Within India’s expanding higher education sector, the competition for student enrollments is huge. That’s why the Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF) in New Delhi is blazing a new trail when it comes to winning the hearts of potential applicants.
Founded in 2006, ISBF offers students a world-class education with both undergraduate and graduate programs from the University of London and academic direction from the London School of Economics and Political Science. These programs combined with state-of-the-art facilities and an unbeatable alumni network help to attract the best and brightest from across India. And with Salesforce, ISBF is connecting with these students in a whole new way and growing applications by 20% year on year.
In education, the recruitment cycle can last more than 12 months. And it’s not just a matter of responding to applicant enquiries. There are many touch points to influence a student’s decision and ISBF works hard to make each one count. This means getting smart about its target applicants and how it connects with them.
To start with, ISBF needed to be more proactive and bridge the gap between applicant enquiries and key milestones such as entrance exams and interviews. This wasn’t easy for a small team managing hundreds of applicants each year. It needed insights and the right tools to connect with applicants more personally and more often.
ISBF has gained these capabilities from the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. “With real-time insights from Salesforce, we’re able to target our communications and engage with applicants in a more meaningful way. It’s transformed our marketing and helped us to grow,” said Dr. Jitin Chadha, Founder and Director.
Today, automated workflows help ISBF manage enquiries more efficiently and in a personalised way. It can track leads from targeted campaigns and automatically route them to the most appropriate counsellor for follow up.
It can also capture and segment customer data to get the right information to the right person at the right time. This includes tailored marketing emails to keep potential applicants interested in ISBF’s offering as well as operational emails regarding entrance exams or interview dates.
The application process is also built on the Salesforce platform, giving ISBF a complete digital record of each applicant for easier analysis and decision-making.
“We want to stay top of mind with students and simplify management of the application process. Salesforce supports us to do both without adding headcount,” said Dr. Chadha.
Applications to ISBF are growing 20% year on year, putting the institution on track to double in size and open a second campus within the next five years. Already, it’s using insights from Salesforce to analyse what new courses might attract further applicants and enrollments.
ISBF’s management team is also using Salesforce to support the growth of the Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD) which operates under the same parent company.
“When we launched our design school in 2015, we were able to manage 800 applications in the first year and double that for 2016. We wouldn’t have been able to manage that growth without Salesforce,” said Dr. Chadha.
Dr. Chadha also credits ISBF’s local implementation partner, Compro Technologies, for evolving the Salesforce Customer Success Platform to meet the needs of both institutions.
In response, Dushyant Jamwal, Salesforce Practice Manager at Compro Technologies, said that Dr. Chadha’s clear vision for what he wanted to achieve paved the way for a successful implementation. “What we’ve created with ISBF is an entirely new way for institutes to engage with applicants. It’s been exciting to apply the same model to IIAD and see both institutes thrive.”
ISBF is now looking at Salesforce to further automate its marketing communications with students. “We want to stay connected with students throughout their application and study lifecycle with personalised communications. We can do that with Salesforce,” said Dr. Chadha.