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Using “Little Wows” To Make A Big Difference in Your Customer Journey
Enrollify - CRMprov - 15 - Eric Keiles
[00:00:00] EricKeiles: Remember Charlie, who used to be in the sales department four years ago. And he set up those original workflows. He's now two jobs down the line, but his workflows at the original company are still there. They don't reflect the messaging. Some of the links are broken. Some of the content that they refer to [00:00:15] is now gone.
[00:00:16] EricKeiles: And all of these things are compounding on this complexity that's going on and they need to be fixed.[00:00:30]
[00:00:35] Mickey: Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of CR improv. I can't believe we're deep into 20, 22 already. And that says something time's really flying by [00:00:45] Jamie. How are you?
[00:00:46] Jamie: I'm good. I, I feel like the word deep really is a great moniker. Cuz I don't know about your, but I feel like 20, 22 has really come in with a bang.
[00:00:58] Jamie: In terms of like.[00:01:00] Busyness and response and all sorts of other little things. Yeah, deep it's we're in deep. I, it reminds me of Clark w Griswold. When I watch the national lampoons, the first vacation and he like [00:01:15] jumps in the pool and he's like, we're in deep and he's referencing something else.
[00:01:19] Jamie: He, you know, he's making it seem like it's the pool. So if you don't know what I'm talking about, I would recommend maybe putting that one on your
[00:01:26] EricKeiles: watch list.
[00:01:29] Mickey: And or rewatch [00:01:30] it's okay to rewatch it.
[00:01:31] EricKeiles: Yeah. Bring that back up. Totally. Bring
[00:01:33] Jamie: back my childhood memories.
[00:01:36] Mickey: well, I guess we're in deep. It probably makes me feel like I'm Clark Griswold.
[00:01:39] Mickey: I feel that way half the time. And I agree, Jimmy, it's a busy year. I was [00:01:45] thinking, in fact, just this morning, like didn't, didn't have any meetings prior to us setting this recording. And it's 10, o'clock our time. So to give folks listening in idea, so to have no meetings before 10 and feel good about that[00:02:00] to me is says something about the year and I was thinking, you know, I wanna take more time to control my calendar right now.
[00:02:08] Mickey: I wanna take it back on a little bit more and have time like this. I think it would be beneficial. But speaking of taking our [00:02:15] calendars back less, less, let's respect everyone's time including the listeners and our guests. I'm super excited to introduce Eric keyless, Eric co-founder of square two marketing.
[00:02:26] Mickey: I've known Eric. I was thinking about this this morning, Eric. I [00:02:30] think it was 2005 or 2006. I was still working directly in higher ed hired Eric and his colleagues at square two marketing to help build my program's first email marketing campaign. Nice. And while we had done emails in the [00:02:45] past, I wanted them to be professional.
[00:02:46] Mickey: I wanted to have a way to turn it in into a. To ensure that what we were doing to nurture our perspective students, although I don't think I used the word nurture at the time. But the way to stay in touch with them was a way that helped move them towards[00:03:00] enrolling with us. And so I think from there, Eric, we had you come to campus and, and present a, at a conference that we hosted at the time for some of our alumni and students.
[00:03:11] Mickey: And we've been in touch since then. And, and in, and the, one of the, you know, [00:03:15] one of the downsides of pandemic is, you know, we don't get to go to conferences physically anymore. And I used to at least see Eric once a year. Even though. You only live like an hour and a half from me, Eric. We would, which is in Pennsylvania folks.
[00:03:27] Mickey: We would see each other annually in Boston at the [00:03:30] conference at HubSpots inbound conference. Which I've probably have referenced that before on this show. It's my favorite conference ever. And I can, it virtual, you may have mentioned it once or twice or 10 times. But I'm, I'm hopeful.
[00:03:43] Mickey: One day we get back to this physical conference [00:03:45] space that we can get to see each other. Again, Eric, Eric, welcome to CRM pro
[00:03:49] EricKeiles: thank you so much flatter that you asked me to join
[00:03:51] Mickey: in. And one of the things we're doing here in 2022 is we're bringing in guests that are not. Higher ed, [00:04:00] you know, practitioners or who, who are on the outside, whose business isn't exclusive to higher ed.
[00:04:05] Mickey: And we're trying to take time to understand how things operate outside of higher ed. And then to look at how we might translate that into a higher ed environment for all of our listeners, [00:04:15] Eric, why don't you tell us a little bit about square two marketing and what you all do?
[00:04:20] EricKeiles: Yeah. Talking about time flying by square two has been around just shy of 19 years.
[00:04:24] EricKeiles: Now, my partner, Mike Lieberman, and I started it with the understanding that we felt that mid-market companies [00:04:30] weren't really getting good advice and we could do better as opposed to telling people to just get a billboard on I 95 and hope. And that's obviously not what we do. We about 42, 43 employees.
