This week Salesforce launched Admissions Connect (AC), a forward-thinking addition to Education Cloud that provides enhanced admissions functionality to the platform. The launch of AC is just one more reason why Traction on Demand’s Education Practice is calling 2021 the Year of CRM In Higher Education. If you’re thinking about leveraging CRM for Recruitment and Admissions (R&A), and are wondering how you can best leverage this digital technology, read on!
- What is Admissions Connect (AC)? Admissions Connect (AC) is a new offering from Salesforce to leverage the power of CRM to support your admissions processes. Released on March 18, 2021, the first release provides comprehensive application review functionality, a perfect complement to Traction on Demand’s Recruitment & Admissions Accelerator. AC will help you spend less time on manual processes and more time building relationships with your prospective students.
This just happens to be the very conversation we had the opportunity to extend earlier this week at HEUG Alliance 2021. It was a thought-provoking hour of discussion around leveraging CRM as a student-oriented data and process backbone.
In our opinion, if you want to maximize the value of CRM for R&A (let alone any future uses!) you need to think about two big ideas:
- Adopting an ecosystem mentality
- Connecting R&A to the student lifecycle
But first, let’s unpack these ideas a little bit.
1. Adopting an ecosystem mentality
It can be tempting to imagine one system that does everything, but we contend this is not the best way to design your R&A approach. The reality is, R&A will always involve several different systems: third-party applications, internal portals, financial aid, event management tools, outbound marketing, and so on.
However, because we live in the age of the Application Program Interface (API), as long as you’re choosing systems designed for connectivity, networking an ecosystem of interconnected tools will actually enable increased agility. And in that context, CRM shifts from being a point solution for customer interactions to the heart and soul of the digital student journey.
“CRM can create a seamless user experience that engages the right systems at the right time to guide your constituents on to a lifelong learning journey.”
Working toward an ecosystem mentality requires adopting a connected mindset. The goal of CRM isn’t to replace all of these systems. Instead, the goal is to connect them in a meaningful way. When data is shared with a core CRM, business processes can be shaped around the relationship, ensuring individual interactions are connected to a larger student narrative (or prospect or alumni) experience with the university.
2. Connecting R&A to the student lifecycle
As you begin connecting prospective student touchpoints, CRM opens the door to leveraging the full student journey as part of the recruitment process. If you’re taking a lifelong journey perspective on your constituents, student and alumni data is critical to successful recruitment.
Take, for example, two individuals inquiring about a law degree. The first has no prior history with the university, the second is a graduate of the university’s engineering program. How powerful is it when your engineering grad inquires about your law program and is welcomed back to the university as an old friend? If such alumni data is locked up in the Registrar’s Office, a warmed up prospect is treated no differently than that first prospect with no institutional history.
This is why we’re excited about Admissions Connect (AC), the latest offering from Salesforce’s Education Cloud. While the foundational Education Data Architecture (EDA) has offered schools a standardized framework for mapping student data, AC now extends this data into the prospective student’s journey.
As our mapping of the student lifecycle shows, we believe CRM is the ideal technology to create that connective thread to tie together the prospect, student, and alumni experience. Schools that successfully integrate these stages will be on the best path to creating lifelong learners who remain engaged with their alma mater.
This approach has been at the heart of Traction on Demand’s Recruitment & Admissions Accelerator with Admissions Connect from the start. We leverage EDA as our foundation so that R&A, student life, and the alumni journey go hand in hand. And we leverage classic Sales Cloud architecture to maximize the ability to easily connect to third-party tools.
If you’d like more ideas on building a more connected approach to recruitment and admissions, reach out to Traction on Demand today.
Traction on Demand: Your Admissions Connect partner of choice
Traction on Demand’s Recruitment & Admissions Accelerator with Admissions Connect, built on EDA, will deliver a comprehensive solution for the modern campus. No other partner has the depth of experience with Admissions Connect as Traction on Demand. We’re a beta implementation partner, an early access partner, and we’re partnering with Salesforce.org on developing future functionality.