“Have you met with every member of the committee?”

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure to work in higher ed publishing knows this question.    Adoption committees decide upon 1-2 “texts” to be used by all faculty members in a department and consist of a group of professors (ranging from super involved to aggressively dispassionate).  These adoptions can make or break the commission of any sales rep, so stakes are high.  What every seasoned sales person knows is that you have to meet with every member of the committee (involved or dispassionate) to make sure you understand each one’s role in the decision.  You may or may not need to keep them involved in the process as the sales cycle moves on, but you need to know where they stand.

But it is not just the sales people who need to know everyone’s role.  With today’s instructional technology products and services, product managers also need to be asking “have I met with every member of the committee?”  It is imperative for product teams to consider every stakeholder who will be impacted by your product –whether directly or indirectly—and make sure that you understand your product from their viewpoint.

Has the Director of Information Technology vetted your specs to ensure compatibility with internal systems?  Do you know the first three questions she will ask you?

Has the Title I Coordinator matched your features against criteria for federal funding dollars?  Are there opportunities to prioritize features that will make that easier for him? 

Has the principal seen how to use your data to make more effective professional development decisions?  Are there ways to surface that data to make it more meaningful? 

Does the Instructional Coach know how to advance her PLC (Professional Learning Community) with your product? Is there a way in the user interface to make that more evident?

Bringing these folks to the table during development of the product helps to push and tweak your product to better match a teacher’s, professor’s, department’s, school’s, or district’s workflow.  It provides real authenticity to your product and provides a roadmap for your content marketing plan way before you pilot, and it ensures that a sales team will have early wins during the crucial launch period and will not encounter questions they can’t answer or barriers they can’t overcome.

EyeLevel can help you identify the full scope of stakeholders for your product and how to better use their expertise to provide crucial insight as you bring your product to market.