From day 1, Global Schools Foundation had a clear vision: To become a global role model for teaching and learning and that no child should be deprived of opportunities to excel in life and access to a world-class education.
This strong vision propelled their growth from a single school in Singapore, Global Indian International School in 2002, to 9 international school brands which have 35 campuses in 10 countries today. That’s over 2500 staff and more than 100,000 students having gone through GSF’s education system in the last 20 years.
The search for the right CRM
To streamline its processes across schools, geographies and timelines, GSF had researched and zeroed in on a methodology which will bring all its brands and campuses under a single umbrella which will effectively process and analyse its data and help in its effective management.
Being an educational institution always keen adapting new age tools for effective output, GSF found the right partner in HubSpot which fulfilled its requirements with a user-friendly approach to give long lasting solutions to its challenges.
The technology leaders of GSF understood the need for a system that has good resource management, will continuously update and improve to accommodate the evolving needs of the business.
They started researching for a CRM platform that was powerful enough to meet their various use cases, flexible enough to grow with them, and a company that continuously invested in product development.
The consideration set of CRM solutions in the education space was huge. There were small companies that built products that were tailor-made for schools, and large, established companies in the technology space.
Ayush Kalani, Associate Director – Admissions & Customer Success, adds, “GSF leaders were not only looking for a solution that was easy to adopt and test, but for a company who could grow with us on this journey. When our team looked at the user-friendliness of a CRM solution like HubSpot, it scored well over other tools.”
As a CRM platform, HubSpot had a set of tools which would help it effectively accumulate data, manage different processes, analyse group performances, while at the same time standardise admissions and marketing processes which could be successfully implemented to scale.
What set the GSF leadership apart in the education industry was their vision for the future to build economies of scale. While there were cost-effective CRM platforms that were specially built for education players that could solve for their foundational needs, they knew they needed to invest in a platform that was continuously innovating.
“Our vision was very clear - the best CRM for us is one that is flexible, focuses on R&D and ensures that they continue to stay relevant in the future,” affirms Ayush.
After doing a cost-benefit analysis, GSF made the decision to pilot HubSpot CRM platform, rolling out Marketing Hub and Sales Hub to their two biggest schools - Global Indian International and One World International.
Using HubSpot to drive standardised and efficient admissions process at scale
The GSF leadership team got to work ensuring that HubSpot becomes GSF’s main CRM platform. The functional leadership team had a clear vision that business technology should empower, and not hinder, the team of admission counsellors.
Some of the benefits Global Schools Foundation attained with the Hubspot CRM platform are:
One CRM system of record
With over 35 different admissions teams across 10 markets, it was a game changer that HubSpot is able to provide a single source of truth to the board of directors. HubSpot allows the entire organisation to speak the same language about their customer life cycle and relationships.
“Using HubSpot has given GSF group a strong reporting mechanism that can give an accurate and comprehensive picture of what’s happening at each campus to the board of directors. In simple terms, the information we get from HubSpot cannot be disputed,” says Ayush.
Individual counsellors are armed with powerful information about parents at every stage of their customer journey - from subscriber to enrolled customer. With a comprehensive view of actions taken such as page views, form submissions, and email opens, to name a few, admission counsellors are empowered to engage meaningfully with parents.
Best in-class reporting
The GSF’s leadership team are strong advocates for leveraging data to drive strategy and decision-making, and that’s why they’ve built best-in-class dashboards using HubSpot reporting tools. From building attribution reports to identify the sources of requests and admissions, to being able to track every parent’s first touch point to the last, the strong leadership team at GSF uses HubSpot as a compass to ensure they are moving in the right direction. Lead pipeline, source wise attribution and
Leveraging automation with workflows and sequences
Using the power of automation to scale its communication has helped GSF connect with its customers for marketing and admission through HubSpot workflows.
By setting up workflows consisting of a series of triggers and tasks, the GSF admissions and marketing team has been able to automate processes for the entire customer journey such as:
- Lead nurturing: Automated email campaign that delivers valuable and relevant content based on contextual information and behaviours
- Lead routing: After capturing contact information such as their campus and lifecycle stage via form fills, GSF’s workflow assigns the contact to the relevant team and owner based on contact information
- Lead follow-up: When a lead is qualified for outreach by an admissions counsellor, they can automatically bulk enrol leads into an automated sequence of emails to ensure consistent and responsive follow-up.
These processes not only free up bandwidth for admissions and marketing teams to focus on strategic work, it ensures a seamless and responsive customer experience for parents.
Driving customer connectedness with integrations
Finally, GSF leverages integrations to power their HubSpot platform and achieve customer connectedness. GSF currently has over 20 integrations installed on the platform to boost their sales and marketing efforts.
For example, GSF has successfully integrated cloud telephone solutions, SMS services and Whatsapp business to the HubSpot platform. The GSF admission team can then use these integrations as ammunition to enhance their outreach and engagement efforts.
The GSF marketing team relies on integrations with ad platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn ads to track their ad performance on HubSpot, as well as with event management platforms to manage and track the success of their online events on HubSpot.
Beyond leveraging integrations on the HubSpot App marketplace, GSF also integrates data and processes on their in-house admissions platform to HubSpot. The ease of connecting third-party applications to the HubSpot portal has enabled them to craft a truly all-in-one platform - where all customer data and processes truly live in a central location.
A powerful growth engine for Global Schools Foundation
HubSpot’s ease of use and flexibility has enabled GSF to transform the platform into a powerful engine for the admissions and marketing team.
As Ayush puts it, “if the use of technology increases workload and redundancy, then it’s not a solution worth having. And that’s the wonderful thing about HubSpot, it’s not only extremely user-friendly, but it’s so easy for me to demonstrate the impact of using HubSpot to empower my team of counsellors to achieve their admission goals.”
Another large factor to the successful partnership between GSF and HubSpot is the strong internal championship of leaders who took charge of the process and took it forward. They developed strict SOPs for using HubSpot, and rolled out rigorous training sessions to ensure that his teams are using HubSpot in the correct way. The result? GSF’s HubSpot platform is a well-oiled machine that enables GSF counsellors to work efficiently and effectively.
Global Schools Foundation has since rolled out HubSpot to Dwight International School in Korea, Harrods International in Cambodia, Regent International in Malaysia, and some others are in the pipeline.