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Why your RTO should use a CRM

April 22, 2021

With most successful training organisations using AVETMISS-compliant Student Management Systems (SMS), many already have access to basic CRM functionalities. A CRM functionality should include the ability to:

Capture the information you need, such as

  • creating contacts such as clients, students and trainers, with key information for each
  • adding notes for contacts
  • showing actions completed for the contact, e.g. enrolling them in a qualification
  • recording all communication and activity for contacts, for a full audit trail
  • creating custom fields to collect extra data you may need
  • auto-detecting duplicate contacts, and stopping their creation

Edit and organise, including

  • grouping contacts into categories, to keep things tidy
  • linking contacts to organisations, and set primary contacts and payers
  • easily updating organisation info such as their name, and email suffix
  • seeing contact sources, to gauge which marketing channels are most effective
  • restricting access to contact info, such as notes

Engage with customers, including

  • creating and editing emails with ease
  • creating follow-up tasks, including scheduled emails
  • follow-ups can apply to multiple users
  • sending bulk emails or SMS texts by contact category, postcode and more
  • allowing contacts to unsubscribe from emails
  • easily finding activities with multiple keyword search, and powerful filters.

However, many RTOs need to go above and beyond these basic functionalities, which is where integrating a world-class CRM such as HubSpot can help. A comprehensive CRM can help to store, manage and organise valuable customer data to build better relationships with leads and customers.

Why would an RTO want to use an integrated CRM?

An RTO’s most valuable and important asset is their customers – their students. Managing the student journey – every touchpoint, enquiry, enrolment and more – can quickly get messy as an RTO grows and develops. Having a central place that holds all essential information is important so that everyone in the organisation is on the same page, including info such as:

  • current students
  • how to get in touch with students
  • how students interact with the RTO and its content
  • the pipeline of new students 
  • sales team productivity and processes
  • previous interactions with students and prospects.

The level of care and control put into an RTO’s customer relationship management will be reflected in the experiences students have with the RTO. If anyone at the RTO can easily find the context of a student’s needs, wants, and current state, the student experience can be great from the beginning. 

Some CRMs are free to try and use, such as HubSpot’s CRM

What are the benefits of integrating a CRM with an SMS/LMS?

Growth and Student Engagement

A CRM is a key tool for growing your training organisation, as it can help marketing and sales teams to function as one, achieving the RTO’s goals through organising: 

  • Contacts and companies
  • Sales opportunity information, including sales forecast reports, new leads, conversions, demographics and more
  • Every interaction on every customer communication channel, such as a website, email, phone calls, social media and more.

This detailed insight into the behaviour of students and potential students can help to inform and modify business operations and goals, ensuring students are reached, spoken to (phone calls and email), targeted (via ads, social media and email) and served in the most effective way. 

Student acquisition and nurturing satisfaction through the marketing lifecycle

An RTO can analyse CRM data on the numbers of new prospects to see how effective acquisition efforts have been, allowing for well-founded, constructive changes to be made. Overall churn and existing students can also be monitored to analyse retention efforts, trends in student satisfaction, completion rates and more. Sales and marketing teams know there are many stages in the marketing lifecycle of leads and students. A CRM can allow for improving nurturing and management of these individuals through every stage.

Saving Time

Having a centralised place to find all the information needed can save a lot of time. As sales teams accumulate more complex workflows, a CRM can help to keep tasks on track and in sync, while removing the need for the team to spend time on non-value-adding, time-consuming tasks, such as digging through email archives for key contact communications or details on deals. 

Marketing automation

Effective marketing campaigns can be gold-mines of data and insights if tracked. Streamlining workflows with marketing automation, such as organising customer data, setting up and scheduling emails, follow-ups and more, can save time and lead to making better marketing decisions through basic data monitoring and analysis within the CRM. 

Interactions with your brand

With marketing campaigns, tracking where each prospect, lead and current student has interacted with the campaign, such as clicking on an email, is easy and highly valuable for growth and key insights. For example, if a lead clicks on a targeted email or clicks on one of your organisation’s ads, it’ll be easy to see if that individual relates to the problem your organisation solves, such as a specific course or service that is offered. From this data, a sales representative can reach out to this potential student with prior knowledge about what they are looking for — standing out from the competition who may not know what their customers want. From here, building a customer database and customer relationships will become much more streamlined and simple. 

Social media

When it comes to ads, especially on social media, the marketing message should clearly align with prospects’ wants and needs. By using existing customer data from a CRM, marketing teams can figure out the organisation’s target audience, and create lookalike audiences. Targeting the right people is the key to making the most of an advertising budget, and growing an engaged audience.

Following up with students after the first enquiry

Following up after initial enquiries is a powerful tool to building relationships and closing sales. Logging the call or email and scheduling a follow-up within a CRM is the most efficient and easy way to make sure a follow-up isn’t accidentally missed, and a potential new student isn’t lost to another training organisation. 

All of these benefits a CRM provides leads to the most important all-encompassing benefit of fully understanding your audience and your business — leading to more rapid growth, customer satisfaction, a better reputation and positive audience engagement.

If you would like to learn more about aXcelerate’s integration with HubSpot, find out more here.


  1. What is a CRM?
  2. How to Use a CRM: The Ultimate Guide
  3. CRM Database, Explained in 400 Words or Less
  4. CRM Automation: The Ultimate Guide
  5. The Importance of a CRM: Why Your Company Needs a CRM to Grow Better
  6. 12 Key Benefits CRM Systems Provide to a Business
  7. 7 Warning Signs Your Company Needs CRM Software
  8. How to Design Your Sales Process in HubSpot CRM
  9. Why CRM and Marketing Automation Need Each Other
  10. The Importance of a CRM: Why Your Company Needs a CRM to Grow Better
  11. 6 Reports Your Sales Reps Need to Be Successful
  12. SMS Essentials

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