The sales process is a vital part of a Learner’s journey. You must have the right tools and processes in place to ensure new business flows through with little effort. The more steps and complexity you add to the process, increases friction and increases the chance of a Learner falling out of the sales process.
First impressions are important, learn how Wisenet Education Sales Management can give you the best chance for sales success.
The Sales process can vary depending on Course entry requirements and each Learner’s unique situation. While steps can be skipped and pieced together to meet your requirements, the linear flow is visually represented below.
At the Discovery step the potential Learner is neither an Application nor an Enrolment. This is where people are learning about your education provider and determining if your offering interests them. Such as:
All of these things are subjective and this is why it is vital to have:
- Online Presence
- Discoverable in google or social media
- Drives traffic to your website
- An amazing website
- Informative, modern and performs on mobile devices
- When someone lands on your website, they stay and buy
- Great word of mouth referral from past Learners
All of your sales and marketing effort here increases your ability to:
- attract new Learners
- have them spend time discovering your provider
- enter the next steps of the Application Process
While the best outcome is a direct application from your website, sometimes Learners require more information and need more nurturing before they are ready to commit. Hence there are two pathways, Enquire or Apply.
Enquiry & Nurture
An Enquiry first Applicant discovers a training provider of interest and opts to enquire before submitting an application.
Enquiries are managed within the Wisenet Sales section and can be created from an online enquiry submission OR manually by a sales staff when taking an inbound call. A Sales Contact is created and nurturing will use Emails, Tasks, Filenotes and Opportunities to log interactions as the Enquiry progresses.
The enquiry will either decide not to proceed, or continue into the Apply process.
Apply & Review
Once a Learner has decided to Apply, with or without an enquiry, information is collected about the Learner and their Course of choice. An Application is reviewed and Rejected or Accepted.
The review process could be automated with no checks required or it could be a many-step-many-week process. Example review types include:
- Pre-training reviews
- Eligibility checks
- Payment, funding and payment schedules
The Application Submission and Review process varies greatly depending on a provider’s needs and is why Wisenet has introduced an Application Stage as part of the Course Enrolment record.
The above Sales Lifecycle looks simple enough however due to the huge amount of variance in customer needs depending on course and provider requirements makes it a hard problem to solve. If it was easy then there would be a lot of great end-to-end solutions available.
Here are a few of the challenges that exist:
Not all application processes are the same
- Short courses vs qualifications OR domestic vs international OR government funded vs fee for service
- Differences in Application Submission
- Terms and conditions
- Data field collection
- Required file uploads for evidence
- Payments – Full Upfront Payment, Application Fee, No Application Payment
- Differences in Application Review Process
- Auto approval
- Different reviews
- Different communication (calls, emails, tasks, sms, document generation)
Fragmentation between tools or lack of tools
- It is important to have the right tool for the job. But having too many tools can make it harder to manage as it is harder to tie them all together.
- Integration between systems can be hard and can result in silos of data
- Some providers are still receiving enquiries to a central email. Enquiries should be going into an application that allows for more centralised, structured and transparent processing
Reliance on staff and manual data entry
- Apart from being woefully time consuming and costly there are quality issues due to data entry mistakes
- There is a greater reliance on staff to enter data that can be entered by the actual Learner and then just reviewed by staff instead
- There is a reliance on staff to make processes work, rather than relying on applications to orchestrate the process and staff to review and add greater value to the process
- Job satisfaction is improved when tedious and time consuming tasks can be removed
Inconsistency and missing steps
- When systems and processes are fragmented, this can create an inconsistent experience for Learners during the different stages of the sales lifecycle
- There is also a greater reliance on staff to remember processes and hence steps can be forgotten or missed
- It’s hard for management to track progress and see the overall state of sales activities
Wisenet has a number of Education Sales features that have been added over the years. While many customers are using different sales features depending on their requirements, we know that a number of enhancements and new features are needed to provide a truly end-to-end Education Sales Management product that solves the challenges outlined above.
We are introducing many new Sales features; some that are available now and others that we will be releasing later this year. Below is a summary listing the Sales features currently available. The newest features being the new Application Review capability alongside a number of enhancements to the Sales section to assist with nurturing Enquiries.
We have been working with a number of beta customers to round out these features. With the release of Application Management our focus is now on building a new Sales Edition that will replace the current Online Enrolment app. This new product is very exciting and will bring all of the Sales features together by:
- Making Online Enquiry easier
- Providing a more flexible Online Application
- Customisable forms
- New Payment Gateway options
- Plus many more
The introduction of new Application Management features allows providers to more specifically track the application process. This allows separation between confirmed enrolments and those that are still open or rejected applications.
