The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is implementing Salesforce Constituent Relationship Management — or CRM — using the TargetX Recruitment and Retention Suites to support and improve recruitment, communications and student success.
CRM is both a process and a platform for managing all interactions with constituents and the data regarding those interactions.
“The primary constituents in UNL’s CRM are students,” said Abby Freeman, director of admissions. “From prospective students learning about what UNL has to offer at a high school visit or college fair, to an admitted student finalizing their enrollment, CRM allows us to offer timely information to our constituents about their membership in the UNL community. In this new CRM, UNL will expand these tools to support student success and retention.”
The university’s current CRM, Talisma, only serves the recruitment of new students and is near end-of-life. Salesforce for recruitment will launch Jan. 1. Undergraduate recruitment staff who currently use Talisma will be invited to training sessions from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 8 and 9; and 1 to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Refresher and support training will be offered 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Jan. 5 and 12.
The benefits of the new Salesforce implementation project include:
Modernizing CRM solutions to drive enrollment and retention.
Expanding retention capabilities (replacing MyPlan/Starfish) to include the ability to prioritize students who need assistance and outreach.
Providing seamless access to student data across recruitment and retention.
Implementing technical and operational foundations which will allow us to manage the full student lifecycle and all external stakeholder relationships through CRM.
The university will implement the Salesforce CRM for recruitment and retention in two phases. The first phase is implementation of the Recruitment Suite, scheduled with a targeted go-live target of Jan. 1. The CRM implementation team will transition data from Talisma to Salesforce during the holiday closedown when interactions with students are low. Recruitment Suite implementation will support existing offices using CRM for recruitment and communications tools for email, SMS, phone call tracking, event management and more.
Faculty and staff will be engaged throughout the Retention Suite implementation, starting in January. Implementation of the Retention Suite is scheduled for January through April with a go-live target in May. The implementation process will offer many opportunities for student success staff to have direct input on committees/teams assigned to specific portions of the implementation — ranging from data integrations, to system settings/configurations, communication planning, reporting and training.
The Salesforce CRM implementation has support from the executive level, both on campus and with University of Nebraska Central Administration. Kelly Lindsay, director of enrollment technology and analytics, is leading the Recruitment Suite implementation and Bill Watts, associate dean for university advising and career development is leading the Retention Suite implementation in collaboration with the ASEM Enrollment Technology and Analytics team.
The Salesforce CRM will allow the university to connect with students in new and exciting ways. However, changing a system as foundational as how the university communicate with students and keeps track of relationships with them will require time to develop.
“UNL has been one of the leaders in pushing the limits of Talisma’s capabilities. We’ve been working on custom solutions for 20 years” Lindsay said. “We are asking everyone to be patient as we work through the process of customizing Salesforce. Although we will have all basic functionality covered on day one, what we will have at launch is not what we will have after a year of working in the system.”
The CRM implementation team is asking for support and partnership across campus to ensure a smooth transition.
“We’re asking everyone who works with Talisma to set aside some time in December and January to take advantage of trainings, familiarize themselves with Salesforce, and ask questions” said Patrick Winter, associate vice chancellor for academic services and enrollment management. “As with any new work system or process, getting used to Salesforce will take some time, and there may be some bumps along the way. This is a challenge, but one that we will accomplish together.”
Faculty and staff can learn more about the CRM project at crm.unl.edu. For questions related to the recruitment implementation, please contact Kelly Lindsay (email@example.com). For questions about the retention implementation, please contact Bill Watts (firstname.lastname@example.org).