What is the Best CRM for the Education Industry?
One of the most prominent figures in the tech industry, Bill Gates, once noted: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
With significant shifts in the market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have started revisiting the business strategies they used to promote sales. When looking for insights for revisiting, business owners often face a simple fact: a business's survivability depends on customers and innovation.
Keeping that in mind, many edtech companies find leverage in CRM strategies. Perhaps, you have witnessed a major shift toward remote work. Such a change forces companies to recognize CRM instruments.
Along with several major advantages, the utilization of CRM strategies provides potential financial benefits. The evidence from a prominent marketing research agency Allied Market Research shows that in 2019 alone the CRM market size reached a whopping $41.93 billion. The experts predict edtech trends to grow and anticipate the CRM market reaching $96.39 billion by 2027.
The market’s rise is linked to the growing adoption of CRM software among various edtech companies. Keeping that in mind, it is vital to stay up-to-date with innovations in CRM. As you now know, the realm is constantly evolving, and to get the best of it, you need to be aware of what is going on there.
Luckily, you do not need to engage in time-consuming research looking for the best CRM software for education. Our experts collected essential evidence transformed into the overview of the most important CRM for education in 2021. Get a cup of coffee, relax, and have a great journey through the CRM world.
What is a CRM for Education?
At this point, we know a lot about the benefits of CRM. It is a massive market. It is the approach that helps edtech companies innovate. Finally, it helps business owners to sleep tight and know that they have overcome the key challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a customer-centred system helping educational professionals and institutions to nurture cooperative relationships with enrollees and prospects. The approach is based on data-driven insights to portray the overall progress in the connection to pre-established objectives. CRM helps streamline admission and market initiatives, which translates into preserving time, effort, and finances.
Think about CRM as an automated system that takes away a human effort. Usually, CRM is an algorithm-based software collecting info about students, alumni, donors, and employees. Then, the mechanism uses the information to establish the best communication channels within the institution. It is the program that serves as a massive communication platform.
Besides, CRM serves as a database with easy access. The program collects the customer information in one “place.” For instance, there can be names, genders, telephones, emails, educational backgrounds, marketing materials, and even social media accounts. While you have instant access to all of that info through CRM, the innovative part is that the system uses all the collected data to... drum beat... personalize messages and channels used to deliver information to the students.
With CRM there will be no delays and messages will hit the right spot. In the right hands, and we believe in you at this point, the tool presents an immense value. Especially, if you are looking for a CRM for higher education, there are a myriad of platforms that can be of benefit.
However, we would lie when saying that working with CRM is an easy-peasy task. For people who are new to CRM, the biggest challenge is about choosing the right platform. Even if you are aware of the basics of CRM, selecting among the number of platforms can take time and effort. CRM software for higher education can be tricky if you underestimate its power.
Understanding CRM’s Functions
At this point, you might have a foundation idea of what CRM is all about. However, to get a deeper understanding of the tool, we need to discuss several relevant features:
- Team Management. Most CRMs provide their clients with tools to help your team reach a better degree of collaboration. What does it mean? It means that having a CRM goes along with scheduling tasks, planning your workload, and monitoring the lead pipeline. Impressively, but CRMs also provide their users with real-time data and graphs. Such elements can mean a lot in the process of decision-making. To illustrate, the team management capability of CRM can show you an excited number of interested male or female students that come from Europe, for instance.
- Contact Management. Have you ever encountered the times when contact information piled up, and you found it impossible to find a required contact fast? With CRM, you can forget about that. The software includes features helping you build and store contact profiles. In a couple of clicks, you have access to any contact information you need. Besides, the program logs every interaction with any given contact.
- Communication. As it was mentioned before, CRM is a great communication tool. Most platforms offer users to detail and log communication with any given contact. The information is collected via phone, email, instant messaging, and even physical meetings. With CRM capabilities, you will always be near prospective students.
- Reporting. Every educational institution faces a particular element — reporting. It would be best if you showed donors and investors that your edtech company and respective institution are on the right track. With CRM, you receive a tool collecting valuable data concerning your audience and team. The program helps synthesize data into visual reports, which can be extremely helpful for improving your efforts.
- Workflow Automation. As you noticed, automation is one of the primary prerogatives of CRM. You can use the feature in the context of various workflow aspects. With CRM, you do not need to keep in mind every task you need to assign. You can do this in advance, and the program will assign the tasks automatically.
