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Tips to Implementing a CRM

Lyndsey Clark

Director of Admissions Operations and Graduate Admissions, Franklin University

Is there a first step when looking to invest in a CRM?

Before investing in a CRM, Campus Management recommends that a college identify what it wants to achieve with the solution. That way, a college can determine if it wants the CRM to work for only one or two departments, or multiple departments across campus, and find a solution accordingly.

Understand the vision for how you want to penetrate that student lifecycle and what you want to do with it. Do that homework first…As an example, if you only want a recruiting and admissions solution, there are a number of solutions that are on the market that meet that specific need, but you would not want to necessarily consider them if the strategic vision that you have is to reverse the entire student lifecycle.

How should colleges select a CRM?

Lyndsey Clark, Associate Director of Admissions Operations and Graduate Admissions at Franklin University suggests that colleges keep an open mind when selecting a CRM. Doing so enables college decision makers to absorb more information about certain products, and have greater success in finding a solution that fits their needs. That’s what Franklin University found in CampusNexus CRM.

"One thing I learned with CampusNexus CRM is 99 percent of the time, if you can think of it, you can do it. It’s very customizable. It’s interesting to see how you can pretty much shape what you need into CampusNexus CRM and utilize it to provide yourself and leadership the data you need," Clark says.

Communication with other departments, what should be considered?

Colleges should investigate which other CRM solutions are being used across campus before buying a new solution. Sometimes, not understanding what else exists can create some political conflict on the business side of those applications.

It can be a politically charged landscape along the way because people become protective of their systems, the budgets around their systems, the people around their systems, and of course there’s a mindset that this is working for us, why are we going to change? Understand what that landscape is and how to work with the business owners of those applications is an extremely important thing to do.

How should expansion be managed?

Small milestones – Most schools want to expand across the institution, but you can’t do it all at once. Start with one specific department who is ready to use, be a change-champion, willing to go through some degree of organizational change. Then use that team’s experiences as a guide to the next group. Smaller milestones and timelines are typically conducive to a better managed CRM implementation.

Who is accountable for the CRM system?

Create a culture where CRM metrics are identified, shared, and accountability is established. Use the system to get metrics, measure from them, and hold people accountable. Note if other CRM solutions are being used across campus, it may be difficult to use common metrics since the data points, calculations, etc. may not be the same.

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