[00:04:41] EricKeiles: Now we help mostly B2B clients on the entire [00:04:45] revenue generation journey. From the first time that someone hears about one of our clients all the way until they buy something. And then even after, as we cross-sell and upsell them, we help clients do that.
[00:04:56] Mickey: And, and I, one of the key phrases you [00:05:00] mentioned there is the revenue journey.
[00:05:02] Mickey: So I think when we started working together in 2005 or six the revenue journey, wasn't the full revenue journey at the time. Or maybe not as explicit or fully defined, but it was more in that perspective. Buyer [00:05:15] type focus. And now D how, how has that changed over the past 10 years for you?
[00:05:20] Mickey: When you say the entire revenue journey, maybe define what that means and, and, and tell us how it, how work has shifted that way for
[00:05:25] EricKeiles: you. Sure. So when I say clients or prospects, you know, you guys hear, you know, [00:05:30] students or perspective students, obviously we wanna make sure that this is appropriate. So really it's not about the buyer's journey.
[00:05:36] EricKeiles: It's about buyer behavior. And the internet number one. And then COVID number two to really put another layer on top of that change [00:05:45] the way people buy stuff. I have two lovely parents. They escape the brutal Philadelphia winners. They go down to Florida because of COVID. My mom has freaked out and doesn't want to go to the market to stock up on provisions for she and my dad.
[00:05:57] EricKeiles: So my wife sets 'em up with an Instacart account [00:06:00] shows. 'em how to use it. And now they get their groceries delivered right to their front door. If you would've told me two years ago that my parents were using Instacart to deliver stuff, I would've thought you were crazy, but it's a really good indication of how buyer behavior had a radically pivot because of the [00:06:15] circumstances around us.
[00:06:16] EricKeiles: The buyer's journey is simply understanding from the first time that someone hears about a company and all the way through the experience of buying something. What does that look, feel? And taste like? There's marketing education, [00:06:30] introducing people to products and services. There's sales. Right? Hey, let's do a deal together.
[00:06:35] EricKeiles: And then the often forgotten part is the ongoing delivery, right? Hey, now I have a client. Let's sell them some more stuff. So that whole revenue journey is what we focus [00:06:45] on. Lots of times people separate them into three buckets and that's fine. As long as the experience is very uniform. And what I mean by that if I go to your website and I see some really interesting information and I say, you know, let me talk to someone [00:07:00] at this company.
[00:07:00] EricKeiles: And then I hook up with a salesperson and they tell me some completely different stuff that I read on website. Wow. Now there's friction. I stop, I pause and it slows down the whole sales cycle. So making sure that it's a fabulous experience from a to Z [00:07:15] is really important in that revenue a journey.
[00:07:17] Mickey: So. I'm thinking about the journey. How, how did, how did you begin to expand from just the, the marketing side to adding these other components in what was the, the light bulb moment for you all to, [00:07:30] to start uncovering this and, and thinking about this as a way to. Continue supporting your
[00:07:35] EricKeiles: clients. Yeah, it's really a great question.
[00:07:37] EricKeiles: Cuz in the beginning we were square two marketing right now we've dropped the marketing and we're just square two because it's not just about [00:07:45] marketing. It's about the entire buyer's journey. I think two things happened in parallel. About five to seven years ago. One customers started saying to us, Hey.
[00:07:56] EricKeiles: I got enough leads, but my close rate is [00:08:00] 10%. What should I do about that? And that opened up the door for us to go a little deeper on the sales side of the experience. I remember once in the very beginning of this, we had a client and we took them from 30 leads a month to 300 leads a month. It was [00:08:15] like, we're patting ourselves on the back.
[00:08:16] EricKeiles: This is amazing. The owner of the company calls us up and he says, yeah, I gotta fire you guys. We're like, whoa, what are you talking about? He says, well, my revenue is not going up. So we're like, well, how could that be when we stopped and asked him to take a look [00:08:30] at what happened when we presented them with these delicious juicy sales leads, we found that his sales team was really bumbling.
[00:08:36] EricKeiles: The whole thing. There was no process. There was no strategy. There was no support. There was no CRM. And we said, whoa, whoa, whoa. Rather than fire us. Why [00:08:45] don't we rotate some of your investment from generating leads into closing deals. And that was really the first step in really understanding that we can't just stop by turning over the leads.
[00:08:54] EricKeiles: We gotta finish the job and make it more of not sales and marketing, but revenue in general. [00:09:00] Parallel to that HubSpot. One of my favorite pieces of software started to introduce all sorts of other modules that made it easy for us to then continue that buyer's journey from marketing to sales. So as they leaned into the software [00:09:15] and we leaned into the strategy, those two things came together from really make it a revenue generation consultancy as a opposed to a marketing firm.
