Admission CRM software: the best ways to improve your enrollment process.

I’m not too fond of all-you-can-eat-buffets. There is so much to choose from, and 9/10 times, I fill up on starters and miss out on the main course. It is overwhelming and mind-numbing.

Fun fact, buffets are incredibly profitable. But, since you are here, I am assuming you are looking at ways to improve your enrollment process. We will dive straight into it, but before that, do you know what is common between an enrollment process and the buffet? Being so occupied with starters (junk student inquiries) that you miss out on the main course (conversion-ready-student-inquiries). Similar to a buffet, there are hundreds of lead-gen sources and thousands of student inquiries.

Having streamlined the admissions for multiple educational businesses, we understand that new enrollments are primary for any institution. While we talk about “streamlining” the admission process, it is crucial to understand the student journey. 

Let’s look at how college admission management software helps you achieve higher enrollment rates by tracking every interaction and enabling communications across touchpoints. We’ll also look at the functional requirements of an online admission system. 

Why should you streamline your admission process? And why do you need a college admission management software for that?

Admission is not a one-person job. It involves student counselors, marketers, finance, management, IT, and more. The tricky part is – each department operates in its way, with its specific tools and techniques. It often leads to people and processes working in silos and results in miscommunications and missed opportunities.

Therefore, schools and colleges need software that helps streamline different departments and helps institutions break through the silos for a better enrollment workflow. 

A college admission management software, or an admissions CRM, can help you connect teams, processes, and leads that eventually results in better student experience and higher enrollments. 

Let us now look at the functional requirements of an online admission system.  

Functional requirements of online admission system

1. Lead Capture

Capture all student inquiries with the help of an admission crm software and never miss out on opportunities

We’ve all seen action hero movies where the bad guys surround the hero during a fight, and the hero single-handedly defeats them. Too bad this stuff doesn’t happen in reality. The same goes for your student management. Not that the student inquiries are irrelevant. But when you have a massive inflow of leads, your system will most likely take a beating. It will lead to missed follow-ups and lost opportunities.

But, with the help of a robust lead capture system in place, be sure to capture leads from sources like social media channels, publisher panels, online/offline ads, inbound calls, landing pages, and more. But let this not fool you. Efficient lead capture is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving your enrollment process.

2. Lead Segmentation

Prioritize enrollment ready leads first by segmenting them based on urgency. The admission CRM software helps your admissions agents pick out on the most important student inquiries.

It’s a common misbelief that admission is all about generating as many leads as possible, then contacting all of them, resulting in a 100% conversion rate. Well, to an extent, it is true. However, we haven’t addressed the real problem yet. 

Why don’t we see a 100% conversion rate on the 100 leads that are generated? It is practically impossible to call all leads one by one. You might have junk leads, inquiries that have lost interest or have turned cold. Hence, it is essential to know your target audience (the applicant), understand their intent, collect real-time interaction info through website visits, webinars attended, time spent on marketing content, and accordingly establish engaging touchpoints with the applicants.

Converting a student inquiry to enrollment is a game of lead qualification and strategic audience targeting. Unfortunately, most of the time, admission teams ignore this. An admissions CRM can solve this major roadblock by helping you identify the conversion-ready leads. It lets you assign scores based on engagement, such as website visits and email opens, and their eligibility for admission. So, the next time you see a student with a higher scorecard, that’s your target.

3. Lead Distribution

Based on the urgency and enrollment-readiness, distribute these inquiries without delay to admission agents based on several counsellor criteria and attributes.

Note that your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) shouldn’t be a guessing game. 

If you’ve defined your customer persona, you’ll know that less than half of the inquiries you generate will fit your ICP. 

The idea is simple. Pursue those leads first who fit your ICP. It is because they are eligible and probably are willing to enroll in your courses. 

But before everything else, ask yourself:

  • Do you call them one-by-one based on the lead score? 
  • Do you distribute these leads among your admissions team based on criteria, such as course interested, language spoken, location, and counselor availability?

If you’re following up with leads on a first-come-first-serve basis, you’re missing those leads that have higher chances of conversion. Similarly, if you’re assigning every lead to a counselor, and if they are not available on a particular day, response to inquiries will only get delayed. 

That is why you need a college admission management software that can help you identify and prioritize conversion-ready leads.

Distributing the leads among your admission counselors by understanding the intent will give you an upper hand in establishing meaningful content. Also, if you have different counselors for different courses, mapping course inquiries based on the counselor’s expertise and then assigning them will make more sense.

4. Curate Touchpoints

Send out personalized messages and establish a sense of empathy with the help of the admission CRM software.

Calling every lead is not a practical solution. Let me explain this to you with an example. You are looking to purchase a new cell phone. In a massive market with multiple brands such as Apple, Samsung, Google, One+, and a hundred more, you are spoilt with choice. You individually visit their websites and do a price vs. feature comparison. Although you are a prospect for all these organizations, you will not purchase from all of them. Moreover, you won’t want sales agents calling you and nudging you to purchase from them. Instead, retargeting ads, personalized emails, SMS, or WhatsApp can nudge gently and retain your interest in their products.

Similarly, if students visit your website or go through the placements page, you can send mails elaborating the points that might interest them rather than calling them one by one and repeating the same info. An admission CRM helps you capture touchpoints that interest a student and helps you frame an email and send it out in no time. You can also create landing pages based on student queries and the keywords that they most actively search. Email marketing proves to be very beneficial to educational institutions to engage prospective students. According to Data & Marketing Association (DMA), for every 1$ spent on email marketing, the average ROI is 44$. 

5. Student Engagement Workflows

Create engaging workflows and automate the entire admission and post admission process with the help of the admission CRM software

Different institutions follow a different set of steps in the recruitment process. So, there is no one way to improve admissions. However, you can define workflows to keep a student engaged with your institution. It could a simple event invite, campus tour, counseling session, or more.

