chief Technology Officer, Chief Product Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and of course the VP of Sales. Each of these people need to be ready and willing to engage in rapid transformation in order to operate efficiently in the face of a changing marketplace and increased demand for the company’s products and services.
Unprepared Organizations Risk Losing Sales
The reality is that technology providers that do not have enough of the right people in place to address rapid growth, from every angle, will likely falter and will be unable to meet demand. This can have a snowball effect, impacting not just the sales department, but every function in the company. That’s a scary proposition; the good news is that organizations that are prepared and take a proactive approach to talent acquisition stand a much better chance of capitalizing on the increased demand the industry is currently experiencing.
One of The Renaissance Network’s (TRN) EdTech clients is working to shore up their C-Suite so they can continue to effectively manage a four-fold increase in the number of concurrent users of their platform. This creates challenges both from a talent acquisition standpoint and from a technology standpoint. Fortunately, the key talent TRN previously sourced for this client is still in place, helping keep the ship afloat during this storm. In fact, TRN’s client was able to set up a new customer relationship in just eight days on a full LMS from the initial lead to closing, with full implementation completed in a two-week period compared to their previous standard six-month implementation timeframe. This is no small feat and can be attributed in large part to having the right people in place.
In addition to actively searching for a CTO for this firm, TRN is also assisting with searches for a VP of Sales, Head of Marketing, and junior-level sales professionals – all of whom will have to work together, sharing the same value proposition, to meet today’s demands – and the demands of tomorrow.
Filling open roles during COVID-19 looks a little different than it did pre-pandemic, with a bigger emphasis on available data and online interviews rather than in-person assessments. But, rest assured that TRN is ready and able to help our clients meet their talent acquisition needs – quickly.
Contact us to learn more!