[00:09:24] Mickey: Hands in the air preach on seriously. Because totally that's a as a practitioner, what you [00:09:30] described is what I, I wanted in, in while I was still in the field, you know, it's, it's not just how many. Perspective students or leads that I'm, I'm getting it's how many students do I get from that? And I always found this rub even as I started consulting, [00:09:45] it's one of the things that I got into consulting for, I found the rub that as other firms came and pitched services to me, they only talked about how many leads and, and they didn't seem to understand that what I cared about was students.
[00:09:59] Mickey: Whether you give me [00:10:00] 10 leads or a thousand leads. You know, the question is how many students I get from that. I would rather have 10 leads if I can get six of them to enroll than get a thousand leads and get eight to enroll, because I know how much more I'm gonna pay to get a thousand. And so that's it, I, I think it's great [00:10:15] to see that evolution occur.
[00:10:16] Mickey: For all of your clients, Eric. And I think also from, from college universities, you know, this is what I wanna be sure that they hear and it helps ask them, helps ask questions. Mm-hmm of their firms when they're getting these pitches, like, what does this mean in terms of results and how do you help [00:10:30] me?
[00:10:30] Mickey: Because we see that just in our work, helping implement CRM, when you start looking at their numbers to inevitably start to see when we're implementing a CRM, Or even if we dive into a strategy project with the client to start looking at, how do we improve the [00:10:45] operation? You see, they shift over time from.
[00:10:50] Mickey: The old way of marketing, some of 'em in higher rate are still doing this, the old way of marketing into a new way of marketing. And there's no process behind it. Yeah. [00:11:00] To take that to the next level. And I will tell you, I just had a conversation with the respective client last week, when I asked about how do you get your perspective leads?
[00:11:08] Mickey: Well, we have this bullet and we send out every semester with all the courses we offer each semester. And that goes in the mail. [00:11:15] That must go to like 50,000 homes. Oh my right. And when you're like, okay, and what else? and there's like silence. Right. But, and it's, and it's not just saying that that's outdated.
[00:11:25] Mickey: It's when they make a shift to say, well, we know we need to support this with some type of [00:11:30] digital effort or so, whatever the other effort is not knowing how else the results need to shift in terms of process to make that work for you. That's there's just a gap there still And I think what you're saying, Eric is you've, you've, [00:11:45] that's how you've adjusted your business to it.
[00:11:47] EricKeiles: Well, I mean, it's, it's a, you know, it goes back to strategy as always and understanding the persona. Right? So here I am a, a person of age, let's call it twenties. Right. And I'm getting a packet. In the us [00:12:00] mail with a course listing on it. That's probably not the way I wanna receive my information. The other thing is that's not an experience.
[00:12:07] EricKeiles: It's a one and done event. So if it was a digital component, like I got my traditional package, but inside there was a little like Response card. And it [00:12:15] said, Hey, go to this website page, download this valuable piece of content. And now I gave them my email and they started to nurture me. And I was mixed in with videos and white papers and eBooks that I could sit in on a cool webinar.
[00:12:25] EricKeiles: Maybe have like a bird's eye view of a class going on. Now it's an experience. And [00:12:30] I think that. Even higher people talk about brand a lot. Right. And they think that their brand is their logo and their business card and their stationary. Right. But the brand today is the experience I had when I go and, and work with a company or try to work with a company, you [00:12:45] know, Warby Parker comes to mind how they just took the experience of buying eyeglasses.
[00:12:49] EricKeiles: That was so horrendous. And they made it into something fun and interesting and we'll ship you five frames and then here's a label to send it back. And we have stores now and look at our website it's so easy. And all of those things [00:13:00] come together in a really cool experience, which subsequently makes the Warby Parker brand.
[00:13:05] Jamie: Yeah, one of the struggles I come up against, I feel like both in my mind, and also in, in experience is, you know, on the higher [00:13:15] ed front, you know, there are, there are There are many individuals who think that they can take the experience at the bottom end of the funnel with their team and do it right.
[00:13:25] Jamie: I'm gonna air quote that one for the listeners, them, they can do it. Right. And I guess my [00:13:30] question for you, Eric is you know, you, you referenced that experience where your client was looking at the revenue, the data, they were understanding the, the ROI on what you were doing and saying, Hey, this isn't good enough.[00:13:45]
[00:13:45] Jamie: Is there a way, whether it's a diagnostic set of questions or even like some sort of exercise that you can lead that you lead people through in order to get them. To the point where they understand that there there's a, [00:14:00] there's like a cutoff and here's, here's, here's really the, the gist of what I'm asking.
[00:14:03] Jamie: Like we get to a part this segment of work with our clients where they say, Hey, you know what, let's take it up to this point. And HubSpot's great. You know, we can build the top of the funnel with HubSpot and we can like do all these things [00:14:15] and kind of reduce them off the, the, you know, wean them off, whether it's like list buys or things like that and create quality content.
