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INSEAD propels the future of executive education with Salesforce

In a fast-paced world, change is the only constant. For business leaders, that means learning new skills has become a lifelong commitment. INSEAD Executive Education helps leaders to upskill and thrive in this rapidly changing landscape. Renowned business school, INSEAD has been inspiring 220,000 executives since 1967. It welcomes approximately 20,000 executives representing over 125 nationalities and 3,500 organisations per year across its on-campus, online and live virtual programmes. While the face of education has evolved rapidly, one trend that has remained constant is the need to build strong customer relationships. “As hybrid learning becomes the norm, personal connections are as crucial in executive education as they are in the workplace,” explained Séverine Guilloux, Executive Director of Open Programmes and Online Learning Innovation at INSEAD. “Putting the customer first is a given. The experience we’re creating in executive education with Salesforce is totally unique.”

  • 15%
    average increase in productivity
  • 25%
    more efficient pipeline and portfolio management
  • 75%
    revenue increase from digital programmes

Engaging lifelong learners from all over the world

INSEAD has trailblazing in its DNA. It was one of the first schools to adopt a CRM platform to manage stakeholders’ relationships to bring business best practices into the higher education world.

“Multinational corporations are now running their own education programmes, so we’re competing with giants who have big budgets and can move very quickly.” explained Guilloux. In this dynamic setting, agile technology is key. That is why the school chose Salesforce to better serve their participants, streamline their operations, and accelerate its go-to-market strategy to maintain our competitive edge. “We saw an opportunity to replace our CRM system with a more user-friendly platform that we could integrate with our existing ecosytem” shared Guilloux.

Rationalising technology and leveraging a central platform doesn’t just reduce operating costs, it provides an opportunity to drive excellence. By consolidating three platforms into one, teams were able to increase productivity on average by 15%. Further, the sales team can access everything they need to know about a prospect in real time in half the number of clicks.

“With Salesforce, we’re redefining innovation in the education sector.” Séverine Guilloux, Executive Director of Open Programmes and Online Learning Innovation
INSEAD Business School

An integrated approach

Sales Cloud connects to INSEAD’s marketing platform, student information system, and invoicing solution. When a candidate registers their interest in a programme, the lead is captured in Salesforce and sales reps can track their journey through the pipeline, following up at relevant touchpoints with calls or emails.

Having better visibility of a prospective participant means the team can have more valuable and personal conversations. “Salesforce automatically updates the status of each lead after every action, and we have created a traffic light system to give them a better overview of the pipeline at a glance. The team is really happy with the new way of working,” revealed Kumar.

Sales reps don’t have to toggle between multiple screens to do their job anymore. They can send mass mailouts directly from Sales Cloud for example. Productivity has also increase by between 20-25% for programme advisors, who can manage a bigger pipeline and portfolio more efficiently with automated workflows and by taking a more proactive approach to sales.

“Salesforce has made it easier for us to streamline our sales and marketing efforts, to optimise marketing campaigns, and better understand the customer journey across every touchpoint,” shared Guilloux. “Over the last two years, the platform gave us the agility we needed to efficiently manage our business. Last year, we were able to grow our open online programmes revenue by 75%.”

The Pathway to Customer 360

“While the executive education department has paved the way for other teams at INSEAD, there is now an institutional planning committee to govern the Salesforce roadmap across different business units and functions.

For example, teams running degree programmes have recently onboarded the platform and the fundraising department is expected to follow suit.

“We’re building more than a CRM. We’re on a journey to reduce the number of systems we use for our stakeholders to deliver maximum impact by keeping customers at the centre,” Kumar added. “Achieving Customer 360 will give us the chance to create long-lasting relationships with students and participants beyond programme completion and nurture a community of business leaders.”

Next-generation self-service for online courses

As the Salesforce implementation matures, INSEAD is planning to explore more advanced functionality such as Einstein for predictive forecasting and lead scoring. It’s also considering creating a customer data platform (CDP) to make better use of data – for example analysing performance data, conversations, and KPIs to improve efficiency and enhance personalisation.

“We’re working on extending our CRM, through Experience Cloud for participant Self Service experience,” said Pankaj. “Users will be able to self-serve for the entire journey, from applying to paying and accessing learning materials.”

Lifelong Learning

About INSEAD Business School

INSEAD offers both in-person and online programmes that reflect the skills needed to lead and thrive in our rapidly changing world. With campuses across the globe, this business school brings together a diverse community of executives & participants to enrich their perspective as leaders.