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 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?
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:
Why Qualified? IMD chose it for a variety of reasons, including its:
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:
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.
They quickly saw that these known visitors, who were owned by a member of their sales team, had much higher website engagement:
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’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.
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!