In this webinar, Amit Saha from Ace Engineering Academy will discuss the major business challenges during Covid, how they shifted their business from offline to online, and the role of Leadsquared in streaming their admission process. Agenda for the webinar:

  • Challenges with adapting to an online business process
  • How to ensure a seamless journey from inquiry to conversion via digital
  • How to check & improve the productivity of your counsellors while working from home
  • The best tools and strategies to get your business online
  • The future of training institutes


Speakers

Murali Krishna
Director of Sales Operations, LeadSquared

Murali is the Director of Business Operations at LeadSquared. He has over 8 years of experience in sales and has led several teams during this time. Prior to LeadSquared, he was a Relationship Manager at HDFC Bank, where he mastered the sales process & pipeline of financial institutions. Of late, he has been extensively working with the education sector, helping schools, colleges, universities, and EdTech businesses, fill more seats faster!



Amit Saha

General Manager, Ace Engineering Academy

Amit has over 21+ years of experience in heading national brands in the education industry. He has transformed the vision of various training institutes into reality by his proactive entrepreneurship skills. At Ace engineering academy, Amit heads 6 branches across North, South, and East India. He’s a sales pro with a record of increasing sales by 2X in his previous organization.

In this webinar, Gradeup and LeadSquared will come together to discuss the sales strategy for EdTech at this time, and how to accelerate sales. Agenda for the webinar:

  • Defining the EdTech sales process
  • Monitoring the journey from a lead to customer
  • The right tools to sell more to your customers
  • Why COVID-19 presents challenges and opportunities for EdTech sales
  • The future of EdTech

Speakers

Vibhu Bhushan
Co-Founder & CPO, Gradeup

Vibhu is a seasoned professional with 11+ years of experience in the Tech Business. He heads product and growth at Gradeup, which is one of the largest Ed-Tech companies in India. Gradeup provides students a platform to prepare for various competitive exams and score better. He is a dynamic leader with the ability to drive change through effective delegation and teamwork.


Nilesh Patel
Co-Founder & CEO, LeadSquared

Nilesh is the CEO of LeadSquared, a sales execution platform. He is focused on helping businesses in high velocity, high volume sales to improve their sales execution and increase sales efficiencies. He is on a mission to build LeadSquared as the software partner of choice for sales execution for businesses. Previously, Nilesh was the founder of Proteans, a recognized leader in the software product development services space.


Lokesh Mehra, Director of Global Admissions, ISBR business school, and Murali Krishna, Director of Sales Operations education, LeadSquared, talk about the state of higher education in India and how to streamline enrollment amidst the turbulent times.    

HIGHER EDUCATION BEFORE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Just a while ago, things looked a lot different for students, colleges, and companies looking to hire graduates.  

Before the pandemic,  

– Students had the power of decision-making. They boldly conveyed to their parents their interests, courses, preferred colleges, and career.  

– Campus placements were participated with enthusiasm. Students were open to relocating for jobs.   

– The environment was extremely conducive for higher studies. It was easier for students to get student loans to study abroad.  

– More than 2 crore students applied annually to global, pathway, exchange programs, or higher education in foreign countries in 2020.  

IMPACT OF COVID ON HIGHER EDUCATION 

The biggest impact has been on the mode of education.  

With a lot of colleges, universities, and students ill-prepared for a sudden transition to an online mode of learning, there was pandemonium.  

Impact of Covid-19 on Education

For instance, 

  • Colleges and universities in India were not able to comply with AICTE requirements while conducting online sessions. 
  • It was very difficult for teachers to ensure the same quality of education in the online mode of teaching. 
  • The admission process also had to be restructured. 
  • The enrollment staff relocating to their hometowns created another operational challenge. 

All these challenges greatly affected education in India.

Covid-19 impact on Education graph

Amidst this, institutions like ISBR had to rethink their enrollment strategies to be able to deliver knowledge to as many students as possible, as online had, and currently has, become the new medium for education, business, and everything else.  

ISBR’S STRATEGIES TO CONTINUE ENROLLMENT DURING THE PANDEMIC 

ISBR realized that there was a dire need for change in the traditional paper-based enrollment process they had used before the pandemic.  

