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Imperial College Business School

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Imperial College Business School Transforms Candidate Engagement With Salesforce

The way we think about our careers is changing. Gone are the days of graduating into a set career path and climbing the corporate ladder. Today, thanks to Executive Education programmes which are an essential tool for acquiring focused skills and developing competencies we can adapt and change to fit a variety of roles. And with technology redefining the workplace, the next job on our CV may not even exist yet.

Imperial College London doesn’t just give students the best possible start to their careers. It also, through its business school, offers a full portfolio of executive education programmes for both individuals and companies seeking to develop leadership skills, promote innovative thinking, and share ideas to fast-track business success.

“Imperial College Business School is about innovation, technology, and stakeholder engagement. That’s what makes the partnership with Salesforce so perfect,” explained Joel McConnell, Executive Director of Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions at the business school. “We have been voted as the UK’s top university for student experience, and thanks to partners like Salesforce, that starts with a richer onboarding experience for prospects and candidates who are offered a place on one of our programmes.”

  • 90%
    of prospects receive their first communication via email.

Unlocking More Value From Digital Investments

Imperial College London is one of the leading higher education institutions in the world. It’s ranked by the Times Higher Education as the third best university in Europe, and eleventh in the world. It offers students from undergraduate to postgraduate, as well as open enrolment-level programmes, a world-class hybrid education experience across science, medicine, engineering, and business.

The business school’s Executive Education unit offers a suite of face-to-face, online, and virtual short courses to help prepare executives for the future of work, which includes understanding the latest technology and how to use it to benefit business, the government, and society.

“In an era where more businesses are transitioning their operations to online, there’s also more demand for flexible ways of learning. The pandemic caused tremendous uncertainty, and our programmes are designed to help professionals upskill and adapt to whatever challenges come their way,” said Mike Davis, Director of Open Programmes and Marketing at Imperial College Business School.

In response to the uncertainty of the pandemic, Imperial College accelerated its digital initiatives to make more programmes available online. Now it’s focused on getting the best value from these investments and optimising the learner experience – especially following a spike in interest in online learning during lockdown.

“Finding the right balance of technology and human engagement is key to exceeding participants’ expectations. Salesforce is a key element in our engagement strategy,” said Alexandros Toulis, Salesforce Administrator at Imperial College Business School.

“Imperial College Business School is all about innovation, technology, and engagement. That’s what makes our partnership with Salesforce so perfect.” Joel McConnell, Executive Director of Marketing, Recruitment, and Admissions
Imperial College Business School

Supporting Candidates With an Integrated Platform

The Executive Education department rolled out Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement in 2018 to support the learner journey from prospect to enrolment, and hired a dedicated Salesforce administrator to customise the platform to improve performance, productivity, and the user experience.

Salesforce is the #1 CRM platform, and the system of choice for our Executive Education unit. It helps the team innovate in the way we work and continuously improve to be able to meet the changing demands of learners,” Toulis commented. “More importantly, it helps us to connect everything and gives us real-time visibility of prospects and learners so we can personalise every touchpoint.”

In an increasingly competitive landscape, being able to personalise at scale is key. Prospects expect high levels of support from the moment they begin their journey by searching and applying for programmes.

With Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, the team can customise communications based on which programme a prospect is interested in and respond to queries faster, which helps to build the strong relationships that are vital for ensuring learners get the most out of their professional development. “Ninety percent of our prospects receive their first communication from us via automated email, so having an intuitive, efficient and data-responsive platform such as Marketing Cloud Account Engagement is essential for our approach,” said Toulis.

Salesforce Cases also simplifies handling website enquiries, which was previously a time-intensive and manual process. “If a prospective candidate requests a call back, downloads a brochure, uses live chat, subscribes to a newsletter, or adds an event to their calendar, all that data is logged to their record so the team can have a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s needs and more relevant conversations as they work to support the applicant,” added Toulis.

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Harnessing the AI Advantage

Next on the agenda, the team is planning to roll out artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to help them better understand learners’ needs, and develop the best Executive Education on the market.

“We’re looking at Einstein Discovery, Next Best Action, Prediction Builder, and using bots to gain more insights into how campaigns and events are driving applicant outcomes,” explained Toulis. “We also want to understand trends across geographies, demographics, personas, and devices so we can plan improvements better and make smarter decisions about where to allocate our budget.”

Driving change in a traditional sector takes time and dedication. With Salesforce, Imperial College Business School’s Executive Education unit is accelerating the pace of change and using real insights to better support the business leaders of tomorrow, and helping to reinforce the university’s position as one of the highest-ranked institutions globally.

Learn more about our Recruiting and Admissions solutions.

About Imperial College Business School

As part of Imperial College London, a global leader in science and technology, Imperial College Business School drives global business and social transformation through the fusion of business, technology, and an entrepreneurial mindset. The school actively focuses on combining innovative thinking and insight with new technology to develop solutions to real-world issues, benefiting business and improving society. The school’s world-leading researchers pioneer practical solutions and their research excellence informs the ample offering of undergraduate, postgraduate, and Executive Education programmes.