What is a CRM and Why Should Schools and Colleges be Using One?

What is a CRM? What is HubSpot? Why should schools and colleges be using a customer relationship management system (CRM)?

The day to day management of students can be overwhelming to say the least. From monitoring communications over multiple platforms, creating a streamlined admissions process, to putting out organised social content on a regular basis, there is a seemingly never-ending list of things to stay on top of in the budding digital age. 

So what is a CRM? And better yet, how can the utilisation of one transform the way that educational institutions manage and interact with their students, parents, staff, and alumni?

What is a CRM?

In its simplest terms, a CRM is a Customer Relationship Management tool. Many different sectors and organisations use CRMs to administer relationships with customers while also being able to study data collected from these ongoing relationships.

In the context of a school or college, a CRM has the ability to be used as a centralised student and parent database. Within this database, a multitude of departments and practices can simultaneously operate in harmony with one another, from marketing all the way to admissions.

The possibilities are endless!

What makes a good CRM?

In the US alone, there are over 1,700 CRMs available to use as of 2023. Pretty overwhelming right?

There are a number of aspects which add up to make a great CRM. These are just some of the features that we consider make a strong one:

  • User friendly interface
  • Integration Ability
  • Comprehensive Reporting and Analytics
  • Customisation
  • Automation and Workflow Management

Great features are one thing, yet manipulating these features in a way that work for you and all of your processes is another. Being HubSpot specialists in the educational sector, we know better than anyone just how valuable and transformative a well-implemented CRM can be to a school or college. Let’s look at exactly how this can be done, using HubSpot as an example CRM.

If you want to find out more about why HubSpot is a great fit, look here!

Admissions and Enrolment

The admissions process is one that can often be long and tedious, especially when all of your systems are still misaligned. Keeping track of students and ensuring that they are at the right stage, receiving the right communication and marketing materials, all at the right time can put a lot of stress over admissions teams.

With a well set-up CRM, schools and colleges can more effectively track prospective students and nurture them throughout both the enquiry and admissions process. Within HubSpot, this can be seamlessly managed through pipelines.

In an educational context, pipelines serve as a visual representation of the enquiry and/or admissions process. Within these pipelines, well defined stages can be created for prospective students to progress through, offering admissions teams a much more organised and efficient system to utilise.

Pipeline

 

Now how great would it be if we could automate off the back of this?

Automation

Reducing manual and monotonous tasks is always desired, and this is where a well configured CRM system will thrive and transform the way that schools and colleges interact with their prospects.

Within a strong CRM, seemingly small tasks that amount to a lot of time spent such as data entry, scheduling, and follow-up communications can all be automated. A key example of the power yet simplicity of automation within a CRM such as HubSpot can be illustrated in reference to the aforementioned pipeline system.

Within a basic enquiry pipeline, there may be a stage that prospective students enter when they sign up for an open day. As well as the action of entering the pipeline stage itself being automated, any number of actions can consequently be set to take place without any manual action aside from the initial set up. Marketing materials regarding the event can be set to send throughout the lead up to the event, progression to another stage can be automated based on the outcome of the event attendance, there are simply too many possibilities to list.

Workflow

 

In fact, the staggering list of possibilities is a recurring theme across CRMs as a whole, with customisation being the focal point of many, especially HubSpot.

Customisation

One thing we’ve learned while working with a wide range of clients is that the needs within an account are always going to be different. In fact, this is the most essential aspect of setting up an account within a CRM, especially HubSpot – tailoring the CRM and the tools at hand to the needs of your school/organisation.

There are many ways that customisation is possible and encouraged within a CRM system. Here’s just a few of the ways in which an account can be customised for the biggest impact:

  • Personalised data fields and custom objects
  • Creating custom pipelines for pre-existing practices such as the school’s enquiry and admissions process
  • Integrations with other systems that may already be used within the institution
  • Custom reporting and analytics

All of these customisation options and many more enable schools and colleges alike to tailor their CRM system to meet their unique needs, aligning the system with their specific processes, data requirement, and operational goals.

In Summary...

By leveraging the many various tools and functions within a CRM system, schools and colleges are able to more effectively manage their relationships and drastically improve efficiency by lowering manual work, all while most importantly enhancing the student’s experience.

To find out more about all the HubSpot tools and how they can help your teaching school hub, please book a completely free Demo!

Book a demo

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Connor Scott

Connor Scott

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