So, they decided to partner with LeadSquared to aid in creating a complete admissions platform for student acquisition, application tracking, student journey tracking, enrollment, and more.  

LeadSquared was able to help by automating the application process and student enrollment, and mapping end-to-end student journeys – inquiry, applications, counselling, and enrollment.  

Here are some aspects in which LeadSquared helped ISBR -  

  1. Lead Nurturing -  LeadSquared makes it possible to capture inquiries via online forms and create a nurturing or follow-up sequence with the student. Once the lead is captured and based on the information provided, LeadSquared enables colleges to follow-up/nurture students via email, SMS, WhatsApp, and phone calls. 

When asked why to lead nurturing was important, Lokesh Mehra said “Earlier you could have a student enrolled within 3 or 7 days, but there would be fewer students being enrolled. Now, the lead nurturing will take its due course of time. Instead of three days, it has gone up to 10-12 days, with higher chances of enrollment. So that’s where lead nurturing comes into the picture.” 

  1. Automation – Uploading documents, taking online tests, giving bonafide certificates, paying fees, or collecting receipts must be automated as everything is now online. LeadSquared’s platform helps colleges by driving different levels of automation. 
  1. Skilled certifications - Future jobs will be skill-oriented and will require specific certifications. LeadSquared helps track progress, provides smart suggestions on further certifications, and constantly updates their mentors, thus improving the completion of skill certifications by the students. 
  1. Region-specific ROI Analysis –LeadSquared’s Education CRM Software also helps you to track which geographical locations you are acquiring students from. This helps you to target specific regions. ISBR found that Southern India, especially Hyderabad and Karnataka, has proved to incur higher ROI than other states. Therefore, they focused their investment on advertising in those regions.  
Region specific ROI

EDUCATION POST-PANDEMIC 

The Covid-induced lockdown ravaged the education system with schools closing and online learning nowhere near effective.  

Over 1.5 million schools across India closed down due to the pandemic.  

Only 24% of households have access to the internet, while only 4% of households have access in rural India.  

The Education Ministry’s budget for digital learning was slashed to Rs. 469 crores in 2020-21. 

The colleges or universities could provide further options of learning like hybrid learning or open book systems to keep on par with the changing expectations post covid. Digital transformation is now becoming a top priority in most institutions. 

LEADSQUARED’S SOLUTIONS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION 

LeadSquared helps facilitate the admission process through Application Management, Enrolment Marketing, and portals to enhance, ease and ensure that the student gets admitted seamlessly.  

Here are the solutions LeadSquared provides for higher education -  

1. Student application portal 

2. Counsellor and lead management 

3. Lead nurturing and marketing automation 

4. Centralized communication 

5. Publisher panel 

6. Integrators and connectors 

7. Reports and Analytics 

STUDENTAPPLICATIONPORTAL

LeadSquared provides a paperless application process where -  

– Students register on the website with a login ID and password to fill in all the information.  

– If there is existing data of the lead with LeadSquared, it will be auto-filled, saving students time. The form is auto-saved at each step. 

– Triggers will be sent to counselors if the student fails to complete the entire process. The student’s progress can be monitored by the counselors to guide them to complete their application.  

– Various payment gateways like Paytm, PayU money, and RazorPay are integrated to ease payments. 

During the application process, real-time notifications can be automated in LeadSquared. They are of 2 types: 

  1. Student notifications – The status of the application, like the application process, rejected, approved, payment paid, or any other related information will be notified to the student in real-time via email, SMS, or WhatsApp.  
  1. Counselor notifications - Any information which needs the counselor’s or the internal teams’ attention will be notified. For instance, if a student’s payment has failed, the counselor can get in touch with the student about alternate payment modes.  
Counsellor Dashboard

1. COUNSELOR MANAGEMENT  

All counselors have handy information regarding lead distribution, courses, etc.  

Leads are distributed based on the admission counselor’s skill set, program, and center.  

Smart views help the counselor with their work regimen/process. Whenever counselors log in, only relevant information like new students or follow-up buckets, or payment follow-ups would be provided.  

