“The admission team has had awesome success with Salesforce and we’re excited to expand its use.” - Betsy Dolan, Associate Dean and Director of Admission Information Systems
College of William & Mary Uses Salesforce to Transform Admission
The second oldest college in the nation, William & Mary (W&M) is commonly known as a “Public Ivy” – one of only eight in the country. W&M is a highly selective, cutting-edge research university, which poses a unique challenge to the admission team: finding and admitting only top-tier students in a highly competitive market.
Prior to Salesforce, the admission department was plagued with several data-related problems. With 38,000 prospective student records being loaded into their Student Information System (SIS) annually, an abundance of duplicate records existed. Loading this data could only be done on a limited basis and only 50% of all applications were automatically uploaded – leaving the other 50% to be manually reviewed and submitted. Event management was a stand-alone application, not allowing for any integration, and “suspect” management was non-existent. With these data management challenges, W&M faced unnecessary obstacles in recruiting top tier prospects and suspects.
William & Mary implemented Salesforce with its partner TargetX CRM and AppExchange partners Informatica, FormAssembly, and DemandTools – dramatically streamlining their data load processes for prospect records. This eliminated the limited and often-manual prospect upload process as data flowed directly into Salesforce and created prospect records. By creating their own online inquiry forms, W&M was able to capture prospect data in real time directly from the prospective student. “Salesforce gave us flexibility and autonomy to do things the way we wanted to do them in Admission,” said Betsy Dolan, Associate Dean and Director of Admission Information Systems. This streamlined process has allowed the school to now manage 57,000 prospect records annually – a 50% increase. Using Salesforce AppExchange partners like DemandTools has also allowed W&M to decrease the number of duplicate undergraduate applicant records in their SIS by 96%.
The school is now able to execute integrated and personalized communication plans. If a prospective student shows interest, the corresponding communication from the admission team can be tailored accordingly. This allows W&M to create truly targeted outreach and generate personalized conversations with prospects.
One of the most notable transformations has taken place with W&M’s Athletic recruiting. The process of filling out manual forms in both the athletic and admission departments has been eliminated. Coaches can now submit prospective athletes’ information via Salesforce and allow the admission department to provide real-time feedback and guidance to ensure a unified recruiting approach.
The transition to Salesforce has given time back to the admission department and has finally allowed the team time to focus on suspect management as opposed to solely prospect management. Since implementing, the school has identified 142,000 suspects – 6,000 of which have become either prospects or actual applicants. These are all people the school would have never had time to reach given their legacy processes. With the admission team setting the standard, W&M looks to the future with Salesforce. “The admission team has had awesome success with Salesforce and we’re excited to expand its use,” said Dolan.