For example, as soon as you capture a student inquiry, you should have a multistep touchpoint in place. For instance, how many emails go and at what intervals, when should you call, what emails to send students based on their actions. The admission CRM streamlines this process and helps you create engaging workflows for applicants and prospective students. 

6. Mobile-friendly Website or Portal

Create mobile friendly student application forms and ensure higher completion rates.

Gen Z and millennials spend most of their time on their cell phones. Whether it’s looking for information or networking on social media, they use smartphones for almost everything. That is why it is crucial to have a mobile responsive website and admission portal. It should work as a go-to option to find admissions-related information and let students apply and check their admission status. 

In reality, many students drop off without completing the application for numerous reasons. In such instances, CRM software helps nudge students to complete their application and, at the same time, notifies the admission reps to follow up with students – if they don’t complete the application. 

7. Portals

Provide students with a safe and secured student portal where they can manage and track their applications in real time.

Student and admission portals are essential to drive student enrollment. Portals serve two-fold benefits. 

  • Students can apply online, access their profiles, upload documents, and track the status of their applications.
  • Admission counselors can track the applications and stages of all students in the admission funnel. Plus, they can gather all the important information through a single dashboard. They can check completed, in process, and pending applications. They will also be able to see application payments and how many are yet to pay.

8. Call-center Integration

Integrate with all leading telephony providers, Publisher panels, lead gen channels and more and never miss out on student inquiries.

Many institutions that get a large number of inquiries every day outsource follow-ups to call centers. In such cases, the schools or colleges often lose the context and could not understand why their admissions funnel is not yielding enrollments. That is why they need a unified solution to handle all admission-related tasks.

The admission CRM integrates with telephony services, captures all inquiries and routes them to various admission agents based on many attributes, and ensures all student queries are resolved in no time.

I hope this helps you understand the basic functional requirements of an online admission system.

Conclusion

These are a few admission signals which individually and collectively are necessary to boost enrollments but are often ignored. An admission CRM makes the application process convenient for admission teams as well as students. It provides transparency to applicants, and the admission team can gain visibility in the enrollment funnel. With admissions season around the corner, you may want to ramp up your lead-to-enrollment rates and reduce student turnaround time. The single best way to improve your lead-to-enrollment ratio is made possible by combining these important admission parameters into a power-packed admissions CRM.

The Admission CRM helps maintain and manage new admissions and aids in managing enrolled students, alumni services, placements, and beyond. If you are looking to increase your institution’s inquiry-to-enrollment rate, check out LeadSquared.


FAQs

How to improve the college enrollment process?

You can improve the admission process only by setting a benchmark on admission-related KPIs. It includes the performance of admission agents, publisher panels, lead source, marketing campaigns, and more. You can also use an admission CRM to make the application process convenient for admission reps and students. 

What are the benefits of CRM in the education industry?

A CRM or admission management system, as known in the education industry, is vital to drive enrollments in an organized manner. A CRM streamlines the admission process by mapping the inquiry-to-enrollment journey. It helps with lead capture, lead distribution, tracks interactions, automates marketing and email campaigns, and more to accelerate enrollment. 


By definition, Revenue Operations or RevOps refers to the strategic alignment of every department that contributes to revenue in an organization. What does this mean?

  1. It connects different departments within a single organization by breaking through departmental silos
  2. It typically involves customer-facing departments and tracks customer-centric metrics for later analysis. 

Today, many departments must communicate effectively and collaborate to improve the digital customer experience. Revenue Operations is the approach to bring them all together and, more precisely, analyze the return on investment (ROI) in those departments. With analytics and AI, RevOps teams can find trends and possibilities that drive revenue streams. According to Boston Consulting Group, top B2B IT businesses who used revenue operations to accelerate their growth saw substantial results, including increased sales productivity by about 10% to 20%.

Benefits of RevOps

Their research also showed that tighter alignment between teams resulted in:

  • 100% to 200% increase in digital marketing ROI
  • 10% increase in lead acceptance
  • 15% to 20% increase in internal customer satisfaction
  • 30% reduction in GTM expenses

With all the statistics, we can reach a fairly straightforward conclusion. RevOps exist to maximize revenue potential by connecting different departments as a way of achieving their revenue goals.

How do RevOps maximize revenue potential?

Imagine for a moment that revenue isn’t just a by-product of your excellent service or product. Instead, revenue results from your Marketing, Sales, and Service departments acting as one powerhouse. Now that we’ve got some clarity on what RevOps teams do, the next question is how does one turn sales operations into revenue-generating units?

According to Revenuegrid, “Revenue Operations is the response to the requirement of companies for a multi-faceted approach to sales.” In 2018, Director of Revenue Operations job titles exceeded Director of Sales Operations by 68% on LinkedIn. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of your sales operations. It would help if you have a separate RevOps team that oversees the work of all your departments and reduces miscommunication while remaining objective. Sales operations should continue under revenue operations, albeit on a more concentrated micro level.

So what does the RevOps team do to transform sales operations into revenue-generating units?

1. Measure every piece of the process

 Measure every piece of the process

Measurement entails using reports, analytics, and dashboards to better understand your company’s current state and performance. The power of measurement originates from the insights it generates. When you measure customer behavior you gain the opportunity to understand purchasing intent. Once you understand their purchasing patterns, likes and dislikes you can target relevant products through personalized campaigns. In short, operationalizing data is at the heart of how revops empowers your business.

For example, you can identify lost revenues, forecast future trends, and plan workforce levels by tracking revenue growth. A consistent gain in revenue year after year gives your strategies credibility. However, a declining trend indicates that significant changes are required immediately. In addition, the revenue metric provides essential information about your products. For example, if a product with specific features generates a lot of revenue, you know you should push those features more aggressively. Similarly, you’d pull back on features of the same product if it contributes little to nothing in terms of revenue generation. 

How does one drive maximum value through measurement?

