Study Group

Attending an international university is a huge commitment. We use Salesforce in a way that reflects this and nurtures students to make the right choices.”

Marty Grant | Global Head of Delivery and Architecture


Reduction in sales processes


Study Group creates new pathways for student success with Salesforce

Study Group helps students from all over the world gain an education abroad by supporting them through the enrollment process and the early part of their studies. It works in partnership with leading universities in the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia where it offers on and off-campus education to help students develop the language, academic and social skills they need to succeed.

Managing enrollments is one of the biggest challenges for the education provider as it works with both recruitment agents and students directly from over 140 countries. A long term Sales Cloud customer, Study Group turned to Salesforce and its Success Cloud services to make this process easier and transform engagement with students and agents.

A fresh start

Study Group first brought in Sales Cloud ten years ago to accelerate the sales cycle. The sales cycle for this segment is long and students require increased support.

"Attending an international university is a huge commitment and we've changed how we use Salesforce to reflect that and nurture students to make the right choices," said Marty Grant, Global Head of Delivery and Architecture.

This transformation began four years ago with a business case to optimise the use of Sales Cloud. Study Group engaged a Salesforce Program Architect who worked with IT and Sales to streamline business processes. Together, they condensed 36 sales processes down to four and revitalised use of Sales Cloud.

Nurturing students through the recruitment cycle

Study Group has dedicated sales teams to support students and recruitment agents. Those who support students are not typical sales reps, but instead act as counsellors. They talk to students about their goals and what they need to do to prepare for university.

These interactions are now captured in Sales Cloud, providing Study Group with a 360 degree view of each student which it can use to personalise every touch point. This includes campaigns sent via Marketing Cloud which Study Group introduced 18 months ago to streamline communication and lead nurturing. Replacing a homegrown email system used for basic email blasts, Marketing Cloud powers automated journeys tailored to where students are in the recruitment cycle.

There are nurture journeys for those just starting to think about university as well as journeys to support students through the application process and notify them of what they need to do next. Each journey is customised to include branding for the specific universities students want to attend.

“We work as an extension of our partner universities so students don’t know us as Study Group. Instead, they know us as the International Study Centre of the university they plan to attend. Salesforce helps us manage the complexity of personalising campaigns so that we can send the right messages at the right time from the right brand,” said Grant.

Measures like email open and click-through rates have increased dramatically and Study Group has experienced an increase in applications.

Moving partner engagement and applications online

Many applications come in to Study Group via its extensive network of recruitment agents and so it has used Salesforce to boost engagement with these individuals as well. A new portal built on Community Cloud provides agents everything they need to support students through the decision-making and application process. For example, they can download the latest brochures from Study Group’s partner universities and access professional development materials.

Agents can also use the portal to fill out application forms and share supporting documents. These forms were filled out by hand in the past and Study Group would need to enter the data into different systems manually.

Now, 50% of applications from the agent channel are submitted online and the information is synced with Salesforce in real-time. This has resulted in less time spent on data entry, fewer errors and improved response times for students.

“Another benefit we’ve found to moving applications online is that it makes it really easy for agents to help students apply to the right university. Ultimately, that gives us a better chance of working with those students and finding them a place that’s a good fit,” said Grant.

Accelerating success

Resources and support from the Success Cloud have helped Study Group deliver on all these projects and build up its internal capabilities. Engaging Salesforce Program Architects proved particularly valuable in optimising sales processes and making the switch to Sales Cloud Lightning Experience.

“We’ve had the benefit of working with really smart people who were not only technically solid, but highly motivating. It was also clear in working with them that they had a huge network of people behind them which they can tap into for knowledge on the best way to help us,” said Grant.

Study Group is now getting ready to go live with Sales Cloud Einstein which will help it to analyse thousands of leads to identify those with the greatest potential. In doing so, it hopes to better support these students and collaborate with NGOs to help them find funding.


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