A Leading Education and Training Provider Converts Leads Into Students with Sales Cloud

A Leading Education and Training Provider Converts Leads Into Students with Sales Cloud

Client Success Snapshot

Client Profile:

  • Overview: A training and education provider partnering with over 200 leading universities and companies
  • Industry: Education
  • Team Size: 1,792
  • Annual Revenue: US$ 294 million
  • Headquarters: Los Angeles, California
  • Markets: Global

The Challenge

Our client needed to implement a rock-solid data management system that would effectively track its millions of students and where they were in the application process, as well as increase retention rates.

Gerent's Approach

Gerent implemented Salesforce’s Sales Cloud solution to collect student data and eliminate data duplication. The project also involved implementing Salesforce Inbox to meet the company’s email needs.

Key Outcomes

By utilizing the data analytics capabilities of Sales Cloud, the company gained complete control of incoming student data and was able to leverage it efficiently. Ultimately, the business was able to provide top-tier service to its clients – the 35 million students who have chosen the training and education provider for their online learning needs.


Client Success Story

It wasn’t until the late 2000s that the global reach of the web gave birth to the idea of online education for a worldwide audience. It began with a single course offered by two professors through the University of Manitoba in 2008 — 25 students enrolled on campus while 2,300 from around the world enrolled online. At that time, the two professors coined the term MOOC (massive open online courses) to describe this new kind of online learning.

For some years, many of the courses offered were free. However, this has changed to a model under which course content is free, but a certificate of completion comes at a price. With the addition of full-blown degree programs, students register and pay upfront; the degree designation is included in the cost structure.

In just 11 years, MOOCs had exploded. By 2017, 78 million students had enrolled in at least one online course. Today, there are five major companies offering over 9,000 different courses through affiliation with some of the world’s leading universities. One of these companies — Coursera — became our client. 

While the numbers are huge, one of the problems with online courses is the high rate of incompletions; almost 90% of students drop out — which has led to widespread changes in course offerings and a shift toward more vocational, technology-driven courses

Data Going Adrift

The training and education provider turned to Gerent to implement a rock-solid data management system to effectively track its millions of students and increase retention rates. 

“Our client was already using Salesforce in other areas of their online education business that serve government and businesses,” says Andrew Swartz, Gerent’s Director of Sales, “but they didn’t have anything for their degree student situation. There was nothing in place for their teams to know where students were in the process.”

Had students submitted applications properly and in a complete manner? Why hadn’t the company heard back from new students? They had no way to find out. The company wanted to implement Salesforce’s Sales Cloud solution to increase conversion rates. “With Salesforce, opportunities turn into leads and leads turn into applicants, who turn into students and then become graduates,” he said. 

The organization used an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) system tied to one of its other Salesforce instances. Student lead data was stored there, but when it was called up via Zapier — a technology that integrates apps and services — several key pieces of data were missing. To add, there were too many cases of data duplication.

The goal of the Sales Cloud implementation was to integrate all data and track key data sets that were missing. The project also involved implementing Salesforce Inbox to meet the company’s email needs.

The Implementation Grows

The more Andrew and his team worked with the company, the more the project began to expand. There were extensive talks around adding more Salesforce products into the mix. The project began in January 2019, but as the statement of work (SOW) changed and expanded, the timeline stretched out. The company gained full use of Sales Cloud in October 2019.

While the client didn’t look at any alternative CRM providers, Gerent was chosen among two other Salesforce implementation partners. As for the online educator, the road continues; Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud are on the horizon. Gerent is also working on an ‘org merger’ of the three Salesforce solutions now in place, which will streamline admin maintenance for the company.

By utilizing the data analytics capabilities of Sales Cloud, the company gained complete control of incoming student data and was able to leverage it efficiently. Ultimately, the business was able to provide top-tier service to its clients – the 35 million students who have chosen the training and education provider for their online learning needs.

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