First, to drive maximum value, you need to align people and processes to support the organization’s vision. Second, it has to be a shared outlook – where sales, marketing, and customer service teams measure the same KPIs, metrics, and reports and know how to calculate them. For instance, simply agreeing that churn rate is an important metric to track doesn’t help if each department measures it differently. This is where RevOps steps in to ensure interconnectivity between your departments.

Measuring every aspect of the sales operations helps in discovering your organization’s formula for sales success. Measuring and tracking customer behavior also helps identify cross-selling opportunities for the sales team. For example, if a customer has bought a course in art and design, once the course ends, you can send a notification with a different course that pairs well with it- such as art history. Your sales operations teams can be better enabled when revenue operations operatives overlook and measure their processes.

2. Create customer-centric processes

Create customer-centric processes

The more positive customer experience, the greater the chances of increased revenue. It may sound like an oversimplification, but it is that simple. According to Forbes, companies with a customer experience mindset drive 4-8% higher revenue than the rest of their industries.

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is an important metric of the RevOps team to measure customer success. CLV determines how valuable a client is to an organization throughout their connection. According to Qualtrics, it is less expensive to keep existing consumers than to discover and attract new ones. To put it another way, enhancing the value of a company’s current clients is a means to boost revenue and growth.

 Every minute that sales teams spend attempting to fill process gaps with shoddy systems or hack solutions is a minute they lose on gaining market share. Most teams nowadays are having trouble with relatively simple operational duties. It can take days to de-duplicate, upload, and allocate leads to sales reps. Lead leakage becomes the bane of every agent’s existence. But a RevOps department ensures sales and marketing alignment and interconnectivity among your existing customer-facing teams. This reduces leakage by ensuring that leads are quickly distributed among agents, and customers get speedy responses.

The RevOps team helps with understanding your customers’ diverse experiences and measuring feedback at every possible touchpoint. When a company understands its decisive drivers of CLV, it can adjust or continue its processes to align with the RevOps framework. Likewise, your sales team will generate more revenue when customer experience is at the core of company processes. 

3. Break down departmental divisions

Break down departmental divisions

As the conventional model of compartmentalized operations teams isn’t working anymore, companies are starting to adopt RevOps. As a result, public companies with revenue ops also saw 71% higher stock performance (Source: SeriousDecisions). In addition, the traditional style of separate sales, marketing, and customer service operations will soon become obsolete due to the transformation of the sales and marketing funnel. Not to mention, teams across the organization need to share the same tools and data sources. As a result, the conventional sales and marketing funnel, which comprises clean handoffs between Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service,  has been replaced by a funnel where all client-facing teams have responsibilities. 

One of the leading causes of revenue leaks is interdepartmental siloes that cause miscommunication. Centralization guarantees data-driven decisions across customer-facing departments. RevOps breaks down department silos by moving the focus away from specific departments to a collective mindset that looks at the revenue flow throughout the entire company. What’s more important is finding a tool that seamlessly unifies various departments. A customer relationship management tool provides the visibility needed to align all revenue-focused teams. It’s the foundation of a successful revenue operations strategy. Once you find the right tool, you can connect your sales operations department with the various customer-facing teams to improve sales velocity and increase revenue.

4. Automate Manual Processes 

Automate Manual Processes

Sales automation boosts revenue as 61% of businesses leveraging automation reported exceeding revenue targets in 2020. This data gives us a glimpse into why automating manual processes is beneficial in terms of revenue generation. Automating manual processes is typically misunderstood to be a method of replacing employees or automating individual tasks. That is far from the truth, as automation in the RevOps context impacts every member within your organization. For example, if you implement a workflow that maps every aspect of the customer journey, it invariably implicates stakeholders up and down that workflow. 

This is why it’s critical to make sure operations teams are at the forefront of automation deployment. RevOps teams manage the intersection of people, systems, and procedures that keep businesses running. As a result, they have a unique grasp of employing automation technologies to supplement people, processes, and systems successfully. For example, your sales teams can automate manual processes such as campaigns, receive automated reports, and have leads distributed automatically. Both points involving measurement and creating customer-centric operations can be done with ease using automation. 

When you begin to understand your customer’s behavior and intent, it is easier to nurture and follow up in the right way without annoying them. Sales automation gives you that power. It tells you which lead to follow and when to follow—making automation invaluable to every sales rep. Implementing automation across the organization also assists different departments in customer acquisition and retention. Your sales team’s ability to generate larger revenue is inevitable with the help of sales automation. 

The bottom line

At the end of the day, your RevOps experience depends on two things: finding the right tools and aligning organizational processes. When you manage to use these tools and break down departmental silos, you can rest assured that revenue generation will soon come. Your sales operations teams similarly benefit from the implementation of RevOps in your organization. One tool indispensable to your RevOps is a CRM, which offers a singular view of data for different departments. A company-wide CRM guarantees three things-

  1. Data sharing across departments
  2. Automated workflows and notifications
  3. Reports and analytics to measure and track customer intent, agent performance, sales forecasting, and more.

Every organization looking to implement a revenue operations team needs a CRM to do so smoothly. If you’re looking for one such CRM, try LeadSquared for free! 


Key Discussion Points:

  • Impact of the second wave on traditional education and guide to tackle associated challenges.
  • The importance of “student experience” during enrolments and how to improve it?
  • Best working strategies to power enrolments.
  • Leveraging technology to bring in a seamless admission process.

Speaker

Rahul Singhi

Rahul Singhi
Co-Founder, Poornima University

Rahul is a second-generation Edu-preneur, an optimistic person, always looking for innovations at work, believes in empowering young minds & underprivileged children. A sports influencer, digital media fan, photography hobbyist, rider by passion, and father of two. 


Anil Kumar

Anil Kumar
Director – Sales, LeadSquared

Anil is a focused, enthusiastic, and highly motivated sales professional with over 12 years of strategic, consultative selling experience. He specializes in product marketing, sales proposals, sales planning, strategic selling, customer service, and has lately been solving critical enrollment problems for institutes.

