The One Where Alejandra Made A Personal Commitment

Case study #3

We don’t want to give the impression that we only want short-term relationships, because it really is about what you want, and sometimes we make more long term commitments when that feels right. This was the case in Switzerland, where our partner was really interested in the extensive personal network of contacts and experience that Alejandra, our CEO, has in the industry. 

At that time, this institution had only been up and running for a couple of years and their only recruitment channels were referrals and paid media campaigns. They were looking for someone to come in and build their admissions and marketing departments from the ground up, and make more of a long-term commitment to their growth. They called Alejandra. 

Our initial analysis revealed that the agents market was not the right channel for this particular client because of the potential of other channels for their very niche program. They had also been working with educational portals, but they were not properly integrated and were not generating the expected leads. Unsurprisingly, the client was frustrated, and the fact that their CRM was only being used for a fraction of its potential was not helping either.  

Their existing paid media agency was not prioritizing the client, because they were just not big enough to bump them up the list. Communication was sparse, and the agency was not using the right tools to analyze the data they extracted. It was time to move away from the one-size-fits-all agency and adopt a more human approach; something which suited the very personal feel of the school. 

We began with the educational portals, not only making sure they were set up and integrated correctly, but also advocating for convergence of all information within the CRM, for better performance and growth tracking. The impact was huge. The institution asked Alejandra to take the internal role of CMO to ensure close collaboration could continue. As good partners go, we couldn’t ask for a better fit, and Alejandra remains on board as a team member to this day.

The challenge

  1. Unresponsive paid media agency unable to fulfill institution’s potential
  2. Underperforming CRM with huge labour inefficiencies
  3. Unsuitable recruitment channels for niche
  4. Low lead generation
  5. Lack of workflow structures in marketing and admissions team
  6. Identify the stages of the funnel where a significant number of potential customers drop and did not continue with the journey
  7. Automate the application process by minimizing manual actions
  8. Improve the lead scoring process
  9. Enhance and review buyer personas
  10. Train the team to achieve a certain expertise of the CRM at a technical

The solution

  1. A 3-month implementation of the new CRM, including automation of emails, workflows, landing pages, etc
  2. Improved the functionality and effectiveness of the sales funnel
  3. Supported the website redesign and content review to ensure consistency
  4. Embedded a lifelong learning program within the marketing and admissions team on best practices in marketing and student recruitment
  5. CEO came on board as their CMO and member of the Executive Committee
  6. Underwent a detailed analysis of the entire sales funnel to identify the stages which could be improved to convert a higher number of potential students
  7. Cleaned and improved the application process implemented through CRM automations:
    1. Created new properties as foundations for the necessary automations in each step of the application process
    2. Established the required stakeholders in the process and automated the team’s daily tasks to make them more engaging and easier to do
    3. Improved the content of templates and emails sent
    4. Enhanced data collection to make it clear and visible to all team members through dashboard and reports of each step of the process
    5. Reviewed lead nurturing forms and sources for a standardized qualification in the CRM
  8. Refined the lead scoring strategy so that input could be both automated from pre-existing values related to the form, but also manual, from conversations of the admissions team. Together with an engagement rating model, we achieved an effective and accurate lead scoring
  9. Classified buyer personas in order to better qualify the audience. Implemented it in the CRM to obtain fundamental data about the target audience
  10. Developed a 4-months HubSpot training program where, with 5 hours a week, we managed to train the admissions team on all aspects from the CRM. In the sales, marketing, paid and reporting areas we also shared analytical insights based on automations, lead capture tools which aimed at increasing the admissions team's conversion rates

key outcomes

  1. Increased network of stakeholders through internalization of CMO role
  2. Increased employee retention rate
  3. Leadership academy, each member has a voice and a key responsibility
  4. +54% in internationalization diversification (number of different countries per intake) in three years
  5. +63% turnover in three years through a 68% increase in spring semester enrollments and a 33% increase in the fall semester
  6. We successfully identified the phases of the application process and the associated stakeholders, we automated actions which were completely manual, therefore reducing time in operations for the team and increasing quality and service with students.
  7. We were able to prioritize sales efforts thanks to lead scoring, which helped the team identify more quickly a potential student from a non-potential student and be more effective in converting.
  8. We were able to map the profile of potential students, identify their needs, and crossed it with lead scoring techniques to help the admissions team to personalize their attention and tailor their advice depending on the need of each persona.
  9. We trained admissions and marketing teams for them to become CRM experts, being able to handle complex automations, while making them feel safe and confident to implement further changes as they go.

Would you like to see If We Are A Good Fit?

Take our test, and