- Tracking. The mere collection of information is not all CRM is capable of. Its analytical tools are so sophisticated that you can even track down which particular website a specific student accessed to find the educational institution. For edtech companies, the tracking feature opens doors for more intelligent marketing and resource allocation. If you know whom to target, you can make the approach more effective.
Why Should You Try CRM as an Education Professional?
The million-dollar question is — why bother using CRM?
In the best traditions, I can offer you 12 reasons. However, before plunging into the reasons themselves, you need to understand that CRM as edtech software has become so embedded into the industry that the majority of professionals in future will not even look for reasons for using CRM for higher education. Instead, it will be a conventional, even necessary, practice.
Tracking costs and finding ways of cutting costs effectively distinguishes a good business from the bad one. Using various edtech tools is often grounded in the desire to find access to cost-effective practices. One of the primary benefits of any CRM is that automation and standardization translate into cost-reduction practices. With the software, especially in online learning, you can get rid of different manual tasks.
Think about CRM as the tool that helps you find the spots that are cost-inefficient. It is a starting point for dealing with such elements, which later results in cost reduction. Now, you can spend money on scaling.
Improving the Quality
CRM is all about the prioritization of customer relationships. What is crucial for business? Getting feedback about a product or a service. With CRM, you can have that. Based on the input, you can devise ways of increasing the quality of your product.
Does the report show that customers do not like the inevitable future of your product? Don’t worry. CRM will offer you feedback from clients, and you will know exactly what element of the product needs to be changed. You do not need to hire a team of customer support representatives to figure that out. Just use CRM.
Organization of the Management Process
Good management is the backbone of organizational success. To take control of management processes, you need to have good tools at hand. However, the bigger the institution or company gets, the more challenging it is for managers to control it. With the help of CRM for higher education, you will get access to data on the effectiveness of every learner and educator.
The critical point is to use CRM for good. Instead of creating a dystopian environment where you control everything, allow the software to do its job and direct you toward the management issues that need to be tackled.
Admissions are one of the most challenging aspects for any given educational institution. With CRM, you can manage admissions and easily track them.
For instance, you can know the course the student is taking. You can have the full details of the learner’s batch and roll. You can manage all the academic documents and have time to deal with tasks linked to the admission process quickly.
CRM for higher education allows you to automate the admissions process and recruit the best candidates. Believe me, when the prospective students witness the type of software you use, they will understand that the institution is a big deal.
Increasing the Number of Potential Clients
Customer loyalty is a massive aspect of success. With CRM, you can automate the process of attracting new clients. Having personalized information on students, you can easily use CRM to ensure that they will bring their friends on board.
CRM is considered the most appealing in terms of price and quality ratio.
Enriching Student Life Cycle Management
When living in a world of digital technologies, consumers automatically anticipate that their desires will be foreseen. CRM grants you a profile for every client. The data is often presented in chronological order, which allows you the entire work history in a matter of minutes.
You can keep in touch with every step of a client. From enrollment through retention toward graduation, CRM provides you with the vision of the Student Lifecycle Management (SLM).
Relevant Visual-Based Analytical Reporting
At this point, you know that CRM is excellent for reporting. Uncovering the element more specifically, CRM software is an excellent tool for making visually appealing reports. Say no to PowerPoint and the eyes of a sleepy audience. With CRM, you can appealingly present data to ensure a high degree of information retention.
Looking for Potential Leads
Billions of people use social media channels on a daily basis. Digital networking is a perfect ground to look for potential leads, meaning prospective candidates. CRM software comes with an integrating tracking instrument. It helps you keep track of potential leads through different mediums — email, online events, and social media.
Getting a grasp of potential leads creates the foundation for better marketing and budget planning.
Being an educational professional or edtech startup founder comes with an embedded request of multitasking. Prepare yourself to work with numerous tasks at the same time. Without good organizational skills and tools, it would be an impossible thing to do.
Do you want to be a professional who remembers all the essential things and keeps their word? With CRM systems, you can be such an individual. The software will remind you to congratulate a graduate student at the end of their academic journey. Besides, the program will help you remind learners about end-of-course tests, thus earning you the status of the educational professional of the year.
With CRM, multitasking becomes a stressless practice.
What is the benefit of software if you cannot implement it without external assistance or extensive research? Luckily, with CRM, the process of implementation is straightforward. The days when you need a team of IT specialists to install the software are long gone.
To implement the CRM, you need to follow several quick steps. First, download the software for the developer’s website or buy a physical version of the program. Second, follow the easy-to-understand guidelines and install the software on your computers, similarly like you would have done it with Zoom, for instance.
