Boosting Student Enrollment in higher education with Salesforce


Boosting Student Enrollment in higher education with Salesforce

Discover the common obstacles and how to tackle them to increase student enrollment in higher education institutions.

In today’s competitive landscape, attracting and retaining students is becoming increasingly challenging. However, with the right tools and strategies in place, you can transform the way you manage student enrollment and engagement. 

In this article, we’ll explore how Salesforce can revolutionize your higher education institution’s approach to enrollment. To do it, we joined forces with Kaplan International Pathways, during our last webinar with their Head of Salesforce, Elaine Bagshaw.

Boost student enrollment with Salesforce

Main obstacles to increasing student enrollment

The Overload of Manual Tasks

One of the primary challenges higher education institutions face, is the overload of manual tasks. As Elaine mentioned, Kaplan International Pathways deals with hundreds of thousands of applications each year, and the number is increasing steadily. To streamline and enhance the efficiency of the application and enrollment process, Salesforce can play a crucial role.

Salesforce offers automation capabilities that can significantly reduce manual efforts and improve productivity. By identifying repetitive tasks, institutions can use Salesforce to automate email communication, document management, and application tracking. 

For instance, admissions advisors can automate follow-up emails to potential students and track their responses. Additionally, Salesforce can be customized to generate automatic alerts when critical documents are missing or when an application is ready for the next stage of review.

Data silos

Data silos pose another challenge for higher education institutions using Salesforce, mostly when it comes to student enrollment. These silos occur when different departments or teams maintain separate databases, leading to inefficiencies and inaccuracies in data management. 

For example, admissions, finance, and student services may each maintain their own records of the same student, resulting in redundant efforts and a lack of visibility into the complete student journey.

Salesforce can help address this issue by providing a centralized platform for data management. Institutions can use Salesforce to create a single record for each student, capturing all relevant information throughout their enrollment journey. By using record types and page layouts, institutions can ensure that each team sees only the relevant data for their role, creating a contextual and streamlined experience.

Lack of ongoing training

The lack of ongoing training is a common issue faced not only by higher education institutions but also by organizations in various industries. Salesforce’s continuous updates and enhancements require users to stay informed and trained to make the most of the platform’s capabilities.

To address this challenge, Kaplan International Pathways has implemented a robust training and enablement program. They conduct regular training sessions, create tailored videos, and use in-app guidance to assist users with new features and changes. Additionally, they have introduced user surveys to gather feedback and identify areas that require improvement.

Increasing student enrollment in higher education

Leveraging Salesforce Automation

Salesforce’s automation plays a crucial role in enhancing efficiency and improving the overall student enrollment process. Kaplan International Pathways has successfully integrated automation into their admissions process, streamlining document collection, and follow-up procedures.

By automating repetitive tasks, admissions advisors can focus on more meaningful interactions with potential students, providing a personalized experience. For example, Salesforce can automate the process of sending personalized emails to applicants, keeping them engaged and informed throughout the enrollment journey.

Additionally, Kaplan International Pathways uses automation to manage incomplete applications effectively. When an application lacks critical documents, Salesforce automatically triggers an email notification to the applicant, prompting them to submit the required documents. Once the documents are received and uploaded, Salesforce updates the application status accordingly, ensuring a seamless process.

Utilizing Salesforce apps and Integrations

Salesforce’s extensive ecosystem of apps and integrations provides institutions with additional tools and functionalities to enhance their processes. Kaplan International Pathways uses apps for data security, archiving, and improving user guidance.

By carefully evaluating apps and ensuring they meet information security standards, institutions can leverage these tools to augment their Salesforce experience. Integrating apps that automate specific tasks or provide valuable insights can significantly improve efficiency and decision-making.

Creating a playbook

To ensure consistency and efficiency in Salesforce usage, Kaplan International Pathways is in the process of creating a Salesforce playbook. This playbook will serve as a guide for all teams, defining standard processes, automation, and best practices.

The Salesforce playbook will help align the organization’s goals with its Salesforce implementation, thereby improving overall performance and reducing operational friction. Furthermore, using Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics, institutions can track the playbook’s effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven enhancements.

By addressing challenges related to manual tasks, data silos, and ongoing training, you can drive positive change and improve outcomes in the education industry.

As we wrap up this blog post, we want to extend our gratitude to Elaine Bagshaw for sharing her valuable insights and experiences. If you are interested in watching the full webinar, don’t forget to check out the webinar recording on our website.