This ensures that the counselors adapt and utilize the system effectively to increase efficiency. 

LeadSquared also helps counselors work from their mobiles via an app, wherein they can call immediately to follow up on the students. The calls are recorded and tracked for training and administration purposes.  

Lead distribution and task allocation can be automated to save time and increase efficiency. In an automated process,  

● The first call will be taken by the admission officer in less than 15 minutes. 

● When a lead is created, a task is automatically created. 

● The counselor is automatically notified to follow up on the student. 

● In case of incomplete tasks, the reporting manager is notified. 

Career school management system dashboard

2. LEAD NURTURING AND MARKETING AUTOMATION 

As shown with ISBR, LeadSquared helps with marketing and sales automation to rope in inquiries through landing pages.  

Using visual workflow automation, the job of the counselor is reduced.  

An easy-to-use, drag-and-drop feature helps in lead nurturing and sending automated notifications and triggers.  

LeadSquared also helps with Google Remarketing and Facebook retargeting, with its automation features.  

LeadSquared creates customizable forms to help in collecting information from the student. These forms are of two types –  

  1. Put an inquiry form and get data into LeadSquared. Then, send a unique link for filling out the application. 
  1. Directly ask the student to fill in the registration form on the website and create a login ID to complete the whole application process. 
Lead nurturing campaigns

3. CENTRALIZED COMMUNICATION 

LeadSquared allows omnichannel communication.  

Depending on the student’s preferred media, WhatsApp texts, SMSs, and calls are automated to easily get in touch with the student. 

Once a student record is created in LeadSquared, all the emails, SMS, calls, and any other communication can be monitored. 

Centralised Communication

4. PUBLISHER PANEL 

LeadSquared also tells you which sources like Shiksha, CollegeDekho or Collegedunia have you obtained students from.  

Publisher panel, specific to Indian colleges, is used by the publisher or the partner to monitor, track or convert leads via a dashboard and login provided by LeadSquared. 

LeadSquared tracks conversions at the source level. Better leads can be assigned to a pro salesperson using LeadSquared’s workflow automation. 

Leads can be categorized based on their geographical location, and which form of social media they use. This makes it easier to track from which places more revenue flows. 

Publisher Panel

5. INTEGRATIONS AND CONNECTORS 

Any lead coming from the Facebook ad campaign or Google Ad words can be directly pulled into LeadSquared as an inquiry.  

The most recent addition to LeadSquared’s Apps marketplace is WhatsApp business integration where communication from a college can happen via WhatsApp. It can also be used as a lead originator.   

Tests, theme management systems, and ERP to track attendance can be synced to LeadSquared.  

Payment gateway integration is done with major gateways like RazorPay, PayU money, and Paytm. LeadSquared can track application payment status via the application portal.  

LeadSquared tightly integrates with all the major telephony providers in India. There is also a mobile app that can record calls. With Zoom integration, admission officers can conduct online counselling with students and parents. 

LeadSquared allows custom integrations via APIs. This means any third-party software can easily integrate itself with LeadSquared. This helps to establish a connection and pass data into the system.  

Integration with third-party software

5. REPORTS AND ANALYTICS 

LeadSquared provides lead scoring that helps you understand: 

  1. What type of leads can convert better?  
  1. How active is the student? 
  1. What is the engagement scoring of a student?  
  1. Is the student opening the emails or not?  
  1. Is the student clicking on the links of the email campaign or not?  

The scoring process helps determine which student is more interested. This can be used to prioritize which student should be contacted first. You can find more on how scoring works here

LeadSquared provides real-time reports to counselors and adminstrattion. The Reporting Manager is provided reports with a ratio of how many applicants have enrolled, and what amount of engagement is happening. 

Along with this, there are several ready-to-use sales and marketing reports available in the system that can help you determine your campaign performance and ROI. 

CONCLUDING REMARKS

The era of digitization is here. Educational institutions should adopt digital as quickly as possible to gain a competitive advantage. 

As plenty of institutions are trying to digitize their admission process by keeping track of students, regularly following up with them, CRMs have become a very useful and important tool.  