Final expense insurance is an affordable form of life insurance. Final expense policy is easier to get and comes with a small death benefit. You may also know it as “funeral insurance” or “burial insurance” because it provides for the expenses related to the funeral (for e.g., memorial service or cremation). For this reason, it is also known as a “simplified issue of whole life insurance.” 

A Final Expense Insurance can have a value between US$2000 to around US$50,000. The beneficiaries can use the amount for anything from repaying a debt to taking a vacation. Insurance agents generally market these products to older people who want to leave behind something for their families. However, such insurance is redundant to those who have active life insurance policies or have their funeral costs paid. 

final expense insurance lead generation

Who benefits from final expense insurance?

Let us assume that you are a retired individual. You no longer have life insurance through your employer. At this point, you also do not have money saved for the future. This financial condition has you worried that you will leave your family in trouble when you pass away. So, you may consider getting life insurance. 

The insurance agent will ask a few questions regarding your general health. They may also take information regarding your medications and health history and if you had a surgery/operation in the least two to five years. These are some essential questions for the underwriting process, post which they will start the application process. 

However, you will notice that the premiums you must pay for the death benefits aren’t too much. Most life insurance policies do not have enough flexibility and cannot fit the budget of such individuals. It is because the role of life insurance policies is not only to provide a death benefit but also to absorb the risk of critical health conditions. Most seniors have poor health conditions because of their age. Therefore, they want a policy that will accommodate their requirements despite their declining health conditions.

A distinguishing feature of Final Expense Insurance is that the death benefit is much smaller. This reduced benefit also brings down the cost of premiums by a lot. Moreover, the policy is permanent. That is, the heirs receive the death benefit for sure. However, note that the sum will not be big enough to pay off mortgages. But one can use them to pay bills, such as expenses related directly to the death. With the death benefit, arranging for a funeral will be financially comfortable. 

Now that you know the basics of final expense insurance and the client persona, let us look at how to find leads qualified for this type of insurance.

Generating Final Expense Insurance Leads

The lead generation process for Final Expense Insurance differs from that of Life Insurance. Here are five ways in which insurance agents can generate Final Expense Insurance leads. The following section discusses the advantages of each strategy and what you may want to avoid when you are using that strategy.

1. Send direct mailers

Direct mail leads are the best way to reach out to prospects who are predominantly senior citizens. 

Direct mail is quite simple: agents make use of business reply card mailers to get leads. These mailers are postcards that are sent out from the post office to the prospects. The prospects will review the contents at their own time. If they like the offer, they will return the card by filling out the information. They will share some of their preliminary personal details that will help agents understand if the prospect is a high-quality lead or not. Direct mailers can provide high-quality leads consistently. 

The reason why direct mailers are so effective is that they are highly engaging. Filling out a mailer card involves one acting physically. The prospect will have to discuss the matter with their spouses or family, fill out the card, and walk to the mailbox to post the card. 

When a prospect does this, it means that they are highly interested. Because, otherwise, the recipient could have just trashed the mailer. 

Do recipients actually read the mailers?

In general, most recipients discard the mailer. Also, the insurance agency never encourages anyone to return it – it is purely their decision. So, what a prospect does with the card is entirely their decision.

Therefore, when a salesperson receives back a direct mailer, all filled out, they should be excited. The response quality of these mailers is much higher when compared to other channels.

With direct mailers, you can target and segment your prospects better, offer them discounts too. This personalization will improve your response rate.

When it comes to direct mailers, you should avoid spending too much. Ideally, assign a fixed price per lead. However, that may not be possible for every single state. But ensure that you control your budget as much as possible so that you can drop the program if the response rate is not good enough.

In the coming years, emails and text messages will replace direct mailers. However, at the moment, the target group is baby boomers and Generation X, who are not digital natives. Hence, the direct mailer strategy still works for them.

2. Advertise on Facebook

Over the last few years, leads from Facebook have become quite popular. According to Hootsuite, most adults in the US use Facebook daily. Over 10% of the people are on Facebook are in the 45-54 age range. This age is where most people start thinking about retirement and getting life insurance or an equivalent. In the US, seniors consist of the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook and stand around 10% at this point. 46% of Americans who are above the age of 65 use Facebook. 

These statistics make Facebook Ads a very enticing option for insurance agencies marketing their products to seniors. What is even better is that you do not even need a Facebook account in the first place. You can contact a vendor to do the advertising on your behalf. Within a few business days of starting your Facebook advertising campaign, you will start receiving leads. 

With Facebook, it is easier to reach out to a lot more people. The turnaround time is much better. With a vendor who works with Facebook ads, it is much easier to get leads. You will start getting a response in a few days, whereas direct mailer takes a month. 

Is Facebook insurance leads quality good?

However, the major downside to Facebook leads is the lead quality. Facebook leads are less likely to pick up the phone, and their engagement level is also lower. Therefore, the shelf-life of these leads is much shorter. 

Compared to direct mail, Facebook ads require much less engagement. Also, they don’t need too much attention from the prospect. It is, however, reasonable because the expenses for Facebook advertising are much lower. With Facebook, you can get leads for $10-$30 per lead if you do things right.

To improve the quality of leads you get from Facebook, try different strategies from successful agents. If you’ve hired a marketing agency for insurance lead generation and are not satisfied with the conversion results, you may try a different strategy. You can even create ads yourself. 

Also, check out this unbiased opinion on direct mailer vs. Facebook final expense leads – 

3. Organize Seminars

A seminar is a simple lead generation strategy. 

You organize a seminar and discuss with the attendees the utility of final expense insurance. The interested attendees will get in touch with you. This form of marketing is almost cost-free. All you need to spend on is food and beverage. Moreover, the lead quality is also great even though the marketing cost is not as high as direct mailers or Facebook leads. 

While doing a seminar, ensure that you are making a short presentation that will not bore people.

Around ten to fifteen presentations a month is good enough if you are working full time. 

