Speed to Lead

The Need for Speed to Lead: Converting Inquiries

In today’s digital age, students’ decisions about where to pursue their higher education are no longer solely based on an institution’s reputation or brand name. One of the significant driving factors in their choice is the swiftness and efficiency with which the institution engages them. This is where speed to lead becomes essential.

There is a compelling correlation between the promptness of a college’s communication with a potential student and the probability of that student enrolling in the institution, whether online or on campus. In other words, as a college, the faster you respond to students expressing interest in your school, the higher the likelihood of them enrolling. 

Gone are the days when prospective students enroll at your online or campus university solely based on the name recognition of your school brand. There is a direct and consequential correlation between how quickly a college communicates with a prospective student and the likelihood they will enroll at your online or campus school.

Prospective students often evaluate multiple schools during their college search, making the race to be the first to communicate with them a critical factor. The institution that initiates communication swiftly may significantly impact the student’s final decision.

Online and campus schools must have an admissions advisor sales team asking themselves how their college can improve lead response time and conversion rate. Schools receive leads from various internal and external marketing initiatives, including social media, paid search, search engine optimization, direct traffic to their website, and third-party vendors. 

Regardless of which media source each lead originates from, contacting leads in 24 hours takes time. If it is taking a school sales rep this long to respond to a prospect who has taken the time to fill out a form, then the enrollment sales funnel progress will suffer. 

How much does speed to lead matter, and how vital is it for every school to have an automated lead management system? 

Online and campus schools face an ever-growing list of competing higher education institutions looking to enroll the same students. Enabling leads to be called within minutes versus hours will subconsciously or consciously have a positive impact. It will also show prospective students that you take their search seriously. To save time is to take too many hours before your team has responded to leads

Following up rapidly with a prospective student that has requested information from your college begins with having the right technology in place. When leads are posted into your SIS (Student Information System), they are brand new leads at their height of being converted into a student at your college or university. This is why improving your speed is essential when contacting a potential student via phone, SMS, email, or, most advantageously, using these methods to communicate quickly. 

A critical step for every school is to analyze the leading routing technology systems available in the marketplace. Comparing two to three SIS platforms before choosing one will provide complete confidence that the correct selection was made. When choosing an SIS, always make sure that you make your selection based on the needs of your school for today and for many years to come.

Benefits of Rapid Communication with Prospective Students

  • Being the first to establish contact with a student instills a sense of value and connection, consciously or subconsciously, towards the institution (and school brand).
  • Questions and uncertainties are bound to arise for those navigating the application process. The attention and guidance provided by the institution during this phase can play an invaluable role in shaping their decision.
  • Every prospect seeks recognition and validation; quick and frequent communication with potential students helps cultivate this sense of importance. 
  • As the adage goes, people tend to gravitate toward genuine interactions. A responsive and supportive admissions team can leave a lasting positive impression and boost enrollments.

More than Just a Phone Call, Prospects Require More

Effectively reaching out to prospective students demands more than a single phone call. An efficient follow-up strategy must encompass diverse communication channels, including phone calls, emails, and SMS. Recognizing and adapting to each individual’s preferred mode of communication is crucial. If an admissions team solely leaves voicemails for a prospect who responds best to emails or texts, their efforts may be noticed, resulting in wasted time and resources.

Emotional Connections: A Crucial Aspect of Admissions

Being the first to communicate with a potential student offers a competitive edge, but it is only part of the picture. Creating an emotional connection with the prospect is crucial for an admissions advisor. This can be achieved by posing open-ended questions that delve into their motivations and concerns about pursuing a degree. 

  • What current life circumstances are driving their desire for higher education?
  • Which degree do they believe will help them reach their career goals? 
  • What barriers do they perceive could hinder their journey to a degree, be it financial constraints, family obligations, or work commitments?

The Power of Authenticity in Boosting Enrollments

With many online and campus colleges to choose from, standing out in the crowd can be daunting. An admissions team that radiates genuine care and interest in the prospects’ needs can make all the difference. Authenticity nurtures trust and conviction, key factors influencing a student’s enrollment decision-making process.

Speed to Lead Statistics

  • 1-Minute response time Can lead to 391% more conversions – Velocify
  • Fast responders win up to 50% of sales. – Service Bell
  • 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first – Lead Connect
  • Businesses are 7x more likely to qualify leads when reaching out within an hour as opposed to just one hour later – Harvard Business Review
  • Your odds of qualifying a lead decrease by 80% after five minutes have elapsed – Vendasta
  • You are 10x less likely to have leads respond if your outreach takes more than five minutes – LeadResponseManagement.org.

To Wrap It Up with Speed to Lead Success

Rapid and effective communication between higher education institutions and prospective students is critical in the digital age. Institutions must recognize that more than their reputation or brand name is needed to attract and retain students. The speed, efficiency, and authenticity with which they engage potential students play a crucial role in influencing enrollment decisions.

Being the first to initiate communication can instill a sense of value in prospective students, answer their questions, validate their interests, and establish a personal connection. The best communication strategies employ a multi-channel approach, using phone calls, emails, and SMS, adapted to each student’s preferred mode of communication. This ensures that no effort is wasted and every opportunity to connect is utilized.

However, speed and efficiency are only parts of the equation. The emotional connection established during the interaction is equally important. Admissions advisors should focus on understanding each student’s motivations, aspirations, and potential barriers. This provides valuable insights for advising and signals a genuine interest in their welfare, fostering trust and conviction.
In the competitive landscape of higher education, authenticity can set an institution apart. A caring and engaged admissions team can make a profound difference in students’ decision-making process, contributing to increased enrollments. In the end, while the need for speed to lead is vital, the power of authentic, meaningful interactions must be considered.