LeadSquared also helps digitize the enrollment process in higher education. Want to know more? You can talk to our consultants here! 


Speakers

Murali Krishna
Director of Sales Operations, LeadSquared 

Murali is the Director of Business Operations at LeadSquared. He has over 8 years of experience in sales and has led several teams during this time. Prior to LeadSquared, he was a Relationship Manager at HDFC Bank, where he mastered the sales process & pipeline of financial institutions. Of late, he has been extensively working with the education sector, helping schools, colleges, universities, and ed-tech businesses, fill more seats faster!


Lokesh Mehra
Director Global Admissions, ISBR Business School

Lokesh is a seasoned educational professional with over 12+ years of experience in both offline and online education domains. He has headed multiple sales teams in his past and has supported them in determining the new ways of increasing enrolments. He has worked with organizations like Flygrades, Don Bosco School of Management, Aakash Insitute, and a lot more.


Merchant Management – The Key Challenges

Large online marketplaces, whether B2B or B2C, or any other businesses connecting buyers to sellers (food ordering platform, ride-hailing apps, logistics companies, payment gateways, and other similar businesses) face several challenges in managing their merchant operations. As you are here reading this, I assume you are aware of these challenges and are probably looking for a merchant management system to help you overcome them.

Merchant Management System

Here are the challenges that you are likely trying to overcome:

  • Effectively acquiring and onboarding thousands of new merchants.
  • Ensuring their speedy verification.
  • Keeping the old merchants engaged even as you onboard new ones every day.
  • Ensuring high productivity among your field teams onboarding new merchants and engaging existing ones.
  • Analyzing the performance of different merchants and your teams as you decide the next course of action.

Effective merchant management entails addressing all these challenges in one easy-to-use platform. Let’s discuss how:

Key benefits of using a merchant management system: 

Most of the aforementioned challenges can be overcome by empowering your field workforce with a mobile CRM meant for merchant onboarding teams. Here’s what a perfect merchant management solution should allow you to do:

Merchant-management-system-infographic

1. Productive merchant onboarding team

Efficiently handling a field workforce is never easy. The difficulty exacerbates when the field team is huge (which is generally the case with merchant onboarding teams). So you need to empower your teams to handle challenges specific to merchant onboarding.

Equipped with these features, some of our customers have reported an increased task achievement rate by 60 to 70%.

a) Day and route planning: When a merchant onboarding agent has tens of merchants to visit in one day, it helps to not only plan their complete day but inform them of the best routes to follow as well for high productivity.

Productive vendor onboarding team - mobile CRM

b) Dynamic forms with smart data input: While generic mobile sales apps allow you to add new leads (merchants in this case), an app built for merchant onboarding teams goes a step ahead. It considers specific factors, like the difference in the products each of the merchants might be selling. Adding a new merchant in the Electronics category might need a completely different kind of data input form than say a merchant in the Office Products category. Dynamic forms allow your agents to select the right kind of form, thereby saving them unnecessary confusion and clicks during new merchant addition, saving their time.

Dynamic forms - Vendor Onboarding and Vendor Management

c) Merchants Near Me: Allowing your agents to identify merchants in nearby locations can be a great productivity-booster. Imagine a merchant onboarding agent at a lead location with 5 more merchants in the vicinity. With a mobile app to inform them of this, they can visit and onboard these merchants as well, making the process much more efficient.

Merchant lifecycle management - leads near me

d) Timely lead deduplication: While a good mobile app would allow your teams to identify a duplicate lead as soon as they are entered in the system, a great merchant onboarding app allows this instantly with the input of a single field. As soon as the agent enters an identifier field – like phone number, he’s notified that the merchant already exists, thereby saving his time. 

2. Fast merchant onboarding and verification

a) Instant document upload and verification: Allow your agents to digitally upload all the necessary documents for merchant addition and verification easily. The documents can be the store pictures, business registration documents for the merchant, and anything else that’s mandated by your merchant onboarding process. This can even make use of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to ensure that the upload and verification processes are completed in minutes.