4. Try Telemarketing

When finding leads for a specific product, like final expense policies, you must understand the customer very well. For instance, what do they like, where do they hang out, what do they do in their free time, etc. 

Based on this info, run ads on targeted platforms. If you see, in general, senior citizens watch television a lot. Therefore, telemarketing makes complete sense.

Try to generate leads from online ads or telemarketing calls. In these cases, a prospect reaches out to the agency after seeing an ad or receiving a call. Live transfer leads provide very high-quality leads, but they also have a high price tag attached to them. 

insurance sales call scripts ebook

5. Improve the content on your website

Finally, you can also get leads directly from your website. These leads cost you nothing. These individuals are usually prospects who have searched online for final expense insurance, and they came across your website. These are also known as organic leads.

The downside of organic leads source is that it takes some time and effort to build up. You need to build up your online presence, create a brand identity. But if you can make it work, you will start getting high-quality leads without any expenses. 

Most websites take nearly a year to be capable of generating leads. But you can plan strategically because the returns you’ll get after a year or so will be great.  

Tips to grow your organic leads:

  • Create informative blog posts addressing general customer queries like – what is final expense insurance and why should you get one, what benefits your family gets with final expense insurance, the process to apply for final expense insurance, final expense vs. life insurance policies, and so on. 
  • Generate quotes instantly by asking a few details. 
  • Include customer testimonials on your website.
  • Create a local GoogleMyBusiness account – it will give you exposure when people search for a policy with a “near me” query.
  • Start a weekly/monthly newsletter.

How to make the most of your final expense leads generation efforts?

Now that you know the strategies to generate final expense leads, it’s time to think of ways to follow up with them and keep them engaged.

Most agencies and insurance agents use CRM for managing client relationships. They use CRM to manage client records, send quotes, track interactions, auto-dial from CRM for more productive work, send emails, and more.

You can also invest in a CRM to manage your day-to-day operations effectively.

If you’re looking for such a solution, check out LeadSquared Insurance Agency CRM.


FAQs

How do you find final expense leads?

There are several ways to find final expense leads. You can use a direct mailer strategy, Facebook ads, telemarketing, seminars, and your website to find quality leads. You can also use CRM software to track interactions and follow up with them from time to time.

What is final expense coverage?

Final expense insurance is a type of life insurance designed to cover medical bills and funeral expenses after death. A final expense policy is also known as burial or funeral insurance and is popular with seniors.

Is it easy to sell final expense insurance?

Final expense is one of the simplest life insurance products to sell. However, it is not easy to discuss. By practicing call scripts and taking an empathetic approach, you can improve your sales.

Read further:


What is an admission portal and why do you need it ?

The majority of people go to a school or college to prepare for the future with a common belief that education shapes the future of a candidate by making them employable. Now, students might want to pursue education for a variety of reasons, but the institution needs to make its application process as easy as possible for its applicants because of the multiple choices available to them.

The most common vision of educational institutions is to make a demonstrable impact on the students’ lives and mold them for all future endeavors and responsibilities. Now, this is where an admission portal comes into the picture and makes the admission process as seamless as possible, ensuring a boost in the admission rates. 

Why is an admission portal important?

As an organization providing educational services, what is the most important and challenging part? The most common answer – to increase the enrollment rate and be the most preferred organization for students. However, given the competition in the educational space, it is difficult to achieve, and that is where an admission portal comes into play.

An admission portal knits together a complete solution for end to end student lifecycle management. Be it running student recruitment ads or to get students and parents interested in downloading the application form. You can do this after several nudges from automated campaigns, and sometimes manual intervention from the admissions team.

How does an admission portal help?

The current pandemic has shown us that educational organizations need an online learning model along with a traditional one. The student recruitment process is generally long and requires several interventions from the counselors or admissions teams at different points in the student recruitment lifecycle. It is especially challenging to highlight their interests and provide complete transparency and knowledge. Aiding students in all their questions throughout the way would help recruit them into the university. The main questions are on scholarships, financial aids, courses offered, campuses, etc.

With people getting more habituated to the virtual space, they have started expecting most of their work to get completed online. Educational organizations have started adapting to this change as well. An admission portal lays the foundation brick for a student lifecycle management and has multiple reasons. Namely – 

  • To track online as well as offline channels like emails, phone calls, walk-ins, etc.
  • Provision for parents to purchase the online application form using the admission portal.
  • Automate the admission process by capturing leads from various channels, assigning them to your counselors, communicating with them via emails, and calling them up based on their activities.
  • Reduce the manual efforts of Relationship Executives (Counsellors) 

Education, as a whole, is seeing a shift towards an online or a hybrid model. New enrollment and alumni management are long-winding and disconnected. It requires a lot of paperwork and manual intervention and increases the chance of errors. This is where an admission portal comes into the picture.

Features of an admission portal

An admission portal accelerates the journey of a potential student until enrollment. It simplifies and streamlines the admission process, which is otherwise very long and consists of various stages. 

The following are the stages involved in the student admission management. 

Applicant registration

It starts with the registration of first-time applicants on the website form/portal. This is to capture the initial details, such as name, phone number, email ID, grade applied for, date of birth, and more. The process can further be automated to send a mail and OTP on the registered mobile number to verify if the details are genuine or not. Once it is verified, your counselors would know whether to get in touch with these applicants in case there has been no action after registering onto the portal. 

Registration of first time users is made easy with the help of mobile OTP verification and email verification to ensure your student inquiries are genuine.

Inquiry and admission form

Post the applicant verification by the relationship executives, the next step includes inquiring for a registration form. This usually consists of student details, sibling details, and family details. Upon submitting the inquiry, it is sent to the counselors or relationship executives who would review and approve it once again. Parallelly, a dashboard for the applicant is created, and they can start the application process. The applicants can pay fees or download forms from the admission portal itself.

