(Part 1 of a series of 5)

CRMs have become a MUST-HAVE for admissions offices. And that applies to undergraduate and graduate schools; law schools; community colleges; independent schools; medical schools; Catholic schools … you name it.

If you’re about to dive into the CRM selection process, well, I’m about to make your day!

I’ve written five “binge-worthy” blog posts that you’ll definitely want to read and bookmark; they’ll help you avoid the pitfalls and unpleasant surprises often associated with choosing a CRM.

In addition, these posts include three invaluable resources that you can use to define your CRM requirements. These downloadable resources – no sign-up required – will save you countless hours and headaches. They took our team months to put together; take one look and you’ll see why.

First, let’s define a couple of important terms, as we’ll use them in this series …

  • A Request for Information (RFI) is used to collect high-level information about a vendor’s culture and values, and their product’s core features and pricing structure. It may be followed by a Request for Proposal. In other words, an RFI is about discovery and learning.
  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a formal document used to determine if a vendor’s solution is able to meet a detailed, often lengthy, list of specific requirements.

Now, here’s a short description of each of the following parts in this series:

Part 2: Understanding the Problems with Admissions CRM RFPs.
I’ll tell you the top six reasons why the RFP process often leads to a disappointing outcome.

Part 3: The 3 Things to Do BEFORE Writing an Admissions CRM RFI or RFP.
I’ll share with you the three things you should do BEFORE writing an RFI or RFP.

Part 4: Why You Should Use an RFI to Choose an Admissions CRM.
I’ll list the advantages of creating an RFI and sending it to vendors instead of – or prior to – sending an RFP.

Resources included: 21 Crucial Questions to Ask in Your Admissions CRM RFI – and why it’s imperative that you ask them … and What Your Admissions CRM Demo Should Include, which describes everything a vendor’s CRM demo needs to cover.

Part 5: Getting the Best Outcome from Your Admissions CRM RFP (if you’re required to use one).
I’ll give you six tips to help you avoid the pitfalls and unpleasant surprises often associated with the RFP process. 

Resource included: The Master List of Admissions CRM Requirements – simply copy-and-paste the requirements that apply to your school, and your RFP will be about 80 percent done … and What Your Admissions CRM Demo Should Include, which describes everything a vendor’s CRM demo needs to cover, whether you’re using an RFI, RFP, or both to select your CRM.

So, check out these posts and resources in any order, or bookmark them for reading when the time is right.

My hope is that these posts will save you months of work and headaches – and help lead you to the best CRM solution for your admissions office. Next up, Part 2: Understanding the Problems with Admissions CRM RFPs.

Shelly Spiegel has nearly 30 years of experience in the education market – including 15 years as CEO & Chief Creative Officer of the company she founded, Fire Engine RED.