Sacramento State Admissions Stays in 'High Touch' with Constituents via CRM

The Executive MBA program at the California State University, Sacramento said it has dramatically improved its constituent relationship management processes since implementing Intelliworks CRM last January to track its sales cycles and manage prospects. Formerly, the small admissions department, which also handles admissions for the institution's master's programs in accountancy and advanced business studies, had been managing contacts through a spreadsheet. Communications weren't being tracked at all.

"We chose Intelliworks' software because it's a turnkey system for prospect and client communications," said Nancy Thompson, director, external graduate programs office. After the program was implemented, the department began to track which contacts they should spend the most time with, which students they should spend the most time with, and which students they should expect applications from based on their responses to campaigns.

"We provide a full range of student services, from soup to nuts, for three Graduate External Programs, which is a huge challenge due to limited resources," said Katie Earl, director of recruitment for the school. Sacramento State considers its constituency to be "high touch," meaning that they need a high level of contact to be engaged.

"I like to spend 80 percent of my time with my 'hot' contacts," said Earl. "The Intelliworks system helps me quickly identify, contact and follow-up with them." The department stays in touch with prospects by using the contact log to see when the last contact was. When a student has a question or concern, a case record of the issue can be linked to the individual.

Last semester, the department sent about 60 campaigns to its constituents, averaging a 40 percent view rate. It has recently expanded its use of the software by using it for communication and tracking of business-to-business-contacts.

The Intelliworks software includes tools for managing contacts, inquiry response, and events, as well as marketing and outreach and reporting and analytics. Additional modules provide integration with Outlook, automation of marketing and management of non-traditional programs.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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