As soon as the applicant completes the fee payment, relevant emails and SMSs can be sent to them, confirming the payment details. Post payment, the applicant can fill out the student application form. It consists of student information, family details, emergency contacts, residential address, other details, such as second and third language selection, academic records, sibling details, previous academic records, and more. They can upload documents and signatures as well. 

The admission portal provides one the option of generating highly converting admission forms.

Declaration and assessment 

Once the application is completed, You can include a declaration form in the end. The coordinators can contact the applicants who have paid the application fees and submitted the form. These coordinators are responsible for the assessment of the tests.

Based on the performance of the candidate, details are passed on to the principal/headmaster. The student information is updated in the system, and they are admitted to the institution.

Now, it may look like a simple process but can get very clumsy and difficult to manage when the number of applicants are more. An admission portal can automate the application process and streamline the workflow. It helps maintain transparency in the system so that all stakeholders have an idea of whatever is going on. It results in increased efficiency and productivity, which in turn can boost the admission rates.

Applicant fills out all the forms and is ready for final assessment. The portal enables end to end transparency to an applicant and the admission counsellor in real time.

Benefits of using an admission portal

A good admission portal and higher enrollment rates are directly related. An admission portal helps educational institutions make the enrollment process seamless. At the same time, it also makes it easy for applicants to apply online. Your target audience needs to be content, and an applicant-friendly portal only adds to the advantage. The most common package is an integrated admission portal with a student information system. A comparison between a CRM and SIS would help you get started.

Here are a few benefits of using an integrated portal for admissions.

1. Increase your enrollment rates

Out of the countless number of educational institutions out there, Institutions need to find alternative ways to market themselves. The only way to stand out from the rest is to show students that you care about them. Let me explain.

An applicant starts his journey to fill out the registration form but could not complete it for some reason. The system tracks this in real-time. The admissions portal nudges the applicant to complete the application by sending out relevant emails and SMS and further notifying the admissions team to help him do the same, thereby increasing the application completion ratio.

Accelerate your enrollment rates with in-depth reporting and analytics provided by the admission portal.

2. Map the complete student journey 

Through an admission portal, you can sketch out the complete student journey. You can create your application forms on your website where students can sign up, pay their application fees, check their application status, and more – all in one place. Plus, you can customize the portals and application forms based on your website design to make it visually appealing and help student progress through the admission cycle.

Map the complete journey from application to enrollment and beyond

3. Enable multiple form submissions from applicants

To many students, the college brand name holds more value than a course. However, given the limited number of seats for a particular course, students should have a choice to apply to a different course as well. 

The admission portal allows students to fill out multiple forms for multiple courses. This does not limit students and they can apply for as many courses as they want.

An admission portal eliminates the confusion and provides the students with the option of submitting multiple application forms. It helps the institution cater to every applicant’s preferences if their qualifications do not meet the institution’s cut-off.

4. Create a student-friendly interface

For a better experience, make your portal student-friendly. By this, we mean applicants would have a personalized dashboard, showing relevant information about their application status, the documents they have uploaded, their eligibility for different courses, their e-signatures, and more.

After enrollment, the portal holds details of the courses they are taking, notifications of financial payments due, class schedules, upcoming exams, credits obtained, forthcoming events, and other student-specific content.

Avoid student application drop-offs with the help of a student-friendly, admission portal and increase your enrollment rates.

A smart admission portal helps your agents sense signals, and accordingly, they can send out relevant emails or SMS based on applicant requirements. It can be related to inquiry submissions, inquiry approval/rejections, application submissions, payment information, application status, admission status, and more.

For example, if an applicant is looking at financial aid options, your admissions team can initiate emails/texts and send them the right choices based on their percentages and more.

5. Enable online fee payment

The portal must also provide direct access to critical systems such as payment gateways, making it easier for students to pay the application fee. You should be able to integrate your payment modules in the admission portal securely. Execute the complete application process online, including admission fees collection or payment for other kinds of applications. A portal that consists of such sensitive information should have bank-level security.

Pay the fees at the comfort of your home with your mobile, tablet or laptop

6. Self serve application forms.

Students like to do stuff themselves and would want to reach out only when faced with problems. This is where user-friendly, mobile-optimized applicant portals come into play. It ensures a smooth experience for the applicants.

If a student drops off in the middle and does not complete the application, they should be able to resume the application anytime. It will save their time. Also, in such instances, the portal system nudges the counselors to make a call or send a mail and remind them to complete the application.

It is also possible to add an option of chat/call within the portal. It can help provide instant support to the applicants while filling the admission form – reducing the drop off rates.

notify your counselors when an applicant drops off at a particular page

7. Auto-fill and auto-save applications

If a student applies for more than one course, they need not fill in the same information again for other courses. The auto-save and auto-fill features of the admission portal save time by populating the required fields with saved information. It saves time and, at the same time, makes it easy for students to enroll in multiple courses without much hassle.

Avoid long and tedious application forms by using auto-fill wherever possible. This feature in the admission portal helps reduce application drop-offs.

8. Supports all devices

The admission portal must be mobile-friendly because that’s how students engage much of the time – from their smartphones and tablets. So, uploading documents, signing applications, checking application status, and making payments should be possible anytime, anywhere.

Additionally, the portal should support chatbots through which students can quickly resolve their queries in real-time. For instance, if there is an issue regarding payment, applicants can get their answers immediately.

A new age admissions portal integrates these essential features as a single package. Additionally, a CRM and an admission portal go hand in hand to ensure a seamless applicant journey.

The admission portal is compatible with all devices making it flexible for students to fill out application forms.

9. Enable application status tracking

What annoys applicants the most? Surprisingly it is not filling out lengthy application forms. Instead, it is not being able to track the status of their application.

Like a job seeker applying to various job openings, students would like to be informed about where they stand. They would like to know the following procedure, online interviews, screening examinations, approvals, etc.

An admission portal should display all relevant information to students so that they remain informed at each step of their journey.

