The 5 Key Benefits of CRM and SIS Integration

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CRM and SIS systems are essential software that ensure the smooth operation and communication at higher education institutions. SIS stands for Student Information System and is where an organization’s information and metrics are stored, such as courses offered, class sizes, individual student grades, attendance, financial records, and more. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and stores information for reaching out to potential students and new students. While almost all organizations have an SIS system, and some have both CRM and SIS systems working independently, they do not have them integrated, or “speaking to each other.”

Why is it so important to integrate these two systems? Now, more than ever, colleges cannot afford to lose potential enrollments. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected college enrollment rates and the way students make decisions on where to attend school. Forming meaningful connections with students is essential and having your CRM and SIS systems integrated is necessary to make those connections last. Integration between CRM and SIS is one of the most common barriers higher education institutions face when implementing CRM, simply because institutes don’t take the extra measures to connect the two systems.

The following are five key benefits of integrating your SIS and CRM software. Consider these points when choosing and implementing CRM to ensure the optimization of your daily operations.

Update Information Pools

 Nothing is more frustrating to a student or faculty member than when records can’t be stored, maintained, or accessed properly, and lots of time can be wasted back-tracking and re-submitting data. Connecting SIS and CRM will ensure that all internal software systems are working from the same information pools, and that they will update one another when new data arrives. This is especially important as students decide to enroll in schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping track of students and forming relationships with new or potential students will help both your enrollment rate and retention rate increase.

Decrease Room for Human Error

 Depending on staff to maintain and update records is simply not feasible because there are so many different departments that operate independently of one another, and therefore many opportunities arise for human error or broken communication chains. With an altered learning model and possibly understaffed departments, there leaves a much larger space for mistakes to be made. Leaving the responsibility up to the software eliminates these potential errors and makes accessing important information easier for everyone involved.

Automation Saves Time

 Even when done correctly, the process of inputting data is time consuming and difficult to stay on top of, especially for large universities who have tons of new information coming in every day. Automating data entry significantly reduces time and costs of human-driven data entry, and integrating SIS and CRM ensures that every bit of information, from important documents, faculty notes, contact information, and lots more, is being properly submitted and remaining easily accessible to every department. The automation will also allow the two systems to speak to each other and store information in both systems when necessary, effectively saving time and ensuring up-to-date information.

Customized Data Reports 

 When it has all of the appropriate information, CRM can take data entry a step further by organizing it and forming customized data reports and insights that can inform admissions staff, marketing departments, management, and anyone else. Common examples include internal insights and performance, preferred media channels of ideal student candidates, growth strategies, and more. You can imagine how useful this information is in practices such as recruiting students, marketing, finding acquisition rates, and looking at retention rates. Having the data at your fingertips will save time doing busy work and allot more of that time to optimizing your recruitment and marketing strategies.

Eliminate Need for Third Party Participation

 Not having a CRM means that many processes need to be outsourced through third parties. Email campaigns and event announcements are a few examples of processes that would need to be taken to a third-party provider without a CRM to implement the same functions from a centralized location. Plus, when processes are scattered across different platforms and different parties, it’s almost impossible to pull and organize useful data in a timely matter. A CRM can do all of this automatically. With the elimination of human error and the ability to store the information across both platforms, these communications are more likely to reach a relevant audience and avoid sending multiple emails to the same student.

Engine Systems’ Role

 Engine specializes in the business processes of higher ed, and our team of experts can bring the knowledge that you need to properly find, integrate, and connect CRM and SIS, or address any other related problems. Our process includes an evaluation, planning and mapping, proper integration, employee training, and continued maintenance. Our approach is hands on during every step of the integration process, guided by experience and expertise. What’s more, Engine will leave you prepared to handle CRM and SIS functions in the future, whether that includes training existing employees, finding a new hire to champion progress, or implementing continued counsel.

Book a discovery call to ask questions and discuss how Engine Systems can help your institution properly manage SIS and CRM.

To read more about CRM & SIS integration, check out the full white paper Engine’s Research Team put together.