Microsoft Dynamics CRM Excels with Higher Education

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As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant, I get to work with a lot of great businesses and see a lot of flexibility in their use and application of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. My most recent example is with an educational institution.

A lot of the CRM implementations that I work on focus on the sales process: finding leads, qualifying leads into prospects, accounts, and contacts and then creating opportunities to manage the Sales Pipeline. For this educational project, the goal was similar: find interested students for the program, qualify them as accepted students, advise the students during their general class schedule and then manage their program once they qualified.

Configuring CRM to work in this similar, yet different setting showcased the flexibility Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Dynamics CRM continues to be a leader in customer relationship management tools as indicated by independent research from Gartner and Forrester. Not only is it powerful and user-friendly, it is also flexible. That’s where xRM (Anything Relationship Management or eXtended Relationship Management) comes into the picture. Organizations like education institutions can leverage the flexibility, features, and functionality of Microsoft CRM to extend the application and support them in ways they might not have thought possible.

Below is an outline of how this project was able to take advantage of the flexibility of xRM.

  1. Finding potential students for the program is just like nurturing a lead in a standard CRM sales process. Recruiters would reach out to potential students and have them fill out applications. These applications are entered into CRM along with all the communication had with these potential students. Once the student’s application is accepted, the potential student is “qualified” as a student within CRM.
  2. The student is assigned an advisor and the advisor keeps the student record within CRM up to date. All communication between the advisor and student is tracked within CRM. During this time, the advisor is helping the student reach all the requirements needed to be accepted into the program for which they were recruited.
  3. Once the student meets the requirements and is accepted into the program, there are multiple things happening in CRM.
  4. Since this particular college manages programs in multiple geographic areas, there was a need to keep track of students at each location. To assist with this placement, I built a mapping dashboard which plots all the contracted locations within a provided mile radius around the student. The map allows the admin to see all the locations, bring up the locations information and see the rating for each location. After the student is placed at the location, an instructor is assigned or contracted for that location.
  5. CRM tracks all the current and past instructors along with their annual review information so the right instructor can be chosen for that location.
  6. Lastly, CRM helps the advisor track his/her student through the program and updates the status of where the student is in the program until graduation.

With all this information being tracked in CRM, we then created management reports to monitor the whole process. There are reports used to monitor the success rate of the recruiters, monitor the success of current studentsmmm and determine the future class size needs and location requirements.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we are able to use the same concepts of a standard sales process but then tailor the application to track and manage the success of a student. Are you considering Microsoft Dynamics CRM but don’t fit the out-of-the-box sales cycle? When considering how CRM can help support your business, it’s important to think outside the box, beyond the usual limits of traditional CRM functionality. Talk with your CRM consultants about the possibilities.

By Ledgeview Partners – Wisconsin based Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner serving the Midwest and Heartland regions

1 thought on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Excels with Higher Education”

  1. In order to better management all the business deal and communications data storing in one place… Is it not amazing? All users can get a consistent view and actions can be taken based on this information. I always used to think that it is only useful for sales or marketing purpose but using Onsite CRM ( it is so enormous and helpful for our educational institutions to retain students’ in a queue.

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