[00:14:23] Jamie: But then if they don't have the the, the requisite process in place and the right people to continue that, [00:14:30] then it's still, they still come back to say, oh, well, they weren't the right leads. And how do you get them to understand that it's not the right experience rather than it's not the
[00:14:39] EricKeiles: right lead.
[00:14:41] EricKeiles: Yeah. That's actually a great question. So, you know, [00:14:45] Without getting too nerdy. It really comes down to metric. We look at it a little different that there's actually eight stops on the buyer's journey. Along those stops, you can actually apply metrics to see if they're moving from one stage to [00:15:00] another.
[00:15:00] EricKeiles: The goal is to obviously get them to slip through all eight stages without any friction and as quickly as possible. So when you look at things like messaging, right? Hey, how do I know if I have the right people? And then I don't move from content act [00:15:15] to MQL or marketing qualified lead. And that metric shows that then I'm not attracting the right people, my message.
[00:15:21] EricKeiles: Isn't resonating. Then I. Some layers of that. Did they come to my website? Did they convert? How long did they stay on the website? How many pages did they view [00:15:30] all of those kinds of metrics? So that's where metrics apply. Doesn't make it guessing it's actually quantifiable that they're moving there or not.
[00:15:39] EricKeiles: So if that would be the case and they get stuck in that lead to M Q L stage, [00:15:45] there's lots of things you could do to combat that. Right. Tweak the messaging add richer, offers a design, a different landing page and all those things that would then break open that bottleneck of people getting stuck in that stage and letting 'em flow through to the next stage.
[00:15:58] EricKeiles: And I'll give you a quick example. [00:16:00] Had a client came to us and they did not have enough revenue, but yet they had 60,000 people a month coming to their website. Okay. That seems like enough. But yet their sitewide conversion rate was only 0.4, 2%. So we, they didn't need any more traffic to their website.
[00:16:14] EricKeiles: They needed [00:16:15] to convert the people that came. So we moved that from 0.4, 2% to a nice 2% conversion rate, which would be very conservative. Now, all of a sudden they have plenty of people to talk to. And then as we looked at the journey back to our close rate, they were only experiencing a 10% [00:16:30] close rate rather than work on everything.
[00:16:32] EricKeiles: We focused our efforts on sales enablement to help them to close that we moved it from 10% to 20% and doubled their business. So it's not always about more traffic than my website, more paid advertising. Sometimes you really have to look at [00:16:45] the, that are in between all the stages of the buyer's journey and because nobody has unlimited resources.
[00:16:50] EricKeiles: You apply your limited resources in those areas. That'll break over those log jams.
[00:16:56] Mickey: Hey, I know you're deeply engaged with this conversation, but [00:17:00] we're gonna pause just for a moment for an important word from our sponsors.
[00:17:04] Zach-Ad: This episode is brought to you by our friends at uni buddy uni buddy is a student engagement platform that helps higher education, recruitment, marketing, and admissions professionals attract, engage [00:17:15] and convert prospective students.
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[00:17:35] Zach-Ad: And he starts treating about your program offering after a few seconds, a warm popup form invites Sam to chat with student ambassador. Dan, who you guested is currently [00:17:45] studying business at your university. After some quick niceties, Sam admits he's been looking at your school for some time now, but is yet to submit a formal inquiry or start an application.
[00:17:54] Zach-Ad: He's been to a couple of virtual recruitment events, but it's been hard to get a real feel for what life [00:18:00] as a student, especially during these times is actually like Dan talks about his love of the entrepreneurship course. He's taking how challenging, but rewarding and counting one on one is, and how impressed he's been with your school's for spots to the challenges that COVID has thrown.
[00:18:13] Zach-Ad: Everyone's way [00:18:15] after 15 minutes of chatting with Dan Sam books, a chat with one of your admissions counselors for next week. And then he goes on to create an application account. This experience is so much more powerful than a static chat window or a scripted chatbot uni buddy [00:18:30] empowers people to make better decisions through shared human experience.
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[00:18:53] Zach-Ad: To learn more about uni buddy and access a plethora of free resources to help you navigate student recruitment this year, [00:19:00] head on over to enroll five.org/uni, buddy. And we'll ping you directly to uni buddy's learning hub.
[00:19:07] Mickey: That is easy to translate for those listening to understand, you know, what are the stages?
[00:19:12] Mickey: That's, that's a term. I think we've used in the [00:19:15] show. It's a term I use in my daily work. You know, what are the stages of the enrollment process? Mm-hmm and understanding where they are and how do we help folks move across the stage? Not from top of the funnel to enrolled students, you can't skip.
[00:19:26] Mickey: Otherwise people don't have the opportunity to build the trust and understand
[00:19:29] EricKeiles: what [00:19:30] I know, but. They want to Mickey, they wanna go right from hello, nice to meet. You. Let's get married. Right. It doesn't work that way. You gotta build a little relationship before you give 'em the ring, you
[00:19:39] Mickey: know exactly that.
