Connected Planning for Higher Education – How Salesforce and Anaplan Can Drive Better Decision Making for Your Institution
Universities invest in constituent relationship management technology to support student recruiting and engagement for a variety of reasons. A few examples include the simplification of the recruiting process, a one stop shop for all recruiting information, faster recruiting cycles, better engagement of potential students, among many others. The core objective of a CRM implementation for a university looking to streamline their recruiting process is operational efficiencies.
While the operational benefits of a CRM platform like Salesforce drive tremendous value for an institution, leadership ultimately hopes that the data contained in the CRM platform can better inform them in the decisions required at their university. The foundational question is simple: How many students will ultimately be in a given cohort? The enrollment forecast for a university means everything not only to the admissions office and provost, but also to the office of the CFO. Questions like how are academic programs going to be structured to what kind of dining programs and dorm facilities are needed that are important to both of these groups. The reality is that this initial forecast question only leads to a variety of follow up questions of both operational and strategic in nature and many times these different departments have separate forecasts and disjointed processes that result in different answers to the same questions.
Just as a Salesforce delivers operational improvement throughout each step in the student lifecycle, Anaplan can be leveraged to better drive decision across all facets of the student experience. Leveraging the student pipeline data managed in Salesforce, Anaplan can be leveraged to better forecast the actual number of enrolled students expected. For example, by leveraging historical conversion percentages, a university can better predict the number of students who will move through each stage of the recruitment funnel. Analysis can be done then on the types of students being recruited to make for a more efficient recruit in the enroll process and ultimately a larger, stronger, and more diverse cohort of students.
Once this enrollment forecast has been developed, it can then better inform each of the areas of an institution from facilities to academics to student life. The enrollment forecast is a core input to the plans of each of these areas. For example, maintenance employee hiring is going to be based on the number of students at the university. Similarly, financial aid awards are going to be based on the number of students who will be enrolled within each cohort and understanding the student profiles within each cohort will be key in awarding aid.
Commercial organizations have been realizing the value of a connected planning platform such as Anaplan integrated with Salesforce to drive better forecasting and decision making for years to come. The same principles are as if not more important in the changing higher education marketplace – the enrollment forecast is just one part of the forward-looking picture at an institution.
Spaulding Ridge is uniquely positioned to support universities as they adopt connected planning models. As both a Salesforce and Anaplan partner with a deep expertise in higher education, we understand the problems, questions, and processes in the higher education space along with the technologies to better enable universities to grow in a modern environment.