Admission funnel ebook

Why should you integrate a CRM and an admission portal?

1. Capture student inquiries 

A student inquiry can come from multiple sources like social media, phone calls, website visits, chatbots, etc. The first thing to do is capture the leads efficiently from various sources and ensure there is no lead leakage. When a student fills in the necessary details on the admission portal, the CRM captures it and notifies your admission team with all details.

A CRM ensures integrations with all lead generation channels such as phone, chat, ads, and email and notifies your admissions team to get in touch with these students as soon as possible.

2. Segment leads based on their course preferences and distribute them to relevant counselor

First, the CRM helps you segment leads in different buckets based on the courses/campus applied for. Then, the CRM software automatically distributes leads based on certain pre-defined logic. For instance, you can assign leads to relevant admission officers based on either the language spoken, campus interested in, zip code, city, the course of choice, or any other parameter.

The software helps you identify the most suitable applicants by checking their eligibility, such as age, GPA, interests, locations, and course applied. Accordingly, you can prioritize follow-ups with them.

3. Know your applicants’ intent 

Each applicant has a different requirement. To understand their behavior and interest in your offering, you need to know them and track their actions and behavior.

A student behavior tracking will enable your admissions reps to have a context before conversing with the applicants. Student activity data can also help your marketing team run campaigns based on their interests and send relevant content to keep the students engaged. Based on their engagement, you can assign scores, and the lead with a higher engagement score is the one to be called first.

4. Personalize your communication

Keep in mind that all applicants are different and personalizing communication would increase the success ratio of educational organizations.

Personalization, however, is not so difficult. Because you have tracked and stored their activities such as course applied or brochure downloaded, you can send personalized messages or emails with these descriptions.

For example, you can send an email that says – Hey <Lead Name>,We noticed you downloaded a brochure for our <Program Name>, please let us know how we may help you further.

You can also create automated and personalized email sequences that trigger whenever you get a new inquiry.

Hyper-personalize communication with applicants based on their intent and witness high inquiry to enrollment rates.

5. Integrate seamlessly with other apps 

You might be using other tools to manage your admissions. For instance, marketing teams must be using Google Ads or Facebook Ads in their campaigns. Therefore, the portal and admissions CRM should integrate with other third-party tools to monitor campaigns, lead sources, and conversions.

6. Collect data and create custom reports

At the end of the day, you would like to see how your marketing campaigns are performing, which admission reps are closing more recruitments, what are the popular courses, at what time do you get the most inquiries, etc.

If admission reps spend a lot of time compiling data, they won’t be able to do their actual job, i.e., calling and engaging with students. That is why systems like CRM and admission portals are important as they help you collect and display information in desired formats – as and when required.

Based on the metrics you track, admission CRM also lets you create custom reports – displaying the information that matters to you. Managers and heads can get the reports emailed on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. This way, they’re always aware of the admission pipeline and can take necessary measures to fill the seats faster.

In conclusion

Education equips us with the knowledge and skills necessary to make it through life. But it is crucial for both – students and colleges that they match each other’s expectations. Else, it will hamper the course completion rates. Just like the “About us” section conveys the institution’s vision, an admission portal acts as a bridge that connects your vision with students.

Given the competition in the educational space, it is necessary to stand out from the rest. And, with the help of an admissions portal, the whole student onboarding journey becomes simplified. However, an admission portal without CRM is similar to a vehicle without gas.

It may seem like both the admission portal and CRM may have their separate tasks; however, when clubbed together, it acts as a very powerful tool in accelerating your admission rate.

Having said that, If you plan to increase your admission rate, do give LeadSquared’s Admission CRM a try! :)


What is P2P lending? What are the top P2P lending platforms?

Over the last year, peer-to-peer lending has seen a large number of new entrants in the market. According to Business Today, P2P lending firms such as LenDen Club and Faircent have estimated the number of new joiners to be in lakhs. 

Faircent, which is India’s first NBFC-P2P company, has disbursed Rs. 1145 crore loan in FY21 alone, which is a near 24% increase in its disbursals. Experts attribute this boom to the attractive returns of 14-16% p.a. compared to other asset classes. 

So, you may wonder, why is P2P lending so attractive amidst this global economic crisis, and should you invest in it?

In this article, we will look at some of these questions. We will also discuss:

  • The nature of P2P lending
  • The risks involved
  • The functions of P2P lending platforms
  • And the best P2P lending platforms in India to start investing in

What is P2P Lending?

P2P Lending- What is P2P lending

Peer-to-peer lending or crowd lending is a form of debt financing wherein borrowers can request a loan from another individual without the need for any financial institutions to act as the intermediary. P2P lending, as a source of financing, has the potential to extend financial inclusion globally. Groups with low credit scores or that lie in the low-income category find P2P lending highly accessible compared to other investment options. 

Also, the underbanked/unbanked populace and small/micro businesses often face difficulty getting approved with organized credit. This makes P2P lending an attractive option for many. 

Financial inclusion has been a critical issue for a country like India, where nearly 70% of the population resides in rural areas. But high smartphone penetration combined with the introduction of infrastructures such as Aadhar, UPI, Digilocker, eKYC, eSign, BHIM, and Indiastack has enabled many P2P lenders.

Although P2P loans mainly constitute personal loans, borrowers have other reasons for applying for P2P loans such as:

  • Financing their education
  • Buying real estate
  • Debt refinancing
  • To get a secured business loan
  • Loan for machinery

Why become an investor/lender in P2P?

Over the last year, P2P loans have given a broad range of average returns on investments (ranging from 12 to 23% in some cases) compared to other instruments of investment.

Risk Vs Returns of P2P lending
Source: LenDenClub

From the table, it is evident that the average risk of investing in P2P is less. Also, the returns are at par or even higher compared to the equity market. The extension of financial inclusion has fuelled the growth of P2P lending and is responsible for these returns. 

Before investing any amount, you must be wary of the risks.

What should you know before starting your P2P lending journey?

