I’ve been in education marketing just shy of 10 years, with an 18-month stint at a digital marketing agency as well.
With the agency, I developed and executed comprehensive content marketing strategies for clients across multiple industries. That work opened my eyes to the strategies in the B2B world, which was all new to me.
When I returned to higher education, I implemented many practices that I used with my B2B clients.
One of those practices? Sales enablement.
What is sales enablement and why is it important in higher education?
In its simplest form, sales enablement is giving sales the right content or information at the right time so they ultimately get more wins.
Higher-ed marketers are responsible for generating leads for the enrolment counselors, but it doesn’t stop there.
It is very much a part of our jobs to help the enrolment team communicate more effectively with the leads and help nurture them down the funnel.
Higher-ed marketers should be thinking about sales enablement to increase the effectiveness of the enrollment team.
Add automation wherever you can!
This could be an article on its own because there are so many opportunities to empower your sales team using automation, but here’s just one idea.
The best-case scenario is that you have an API that connects your website to your CRM for instant lead capture.
If your website isn’t connected to your CRM, make sure you have an efficient way to pass those leads and applications as quickly as possible to the sales team.
You can set an internal email notification to go directly to your recruiter or the team responsible for entering leads into your system.
Make sure there’s an expectation of speed in this process. The faster your recruiters can call or text the leads, the more effective they can be.
Getting an API implemented can be a difficult task that includes several teams on your campus, but it is an important piece of the puzzle.
You can expect to hire an outside vendor to help as well, depending on the abilities of your IT team.
Start the process, lead the way, and stay on it!
Create sales-specific content
Your recruiters are getting a ton of questions from prospective students and they are likely seeing trends of the same questions.
Ask them what those trends are and create content around it.
Maybe you have two degree programs that are similar and prospective students struggle with choosing the right one for them. Marketing can step in and create a quick comparison sheet on the two programs.
Recruiters love having something of value they can send prospective students during the enrolment process.
If you practice inbound marketing, this content will likely fall under the decision stage.
I’m a numbers kind of marketer.
I want to have the answer and explanation to any question posed to me about performance.
As a marketing leader, if you have a strong grasp of the data, then you can come to the table with legit and respected recommendations. The numbers don’t lie and increasing transparency with your sales team can enable them to evolve and improve.
Here are a few scenarios where you can dig into the analytics and provide recommendations:
You have a rockstar recruiter
Pull their activities, leads, applications, and conversion rates.
How do they compare to the lowest-performing recruiter? Are there things you can replicate with the other recruiters to improve their performance?
This will be especially important if your team is not aligned with processes.
You have a struggling program
Pull the leads, applications, and start data.
Dig into the conversion rates.
The marketing team may need to generate more leads or provide more support to the recruiters.
Or, maybe the recruiters need some extra training because the conversion rates are lower.
It could also be that the program itself is outdated and needs a refresh or to be removed altogether.
Recruiters say the lead quality is low
Pull all leads, applications, and origin sources. What trends do you see?
If your paid leads (paid social, paid search, etc) are continually not matriculating into applications, there’s work to be done on your end.
Maybe you need to nurture leads more before passing them to the recruiters or your landing pages need improvement to capture higher intent leads.
Regardless of the scenario, you need to dig into the numbers before you can provide an educated answer or recommendation.
You’ll want to be sure to involve the VP of Enrolment when talking about sales enablement ideas.
If you’re not aligned, it may seem as if you’re pointing fingers.
If you have sales and marketing alignment, the sales side will know your intent is good when digging into their team’s performance.
Sales enablement efforts can amplify your enrolment and solidify your unity with the recruiters. As a marketing leader, it is your job to provide data and content to the recruiters.
Empower them and win more as a team.
Carrie's article was first published on medium.com
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