A student walks into your consultancy to gather some information about international education. Let’s say she wishes to study in Australia. You gave guidance to your best ability. You explained to her in gist about the process starting from university application to OSHC for Australia to applying for a visa.
She takes some time to think about it and returns with a confirmation to go ahead. This is nothing but a successful lead conversion and means good for your business.
But, not all leads are this simple. Do you agree?
In the above scenario, the student was aware. Thus, from a visitor, she quickly became a prospect for you. Moreover, your counseling convinced her and sparked the interest. This helped her in the decision journey and ultimately became a lead for you.
However, this was just one example. What if the student wasn’t a walk-in inquiry but instead saw an ad on your social network, or read a blog on your site, or attended a webinar and approached you for the services?
Does your strategy remain the same? A big – NO!
Remember, every student (or buyer in a broader perspective) goes through various channels before deciding to opt for products/services. Basically, there are 4 stages viz.,
More or less, a prospect approaching for counseling is falling somewhere in between the first two stages, i.e., awareness & interest, and becomes a lead in the third phase. However, a lot goes on to move them seamlessly from one stage of the sales funnel to the next.
Now, there are a few exceptions. A student is directly a lead for you if he or she walks in with a specific country, university & course that he or she might be interested in.
But, as we said above, not all leads are simple. Students are a complex identity. They run by many options before making a final call. There is nothing wrong with it, but this process makes them a confused entity.
They might change their decision and leave your sales funnel at any stage. So, what can be done to prevent this from happening? How can you effectively manage your leads? How can you ensure that each prospect reaches the end of your sales cycle to support business growth? What does your international education agency do to organize and streamline the lead management process?
Let’s find out the answers to the above questions.
To make it much simpler, follow these 6 steps to effectively manage student leads and build a solid lead management process from start to finish.
Lead management remains at the top of your sales cycle in the entire customer acquisition process. The primary purpose is to identify potential buyers (leads), inform & educate them, interact & engage them. Finally, when the right time arrives – you close the call by presenting your solution.
1. Understand Your Leads
Understanding your leads will help you determine the stage in which your leads are in the decision-making process. They might be planning to go study overseas, or they have made up the mind but not sure about university or course or want to get the best deal on student health insurance by OSHC comparison.
Some of the essential things to consider in understanding your leads are:-
- Demographics – Where do your customer come from? What are their problems, wants & needs?
- Behavior – To find the information they need, whether they read blogs, whitepapers, attend a webinar, follow forums, etc.
- Lead Source – Which of your marketing channel made them find you? Was it the landing page on your website, or read an article, or saw your Instagram post?
Once you identify and understand your leads, you’ll be able to curate the best marketing content & campaign for your target audience.
2. Know Your Leads
Interactive counseling sessions and creating various engaging models could pave the way with insights in knowing your leads.
Moreover, once you track the source of your lead, you’ll know exactly what they are looking for and interested in. Thus, you could optimize accordingly such as Education Expo, Webinar, Email Subscribe list, Landing Page, etc.
Based on their interest, you could customize your campaign as per their needs. This will also help you in diverting your leads to respective colleges & universities that you represent.
3. Rate Your Leads
Rating your leads is an essential step in the lead management process. If the student is keen to know what’s next blog, or when the webinar happens or frequently connects with you, it is a sign of confirmation. Hence, such behavior & activity helps you to classify your leads under four major category such as:
- Highly Interested (Very Hot Lead)
- Interested (Hot Lead)
- Somewhat Interested (Warm Lead)
- Not Interested (Cold Lead)
4. Care For Your Leads
Use the information collected from the above three steps to identify & segregate students based on their interests and likely stage in the process of closing the deal for you.
Usually, you can categorize them as per the student journey map:
- University Application
- Applying for Visa
If a lead is not befitting well in any of the above steps, they are in the research phase. This is when you need to care for your leads by educating them, providing information, etc.
Such a course of action will lead them to trust you and the services you offer.
5. Break The Usual
It breaks our heart to say it, but it is what it is. The majority of the education agents promote or offer the services such as a course, university, and even a country up to some extent due to their limited associations with institutions and/or resources. One specific choice – that’s all they have to offer to students.
Not providing enough options to students may lead to things such as:-
- Lose the prospect as a student doesn’t fit the profile
- Unhappiness as the solution was generic and not customized as per the student’s needs
- Limited network with college/institutions/destination will limit the income & growth
Thus, it is vital to offer the right course to the right student at the right time to grow your customer base and increase revenue as well.
6. Sales Metrics
It is crucial to keep track of & measure all your marketing efforts. It is the need of the hour to evaluate your performance across each sales funnel stages to refine, score and streamline the process, campaign, etc. The key is to ensure that the lead keeps moving seamlessly through the sales cycle without being lost. With the following points, you can enhance the process to identify what works (and what doesn’t) for your education agency & lead the management process.
- Track & measure throughout the entire sales funnel
- Measure sales performance
- Measure marketing & sales ROI
Last but not least, you could also use a tool such as KONPARE to acquire & manage leads effectively.
What is KONPARE? It is an OSHC comparison tool. A few education agents also refer to it as a sales & marketing automation tool. Overall, it is an online lead management tool. KONPARE does everything at no additional cost. On the contrary, you earn an extra – a higher commission on each policy. Experience KONPARE For Free Today!