Steps to become an investor in P2P lending

Since its start in 2005, digital platforms have majorly facilitated organized P2P lending. It is due to the increased convenience, paperless process, and reduced execution time. At the start of their journey, any P2P investor must:

  1. Create an account on a P2P lending platform and register as a lender
  2. Submit the required documentation and get verified
  3. Choose their risk appetite and review applicant proposals

Once an investor identifies their ideal candidate, they can accept proposals and initiate the process. Like any other asset class, there are risks involved with P2P lending as well. There are two main risks to know about before investing in P2P:

  • The risk of payment defaults: Collections can become a challenge. Many P2P platforms help you recover your invested amount from the borrower based on the guidelines stipulated by RBI for NBFC-P2P. But in some cases, recovering the amount may need a lot more effort. 
  • The risk of lower returns: If your borrower repays the loans earlier than the set timeline, then you may end up with less than expected profit. 

But there are many ways to remove these risks, and you must take all the required measures to do so. 

Tip: To minimize risks and maximize returns, you can diversify your investments over different risk categories.

Advantages of P2P lending

  • The risk-reward ratio in P2P lending is better compared to other asset classes.
  • P2P platforms use discrete and AI-based algorithms for better analytics and target their audience accurately. They allot risk categories to different borrowers based on their (low to almost non-existent) credit history. In turn, investors can access a broader market tailored to their risk appetite.
  • P2P Lending Platforms offer attractive interest rates to borrowers due to higher competition between investors.

Disadvantages of P2P lending 

  • Most P2P loans are unsecured, and hence recovery-related risks are present.
  • Borrowers from high-risk categories are also eligible for loans which is not the case for organized lending.
  • In case of payment defaults, no insurance/protection are available to the P2P investors.

What are my limits for investment?

The minimum investment amount for a lender to begin an investment is Rs. 500 and the maximum amount is Rs. 50 lakhs (across all platforms). Also, the max limit of borrowing to an individual borrower is capped at Rs. 50,000 by RBI (Source: ET). 

How will my returns be taxed?

Borrowers usually pay the returns in monthly installments. Now, these returns are a sum of principal + interest portions. Only the interest part on the EMI is taxable as per the sec. 56(2) of Income Tax Act, 1961 (Source: OMLP2P). The government considers it under the category of “Income from other sources”.

So, you’ll have to pay the tax based on the tax slab rate applicable to you.

What are P2P lending platforms, and what are their functions?

P2P lending-Lending Platforms in P2P

In the simplest terms, P2P platforms are a marketplace for borrowers and lenders to connect. The platforms use advanced lending CRMs such as LeadSquared during the onboarding process to accelerate the customer acquisition rates and reduce the turnaround times exponentially. Once a potential opportunity is onboarded, P2P platforms use their tech-based processes powered by analytics and data-driven algorithms to segment these opportunities.

As discussed earlier, these platforms are capable of accurately categorizing all types of borrowers. It is a crucial component that helps P2P platforms improve access for people with higher risk profiles. 

P2P platforms have many functions like:

  • Completing multi-layered background checks on all market participants
  • Assessing and timely updating risk categories of all borrowers (new and old)
  • Listing the loans and facilitating financial transactions
  • Enabling collections
  • Assisting lenders in the recovery of loans in case of payment defaults.

P2P lending platforms have one-time registration charges and a processing charge for every transaction. The processing charges can vary between 1% to 10% (Source: Bankbazaar). It is usually dependent on the platform and loan amount. 

As an investor, you need to understand the unique points of each platform. P2P lending platforms do not hold any deposits from either party and help lenders during the transaction period. 

So, what are the best platforms to kickstart your P2P investments?

5 Best P2P Lending Platforms in India

LenDenClub

Founded in 2014 by Bhavin Patel, LenDenClub is one of India’s fastest-growing P2P lending platforms. It caters to over a million customers at over 19,000 pin codes. With its digital lending application InstaMoney, the platform aims to improve its outreach to pan-India and increase financial inclusion. 

Faircent

With over 2 lakh lenders at the end of FY-21, Faircent was India’s first P2P lending platform to receive an NBFC-P2P license from RBI. Rajat Gandhi, Vinay Mathews, and Nitin Gupta started Faircent in 2013. With an innovative portfolio of loans, such as anti-lockdown loans, Faircent aims to ease liquidity-related stress on borrowers stricken by the pandemic. 

Lendbox

Another popular P2P lending platform, Lendbox, is used by over 50k investors and 5.4 lakh registered borrowers. Ekmmeet Singh, Bhuvan Rustagi, and Jatin Malwal founded Lendbox in 2015. Investors at Lendbox have generated up to 16% annual returns by lending to various borrowers. It aims to cut down the middlemen in lending and extend financial inclusion to many borrowers through technology.

Lendingkart

In 2014, ex-banker Harshvardhan Lunia started Lendingkart to support India’s SME segment. Since its start, it has helped over 90,000 small businesses across 1300 cities. The company uses its cutting-edge credit assessment algorithms to categorize its borrowers and help you meet the ideal candidates. 

Finzy

In 2016, Amit More, Vishwas Dixit, Abhinandan Sangam, and Apoorv Gawde wanted to create a platform that could enable risk-optimized investing. With this mission, they started Finzy. It offers various opportunities for investors to earn anywhere between 7.99 to 27.99% returns based on their risk appetite. Investors use advanced investment solutions like finzyPRO+, finzyBolt, and Reinvest-Pro offered on the platform to cut risk while maximizing returns. 

Conclusion

“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”

-Warren Buffett

Investors must educate themselves about the instrument before commencing any investments. Every platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Going through the platform guidelines will give you a complete understanding of what you can do if you need help. Additionally, a strong knowledge of the P2P ecosystem and your investing strategy will help you become a successful P2P investor. 

If you want to know how LeadSquared, a new-age lending CRM, can accelerate your loan disbursals, take a 15-day free trial.