Skip to Content

The Hard Work (and Rewards) of Campus-wide CRM

By March 29, 2016

By: Susan Tobes, VP of Business Development, ACF Solutions

This post is part of our series leading up to Higher Ed Summit 2016. If you’re attending, make sure to visit ACF Solutions at their booth in the Grand Foyer.

acf solutionsBuilding out a campus-wide CRM is hard work! There are technical considerations for sure ― establishing data governance, adding and retiring systems, consolidating data, etc. But most important are the people considerations. The introduction of a CRM may represent a major shift in how teams and departments work with each other; from a traditionally insular model to a highly collaborative and transparent one. The whole process is disrupting to the status quo.

So why do it?

Consider the alternative. Today, higher education institutions face challenges on numerous fronts, including: (1) declining enrollment, (2) the need for greater accountability for student outcomes, (3) unsatisfactory student experiences, (4) lackluster alumni engagement and support, and (5) the need for new revenue sources. These are challenges that are difficult to fully comprehend, let alone solve, especially in silos.

With an enterprise-wide CRM, there is the opportunity to unify and automate business processes, improve constituent experience across the lifecycle, and better monitor and measure outcomes. A single system of constituent engagement creates the ability to interact holistically, fostering the right touch points with the right person at the right time, while increasing satisfaction, loyalty, and support.

And for your staff, the hard work of building consensus and implementing enterprise-wide CRM will pay off in your team’s ability to drill down and solve issues more efficiently, faster, and with greater transparency.

In short, the rewards of achieving campus-wide CRM are more than worth the effort required to get there
, and may very well transform institutions.

So how do you get there?

The keys to a successful enterprise CRM implementation include strong governance, a clear roadmap, and well planned change management.

  • Governance: includes shared decision-making, promotes collaboration, and most importantly, standardizes data and the solution.
  • Roadmap: establishes objectives, documents key business processes and requirements, prioritizes against organizational objectives and identifies which systems you will integrate with or replace.
  • Change Management: identify champions, develop training assets and user adoption plans, and plan for organizational impact and dependencies.

HE Summit 16Learn more about strategies and tactics to prepare your institution for campus-wide CRM at’s Higher Ed Summit 2016 during ACF Solutions session, Boldly Go: Preparing for a Successful Voyage with Salesforce in the Enterprise, Wednesday March 30th at 2:00pm CT.

About the Author
Susan TobesSusan is responsible for ACF’s business and market development and ensuring the highest levels of customer satisfaction for ACF ’s customers. She has over 25 years of technical leadership, ERP project management, marketing, customer engagement and customer service experience. Before joining the Salesforce ecosystem, Susan led a team of Account/Project Managers responsible for end-to-end program and project management at the University of California Berkeley’s central IT organization, held CIO and other IT leadership positions and ran her own Microsoft-centric ERP consulting firm. Susan considers herself a change agent and passionate customer advocate. She currently lives in Berkeley with her husband and family and enjoys reading, gardening, hiking and camping.