Vendor Onboarding and Vendor Management - Paperless onboarding

b) One-click verification for managers: To speed up the process of merchant verification, and therefore, onboarding, the field app should directly connect to the web systems being used by managers, allowing them to see the merchant details, the uploaded documents, and accept or reject them with minimal effort.

Verification team - Vendor Onboarding and Management

c) Escalations: If the verification isn’t happening fast enough, this can be escalated to the managers, if needed.

d) Automated stage change and seamless team collaboration: As soon as the onboarding task is completed, the lead stage can be changed, and the lead passed along to the next team, ensuring fast and seamless team collaboration.

3. Merchant performance tracking and engagement

A good merchant management system would allow you to track the performance of different merchants, manage their lifecycles, and notify the merchant engagement teams of low performing or inactive merchants so that necessary actions can be taken to engage or reactivate them.

Vendor tracking - Vendor onboarding + Vendor Management

4. High operational efficiency

I) Automated team monitoring

Managing a large team is hard. Even harder is managing a large team that a) works remotely or b) is constantly on the move (which is the case with merchant onboarding teams).

Your managers need tools to assess if every one of your several thousand field agents is putting their best effort in, without manual intervention.

Merchant management - remote agent tracking

Here’s how a good merchant management system will automate agent tracking and several other tasks like timely team check-ins, managing their attendances and more:

a) Check-in/out restrictions: Check-in/check-out restrictions broadly entail two things: Agents cannot begin their workday without checking in virtually (with their mobile app), and they can’t check-in from any random location. While this may seem like micro-management, it needs to be a part of your process for two reasons:

  • If check-ins are not mandatory, you won’t automatically know which of your thousands of FOS agents are working today, and which ones are on leave, making attendance tracking and regulation a manual task, which can be almost impossible, and a massive waste of time, when you have thousands of agents on the field.
  • If you allow people to check-in from any random location (instead of a specific meeting location, or the first merchant’s location according to an agent’s day plan), you will never be able to keep a tab on where your agents are. And even though most people want to put honest work every day, you’ll not be able to differentiate between genuine and fraudulent activities.
Merchant Management System- Check-in Restrictions

II) Automated Attendance Management

Making check-in activities mandatory allows you to make attendance management of your field agents automated. Several of our customers have reported an increase in their operational efficiency by 100% by simply using this feature.

III) Automated Payout Calculation

This is, again, controlled by the check-in/check-out feature. Because the system would automatically know how many days your employees have worked in a month, which you can then link to your payroll software.

5. Automated people management – new hires and churn

When field sales teams have a strength of a few thousand, a high churn rate is unavoidable. In such cases, keeping accurate records of the currently active agents becomes difficult. Automating this churn management can help you not only increase the efficiency of your operations but allow you to calculate pay-outs accurately for your active and inactive employees.

a) Auto-deactivation of inactive employees: Imagine not having to look for employees that may have left the organization manually, while the system takes care of which ones to eliminate from payroll. This is what a good merchant management system offers. An effective automation tool will automatically deactivate agents that are inactive on their app for “n” number of days.

b) Auto-mapping of their last working day: This would help you ensure that the final payouts that you are making to your inactive employees are completely accurate, helping you avoid any conflicts or tackle any payment claims that aren’t genuine.

c) Auto-allocation of their merchants for zero leakage. Every one of your merchant onboarding agents might be handling thousands of merchants. With constant employee churn, these merchants would not have an agent associated with them. Therefore, allowing bulk allocation of merchants to other agents either automatically or manually is very important.

d) Bulk addition/removal of agents and hierarchy management: With almost constant large-scale churn and hiring, you need to be able to add or remove agents in bulk and under the right reporting managers.

e) Identifying the best workforce agencies: In case you use agencies to hire contract employees, you should be able to identify the best agencies for you in terms of employee stickiness. You’ll be able to do this as well with a merchant management app aimed at increasing your team productivity and operational efficiency.

6. Zero fraudulent activities or misrepresentations  

A common problem that plagues the managers while handling merchant onboarding teams is mislocation. Avoiding misrepresentations are crucial to have an efficient workforce. When a number of users misrepresent numbers, the effect snowballs and can substantially hurt your bottom line.  Here are a few ways a CRM can obviate problems related to this:

a) Geotracking and geo-fencing: Geofencing enables managers to prevent fraudulent check-ins, users cannot work on their leads, until they have checked-in. This ensures both the correctness of reports and prevents fraudulent practices.