[00:19:41] Mickey: And that's what they want. The other thing I want to talk a little bit about [00:19:45] is in terms of, when we think about that revenue cycle and get to re. For four year institutions. That's not as much of an issue two year institutions as it is where they spend much more time and effort trying to get students to reregister [00:20:00] each semester.
[00:20:01] Mickey: Four year institutions is a little bit. You know, once they're there, unless they're gonna transfer, some of them definitely drop out, but they're, they're gonna, they're more likely to continue on versus two year students who really need to spend a lot of time doing that. So when you think about [00:20:15] the keeping clients buying more, you know, what are, what are some of the things that you you do with clients to help them continue the customer
[00:20:23] EricKeiles: cycle?
[00:20:25] EricKeiles: Yeah. So standing in the shoes of those folks before [00:20:30] they register for a two year institution and while they are going through it, and then what they face when it's time to reregister is key, you know, too many people just ignore the fact that there's people out there they're trying to connect with mostly emotionally, right?
[00:20:44] EricKeiles: Too [00:20:45] few people stand in the shoes of their prospects and ask, well, what are they going through right now so that I can match on marketing with that? So let's say that at the end of two years. All right, great. I, I, I, I want them to sign up for another semester or two [00:21:00] let's look at it from a variety of different angles.
[00:21:02] EricKeiles: What have they experienced so far? What does their bank account look like? What are their job prospects look like? What are their family and friends saying about their experience that they're taking to heart? You gotta get all that out on the kitchen table and start to sift [00:21:15] through all those feelings and emotions they have.
[00:21:17] EricKeiles: And then start to create some content or copy that'll match up with that. But that simple exercise of trying to like stand in the shoes of the prospects will give the insights necessary to provide the content experience conversion tools, [00:21:30] whatever it might be to keep 'em going and keep them registering semester after semester.
[00:21:35] Mickey: Great. Okay. So Jamie, I didn't wanna cut you off if you had a question.
[00:21:40] Jamie: No, I didn't. I just wanna say like that's such great key takeaways in terms of [00:21:45] like, You know, I, I think we all do a lot in terms of building personas, but like really I think sometimes personas can be kind of like, you know, and, and I know Mickey has mixed feelings about personas, so we won't get into that part of it, but like [00:22:00] sometimes they can be a mile widen an inch deep.
[00:22:02] Jamie: And I think what you're recommending really is to like that whole, you know, the mantra of standing in the shoes, really just understanding like, What is the experience that they're facing. And, and I really like the, I, you know, for years, [00:22:15] a decade or 15 years higher, Ed's really been kind of like beating the drum of outcomes and really grabbing onto not just the, I, I think sometimes we like to think about long term outcomes, but it's like but the short term isn't always so great.[00:22:30]
[00:22:30] Jamie: I think sometimes there's this point where we have to really talk about like, The immediate outcomes and the long range. So like really painting the picture of like what their future will look like, but also like, what's it gonna look like next year when you graduate? So I think I love that the, you know, the big picture of standing [00:22:45] in the shoes, because those shoes, they look different at different times.
[00:22:48] Jamie: You know, I know my income looks different now than it did when I graduated from college 20 years ago. So it's like helping people to flesh that out, to really get a picture of it, I think is really key. Great insights, Eric.
[00:22:59] EricKeiles: [00:23:00] Yeah. Thanks. You know, Disney gives you a great experience, but if you really look at it closely, the great experience that they provide to you is made up by a series of what they call little wows.
[00:23:11] EricKeiles: Yeah. These little things that happen while you're in the. Park or why you're [00:23:15] waiting online or why you're on the transportation to get to the park. That's what culminates in this remarkable experience and, and higher ed obviously has a lot of opportunities for these little interesting touch points.
[00:23:25] EricKeiles: Sure. And I see, I think sometimes they miss those opportunities because they're just thinking about [00:23:30] big outcomes as opposed to little, little outcomes. Yeah.
[00:23:34] Jamie: Apply now apply now. Apply now. Apply now. Sorry. Oh, I caught got caught on repeat there. I must have been a comp flow.
[00:23:42] Mickey: It's exactly what they do is [00:23:45] the 10 to apply now.
[00:23:45] Mickey: So that's, that's what we, we encounter. Very regularly. Eric, how, how did how did your company shift over the course of the pandemic? This I'm changing course here a little bit. Just curious to see, you know, a lot of colleges, you know, had to go fully remote, including [00:24:00] their students. You know, how did, how did that work for you and your company?
[00:24:02] Mickey: How did, how did work life change for everyone over the course of the pandemic?
[00:24:06] EricKeiles: Yeah, two, two big things. Number one, you know, we had to really figure out how to pivot to a 100% remote [00:24:15] experience and make that experience remarkable. Right? So we use things like a little bit of direct mail, a little bit of extra video, you know, things that.