Increase in Course Sales
Want people to recognize your edtech company like clients recognize Masterclass? The trick is to ensure return sales on courses. CRM provides data vital for understanding clients’ needs. With the insights into SLM, you can predict what other students expect from the courses or institution in general.
Covering the gaps ensures that graduates will tell others about your institution, which will boost the course sales.
Elimination of Errors
Most mistakes occur due to the human factor. The administrator working in the institution might have had a stormy night. When coming to work the following day, the person managed to be distracted and unfocused. It is admissions season. The scenario mentioned above is a recipe for disaster.
Automation equals the elimination of the human factor. Without people committing errors, you receive a perfectly running program. It ensures there will be no blinders.
Best CRM for Education Industry
For you to choose the most appropriate CRM platform, we have prepared a list of the most notable candidates. To provide you with an objective picture, each choice comes with advantages and disadvantages. Besides, choosing a CRM depends on how deep your pocket is. At this point, the prospective options will be presented along with pricing plans.
Full Fabric is the CRM deemed as the best choice for alumni and student relationship management. It is a dedicated CRM software for higher education. With the company, you receive a choice of four CRM packages: Origin, Core, Connector, and Foundation.
The first package is a recruitment platform focusing on streamlining enrollment. Core is all about building relationships with learners along with the provision of communication and marketing. The third package is dedicated to boosting relationships with donors and alumni. Finally, Foundation is the central CRM option underpinning the other three.
With the four packages, you take charge of the student lifecycle.
- Full Fabric offers CRM options specifically designed for the unique requirements of the education industry.
- You can automate central tasks with a focus on lead capture.
- Full Fabric offers an easy-to-use and comfortable user interface, which makes the process of application appealing.
- Full Fabric users occasionally point out the issue with data analytics.
The verdict shows that Full Fabric is good for establishing connections and leads with students, donors, and alumni. In contrast, if you need proper reporting and analytics, you should consider a different CRM.
Salesforce Education Cloud
Salesforce Education Cloud is presented as best for third-party integrations. The company offers cloud-based CRM for the educational industry. It helps a user to maintain and grow relationships with staff, students, and alumni.
Salesforce Education Cloud offers a range of products directed toward better collaboration with different departments, namely finance, student-facing, and HR. There is an easy-to-use dashboard integrated into the homepage.
There is a range of products available at Salesforce, for instance: CoPilot, Affinaquest, and Ascend. They help you create and deliver value across all phases of the student lifecycle.
- One of the best analytics among the existing CRMs.
- Versatile and flexible framework.
- Integrated robust knowledge base and user community.
- Considered to be an expensive CRM on the market.
- It may be challenging to choose among the variety of tools available.
Salesforce Education Cloud is a great CRM solution that gives you access to analytics and knowledge base. The streaming information can be used to improve student lifecycle and improve marketing.
When it comes to sales, marketing, and customer support, Hubspot is believed to be among the leaders on the Market. One of the biggest trading marks of CRM is its simplicity. With Hubspot, you can carry out different tasks easily.
When it comes to CRM and sales platforms, you can choose among three pricing plans. Starter package is $45/month and allows two paid uses. Professional plan is $450/month and starts at five paid users. Enterprise is $1200/month and starts at 10 paid users.
- Simple integration and usage process
- Access to track pipeline
- The option to log activity
- Limited instrument of reporting
- For advanced packages — expensive pricing
- For novice users templates might be challenging to modify
It appears that despite its simplicity Hubspot is not for people unfamiliar with CRM. However, if you get the gist of the process, you receive a powerful sales, marketing, and customer support tool.
Oracle NetSuit CRM
Oracle NetSuite CRM is the platform offering an all-around approach to dealing with customer-related data. It will help you establish, maintain, and grow successful relationships with clients, and bring more of them through the process of effective lead management.
Oracle NetSuite’s ace in the hole is its seamless information flow across the client's lifecycle.
When it comes to pricing packages, Oracle NetSuit does not offer fixed pricing. Considering the platform you need to communicate with the Oracle representatives directly. The professionals will provide you with a customized plan, the one meeting your needs and requirements.
- The option of sales forecasting, a powerful analytical tool
- Opportunity management based on synthesized data
- One of the best customer support instruments
- A challenging user interface. May be difficult to work with for inexperienced CRM users
- Occasionally, users report lagging within the platform
- If the number of users is low, the pricing may appear high
The overview indicates that Oracle NetSuite CRM is for experienced users. With its customer support, you can tackle any issue. Besides, with a focus on analytics, the platform grants information crucial for forecasting.
