'Trust Factor' Leads Birmingham-Southern College to Select TargetX's Recruitment CRM

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Alabama's outstanding liberal arts college has a long and successful history with the consulting team at higher education company TargetX, leading BSC to examine the firm's technology solutions and select its powerful CRM tool.

"There's a trust factor with TargetX and a level of respect and service that we get from them that is rare in today's world," says Associate VP of Admission Sheri Salmon.

Birmingham-Southern College will rely on TargetX's cloud-based CRM system to improve its ability to engage with prospective students and recruit the best-fit candidates to its Alabama campus. The choice of a technology solution grew out of the school's relationship with TargetX's unique group of campus visit consultants, who have worked for years with BSC to enhance its in-person experiences.

"We have had an extraordinary relationship with TargetX's 'experience' team, said BSC's Sheri Salmon, Associate Vice President of Admission. "So when it came time to look for a replacement for our current CRM system, we liked what we saw from TargetX and felt certain that we would have the same success with the technology side of the company that we have had with consulting.

"There's a trust factor with TargetX and a level of respect and service that we get from them that is rare in today's world."

Despite the impressive history that BSC has with TargetX, the technology and consulting company still had to prove the superiority of its customer relationship management solution. "It had to be a great product that we felt confident would meet all our needs," Salmon explained. "And that is certainly the case."

One of the features that Salmon is looking forward to using is the tool's powerful reporting capability. "It will allow much more flexibility than the system we have now to pull reports based on historical data," Salmon said. "That will help us manage our prospects better and make better decisions."

Salmon is also excited about the ability of her staff to communicate more effectively with prospects, thanks to the system's built-in electronic communication tools -- including the leading email broadcasting and online chat tools in higher education marketing.

"This will enable our counselors to truly manage their territories," said Salmon. "Not just send an occasional email, but really communicate effectively over time -- and be able to track those communications."

TargetX's Recruitment CRM is a groundbreaking system that helps colleges manage, integrate and automate the process of student recruitment from the first point of contact through enrollment. In 2008, TargetX built the system on the proven Force.com platform of Salesforce.com, the worldwide leader in on-demand CRM and a pioneer in cloud computing. The result is the most powerful, mobile and customizable recruiting tool in higher education.

Building on its success with recruitment, TargetX recently announced that it was expanding into the advancement and student-retention areas with two new cloud-based CRM tools. The introduction of Advancement CRM and Retention CRM means colleges can now take advantage of shared systems across the campus, becoming more efficient and cost-effective in their efforts to build relationships with key audiences.

Based on what Salmon has seen so far, she is confident that staff members do not have to be technologically savvy to take full advantage of the system's power. "Unlike other tools I've seen that are very laborious, this one is easier to learn and use. And I look forward to having a system that drives us as much as we drive it -- that tells us each morning, 'these are the things you need to do today in order to be successful.'"

Salmon expects to hit some speed bumps during implementation, but knows she can rely on other TargetX clients as well as the company's support team. "It's evident to me that other institutions will share their experiences with the system, including what it can do best to help us recruit more efficiently." Salmon recently returned from the TargetX users conference in Las Vegas where she saw firsthand the high level of collaboration among colleges using the Recruitment CRM.

"It was really heartening," she said, "to have all these other institutions invite me to call them with any questions or for advice. They could see beyond the competition for today's students and concentrate on the collaborative nature of our work. That meant a lot."

About Birmingham-Southern

Birmingham-Southern College is a top-tier, national liberal arts college located in Birmingham, Alabama, home to about 1,300 undergraduate students from 33 states and 16 foreign countries. Founded in 1856, it is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and has been featured in "Colleges That Change Lives," an educational guide published by respected student advocate and former New York Times education editor Loren Pope. With a 13:1 student faculty ratio, the curriculum focuses on hands-on-engagement inside and outside the classroom.

For more information, visit http://www.bsc.edu

About TargetX

TargetX is a unique higher education company that offers both technology tools and consulting services to help colleges build relationships with their most important constituencies, including prospective students, current students, alumni and potential donors. Founded in 1998 on the belief that colleges need to change the way they communicate with prospects and their families, TargetX has been a leader in managing change in higher education and embracing the concept of the experience in higher-ed marketing.

To learn more, visit http://www.targetx.com

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