Fed up of Spreadsheets!!

Frustrated of maintaining data using pen and paper!!

Baffled with the traditional ERP at your disposal!!

It’s the time that you need a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM). If you are ever wondering that which CRM System would be best suited for my business needs or how shall I choose a CRM System then this article is for you.

The million dollar question arises is:

“How do I know if my company needs a CRM which is education focused?”

Always keep this in mind, any educational institution that wants to maintain a relationship with their customers which are typically the prospect students & alumni will benefit from using a CRM system.

Within Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s), a CRM system is most likely to be used to support recruitment and increase admissions in an effective way.

You may not know much about the right Customer Relationship Management tools, but it’s changing the way universities and schools are talking to their existing and future students. With some universities needing to keep track of thousands of inquiries on a monthly basis, on top of their existing students, parents, employees, and external organizations, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. CRM tools can help keep track of these conversations. You can also see a real-life CRM Software Success story. With a CRM system you can fill in the seats that have been left out due to lack of follow-up on a potential lead.

Those that indicated not to use a CRM system, pointed out that lack of knowledge about what CRM systems are and how it can help their institutes education marketing is the main reason why such a system is not being utilized. Lack of budget is the second major barrier they face. When it comes to budget, it is important to note that a CRM software only cost around 5-10% of your marketing budget.

CRM for educational institutes

 

Figure 1: CRM for Educational Institutes, Courtesy:cetrixcloudservices

There is no question that CRM is essential for education marketing, however, it is necessary to address certain questions before choosing the right CRM system which can increase your admissions.

How to Choose the Right CRM System

1. Is it built for my business?

It is important that you understand what problem you are trying to solve. Clarifying your problems and goals will help you understand the functionality you will need.  Answering the question, what operational business challenges do we need to solve? You can help in knowing that if CRM is meant for my business.

For e.g. The institute XYZ has 25+ courses & gets 20k+ inquiries in the admissions season with 40+ admissions teams working night & days to identify the right fit.

Hell yeah, you need a CRM!

2. How easy is it to use? Can I easily train employees?

People are a bit hesitant to change, irrelevant of the system you choose to adopt to. The key here is to put your team at ease and acknowledge that they are not at risk for losing or sharing their customers with others the more ownership your employees have in the selection of a new tool, the more likely they are to adopt it and help their colleagues adopt it as well.

For instance: The transition should be as smooth as a transition in the updates of the WhatsApp App. No-one actually trains you with the recent updates, do they? But don’t you accept it with ease because of it is easy to use!!

3. How long does it take to implement?

This component is key. Any time that you are changing or introducing new software, there is going to be a period of implementation. Implementation can incur substantial costs and will take time away from your teams’ current obligations, so do not underestimate this step.

The recent ERP implementation took me 6 months to even get implemented let alone started.

Wait! What? 

I don’t need such a lengthy implementation duration. I would rather choose a CRM System that would just take minimal time to implement at my educational institute.

choosing the right crm

Figure 2: Major Considerations for choosing a system

Courtesy: Cynoteck Solutions

4. How mobile is your system?

Mobility is key in today’s world. Your sales team would most likely be in the field using devices such as phones, tablets and laptops. You would need a CRM tool which can be accessed by variety of web based devices. Remember that most salespeople are early adopters of technology, so you will want a platform that will be updated regularly and remain current with new technology.

5. How easy is it to integrate with other solutions I already use?

You can now connect applications that you already use through APIs, so connecting multiple systems is not an issue anymore. However, it is in your best interest that you choose a CRM system that is compatible with the applications that you already use.

I already use an ERP/MIS system(s) that works well for my institute processes, but a complimentary CRM for my admissions would accelerate my admissions and help me in managing my process efficiently. If this is what you need, just go and grab a CRM that works for your institute.

6. What is the total cost of the software? How much budget do I have?

Budget is one of the most important parameters. The budget must be such that it must provide with the value for the money. Value for money is based not only on the minimum purchase price but also on the efficiency and effectiveness of the product in the long run.

Is the system well worth the money spent on it? Did I save Rs. X in marketing budget with faster conversions worth Rs. Y. That’s how you should see a CRM purchase as an investment decision in terms of ROI & not as a purchase decision.

If yes then Hurry!! 

influence of using a crm

Figure 3: Influence of using a CRM on the changes in practice

Common mistakes that educators do while choosing a CRM are:

1. Unwillingness to use a CRM

2. Failure to define why you need a CRM

3. Overcomplicating Business Goals

4. Choosing an Incompatible System

5. Ignoring Valuable Features

Hope this article will clear all your doubts regarding how to choose and why to choose a CRM system?

Embrace the CRM revolution & make the changes today!!

About ExtraaEdge:

ExtraaEdge is a data-science backed cloud-based Admissions & Marketing Automation software for the education industry. We are the category leaders when it comes to understanding education marketing & technology that powers educational enterprises. This blog is an effort to share our learnings from the Industry and help education marketeers, admissions counselors and all associated stake holders of education enterprises learn and grow together.

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