One of the most effective tools for achieving relationships with prospects is using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM platform can help institutions manage student data, track interactions with prospective students, and ultimately increase enrollment. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a CRM solution, the types of CRM systems available, and some of the best CRM tools for improving customer interaction in higher education.
The Benefits of Using a CRM Solution
It might be obvious to most, but the suitable Customer Relationship Management platform offers numerous advantages to higher education institutions, including:
Contact Management: A CRM system allows you to store and manage contact information for prospective students, including their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and other relevant information.
Improved Customer Interaction: A CRM tool can help institutions streamline communication with prospective students, ensuring they receive timely and relevant information throughout enrollment.
Personalized Communication: A CRM solution can enable institutions to segment their leads and personalize their communication, tailoring their messaging to the needs and interests of each prospective student.
Enhanced Admissions Team Collaboration: A CRM platform can facilitate better communication and collaboration among team members, making tracking progress easier and ensuring everyone is working towards the same goals.
Types of Customer Relationship Management Systems
- Operational: This type of CRM is focused on improving day-to-day operations, including sales automation, marketing automation, and customer service automation.
- Analytical: This type of CRM is focused on analyzing customer data and interactions, providing insights into customer behavior and preferences that can be used to improve sales and marketing efforts.
- Collaborative: This type of CRM is focused on improving collaboration and communication between different departments and teams within an institution.
Some of the Best CRMs We Have Seen
Verity is a cloud-based CRM system designed specifically for higher education institutions. It offers a range of features designed to help institutions improve their student prospecting efforts, including lead management, application processing, and communication tracking. Additionally, Verity provides real-time data and analytics, allowing institutions to make data-driven decisions to improve their enrollment and retention rates.
HubSpot is a comprehensive CRM solution offering various features to help institutions streamline their sales and marketing efforts. Its lead management system is intuitive and easy to use, with customizable forms and landing pages. It also offers marketing automation tools, making creating targeted campaigns for prospective students easy. Additionally, HubSpot offers a free version of its CRM system, making it an excellent option for smaller institutions with limited budgets.
Among higher ed’s most popular CRM systems, Salesforce offers many features, including customizable dashboards, lead management, and integration with other software systems. It also provides a mobile app, making it easy to manage your prospecting efforts. Salesforce is particularly useful for institutions that want to manage large amounts of student data.
Zoho CRM is more affordable than Salesforce, with many features that make it an excellent choice for student prospecting. It offers lead scoring to prioritize your leads based on their enrollment likelihood. It also integrates with many other software systems, making it easy to streamline your prospecting efforts. Additionally, its mobile app makes it easy to manage your prospecting efforts.
Pipedrive is a simple, easy-to-use CRM system offering a visual sales pipeline. This makes it easy to see where each prospect is in the enrollment process, allowing you to prioritize your efforts accordingly. Its lead management system is also intuitive, with customizable forms and landing pages. Additionally, its pricing is affordable, making it an excellent choice for smaller institutions.
Copper is a system that integrates with Google apps, making it an excellent choice for institutions that rely heavily on Google products. Its lead management system, with customizable forms and landing pages, is easy to use. Additionally, it offers a range of features designed to improve collaboration among sales team members, including task management and team activity tracking.
Agile is a comprehensive CRM solution offering various features to help institutions streamline their sales and marketing efforts. Its lead management system, with customizable forms and landing pages, is easy to use. Additionally, it offers a range of marketing automation tools, making it easy to create targeted campaigns for prospective students. It also integrates with many other software systems, making it easy to streamline your prospecting efforts.
Frequently Asked Questions
In our research for this article, we found that these questions are most commonly asked by CMOs when researching the best tool for the job. We did our best to answer them.
How do I choose the right CRM system for my higher education institution?
Choosing the right CRM system for your higher education institution involves evaluating your institution’s specific needs, considering different vendors and their offerings, and working closely with the vendor during the implementation process. It’s essential to choose a user-friendly, scalable system that offers the most important features to your institution.
What are the most important features to look for in a CRM system for higher education institutions?
Some essential features to look for in a CRM system for higher education institutions include lead management, contact management, application processing, communication tracking, analytics and reporting, and integration with other software systems.
How much does a CRM system typically cost?
The cost of a CRM system varies depending on the vendor, the features included, and the institution’s size. Some vendors offer pricing based on the number of users, while others charge a flat fee. When evaluating different CRM systems, it’s essential to consider the total cost of ownership, including any implementation or training costs.
How long does it take to implement a CRM system?
The length of time it takes to implement a CRM system varies depending on the vendor and the complexity of the institution’s needs. Some CRM systems can be implemented in weeks, while others may take several months. Working closely with the vendor during implementation is essential to ensure a successful rollout.
How does a CRM system integrate with other software systems higher education institutions use?
Many CRM systems offer integration with other software systems commonly used by higher education institutions, such as student information systems (SIS), learning management systems (LMS), and email marketing platforms. Integration can help institutions streamline their processes and improve their overall efficiency.
Can a CRM system be used for more than just student prospecting?
A CRM system can be used for various functions beyond student prospecting, including alumni engagement, fundraising, and donor management. Many higher education institutions use CRM systems to manage their relationships with alumni and donors and to track fundraising campaigns.
Measure the Enrollment Process
The enrollment process is a critical stage in student prospecting, and CRM software can help institutions streamline this process. A CRM solution can help institutions automate tasks related to the enrollment process, such as sending out acceptance letters and processing tuition payments. This can help institutions improve their efficiency and reduce the likelihood of errors. Additionally, CRM software can provide institutions with insights into the enrollment process, allowing them to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments as needed.
Boost Enrollments Using Data
By storing and managing student data, institutions can segment their leads and personalize their messaging to the needs and interests of each prospective student. Additionally, a CRM solution can provide insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, allowing institutions to make adjustments and optimize their efforts for maximum impact.