The concept of Enrollment Cycles isn't new, but tuning your cycle to the Buyer's Cycle—in this case, the Prospective Student who is buying in to your school's value—can revolutionize Enrollment and ensure equity.
This blog post provides a high-level overview of a key concept of the Value Based Enrollment Methodology (VBEM) found in Module 4: Buying and Enrollment (Sales) Cycles called "Alignment In Enrollment Cycles". Alignment, in summary, means that admissions counselors hear, understand, and supply solutions to the needs of the prospective students when they need them. Misalignment creates distrust and the feeling that they are not understood or being heard.
The VBEM is specifically tailored for higher education institutions that use, or wish to use, an integrity-based, highly relational, consultative sales methodology to represent their college or university to prospective students and their constituents. For an e-book detailing this key concept further, click here. >>
In the above e-book, we cover how alignment between the familiar Enrollment Cycles and the sales term "Buyer's Cycle" ensures the Enrollment Team utilizes messaging around the school's values that specifically answers the needs of the buyer/prospective student at the right times.
What Is An Enrollment (Sales) Cycle?
An Enrollment (Sales) Cycle is a series of stages and activities that an Admissions Counselor moves through to represent their programs and offerings to prospective students and their constituents.
What Is A Buyer Cycle?
A Buyer Cycle is a series of stages and activities that a prospective student (and their constituents) move through as they consider solutions to their challenges/needs.
What Is Needed When Mapping Out An Enrollment (Sales) Cycle?
When mapping out the Enrollment Cycle, Admissions teams should make sure it meets the following criterion:
1) It should be clear.
2) It should be concise (making it memorable).
3) It should be as equitable as possible.
4) It should consider the goals/objectives of the prospective student.
Seems simple enough, but we have found that many schools have not thoroughly mapped out this cycle so that the process is nebulous and (often) more complicated than it should be, which can be overwhelming to first-generation prospects, those from low-income backgrounds, and those without robust support systems.
We have also found that those who have mapped out their existing enrollment cycle failed to consider the goals/objectives of their prospective students and their constituents. This focus on the existing enrollment cycle gives Admissions Counselors false confidence that they have some degree of control over the Prospective Student's (buying) behaviors and creates misalignment/loss of trust when the two parties are not aligned in their respective processes.
The truth: We rarely have control over
the buyer’s purchasing process.
Misalignment occurs when an Admissions Counselor becomes out of sync with a Prospective Student/Constituent when either one requests something that is out of the sequence of the other's cycle. This results in loss of trust, uncomfortable conversations, and avoidance.
In order for Admissions Counselors to better anticipate and serve Prospective Student/Constituent's needs and wants, it's important for them to understand and adapt to the Buying Cycles of their Prospective Students/Constituents.
In our Value Based Enrollment Methodology, we train Enrollment teams on how to discover/qualify as well as align and re-align (if needed) the two cycles. For more information on the results a re-alignment to the Prospective Student's buying cycle can provide, download the e-book here. >>
The Value Based Enrollment Methodology is about being prospective student- and constituent-centered and not self-centered. This requires that Admissions Counselors match their selling patterns to the buyer's preferred buying patterns reflected in their Buying Cycle. Equity requires that counselors are trained to hear and understand prospective student needs.
To consult with one of our Enrollment Experts to discover, map, align, and train your enrollment team to best serve prospective students, request a conversation today!