[00:24:25] EricKeiles: We normally would've ignored because people were coming into the office and having their kickoff meeting or a [00:24:30] sales meeting or something like that. So going you know, doubling down on the buyer experience from the remote perspective was important to us. The second thing we did. Is we realized we were getting a lot of calls of smaller businesses that were [00:24:45] really beaten up because of COVID.
[00:24:46] EricKeiles: They were really suffering and they didn't have the resources and they didn't have the teams that were able to help themselves. So we created actually a new company called crackle. Which for 199 bucks, you have, you can have access to a marketing [00:25:00] consultant that will guide you through this recognition of your business.
[00:25:03] EricKeiles: Right? So you know, we, we, we spent a lot of time brainstorming because now we were faced with a different landscape. If everything, if COVID never hit, we would've slightly altered our [00:25:15] offering here and there because are trying to be creative, but this actually caused us to stop hard pivot. Deep conversations, testing a few things and then going to market with some others.
[00:25:24] EricKeiles: And while that was challenging, we are now benefiting from that as we are still [00:25:30] in COVID to years plus later.
[00:25:33] Mickey: Interesting. The other thing I definitely wanted to try to touch base with, with you on today while we have you And we probably hit on it here and there, but the there's a industry term that's that is not common in, in higher [00:25:45] ed.
[00:25:45] Mickey: And, and I'm going to guess that most of our listeners won't know the term. But I, you know, I hear and read it all the time. In the world rev ops. I'd like to, in fact, lemme just call it hashtag rev op because I see that way too often in my LinkedIn feet. [00:26:00] Can you just for, for us define what that is and what that means for you at square two.
[00:26:06] EricKeiles: Yeah, sure. So rev op or revenue operations is simply the support that you're given [00:26:15] from a technology perspective to your sales, marketing and customer service teams. So what do I mean by that? Well, Think back in the day. Right? So some of the first automation tools were things like constant contact. Okay.
[00:26:29] EricKeiles: Let's talk about [00:26:30] that. The internet came around, you can send these things called emails. Hey, I could sign up for a service. I could load my list of emails in there and it'll help me send out emails. Great. So if I got myself a constant context in subscription, I wouldn't need anybody except for the [00:26:45] marketing person who kind of understood, send emails out, look at the reports and try to do better.
[00:26:50] EricKeiles: But when you get these tools like constant contact, they were the seeds for growing more sophisticated marketing automation platforms and CRMs like [00:27:00] Salesforce that have now become quite the beast. If you remember back in the day, Marketo was the first enterprise level marketing automation platform.
[00:27:08] EricKeiles: And it was very customizable, but because of that, it was very sophisticated from a technology point of view. [00:27:15] And the old thing was yep. As soon as you sign up for Marketo, you gotta get yourself a marketing operations person, literally a person who's full-time job is to run this piece of software. When HubSpot came out, it was a much more [00:27:30] simplified version of that.
[00:27:32] EricKeiles: Right. And they were able to make it intuitive and a really great platform, but it was just for marketing. Then they got into the CRM and then they got into the content management system for managing your website. Then [00:27:45] they got into things like help to us. Things like Zendesk now provides. So this SI originally simple tool.
[00:27:53] EricKeiles: Now has become quite the octopus with many, many arms reaching in many directions. So now what happens is [00:28:00] even though it's still relatively intuitive and easy to use, it's so comprehensive that you need support around revenue operations. So why do you need support? Well remember Charlie, who used to be in the sales department four years ago.
[00:28:13] EricKeiles: And he set up those original [00:28:15] workflows. He's now two jobs down the line, but his workflows at the original company are still there. They don't reflect the messaging. Some of the links are broken. Some of the content that they refer to as now gone. And all of these things are compounding on this complexity that's going on [00:28:30] and they need to be fixed.
[00:28:31] EricKeiles: So what revenue operations is or rev op is simply that. You can now get a group of support services and tools to help you manage some of this far reaching software that you're using on a daily basis. It even [00:28:45] becomes more compounded because once you get involved in a marketing automation platform, like HubSpot, Marketo, Salesforce sharp spring, whatever.
[00:28:53] EricKeiles: Your team relies on them on a daily basis. So when things are broken, it becomes frustrated. It leads to [00:29:00] inefficiencies, wasting money. So investing in rev op right, obviously cures, those problems keeps everything running smoothly and also attends to things like upgrades and new additions. We just helped a client who was on HubSpot for a couple of years, add a new feature of [00:29:15] lead scoring something they knew they should turn on, but they didn't have the bandwidth or the expertise internally to do.
[00:29:21] EricKeiles: We then engaged with them. We set it up 30 days taught 'em how to use it, stepped to the back. However that lead scoring is gonna need to be adjusted [00:29:30] as. Different parameters come into line. They wait different things. Your rev op person could go in there and kind of like, you know, fix all those things and get it set up.