LeadSquared is the CRM prominent for its B2C platform. The software provides various features focusing on conversion rates in the context of business operations within the education industry. Along with great customer support and simplicity, the platform will be perfect for people looking for business initiatives in the industry.
LeadSquared is all about efficiency, digital sales, and marketing operations. It offers tools like Sales Execution CRM, Field Force Automation, Marketing Automation, and Self-Serve Portal. With these instruments, you increase sales, boost team efficiency, and allow prospective clients to manage their profiles.
When it comes to pricing, there are four options. Lite, Pro, and Super packages all start at $20/month and are billed annually. Furthermore, the pricing depends on the number of clients. The Ultimate package is based on customized pricing corresponding to the needs of enterprises.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Excellent customer support service
- Poor performance on slow Internet
- Call integration should be paid for additionally
As you can see LeadSquared is performed for first-time users. Its pricing allows you to consider how much you are willing to pay based on the number of users that will use the platform. Besides, if you have any questions or concerns you can always contact customer support and get a swift response.
Freshworks CRM is the platform known for its integration of artificial intelligence to boost user experience. With the tool you have all your tasks automated and optimized. Scheduling calls, sending emails, collecting analytics, and capturing leads are unified with ease and simplicity. Freshworks CRM is a high-tech solution for any given issue within the education industry.
As to the pricing, the platform is among the few offering a free-of-charge option. While there are four packages available, Free option provides access to the platform with chat, email, and phone built-in tools. At this point, the Free option is great for contact management.
Growth pricing package comes at $15/month. Pro packages cost $39/month/ FInally, with the Enterprise package, for $69/month you receive advanced customization and governance.
- A free option is great for first-time users. It helps get familiar with the platform
- The CRM is ideal for small and medium businesses
- Options for customization
- AI-powered tool with AI assistant
- A limited number of instruments in the Free package
- Expensive for advanced plans
- Requires a better customer support service
Freshworks CRM is a great starting point for an educational professional. It will show you what CRM is all about and how to use it. With the platform, you can make a more informed decision concerning further packages.
Zoho is considered one of the top CRMs with headquarters in India. One of the most appealing features of the platform is the ability to provide real-time notifications at any point the client interacts with your business within the education industry.
Similar to Freshworks CRM the platform offers a free-of-charge option. The Free package provides 20 subscriptions and a decent number of instruments included. The Basic option cost $49/month for 500 customers. The Standard package is $99/month. The Professional plan is $249/month. Finally, the Enterprise option is priced based on your needs and customization.
- Access to multiple pipelines
- Advanced degree of customization
- Good customer support service
- The free-of-charge option
- It is challenging to choose the right package
- Limited functionality
- Some forms require optimization to convert in other formats
Zoho is a good option to try your efforts in CRM. However, when choosing the right package for the future, you need to already have a vision of what instruments you will use.
Kapture CRM is a platform fully dedicated to excellent customer support. The software creates an easy path for clients to reach you. The customers can use different channels, for instance, chat, calls, email, social media, and even a mobile application. It is safe to say that Kapture CRM is all about establishing a connection between your business and customers.
In terms of pricing, the platform offers three options. The first one is Essential. For $45/month you receive a decent number of CRM tools. The second package is Professional. It costs $65/month and grants you 24x7 support and custom API. The final option is Enterprise. For $110/month you receive many tools including customer reporting and self-serve tools.
- Affordable pricing packages
- Intuitive user interface
- High customer satisfaction
- The most functional customer support service among CRMs
- Lesser degree of focus on sales and marketing
- Not a choice for Enterprises
- Custom API could be better
The overview suggests that Kapture CRM is perfect for small businesses. For a decent price, you receive a number of tools that help establish and grow relationships with clients. Besides, excellent customer support ensures that people will know about your company and will be willing to contact you through comfortable channels.
I hope, at this point, you have a foundational understanding of what CRM software for higher education is, what its benefits are, and how you can use its key features. Besides, we have covered some significant options you can choose from. Many of them bring massive benefits to educational technology companies.
Now, it is time for you to decide whether you want a platform focusing on marketing and sales or a platform with excellent customer support service. The thing is, you cannot receive all-in-one options with CRM unless you are ready to pay a huge buck.
Choosing the right platform requires thinking about the features you will use. Besides, it would help if you analyzed your business and clients to understand what tools will be most appropriate.
Nevertheless, if you still have doubts about CRM, you should ask yourself — Does my business have sufficient tools and resources to avoid using such a vital instrument as CRM? Do not think twice. Find the CRM meeting your demand and boosting your business fast.