One of America’s best liberal arts colleges chooses Ledgeview Partners and Salesforce to build a top-notch online enrollment application process for their new MBA program.

The Situation

St. Norbert College is a top-ranked Catholic liberal arts college located in De Pere, WI. The campus, located on the banks of the Fox River, is home to over 2,100 undergraduate students from twenty-nine states, and sixteen countries. St. Norbert, the world’s only Norbertine college, embraces the religious order’s tradition of radical hospitality, which serves as the catalyst for a strong and vibrant student community built on diversity and the fervent pursuit of the college’s mission – an education that fosters intellectual, spiritual, and personal development.

 

St. Norbert College sets a very high bar for itself when it comes to providing a world-class learning experience for its students. So when the college decided to create an online enrollment application process for its new MBA program with the Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics, it set a similarly high bar for the project. The college needed a way to effectively manage prospects, general inquiries, and applicants to the Schneider MBA program. St. Norbert College already had Salesforce CRM in place for its undergraduate programs, but the MBA program was different. It had a lot of specialized requirements that went beyond what the undergraduate programs were doing. In addition, St. Norbert College wanted the experience of applying for the MBA program to be best-in-class, with the ability to create a profile, save your progress in order to come back later, pay for your application fees online, subscribe to various campus e-newsletters, and more.

 

St. Norbert College wanted to make things easier and more efficient internally too. The school wanted to leverage Salesforce to give their employees a better tool to process, track and manage MBA program prospects and applicants. With a looming deadline only one month away, and limited internal IT resources, Diane Cramer, Divisional Business Analyst for Enrollment Management at St. Norbert College, knew she needed to find a partner that understood Salesforce inside and out.

 

That’s where Diane’s husband came in. Well, actually, her husband’s desk. See, there just happened to be a business card sitting on top of it that caught her attention. Ledgeview Partners – CRM is all we do. Eureka!

For the first time, we have an online application that feeds directly into Salesforce. We’re excited to have automated processes in place to help our graduate recruiter efficiently and effectively manage prospects, inquiries, and applicants to the program.

Diane Cramer, Divisional Business Analyst for Enrollment Management, St. Norbert College

The Solution

St. Norbert College considered several Salesforce consultants before choosing Ledgeview. Diane pointed out, “Ledgeview wasn’t pushy. They were ready to help, and super responsive.” That last part was pretty important because of the project’s tight deadline. Ledgeview began working with St. Norbert College in September of 2014.

 

It became clear early in the process that there was a heck of a lot more to be done than was originally anticipated in order to achieve the kind of exceptional user experience that St. Norbert College wanted. Ledgeview’s team recorded the project requirements, and began mapping out the process that St. Norbert wanted, noting the hurdles along the way. There would be security issues to sort out. The online payment system would need to be integrated to allow applicants to pay their application fees online seamlessly. Then, there was all of the custom configuration of Salesforce that needed to be done to streamline St. Norbert College’s internal enrollment management process.

 

Because the additional needs were discovered early, and because the accreditation process for the new graduate program was going to take longer than originally expected, Ledgeview Partners was able to adjust the project’s scope and timeline so it could still be completed before the revised launch date for the MBA program. Once those adjustments were made, it was off to the races!

 

Ledgeview’s team hosted remote meetings weekly with the St. Norbert team, and Ledgeview’s lead developer for the project corresponded with Diane daily via email. She noted, “Ledgeview’s lead developer was extremely responsive. He was always very quick to get back to me.” In fact, Brenda Busch, Associate Director of Graduate Recruitment at St. Norbert College, gave him the title “Saint” because of his unwavering attention to the project. The title kind of stuck, by the way. In the end, the project was completed on budget and on time, going live in February of 2015.

Every contact that I had with Ledgeview was very positive. Everyone across the board was very friendly and responsive. You couldn’t ask for better customer service.

Diane Cramer, Divisional Business Analyst for Enrollment Management, St. Norbert College

The Benefits

St. Norbert College set out to create an MBA enrollment application process that would provide an experience as good as, or better than, any top college or university. By their internal measures, they’ve definitely succeeded. The gains in capacity, efficiency, and reporting ability have transformed how they handle graduate enrollment.

 

For applicants and prospects, it’s never been easier to get questions answered, apply to the program, pay application fees, submit documentation, and track their application’s progress. Internally, the process for managing applications is light years beyond where it used to be. In the past, almost every step was manual: reviewing applications, filing documentation that came in through the mail, processing checks for application fees, the list went on and on. There was a lot of paper flowing in at different times and through different people. Today, thanks to the work of Ledgeview Partners, the process looks completely different.

 

As Diane explains, “For the first time, we have an online application that feeds directly into Salesforce. We’re excited to have automated processes in place to help our graduate recruiter efficiently and effectively manage prospects, inquiries, and applicants to the program.”

 

The Salesforce application process for the MBA program is still relatively new, but it’s already saving St. Norbert College time and money. The college is able to process applications much more quickly and efficiently, tying transcripts and other documentation submitted electronically to the applicant’s record in Salesforce. Payments are handled online immediately, and recorded in the applicant’s record. This realtime, instant access to data means that enrollment staff can get whatever information they need at any time, without needing to track a specific person down to get access. In short, they have what they need to make better decisions faster.

 

The automated processes that St. Norbert College and Ledgeview Partners implemented are allowing the enrollment staff to get more done by increasing their capacity for processing applications through efficiency gains, helping them communicate more effectively and more consistently, and helping them get a clearer picture of the tasks that need to be completed at each step of the enrollment process.

 

And that’s just the beginning. As Diane, Brenda, and their team continue to learn how to leverage applicant data and the power of Salesforce reporting, St. Norbert College will continue to unlock new ways to leverage their investment in CRM to further their mission, and make personal development way more personal.
We can’t wait to see what they do next!

About St. Norbert CollegeSt Norbert College

Founded in 1898 by the Norbertines – a Catholic order devoted to education, serving others and living in community – St. Norbert College is an educational environment where students from around the world come together in exploration of local and global perspectives. In addition to over 2,100 undergraduate students, we serve about 100 students in our three graduate programs: Master of Business Administration, Master of Liberal Studies and Master of Theological Studies. We partner with the community through internships, language services, the arts, lectures and multiple other opportunities.