What's a CRM and when should you invest in one?

Lea Legaspi
November 14, 2022

It's no secret that a CRM is an essential tool for any trade school. But what exactly does it do, why use it, and when should you invest in one? We'll explore these critical questions about CRM software, including how they can help you grow your school and if you should use them if you've got a small budget.

What's a CRM

CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” It's a software that helps you manage your students. You can use it for sales, marketing, and customer service.

CRM stores all your students' data in one place, allowing you to track who they are, their needs, and what program they’re enrolled in. It also allows you to reach out to students in an effective way with relevant information at the right time. 

Why should you use a CRM

  • A CRM is essential when it comes to marketing and sales

If you use a CRM tool like Salesforce, Basecamp, or Dreambound, then every time someone fills out an application, their contact information will be logged in your system. This gives you the option to reach out to those interested. You can also use this information as part of a targeted email campaign or social media ad campaign tailored specifically for each individual student.

  • It creates a centralized database that makes it easy for your team to access the information they need at any time. 

When someone calls customer service asking about tuition options, they'll already have all of the relevant facts right there on hand rather than manually looking them up every time someone calls about this topic.

  • It’s a great way to convert potential students and build a stronger relationships. 

A CRM will let you track every step of the enrollment process, which allows you to know exactly where students are on their path. It enables you to connect with students at different stages of their journey. This can be helpful if they need guidance on selecting classes, and you’ll be able to reach out to those who are ready to start classes. 

  • Some CRMs can email, call, and send SMS to customers.

You can send a scheduled SMS/Email to remind students about an upcoming class or orientation. Reminding students is a great way to connect and show them you care, it also avoid students from forgetting to attend. 

You can send an automatic connection email to students the moment they enroll, informing them of the detailed class schedule and what they need for the class. 

When should you invest in a CRM

CRM is one of the most important tools in your arsenal as a business owner, but you should only invest in it when you're sure it can help you achieve your goals. While we’ve stated why CRM is a good idea, it won’t be practical for every school. Here are some signs that it's time to invest in CRM:

  1. Your current system doesn't work well. If your current system isn't working well anymore—if it's outdated or inefficient— it’s time to invest in a great CRM that will automate administrative tasks. 
  2. You're having trouble keeping track of leads and sales information. You might be better off using a CRM system so that all this information is compiled in one place. It would be great if the tool could keep track of both enrolled and potential students
  3. You want to improve student satisfaction levels by using automated processes. Do you want a tool that automatically emails or texts potential students after they submit an application process? Or a way for your students to pay for their tuition online right then and there? There are CRM tools that are perfect for the job. All you have to do is research to find which one will work best for you. 
  4. Its use outweighs the cost. A lot of CRMs are paid subscriptions; make sure your team will be able to utilize its benefits or opt for free CRMs

Used appropriately, CRM can be a powerful tool for schools to manage student relationships and help with everything from student acquisition and retention to sales and marketing. The best CRMs offer features that can be tailored to your specific needs, so it’s important to find one that fits your business. Here’s a great CRM that would allow you to manage your enrollment, keep track of student applications, and aid with marketing. The best part? It’s completely free. 

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