[00:29:39] EricKeiles: So the rev op person used to be a very expensive position simply because [00:29:45] they were very, very short in supply. But now you can use a combination of a rev op person and some of op services to keep everything kind of running smoothly and making sure that your software is up to date. By the way revenue operations, rev op is a [00:30:00] combination of sales support, marketing support, and customer service support.
[00:30:05] EricKeiles: Cause remember we still wanna sell things to people in the customer support phase of any engagement in higher ed. Once I'm enrolled, we don't stop there. We try to cross-sell them and upsell them. Other things get [00:30:15] referrals for new students, like continue the engagement so that we could really continue to go.
[00:30:19] EricKeiles: So having revenue operations support this. More expansive revenue generation strategy is what rev is. And I'm sorry for the long answer to your short question, [00:30:30]
[00:30:30] Mickey: but that I think was a great explanation to help folks begin to understand that because what I would suggest and Jamie please chime in, in if you agree or disagree is that.
[00:30:40] Mickey: Rev ops is not defined yet in higher education. Yeah.[00:30:45] Admissions or enroll enrollment. Operations is still focused very much on processing an application. Not supporting admissions, not supporting marketing. It, it's simply there to move a file, whether [00:31:00] it's still on paper or digital now across the application process, so that it's complete, we've got the transcript.
[00:31:05] Mickey: Someone can look at, look at it to make a decision and then get a decision to a student. That's that's operations. It's, doesn't go much beyond mm-hmm and I think it's [00:31:15] really good that we introduce this concept so that we can expand upon that. Because I, what I, what I see happening and it's already happening in your world air, but in higher ed is, is what is marketing and what is sales?
[00:31:29] Mickey: Yeah. [00:31:30] Those aren't silos anymore. They're, they're becoming closer to being a singular way to go about doing your work of enrolling customers. And we're seeing that, but in order for to occur, there has to be something else behind this scenes to support that there have to be people there have to be [00:31:45] technology.
[00:31:45] Mickey: And we can't just have. The operations folks siloed. Everyone else is starting to blend together. Operations needs to start expanding beyond a, a singular piece there. So I, I I'm, I'm thankful that you were able to expand upon that and it was a great, great answer. [00:32:00] Yeah, no, I think
[00:32:01] Jamie: that that's very true, cuz I feel like in higher ed, I.
[00:32:04] Jamie: We either think about, you know, CRM support or website support or, you know, all these like dis disparate pieces that aren't necessarily, and maybe that's the answer [00:32:15] of like, why things move too slow or why they've, you know, I think my team can do this really well. And it's like, I think rev op maybe represents this more of a, a global conversation as well of like, How are these things coming together?
[00:32:29] Jamie: How [00:32:30] are they integrated? How are they like essentially, you know, working toward this unified purpose of revenue? Whereas in higher ed, it doesn't seem like that's always the, you know, whether or not it's the word. You know, we always think about butts and seats, but we [00:32:45] don't always like to reduce our customers to the word revenue for some altruistic reason probably.
[00:32:51] Jamie: But, but I think it's very, it's kind of an interesting commentary on where that space, you know, is, and probably needs to be. It [00:33:00] sounds like a blog article in my head already starting to be brewing about, you know, upping your game in 2022 and how it has to do with
[00:33:07] EricKeiles: ops. Well, huge opportunity for those higher ed institutions that embrace what you just said, Jamie, right?
[00:33:14] EricKeiles: Yeah. [00:33:15] If they do, they'll be competitively advantageous to them where they're getting more of their fair share of students because of the experience they provided in the old introduction, education and enrollment process. So yeah, you know, that seems like a huge opportunity [00:33:30] that higher education institutions should be interested in.
[00:33:34] Mickey: It's definitely the topic. I think Jamie, we can continue to have this conversation weeks and months ahead because I, I think there's a lot to uncover and a lot to help folks think about, cause what you were [00:33:45] saying, Jamie, you, we, we have a CR administrator. They don't think of it beyond that. And some people will have a business analyst type position mm-hmm , which goes into helping underst in what the technology's telling you and how to.
[00:33:55] Mickey: Assess and make strategic decisions, but how do we then execute on that too? I think is [00:34:00] right. Some of the missing pieces. So let's, let's continue that conversation. Eric this has been wonderful. And I knew when Jim and I were talking about bringing in folks not. Typically in higher ed you were the first person that came to mind and I knew you would have [00:34:15] a lot to offer to, to make our mind spin.
[00:34:17] Mickey: So, so thank you for that, Eric. You've, you've delivered without even knowing that I had this high expectation, I didn't need you to know that because I knew where you were gonna. I appreciate it. There's
[00:34:28] EricKeiles: not applying. Pressure than I already
[00:34:29] Mickey: have [00:34:30] in life. You know, and there's, and we didn't even get to, to other things.
