A CRM Buyer’s Guide for Higher Education: Five Ways to Kickstart Your Buying Process on Campus

Sabra Fiala

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A blog from Nicole Baldassarre and our good friends at TargetX.

Many offices are being asked to do more with less, while simultaneously experiencing increased pressure to reach and maintain enrollment goals. Student demographics are changing and with that comes unique challenges that affect enrollment and completion rates. With recruiters and advisors assigned to manage hundreds or even thousands of students, facilitating and nurturing relationships can seem daunting or nearly impossible at times.

If your office is experiencing the pain points associated with managing the current state of higher education, know you’re not alone! Today’s prospect market requires institutions to continuously evolve their student recruitment and retention approach. This evolution is highlighted by recent efforts to redesign the student experience across higher ed to create a consistent, cohesive, and compelling journey for students throughout the entire student lifecycle — from their first touchpoint as a prospect through graduation.

Why CRM?

Implementing strategies that include hyper-personalization, greater data visibility, and multi-channel communications on campus will set your institution apart from all the noise in higher ed today. However, achieving success in these strategies requires a mentality shift to one that challenges the status quo, prioritizes students, and supports innovative technologies.

With the right CRM, your campus can leverage the power of a SaaS solution to transform ambition into action. Not only does this technology help institutions identify key trends within target student populations, automate internal business processes, and centralize your data to eliminate departmental silos — it effectively engages students.

If your office doesn’t have a CRM yet (or even if it does but you feel like it isn’t the right solution to meet your goals), the buying process can seem overwhelming. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be! There are so many great resources available today to help you get started and navigate the EdTech vendor landscape. Plus, it’s always helpful to connect with colleagues at peer institutions that have a CRM in place to learn from their experiences and pick up some best practices.

Five keys to kickstarting your CRM buying initiative on campus right now:

  1. Identify the key stakeholders involved in your purchasing process.
  2. Outline system requirements and establish your evaluation team.
  3. Communicate the value of implementing a CRM to gain buy-in.
  4. Determine a budget that supports your requirements.
  5. Know what your purchasing process entails and create a timeline.

You probably chose your role in higher ed because of your passion for helping students and seeing them succeed. Now, it’s time to take a stand against the mundane, manual administrative work that’s getting in the way of you doing just that. It only takes one person to spark the change toward acquiring technologies that promote better outcomes for today’s students, and there’s no reason why that person can’t be you.

Download the Buyer’s Guide to CRM for Higher Education for more insights that will help inform your CRM search and buying process, every step of the way.


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