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Building a Winning CRM Strategy on Campus: Your Complete CRM Handbook

By March 5, 2015

The currents of change continue to rock higher education and, more than ever, academic and administrative functions need to work in tandem to effectively engage with students, alumni and their greater community.
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There is hope on the horizon: Constituent Relationship Management can help schools set a course for success. Here are seven basic steps for a winning CRM plan:

  1. Define Your Vision

    Some people dismiss vision statements as a waste of time, but successful leaders know the value of having a clear, repeatable, action-oriented vision that your team can rally around. Your vision can be many things, from increasing graduation rates, to redefining education for non-traditional students. Make it both aspirational enough to have an impact, and clear enough that the entire institution can understand it.

  2. Define Your Strategy
    Strategy is what makes your vision achievable. Say you want to be the largest education institution. Do you do this by changing recruiting processes, or offering unique student services, or by revamping your marketing plan?
  3. Define Your Organizational Objectives
    Organizational objectives are where vision and strategy get translated into the day-to-day work. A common mistake when implementing a new CRM system is to replicate in it all the old objectives and processes, complete with their inefficiencies. Instead, view your implementation as an opportunity to review and optimize how you work.
  4. Get Your Team On Board
    Executive sponsorship is vital for your CRM vision, strategy and objectives, and for a successful rollout. A lack of executive sponsorship is one of the top five contributing factors to CRM failure.
  5. Identify the Metrics
    “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” is an adage attributed to many business thinkers – and it applies to higher education as well. Metrics should be visible to everyone, and this means creating dashboards for all levels of the institution, from recruiters and managers, to professors and deans, to the president of the university.
  6. Prioritize Your Initiatives
    You’re not going to get everything done at once, so decide what’s most important to deliver first. Training is often the priority, so everyone is ready to use the new CRM system as soon as it is available.
  7. Define Your Roadmap
    You shouldn’t look at building an effective CRM system as a “big bang” event. Yes, a successful rollout is vital, but being able to deliver enhancements and new features after you go live is equally important. Plan beyond launch day and consider what other capabilities you need to deliver for the institution.

Once your CRM strategy is in place, it’s time to explore the best ways to measure and maximize technology. CRM HandbookDownload “Your Complete CRM Handbook” and set your sights for a successful CRM rollout on your campus.

Download Your Complete CRM Handbook