The One Data Point I Can’t Forget

Author: Allison Minutillo

35 seconds. That’s all the time it takes for an admissions counselor from Southern New Hampshire State University (SNHU) to respond to a new prospective student lead.

Just for fun, play along for a minute…

Open your phone’s stopwatch. Imagine you’re an anxious prospective student who finally decided to take the next step and request information about a program you’ve been eyeing for months — sometimes, years. Now, click START and pretend that was the lead form you just submitted. When your timer hits 35 seconds, you would have gotten a call from an SNHU rep to talk about that program. You’re nervous but excited about it — and it’s at the peak of your anticipation. 35 seconds in that moment seems like an eternity for the prospective student but from an admissions operations standpoint? It feels like an absolutely insane metric to even dream about.

Now ask yourself, how long is my admissions team’s speed-to-lead response? Let’s pretend it’s up to 24 hours, which is normal for many admissions teams who are strapped for resources and spread too thin. That’s 86,400 seconds. In 24 hours, SNHU would have lapped your admissions counselors 2,468 times. If you’re in leadership, does that sound as if you’re setting them up for success?

What if instead of firing off reasons why you can’t achieve a 35-second speed-to-lead response, try proving the theory with a small test. Take 3-4 of your best admissions counselors, and turn it into a 24-hour competition. Whoever can respond to the most leads in the fewest amount of seconds gets another day of PTO. What’s the risk? You may surprise yourself that a little competition, some true motivation, and a “can-do” leadership mentality may change what’s possible for your university.

Bring those results to your operations team and see how else you might positively push your admissions counselors to improve their speed-to-lead response time. While you set those new expectations, simultaneously bring those test results to your leadership team and prove to them why, without proper staffing and resources, you’ll continue to get crushed by your competition, which can achieve such speed without blinking an eye.

Sophisticated marketing automation is more than just email. Brainstorm with our experts today to push your teams outside their comfort zone.