Higher Education CRM

Higher Education CRM software, and CRM software in general, serves one overarching goal: to create more valuable customer relationships. This includes making existing relationships more valuable as well as creating new relationships to in turn create value. most HEIs seek CRM software to improve their recruitment programs, improve communication (with students, parents, donors and the general public) and improve fundraising efforts by strengthening relationships with alumni. To meet these goals, HEI CRM systems help with data collection and analysis and the launching and management of campaigns that are based on that data analysis.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 276 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 276 products

Pivotal CRM

Pivotal CRM is a fully featured customer relationship management (CRM) platform suited to organizations of all sizes. Core modules include marketing automation, lead management, sales force automation, customer service and more....Read more

3.67 (6 reviews)

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NetSuite CRM

With a strong emphasis on sales and marketing automation, customer support and partner management, NetSuite CRM+ is a comprehensive, Web-based client relationship management system for small and midsize businesses. ...Read more

3.91 (186 reviews)

58 recommendations

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Genoo

Genoo is a cloud-based marketing automation solution for small to mid-sized professional services, software and technology firms. The solution helps marketers in email marketing, lead management, lead scoring, microsite building a...Read more

0.00 (3 reviews)

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SysAid

SysAid is a cloud-based IT Service Management, service desk and help desk solution that helps users in businesses of all sizes across various industries resolve technology-related issues. Key features include help desk automation,...Read more

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Keap

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that offers customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and e-commerce functionalities in one suite. Keap helps small businesses across v...Read more

4.08 (1111 reviews)

82 recommendations

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Zendesk

Used by over 20,000 global companies, Zendesk has made a name for itself as a sophisticated, yet simple Web-based help desk solution....Read more

4.36 (2748 reviews)

8 recommendations

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SAP Customer Experience

Whether you’re a mid-market company looking for an on-demand CRM application or a large enterprise that needs a robust, end-to-end client management solution, SAP can meet the unique technology needs of your company. ...Read more

4.19 (206 reviews)

1 recommendations

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Velocify

An ideal sales automation solution for insurance, financial and educational entities, particularly those that primarily use telephone- and email-based sales techniques, Velocify has quickly amassed more than 5,000 customers. ...Read more

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Oracle Cloud CX

For companies looking to meet the high service expectations of their customers, Oracle Cloud CX ensures that each and every customer is valued and supported. The customer experience suite gives businesses the tools needed to deliv...Read more

4.25 (14 reviews)

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HubSpot CRM

With its cloud-based, customer relationship management (CRM) platform, HubSpot CRM helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of ...Read more

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Software pricing tips

Read our Higher Education CRM Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

ServiceWise

ServiceWise by TechExcel is a cloud-based IT Service Management(ITSM) solution that caters to businesses of all sizes and helps them to automate and streamline their IT services and help desk activities with configurable workflows...Read more

4.67 (3 reviews)

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ContactWise CRM

ContactWise CRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed to assist businesses across various industries such as government, healthcare, banking and education. Key features include information reporting, busine...Read more

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Web+Center

Web+Center is an extremely affordable Help Desk solution that offers its customers an open database and source code architecture, leading to a highly configurable system that can be customized to each company's needs....Read more

0.00 (1 reviews)

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Freshdesk

Freshdesk simplifies customer support by centralizing all customer interactions into a single, affordable, Web-based solution. Phone calls, emails, Web chats and even social media outreach is fully supported in this solution....Read more

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Campaigner

Campaigner is a cloud-based email marketing solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across various industry verticals. Professionals can create automation workflows using a drag-and-drop interface and improve customer...Read more

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Help Scout

Help Scout is a cloud-based help desk solution that helps small businesses and small teams manage their customer relationships. Help Scout is designed to look like a personal email. There are no ticket numbers, case numbers o...Read more

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Soffront CRM

Small to mid-sized businesses seeking a truly comprehensive Customer Relationship Management system should take a look at Soffront CRM. This web-based, user-friendly solution is easy to customize to your workflow....Read more

4.31 (24 reviews)

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GreenRope

GreenRope is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution best suited for small business owners in all industries looking to consolidate their email marketing, social media, sales, event and project management into a single c...Read more

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InfoFlo

InfoFlo is an integrated CRM solution that can be accessed online or installed on-premise. The system provides contact management, computer telephony integration, marketing and sales automation, and customer support. Users also ha...Read more

4.47 (88 reviews)

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Deskera CRM

Deskera CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that helps companies of all sizes gain visibility into their customers, past, current and future communications. Deskera CRM includes modules for account manag...Read more

4.14 (14 reviews)

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Popular Higher Education CRM Comparisons

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 11, 2022

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is central to modern business. It helps maintain and organize all of a company's information on its relationships with customers and is the foundation for creating more valuable relationships.

