About Sunstone Business School:
Sunstone Business School offers a one year executive MBA Program to working professionals who have a minimum of 4 years work experience. This program is designed in such a way that it aims to help those working in technical roles move up the ladder, by enabling them to move into middle management and senior management roles.
The institute used multiple online platforms for student lead generation, including social media marketing, referrals, and email outreach programs. Facebook and LinkedIn were used for ads which were aimed at targeting marketing professionals. Existing students helped in the lead generation process by referring the business school to their friends and colleagues. With such practices in place, the lead volume increased enormously over a period of time. It was then that the team at Sunstone was in need of a marketing software that would reduce their manual work of managing leads and simultaneously help in lead generation.
1. Manual storage of leads had become a problem due to increase in lead volume:
As mentioned before, the lead volume had increased by several thousands as the school had begun to take in more students. The manual task of storing leads in excels and Google spreadsheets had become time consuming and challenging. They did not have enough bandwidth and therefore, lead storage in Google spreadsheets was not a good idea.
Furthermore, since there were so many leads, chances of not giving adequate attention to the interested students increased. The team could not focus on those working professionals who were genuinely interested in their MBA Program, and hence, this also led to loss of important opportunities.
The image below shows the difficulty faced by the team at Sunstone for having to store and mange leads manually.
Due to this, the team at Sunstone was on a lookout for a software that would automatically store lead information without the team having to do any manual work. The team wanted a lead management system that would enhance engagement and manage thousands of leads at a time.
2. Lack of lead prioritization:
With the number of leads coming in on a daily basis, lead prioritization and lead nurturing was a big problem. The team could not distinguish between those which were sales ready and those which still needed to be given attention to.
As a result, the Sunstone team could not reach out to the students in the manner they wanted to. For instance, queries related to admission, MBA program details, faculty, and so on, were difficult to address since the leads could not be prioritized. With their current marketing tool, they had difficulty in identifying how interested the student was, in the business school.
As shown in the image below, to nurture the leads, they were sending out email campaigns. But due to absence of information on lead activity, the team could not identify the hot leads from the cold ones, based on ‘clicks’ and ‘opens’ of email campaigns.
3. Keeping the students engaged was demanding since there were too many students to cater to:
Being a business school, it was extremely important for the team to keep their students in the loop about the latest developments in course curriculum, changes in teaching and administrative faculty, admission procedure, etc. Moreover, the school wanted to keep their existing students engaged. With so many leads to look after, sending out mailers to all the students was very demanding.
A marketing software with easy-to-use email marketing features and a lead management system was what the team needed. As they had to respond to thousands of experienced marketing professionals at a time, email marketing had become a very important lead management practice for them.
1. LeadSquared enabled automatic lead storage with features of a lead management system:
With LeadSquared, the team at Sunstone was at ease since they did not have to manually go through thousands of leads at a time, just to store them in excels or spreadsheets. With LeadSquared’s landing pages, the details of those students who filled up the form were automatically stored in the system. Sunstone Business School were able to create around 50 landing pages for various target groups and thereby, increase their lead volume.
The image below shows how leads generated from social media, referrals and email campaigns were automatically stored in the LeadSquared’s lead management system.
The manual effort of updating the lead data on various systems was eliminated. Hence, as soon as the student filled up the form, the data was automatically entered in LeadSquared. Furthermore, upon form-fill, the student was automatically sent an auto response in the form of a ‘Welcome Mail’. Such features helped the establishment better their lead nurturing process and kept their leads up to date with the school activities.
2. Lead prioritization was now possible with LeadSquared’s tracking mechanism:
Earlier, the team did not have any way of tracking their student activities. With LeadSquared, the tracking mechanism improved. In fact, this was one of their main reasons for using LeadSquared. The tracking feature enabled the team at Sunstone to identify top leads and websites which were working in their favour.
For instance, now they could identify which leads were hot, which students had opened their email, and which students had clinked on a particular link on that email. Furthermore, this enabled the team to identify important leads and prioritize them.
Over time, the lead volume increased and today, the school has around 2000 active leads. With LeadSquared in place, the team can now target those 2000 leads and nurture them accordingly. Through prioritization, the faculty can make sure that the leads which are really interested in their MBA Program are not missed out.
With LeadSquared in place, the leads could now be categorized into hot, cold or warm leads, based on the ‘clicks’ and ‘opens’ of the email campaigns.
3. Better engagement was possible through regular mailers:
The interested as well as the existing students were kept engaged through regular mailers. A weekly and monthly mailer is sent out on a regular basis. The weekly mailer is sent to around 1000 marketing professionals while the monthly mailer is sent out to all the leads that are kept informed about the activities of the business school.
With LeadSquared, the Sunstone group is now able to send out regular email campaigns and newsletters, track those who opened the mails, who clicked on the links and thereby, nurture and prioritize leads based on their engagement. LeadSquared’s lead management system revitalized Sunstone’s lead engagement and streamlined their marketing operations.
- With LeadSquared’s landing pages, the team created over 50 landing pages without any hassle and increased productivity by 50% as they did not spend too much time on doing so.
- Tracking the needs of over 70,000 leads became seamless with LeadSquared’s lead management system.
- An automated ‘Welcome Mail’ to new students with LeadSquared’s auto response service improved the school’s responsiveness.
Earlier, we were managing leads manually, which was time consuming and therefore, wanted a software that would help us do the same. LeadSquared helped us overcome this problem. Now, not only can we manage thousands of leads with the lead management system but also track lead activities simultaneously. With the email marketing features, we are able to engage our existing students and prospective ones.
– Medha Sharma, Program Manager at Sunstone Business School