In my previous post, I looked at 5 simple strategies that successful agencies use. You gave me some great feedback and of course, some great questions too. One of the most common questions was a surprise to me. So, I decided to follow up that question in detail. Here now, is everything you need to know about creating and using an Education Agency Sales Pipeline.
What is a Sales Pipeline?
Basically, a sales pipeline is a set of stages or steps that will help you analyze all of your student leads. Each stage is meant to describe very simply, where the student is in the decision process. Moving from stage to stage requires a checklist of items completed by the student leads. When used effectively, a pipeline should tell you exactly how many students are deciding, ready to pay, or have paid. Setting the names of these stages is very important.
Naming Your Pipeline Stages
When thinking about your pipeline stages, start by asking what is important to your agency. If it is important to get a passport number, application form, deposit payment, you can use these points in the process to define your stages. Naming should reflect the sequence and process of booking a student.
Pro Tip: Name your stages with only one or two words, keeping it simple and easily understood just by reading it.
A Checklist for Each Stage
In order to qualify a student lead into another stage, create a checklist. The checklist should include things that the student lead completes - not you. For example, receiving a completed application form is a great checklist item. Whereas sending an application form to a student is just a task on your to-do list. The idea is to analyze students in each stage and see where improvement is needed.
The Winning Stage
This is the stage where you can say - YES, we won! What does that look like to you? Is it when the student has paid the last installment? Is it when they referred their friends to your agency? When a student lead reaches this stage, it should mean your agency has grown. Make sure you know what this looks like.
So Why Use A Pipeline?
Think of your pipeline as a special magnifying glass that can peek at the layers of your agency's sales process. By utilizing a pipeline correctly, you can see how many student leads are in each stage, and where there may be a bottleneck, preventing your sales flow. Right down to the checklist item, you can identify, assess, and then take action to improve what might be holding your agency back.
Pipeline Tracking Tools
There are many different solutions available to you, possibly hundreds. Take your pick of Sales CRM's (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP's (Enterprise Resource Planning); you may have even tried a few. I've spent so much time trying sales software to fit an education agency's needs. Maybe, there just hasn't been enough interest for innovation in education agency software until now.
The Process Has Changed
Access to information has totally changed and smart students know to choose an agency that best provides them a focused, genuine service. Edvisor gives you a system that helps you manage your student leads intuitively. With one login, you can access your data to create quotes and invoices in minutes and share files with your team members from anywhere in the world, so you can focus your energy on creating the best experience possible for your students.