Top 7 Best CRM For Schools to Help You Manage Relationships
Customer relationship management (CRM), in its basic form, has been around since at least the ‘80s. What started as simple database analysis and marketing has evolved to include detailed record-keeping and reports as well as automated communication tools and lead tracking systems that aid businesses and individuals with progressing through their networks.
Since then, the overlap between the lead tracking of a company and the student enrollment journey has led to a surge in CRM software specifically designed to help the education sector in a similar way. For businesses, CRM helps draw the attention of a prospect, foster the relationship, convert them to a customer, and provide valuable follow-up.
For school CRM, the principles are much the same: attract, nurture convert, and close. With the right CRM, schools can maintain the vast networks of prospects automatically, as well as manage faculty and communications within the institution.
What is CRM Software?
Usually, customer (or contact) relationship manager software focuses on providing users with a detailed account of the people in their professional network of prospects, professionals, or customers and helps organize the minutiae of maintaining that network.
CRM software is similar to an intelligent address book, in that it stores the details of contacts in one place for easy access, but it can also keep track of the details of previous conversations, birthdays, and other relevant information and send the user reminders to make contact with certain individuals at opportune times.
CRM can keep track of phone calls, emails, and physical meetings and advises users on when and how to push professional or personal relationships to the next stage based on the information it’s given and the desired outcome of the relationship.
On the scale of a business or institution, CRM offers team management, communication, and workflow tools to help teams work together on scheduling and lead generation. In schools’ admissions, this manifests as the ability to easily lead students through their enrollment journey.
CRM for Schools
With effective CRM, schools can manage leads, automate communications and review progress a lot more efficiently.
Many CRM platforms offer automated marketing tools, allowing users to maintain basic contact with multiple contacts effortlessly. This is great for influencing a prospect’s decisions early on, but also particularly useful in dealing with follow-up workloads during the admissions process and automated emailing or text messaging throughout. Automation functions are usually heavily customizable so that they reflect the personality of the user and don’t come across as cold or robotic.
The lead capture features of school CRM are useful in following the progress of prospective students through their admissions journey and into enrollment, and then maintaining follow-up and post-graduation contact too. All the small but time-consuming prompts and reminders to prospects and students can be automated, saving more time for face-to-face meetings.
School CRM doesn’t have to simply focus on the students. Staff recruitment can be handled much in the same way.
When it comes to choosing CRM, schools have a multitude of options out there, and many business-oriented products are generalist and customizable enough to be used in education with ease. However, there are plenty that are customized specifically for schools. We’ve compiled a list of seven of these below, with a brief overview of their features.
Eli Next customizes CRM solutions for educators, meaning you can have a bespoke application tailored to your specific needs. Their applications boast:
- Faculty management programs
- Staff recruitment systems
- Student access and retention systems
- Lead tracking and generation
- Campaign management
Alternatively, if you have one, the team at Elinext can customize your existing CRM software to better suit your needs. This would be a great option if there are specific requirements of your institution that aren’t generally considered in other industries or educational facilities.
Curacubby offers a range of tools that are useful to educators and school administrators. A customizable suite of accounting tools that integrate with Quickbooks is just one of many benefits of this CRM. Other solutions for schools include:
- Student management system
- Attendee check-in
- Tuition Management
- Online Fundraising Portal
- Pre-Participation screening
They also have a User Communication App that simplifies outreach and streamlines communication to parents and families of students by allowing teachers to send emails and text messages to the families of people in the contact list.
HubSpot uses its experience in the business world to provide a CRM that specializes in attracting, converting, nurturing, and closing students with a methodology that closely resembles the sales funnel. The educator packages also offer the following features:
- Email marketing for schools
- Tailored Campaigns
- Closed-loop analytics
- Content optimization
Following the entire student journey is the main focus of HubSpot’s CRM; drawing prospects in with tailored media outreach, engaging them with customized content, and shortening the time between a prospect’s visit and their application submission.
Salesforce customers report a 38% faster response to student needs, a 10% increase in enrollment, and a 30% increase in work-based learning attendance with their CRM for education. Their platform provides:
- Unified student and family data
- Scalable platform
- A dedicated advisory council
- Fundraising solutions
- Simplified admissions and enrollment
This CRM offers ten donated subscriptions to eligible non-profits and educational institutions, providing further subscriptions, products, or services at a discounted rate as part of their Power of Us program.
Among other things, Creatio has a focus on teacher evaluation with easy access to useful analytics on both students and employees. They also focus on marketing, sales, and service operations for different organizations by providing the following:
- Productivity tools
- Intuitive interface
- Mobile-friendly system
- Streamlined communication between relevant parties
- On-site and on-cloud deployment
Creatio puts a strong emphasis on automation and aims to empower higher education to handle the inevitable increase in students, as well as taking the hassle out of inter-departmental communication and improving the recruitment process.
Zoho states that it’s an end-to-end education management software, with fully customizable apps and limitless functionality. Easily accessed on a computer or phone and very simple to integrate with third-party apps. The software also offers:
- Dedicated dashboards
- Auto-generated timetables
- Research project management for students and faculty
- ID and registration number generation for students
- Dedicated events module
Native timeclock and biometrics software systems at the institution can be integrated with this product, so along with easy attendance monitoring, record-keeping, and scheduling, Zoho CRM is a promising option for tracking current students.
One of the strengths of all of these software options is the reporting function. Schools are able to measure their progress with an array of reporting features that come as standard in most CRM packages.
Reports on profitability, pipeline, sales, and lead source analyses are things to look out for when searching for the right CRM for schools and can really aid in the reviewing of progress and the success of your CRM programs.
School CRM is a growing point of interest in developers and educational institutions alike. Because of this, there’s a vast new range of software options covering CRM for schools that makes great use of the tools and functionality that have served founders, MBA students, and established businesses alike for so long.
Recognizing the similarities in the enrollment journey to the sales funnel, it’s a simple matter to convert established customer relationship management processes into a specialized recruitment and management tool for schools. What you’re left with is a selection of some of the most helpful toolkits for teachers, students, and managers of educational institutions.