How IMD Business School transformed their sales process and supercharged leads

X%
increase in website conversion
+X
more leads
+X
more sales meetings
About the Company
IMD business school is the world’s leading executive education provider.
Industry
Higher Education
Founded
1990
Website
www.imd.org
Products

Qualified Enterprise

Integrations

Salesforce CRM

Salesforce Pardot

Clearbit

IMD business school uses Qualified's Conversational Marketing platform to grow leads, opportunities, and revenue.

Established by business leaders, for business leaders, IMD business school is Europe’s leading executive education provider. IMD was just recognized by the Financial Times as one of the top 3 executive education programs in the world for the ninth consecutive year. Given their pedigree, it’s no surprise that IMD strives for perfection in everything they do, including their marketing and sales experience. 

Every year, IMD welcomes almost 10,000 students onto their campus for a variety of programs, including MBA and Executive MBA programs. Although they’re a school, they function much like a B2B business. They use their website to capture leads, and they have a team of salespeople dedicated to converting leads into opportunities, and ultimately registered students. 

Read on to learn how IMD uses Conversational Marketing to deliver a frictionless registration experience, and ultimately drive more revenue. 

IMD business school uses Qualified's Conversational Marketing platform to fuel sales growth
IMD invites qualified website visitors to instantly meet with their program advisors, helping them drive more leads and opportunities

The Challenge

IMD has millions of website visitors every year. For a while, IMD had been feeling the pain of the traditional website form experience. They were driving interested students to “Contact Us” and “Download a Brochure” forms, and upon form completion, their sales team began the follow up process to schedule a meeting. This was tedious for their sales team; they called it a “tennis match” of back and forth emails and phone calls. Plus, it was frustrating for their prospective students, who expected instant, easy experiences.

With every extra hour it took to follow up with a lead, their chances of converting them into a student dropped dramatically. Their sales reps were only talking with 2% of their website traffic. Plus, they were only converting 5% of their leads into registered students, or “customers.” IMD studies revealed that 70% of inquirers were also reaching out to other schools. Something had to change–how could they deliver more instantaneous sales experience and get these students in the door? 

The Solution

IMD chose Qualified’s Conversational Marketing Platform to open up their website as a channel for real-time conversations with prospective students. This new platform would allow them to meet with interested website visitors on their terms. They outlined their top priorities: 

  • Improve lead response time
  • Improve website conversions
  • Generate more leads
  • Shorten sales cycles
  • Deliver a premier customer experience

Why Qualified? IMD chose it for a variety of reasons, including its: 

  • Seamless Salesforce and Pardot integrations
  • World-class implementation and support
  • Ability to do live chat and chatbots, among other features
Liam Taylor, Digital Marketing, IMD Business School shares why he uses Qualified's Conversational Marketing Platform

The Use Case

At a high level, IMD wanted to instantly connect high-intent website visitors with their sales team, or program advisors, to drive more leads and opportunities. Additionally, they wanted to use chatbots to boost website engagement, leads, and sales meetings. 

To get started, IMD connected Qualified to other systems to make their Conversational Marketing program even more effective: 

  • Salesforce CRM: This allows them to instantly recognize when Leads and Contacts are on the site, route conversations to proper owners, and surface relevant Opportunity and Account data. On the flip side, they can also analyze Conversational Marketing performance in Salesforce, alongside their other sales and marketing Reports and Dashboards.
  • Pardot Marketing Automation: Similarly, IMD instantly knows when Prospects are on the site and can see their interactions with IMD to-date. This shapes relevant, contextual sales conversations. Plus, they can update Pardot records as information is collected throughout a conversation. What’s really cool? They can launch a website chat right from an Engagement Studio email campaign. 
  • Clearbit: By connecting with Clearbit’s data enrichment platform, IMD has a crystal-clear view of all website visitors, even if they aren’t in Salesforce or Pardot. Clearbit surfaces 85+ data points about the visitor, from company to industry, helping them zero in on their ideal customers.

Connecting these systems helps them intelligently engage with website visitors, and adds real horsepower to their strategy. Liam Taylor, Digital Marketing at IMD, says “The integration with Salesforce and Pardot is so seamless and the possibilities with these three systems tied together with our website are seemingly endless. I can't go far enough in articulating the positive change that Qualified is driving for our business.”

Once their systems were connected, they built out dozens of Conversational Marketing experiences. First, they focused on building tailored experiences for returning Leads and Contacts.

IMD automatically invites known Salesforce leads and contacts to meet with their sales team
IMD rolls out the red carpet for known Salesforce Leads and Contacts

They quickly saw that these known visitors, who were owned by a member of their sales team, had much higher website engagement: 

  • 2X more likely to engage with the Qualified messenger
  • 3X more likely to book a meeting with a sales
  • Progressed from lead to opportunity 35% quicker
  • 30% more likely to engage with qualified than other an email CTA

They then built out additional experiences to run on their high-converting web pages, like their General Management Program page or their Leadership development page. Each page has a relevant greeting and invites visitors to speak directly with their sales team.

Last but not least, they built out chatbot-driven experiences so that they could engage visitors and book sales meetings around the clock. IMD program advisors report that over 70% of the meetings booked by chatbots were useful. 

IMD business school uses Qualified Chatbots to book sales meetings
Chatbots help IMD engage visitors and book sales meetings around the clock

Conversational Marketing Fueled Growth During COVID-19:

IMD’s Conversational Marketing Program had strong momentum, and then COVID-19 hit. As a an institution, a big part of IMD’s business revolves around on-campus interactions. Suddenly IMD needed to shift their entire strategy to digital, and double-down on how they used their website to engage with prospective and current students.

Luckily, their Conversational Marketing platform was geared up and ready to go. Despite a reduction in advertising spend, they still captured more leads, booked more sales meetings, and engaged more leads and contacts in comparison to last year, thanks in part to Conversational Marketing.

The Result:

Since using Qualified’s Conversational Marketing Platform, IMD business school has seen a direct business impact. They have improved website conversions by X%, are generating X% more leads, and booking X% more sales meetings. 

Next up, they’re looking to unleash more sales people on the platform and roll out the application to more time zones. IMD team, we can’t wait to see what you do next!

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