[00:34:34] Mickey: I, you know, I have other things I don't even share with you yet that I thought, well, if we have time and I, and we could go for hours and hours I know your and, and it's probably, I know it shifted over time, but [00:34:45] you're. Interview approach to how you identify interview and, and consider candidates is different.
[00:34:50] Mickey: I don't know how that's changed the pandemic. Maybe we can have you back on and talk about that because that's another whole conversation mm-hmm that, that we could have, but Eric, again, thank you so much. I know [00:35:00] Jamie and I fully appreciated this and as well, our listeners. So thank you for joining us.
[00:35:04] Mickey: My
[00:35:05] EricKeiles: pleasure.
[00:35:05] Mickey: Thanks for having me. Yep. I do have one closing question for you. It's a tough one. What is the most. Overused buzzword [00:35:15] that comes to mind. When you think about technology used in marketing and sales.
[00:35:20] EricKeiles: Yeah. Good question. The most overused buzzword I'm going to say is, [00:35:30] Hmm, I'm gonna lean into conversion.
[00:35:33] EricKeiles: Because people used to think that if I put a white paper on my website, I will get someone's email address and that's a conversion. And with the recent privacy and the fact that apple created [00:35:45] those email addresses that are now gonna disappear. And mm-hmm, , it's not about conversion anymore. It's about. Making a connection, right?
[00:35:52] EricKeiles: Because if I follow you on social, I didn't give you my email address in exchange, but I'm interested in what you have to say. So I think the [00:36:00] 2022 sun setting is conversion and really looking for engagement.
[00:36:06] Mickey: Hmm. Another great nugget. Unbelievable. They just keep coming. Oh, thanks guys. I appreciate that.
[00:36:13] Mickey: All right. Well [00:36:15] thanks again, Eric. Jamie wanna take us out? Oh, man, this is
[00:36:19] Jamie: absolutely. Eric totally has teed up the stage for how we're gonna think about other industries and how they apply into higher ed in 2022. And [00:36:30] this has been great, everyone. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time on CRM prov.[00:36:45][00:36:56] EricKeiles: You.[00:37:00]
About the Episode
The what's what...
Higher Ed deals with FOMO in a big way. Institutions all over the country are almost always interested in knowing things like:
- How do our competitors handle their marketing tools - what’s included and what does it produce?
- What does the communication process of other institutions look like?
- What tools are being used…and what systems do they have in place to move prospects to enrolled students? Is it working like they want?
The problem that we see at CRMprov is that we look too much to other institutions for some of the answers that might be readily available in other industries.
In this episode, Mickey and Jamie sit down with co-founder and author Eric Keiles of Square 2 (marketing) in Philadelphia. The conversation is filled with moments that higher education professionals can (and should) grapple with in order to improve their current process (no matter how sophisticated it might be).
This conversation is filled with “little wows” and practical takeaways that can help put you in the shoes of your customer and improve your internal process - just like the pros do!
About the Podcast
Mickey Baines leads the technology services practice at Kennedy & Company. Kennedy & Co assists colleges and universities in the selection, implementation, customization and integration of various CRM technologies, including Salesforce, TargetX, Slate and others. They lead projects of all sizes for public and private two and four-year institutions. Whether he's working hands-on in an enrollment strategy project, leading a CRM implementation or speaking at a conference, the goal is the same - to help higher ed professionals implement technologies, strategies & tactics that engage and enroll more students.
Jamie Gleason is the Vice President Of Enrollment Strategy at Direct Development. He brings over 15 years of higher education experience to the team; almost a decade of which was spent on campus(es) and nearly six years was in edtech. A self-proclaimed "farmer + fixer," Enrollment has always provided the perfect challenge for him! He's happiest when mining through spreadsheets, results, and (generally) any type of data!
Eric Keiles "walks the walk." He has founded and grown four companies since 1997 and is immersed in the entrepreneurial world, most recently as Cofounder and Chief Marketing Officer at Square 2 Marketing. A well-known public speaker and writer, Eric produces weekly Video Marketing Minutes, hosts Square 2 Marketing's workshop series, and edits a weekly marketing newsletter that reaches fifteen thousand entrepreneurs. His mission is to help business owners think differently about their sales and marketing efforts. Eric sits on the board or volunteers at several professional organizations and has been an active member of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) for almost ten years. He lives in Doylestown, Bucks County, PA, with his family.
We partner with the best, to provide the best information.
Unibuddy — the leader in peer-to-peer marketing from student recruitment — has now joined an elite roster of Slate Platinum Preferred Partners to kickstart a groundbreaking partnership. This top-level partnership means bringing colleges and universities added benefits and functionality across their tech stack, plus better visibility into student data across all stages of the prospect’s higher education journey.learn more
CRMprov is a biweekly show that reveals how institutions can experience growth through technology. Tune in as higher ed enthusiasts Mickey Baines and Jamie Gleason partake in free-range dialogue around changes in edtech (including CRMs), vendor tutorials, insights on outcomes, industry adoption, and more!
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