Vendor Onboarding - field tracking

b) Avoiding Location Manipulation: A common tactic to misreport the current location is by using a VPN. A VPN enables users to pass off a virtual location as a real one. This can be easily solved by using a capable CRM software. For instance, with LeadSquared, a VPN user will immediately be identified and shown the message: Location is not authentic.

c) Real-time verification Storefront image, GST image, etc. right from the mobile app (people have to click a pic at the particular point only, device upload not allowed to prevent fraudulent uploads/misrepresentation).

 7. Motivated Teams

Along with keeping a close eye on the merchant onboarding team, a merchant management system should also include incentives to keep field teams motivated. Studies have shown that when prompted with proper incentives people tend to work harder.

Our customers have reported a substantial increase in efficiency due to incentives visibility – around a 20% increase in task fulfillment rate.

8. High adoption rates 

When the churn rate is high, a lot of resources have to be devoted for training fresh recruits. This could incur considerable costs. To reduce this, a reliable method is making use of technology and making training resources available to them on mobile apps. Also, an easy to use and intuitive platform is needed for successful large-scale adoption.


9. Reports to constantly improve

While handling millions of merchants and thousands of agents, it is imperative to have a practical and convenient reporting system in place. After all, improvement vitally depends on inspections. A good reporting system should allow you to have easy access to nuanced performance details of all your employees.

Features like summary reports, hierarchy based reports, and dashboards help you in building such a system.

Merchant lifecycle management - performance reports

In Conclusion 

Managing merchant operations can be a cumbersome process. With an effective tool, this process can be segmented, and hence, simplified. Be it managing the merchants’ day-to-day jobs, tracking their leads and locations at all times, or simply assisting them in the different aspects of their trade, a good merchant onboarding, and management system can do it all. It can, therefore, make it possible for you to improve their time management and efficiency, ultimately increasing your own profitability. 

Key Discussion Points:

  • Managing remote efficiency of your pre-sales & sales team
  • What can you do now to ensure prospects remain warm for purchase post the crisis is over?
  • Empowering your team with the tools to generate property bookings remotely
  • [New Feature] Inventory management in LeadSquared – Increasing visibility & productivity
  • [New Feature] Post-sales real estate processes within LeadSquared

Speaker

Praneet Bhave
Founder, Inmost

Praneet has over 9 years of experience working with enterprises on key digital initiatives across Real Estate, Financial Services & Education. At Inmost, Praneet and his team are passionate about novel technologies that empower their customers to win more business. Which has led them to develop robust inventory management & digital property booking solutions that are helping real estate developers drive more sales every day.


Key Discussion Points:

  • What is the current state of things & what changes are we seeing in the market?
  • Is digital replacing the “human to human” interaction?
  • What approach should the sales teams take, in these changing times?
  • Are sales teams armed with the right tools?
  • Adapting to an online, automated sales process How can automation help minimize efforts, maximize productivity & accelerate revenue ‌

Speakers

Navil-Jojode

Navil Jojode
Sales Strategist, Web Synergies

Navil has headed profitable businesses for 14 plus years. He has also played a key role in accelerating growth, customer engagement & improving margins as P&L Head with Brillio Technologies, Ramco Systems, and DSF. He is a dynamic sales leader & mentor with the art of winning deals, customer confidence, and partnerships over the last 25 years in IT. In this webinar, he’s going to talk about the most powerful growth strategies to drive revenue.


Abhishek-Anand

Abhishek Anand
Director of Sales – APAC, LeadSquared

Abhishek has a rich experience of 7 years in IT sales, sales enablement, and execution with an excellent track record in overachieving targets. He has strong exposure to international and domestic markets. Abhishek is a pro in skills like storytelling, superior engagement, sales, presentation, networking, and negotiation. He is passionate about people, purpose & technology. He’s a firm believer in chasing the leads till they become customers!