Concepts

Education Sales: How to Harness Speed as a Competitive Advantage

Ryan Tan
March 22, 2024

Thanks to today’s digital age, the need for speed is second to none for education sales. In a world where prospective students have access to a sea of information with just a single click thanks to the internet, the expectation for immediate responses has turned into a requirement.

If this resonates with you, read on as we'll dive into why speed matters, explore the consequences of slow responses, uncover its best practices, and showcase how respond.io can be the game-changer you need.

Why Speed a Competitive Advantage for Education Sales

When it comes to education sales, it's important to recognize that speed is not just about swift responses. While promptness is critical, it represents only one aspect of the broader picture.

The true significance of speed lies in what it conveys to prospects.

Imagine this: you're a passionate student looking for a business degree. You stumble upon an engaging advertisement online and decide to click on it. You're directed to a landing page where you're asked to input a considerable amount of information.

After doing so, you naturally expect information in return, but instead, all you receive is an email informing you a response will be provided in 72 hours.

Later that day, you click on another advertisement. But rather than being made to fill out a form and endure a lengthy wait, you're directed to WhatsApp where you immediately engage in a conversation with a live agent who answers all your burning questions on the spot.

Which of the two do you feel values you more?

Speed signals that an institution not only has the resources to invest in providing timely responses but that it is committed to addressing the needs of prospective students. This sets a positive tone from the outset and demonstrates you care about not just existing, but future students.

Consequences of Slow Responses for Student Recruitment

The adage the early bird gets the worm is especially relevant in education sales. However, for those who lag behind, the consequences go beyond just missing out on student recruitment opportunities.

Slow responses should be avoided at all costs

Being slow to respond can lead to a series of detrimental outcomes for educational institutions that include:

Signaling Internal Disorganization

Beyond the expectation for instant responses, when your responses to inquiries are slow, it conveys a sense of disorganization. Slow responses suggest a lack of efficiency in managing internal processes and by implication, causes prospects to question your capacity to offer a structured learning environment which can discourage students from enrolling.

Demonstrating a Lack of Interest

Educational institutions exist for the sole purpose of serving their students. Accordingly, slow responses can leave prospects feeling neglected and undervalued. Considering the significant resources, time and trust that prospects are willing to invest in educational opportunities, it is not unreasonable for them to expect prompt and engaging interactions in return.

Damaging Your Reputation

Not only can slow responses imply organizational disarray and a lack of student engagement—whether or not true—but they can also tarnish your institution’s reputation. Negative perceptions spread quickly, from online forums and social media to word-of-mouth. Having such a reputation hung over your shoulders can deter waves of potential students, compromising your ability to recruit, enroll and sustain your operations.

Undermining Your Competitive Edge

All these combined damage your ability to stand out from your competition, giving them the upper hand. When it comes to educational marketing and sales, every interaction is crucial. Falling behind positions you unfavorably against competitors and risks projecting an image of being disconnected from the expectations and needs of today’s students.

Best Practices for Speedy Responses with Education Leads

While we’ve established the importance of speedy responses and the consequences of being unable to deliver on them, we’re forgetting one crucial component: the hows.

Your strategies for increasing student enrollment should always consider these best practices.
How to increase student enrolment? Follow these best practices

Let’s now look at some best practices you must adopt:

Ensure Teams Spend Their Time Effectively

Time is the one resource teams can never get enough of. Likewise, when it comes to addressing queries and prospects, it's important to make sure nothing is wasted and to take full advantage of the unique ability of human agents to address complex student queries.

In the best-case scenario, such interactions should be handed off entirely to humans while any other low-value, more routine work should either be automated entirely or delegated accordingly. By strategically directing human resources to high-impact tasks, you can enhance engagement, strengthen relationships and overall, secure more enrollments.

Direct the Right Queries to the Right Experts

While human agents excel in problem-solving and emotional intelligence, it doesn’t mean that any human agent can solve any problem. You still need to ensure that inquiries are directed to the teams with the best training and experience for the specific issue.

Chat routing comes into play here as a way to direct prospects to appropriate experts in your teams. Through routing, you can filter and assign queries based on predefined criteria (e.g., subject matter expertise, availability, language) to ensure each query is handled by the right agent, which can improve both response times and enhance prospective students’ experiences.

Equip Your Teams with the Knowledge They Need

Your teams are only as effective as the training they receive. They could have access to the best messaging software and be dealing with a steady stream of high-quality education leads, but if they don’t know how to take advantage of all this, what’s the point?

Providing comprehensive training is a must to ensure your teams are well-versed in everything relevant to your institution. From tuition fees to scholarships to career pathways, your team needs to have in-depth knowledge of all these aspects and can only do so with regular training sessions and constantly updated knowledge bases to refer to.

How Respond.io Enables Speedy Education Sales

Respond.io puts speedy and high-quality conversation interactions at the forefront of what it offers through its AI-powered customer conversation management platform. Here’s a taste of what it can potentially offer your educational institution:

AI Chatbots

Respond.io’s take on chatbots comes in the form of AI Agents which help teams spend less time on routine, monotonous tasks and more time on delivering value where it matters.

AI Agents cut through the noise, freeing up teams

Through the ability to automate the answering of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to booking demo sessions and appointments, AI Agents shine best at the earlier stages of the education sales funnel.

AI Assist and AI Prompts

For teams hesitant to let chatbots take the wheel, AI Assist and AI Prompts can help strike a balance between automation and the human element.

AI Prompts can help human agents respond more effectively

AI Assist helps create responses based on chat histories and interactions with contacts, but these can be completely edited by the agent before sending. Additionally, AI Prompts offer various other relevant capabilities, such as translating messages, ensuring the tone is appropriate, correcting typos and simplifying complex messages for clarity.

Dashboard and Reporting

For sales managers, it’s essential to constantly keep vigil and a hawk-eye view of your team’s performance to monitor progress and identify opportunities for improvement.

Achieving fast sales and delivering quick responses requires you to view things from an analytics perspective.
Reports provide a comprehensive overview of how your teams are performing

From conversations opened and closed to how agents are performing compared to others to how fast conversations are being assigned and closed by respective teams, respond.io’s Dashboard and Reports help you optimize your sales strategies.

Are you looking for a platform to take your education sales teams and processes to the next level? Experience first-hand how respond.io can help you achieve this by signing up for a free account today.

Further Reading

Did you find this article useful? If so, you might enjoy exploring the following reads.

Ryan Tan
Content Writer
Ryan Tan, a London School of Economics (LSE) law graduate, is a Senior Content Writer at respond.io. He specializes in demystifying business messaging, providing readers with practical insights that pave the way to robust growth.
Tags
Copied to Clipboard!

Ready to get started? ✨

  • Unlock the power of respond.io to grow sales and delight customers.
  • 7-day free trial
  • No credit card required
  • Cancel anytime
Sign Up Free
  • Experience a personalized demo with us
  • Discover why 10,000+ businesses choose us
Book a Demo