But what about higher education institutions (HEIs)? They aren't "businesses" in the normal sense of the word. HEIs have a range of relationship types—with prospective students, enrolled students and graduates—that don't fit any of the standard business world's molds. So what exactly is higher education CRM software, and how are colleges and universities using it? Read on to find out!

What Is Higher Education CRM Software?
How Is CRM Different From Other Higher Education Software?
Common Features of Higher Education CRM Software
Key Considerations for Purchasing Higher Education CRM Software

What Is Higher Education CRM Software?

 

Higher Education CRM software, and CRM software in general, serves one overarching goal: to create more valuable customer relationships. This includes making existing relationships more valuable as well as creating new relationships to in turn create value.

In the business world, more value usually means simply more money. But few schools are entirely profit-driven, so what exactly does "creating value" really mean in the context of an HEI? It can mean:

  • Attracting new students and increasing enrollment
  • Increasing student engagement in school activities
  • Growing community involvement with school programs
  • Strengthening relationships with alumni and faculty
  • Improving relationships with donors and alumni

These are some of the broader goals of higher education CRM software. We'll discuss them, and the specific CRM applications used to meet them, in more detail below. Before doing that, however, it will be helpful to first distinguish CRM from the other software platforms used by institutions for higher learning.

How Is CRM Different From Other Higher Education Software?

There's no shortage of software designed for HEIs. Traditionally, the most common type used by learning institutions is called school administration software. Another commonly used term is "student information system." These systems are designed to manage the mission-critical aspects of school administration, such as:

  • The application process
  • Class enrollment and scheduling
  • Tuition invoicing and billing
  • Class attendance and student grading
  • Class credit and graduation requirements
  • Student and parent contact information

Screenshots of student-facing portals in STARS school management system

Example screenshots of student-facing portals in STARS school management system

As you can see, school administration software focuses on the nuts-and-bolts activities of school administration. It operates in relatively black-and-white contexts where, for example, a student is either enrolled or is not; a bill is either paid or is not; and classes are either attended or not.

Contrast this with HEI CRM software, which operates in the much larger and much less black-and-white areas of school administration. It can help schools in the following areas:

  • Finding and attracting applicants from different pools and groups
  • Improving course offerings to increase retainment and better meet student needs
  • Strengthening student and alumni relations to improve fundraising
  • Clearly communicating a school's mission statement and benefit to the community

Put another way, school administration software and HEI CRM systems are both used to manage information. While school administration software uses that information to facilitate the school's daily operations, HEI CRM uses it to improve relationships while working toward a school's larger strategic goals, such as those listed above.

Common Features of Higher Education CRM Software

Speaking very generally, most HEIs seek CRM software to improve their recruitment programs, improve communication (with students, parents, donors and the general public) and improve fundraising efforts by strengthening relationships with alumni.

To meet these goals, HEI CRM systems help with data collection and analysis and the launching and management of campaigns that are based on that data analysis. Features and applications that are commonly built into HEI CRM systems can include:

Email marketing Automate email campaigns, measure their performance and iteratively improve them based on data from previous campaigns.
Recruit management These tools manage the entire pipeline of new applicants and recruits, automating many of the steps in these lengthy processes.
Data integration tools These apps help integrate data from other systems (e.g., school management and student information systems) to improve the CRM and vice versa.
Social media apps Social media monitoring apps help school administrators keep track of relevant online discussions and help coordinate the school's responses.
Contact information management A core app in all CRM platforms, these databases ensure schools use the right details when reaching out to applicants, students and other interested parties.
Personalized communications Personalization tools help automate the above (and other) activities by helping schools customize communications based on a recipient's current status or success of previous communications.

While CRM as a type of software has been around for decades, only in the past five or so years have vendors begun tailoring it to the specific needs of higher education institutions. It's a relatively young market, and offerings vary greatly between vendors. HEIs looking for a system that includes CRM capabilities along with other features might be interested in higher education ERP systems.

Give our advisors a call at (844) 687-6771 if you need help determining which vendors offer which specific applications.

Key Considerations for Purchasing Higher Education CRM Software

Adoption: Single department or entire school? One lesson learned from the world of business is that CRM systems work best (and return the most value) when they're used by all of a company's customer-facing departments. Before a school begins the selection process, it should first have a clear understanding of how the system will be used across campus, not only in one isolated department.

Deployment. Cloud or on-premise? CRM software is typically offered as a cloud-deployed (aka Software-as-a-Service or SaaS) or as an on-premise solution. With cloud software, the school subscribes to the platform and the vendor manages everything on the back end. With on-premise software, schools typically pay a one-time licensing fee but then manage the installation on their own servers.

Integration. Integrated or stand-alone? As discussed above, most colleges and universities already use multiple different systems of software. Before settling on a new CRM system, the school should determine what degree of integration it needs with existing systems. This determination should be made with help from the school's IT staff.