When an Application is received, you can follow your desired application review process using all of the existing features that you are familiar with (Filenotes, Tasks, Email, SMS, uReport, Learncycles, Checklists etc). You can also choose to skip the Application stage and proceed straight as a Course Enrolment.
Applications/Enrolments can currently be received via Online Enrolment, Website integrations using the API or manual data entry. There are also some new features coming soon to assist with inbound Applications.
Rather than adding an entire new application record, we have decided to use the Course Enrolment record and include an Application Stage. This makes it easier for users to continue to use Wisenet with very little changes to existing behaviour.
Two new status fields have been added to track the Application.
- Application Status – This is not customisable (see Status options below)
- Application Status Reason – This is fully customisable and can be configured in Settings > Configuration > Dropdown Lists
Application Status Values
- The first Stage of the Application process where new Applications will sit
- Usually this will allow users to identify Applications that are yet to be touched
- The Application is being reviewed to either obtain further information or to perform eligibility checks before your organisation can confirm their application
- The Application has been reviewed and is pending further information from the Learner
- This could be additional documents, evidence, payment or confirmation of an offer
- The Learner has either had a change of mind and advised that they no longer wish to proceed with the application or they might not have met the requirements to be enrolled into the course
- The Learner meets all criteria for being Accepted into the Course Offer
- The application becomes an Enrolment and will no longer appear as an Application
- An Enrolment Status must be set for the Course Enrolment
A Learner becomes an Enrolment once an Application is Accepted. It is at this point that all of the Course Enrolment fields and other Enrolment functionality will become available.
See Course Enrolment Field Guidelines for mandatory fields.
You can revert an Enrolment back to Application from within the Course Enrolment record.
The infographics below show different scenarios of how an Application turns into an Enrolment:
SCENARIO 1: Enquiry First
- Not all learners come in as an Enquiry First Applicant. Some will be Direct Applicants as seen in Scenario 2 and 3 below.
- An Enquiry First Applicant may be eligible for either an Auto Review process (Scenario 2) or a Manual Review process (Scenario 3) depending on the type of course applied.
SCENARIO 2: Auto Review
SCENARIO 3: Manual Review
How can I get started?
Each training provider has different sales processes. They are also using different Wisenet features. We encourage all customers to review their current Sales processes and determine where changes can be made to increase sales efficiency and overall outcomes. Below is a checklist grouped by function that allows you to identify things you might want to do differently:
- The NEW Application Management is included for all Wisenet customers and while you do not need to use the feature we encourage you to review your current application requirements
- Whether your enrolments are created manually, from online enrolment or a custom integration, the application feature allows you to better control and visualise the process
- Applications are excluded from government reporting
- Learncycles allow you to automate key milestones. If you use the new Application Management features you may need to tweak your Learncycles
- Change to use new Application Status or Status Reason fields instead of Enrolment Status and Status Reason fields
- Add new Learncycles to create Tasks, Emails or SMS based on new Application Expiry Date field (eg. If Application Status = Pending and Expiry Date is Today then Email the Learner advising that the application has expired, set the status to Rejected)
- All EXISTING records at time of release will be considered as an Enrolment. The existing enrolment status will remain and the Application Status will be set to Accepted. You can manually revert an Enrolment to be set as an Application.
Read our Introducing Application Management Release Notes to see all the Wisenet sections where Application Management is applicable.
- The Sales section allows you to nurture Enquiries and Opportunities
- You can give restricted Sales, SalesAdmin and SalesManager access to your sales team
- New functionality is being added to the section to assist with Sales activities
How is your website performing?
- Wisenet can conduct a website health check to identify areas for improvement. You should resolve these issues whether you do this in your existing site or choose to use Wisenet’s website services.
- Wisenet Website Edition allows us to provide Education focused website solutions that also integrates Wisenet Enquiry and Online Enrolment
When processing an Online Enrolment the user can either accept immediately or add to the Application Review process.
- This provides more control in managing the application process and also allows you to leverage a more robust review process including logbook and automation
Letter of Offer
Previously this would only work for Enrolment Status = Pending or Enquiry. Now it will also include Application Status = New, Reviewing, Pending. This allows you to use the new Application Management features. Only Accepted Letters of Offer will be seen as an Enrolment.
Enquiry Course Offers
If you used central enquiry course offers to prevent rejected applications from dirtying your enrolment list, you can stop. You no longer need to do this as these records will be kept separated in the new Application section.