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How to Implement an Effective Childcare Lead Management Process

How do you keep track of new leads, their enrollment status, and essential family information? 

Managing leads on pen and paper is difficult for one center but when you’re trying to enroll families across multiple center locations, it becomes nearly impossible. You need a simple method for capturing family leads, organizing their enrollment activities, and tracking staff’s follow-up tasks to ensure every team member is on the same page.

Read on to learn how the right lead management system can help you achieve all this while also providing you with actionable insights to drive your childcare business forward. 

What Is Lead Management? 

In general terms, the lead management process encompasses organizing prospects for the purpose of marketing or selling a product or service. In Childcare, this translates to organizing family information for follow-up in the hopes of gaining more enrollments.  

A lead management system (commonly referred to as a Customer Relationship Management system or CRM) is the software that streamlines your enrollment processes and transforms disorganized family information into easily accessible, digital lead records.  

What Are the Benefits of a Childcare-Specific Lead Management System? 

There are a few large, industry-agnostic lead management solutions available today. The biggest solutions include features designed to meet everyone’s needs. These are a great option for companies like Amazon that are involved in dozens of industries but may not be the best fit for someone like you, a childcare professional working within a niche field.  

A great lead management system should be designed for the childcare industry to help you organize new inquiries, tours, wait lists, and registrations. With the right software, you can easily pre-schedule and assign follow-up communications to staff that help nurture families to enroll.  

manage leads

Workflow - manage leads

Industry-agnostic CRM’s like Salesforce and HubSpot, although powerful, lack the childcare–specific fields you need to enroll families such as: child’s name, age, date of birth, guardian information, designated pick-up persons, start date, classroom of interest, allergy information, and more.  

The system you choose should be built for childcare businesses - with the ability to easily automate every enrollment step, from collecting prospective parent information to creating follow-up workflows and integrating with your center management system to ensure family data is always up to date.  

“Our previous database system, Salesforce, was clunky and industry agnostic. Salesforce was not easily understood by the center directors, and it was difficult to customize. After the switch from Salesforce, we would never go back. In a survey of our users, 95% of our team said they liked ChildcareCRM as much, more than, or much more than Salesforce.” 

-Sara S., Head of Marketing and Enrollment 

Schedule a demo to learn how you can streamline lead management to boost enrollment with a childcare-specific CRM. 

What is the Difference Between Center Management and Lead Management? 

Keep in mind,the lead management process is different than how center management functions. Lead management systems and CRM software capture, organize, and nurture your family inquiries up until the point of enrollment. CRM software helps you grow your childcare business with less work by automatically organizing family information, leads, and communications all in one place while delivering real-time enrollment reports so yu can make data-driven decisions on where to improve your efforts.  

On the other hand, CMS software helps you manage families after enrollment, automating your billing and tuition, ensuring your centers are compliant, and keeping parents engaged with daily report cards.  

Although CRM and CMS software are designed for different purposes, they’re still both essential components of any successful childcare business. Integrate your two systems so the solutions can talk to each other and keep family data in synch. For example, if you integrate ChildcareCRM with a management system like Kangarootime, all your staff has to do is click ‘export’ and all family data within a lead record will enter your CMS, decreasing manual data entry errors and wasted staff time, re-typing family information after registration. 

CMS and CRM integrations

ChildcareCRM partner integrations

Other Key Benefits Include:  

  • Increased enrollment  

  • Improved parent enrollment experience  

  • Get real-time insights across childcare centers  

  • Save time with marketing automation 

  • The ability to attract interest with integrations 

  • Effortlessly organize family data for new leads 

  • The ability to run standard and detailed analytics 

  • Improved communication with families 

Learn more about the benefits of efficiently managing a childcare lead management system. 

Lead Management Process: 3 Essential Steps   

Today, everything around us is digital, from using our phones to making online purchases. In fact, 67% of Millennials shop online. Parents expect that same fast, convenient experience from their childcare provider. An industry-focused lead management system will help you respond to inquiries faster and stay connectedwithout lifting a finger 

Take a look at these best practices to ensure your system is running smoothly.  

1) Segment and Define Your Ideal Parent Audience  

Every parent won't convert or move to the next stage in your enrollment journey, even if they engage with your website content or click on an advertisement via social media. And that’s okay, but it’s important to be proactive by identifying your ideal parent audience to improve your targeting and advertising efforts. For example, Millennials make up 80% of today’s parents to children under the age of twelve – making them your largest parent demographic. Millennial parents prefer quick responses, streamlined communications, and convenient online options.     

parent journey Millennial parents - statistics 

Once you’ve identified your key audience, it’s time to segment. Segmenting means you’re grouping people within your lead management system by a common characteristic. Some of these characteristics can include Lead Status, Age, Classroom, and Wait List by Reason. The importance of segments is that they allow you to send the right message to the right group of people. More importantly, segments allow you to communicate with families at scale while still personalizing your messaging.  

2) Map Out Your Enrollment Process 

Ensure your teams are following the family’s enrollment journey. From initial inquiry to filling out enrollment forms – your lead management software should organize parent information, including what stage they’re at, to increase parent satisfaction and conversion rates. Choose an intuitive software that lets you establish custom statuses based on your organization’s unique parent journey. 

parent enrollment journeyParent enrollment journey

3) Track Your Enrollment Efforts 

Managing and enrolling families is easier when you have a pipeline of new leads who fit your target audience. But to find more high-quality family leads, you need to know how those parents are finding you. Track your advertising efforts to learn where families come from, such as Facebook, web search, or a childcare listing directory like Winnie or Kinside. Determine popular family lead sources, so you know which channels are worth a greater investment. And on the flip side, see which sources are underdelivering so you can reduce your wasted spending. 

source of families reportSource of Families report

Get Started with a Childcare CRM for Lead Management   

Effectively managing family leads is all about giving the right communication at the right time. When staff is trying to follow-up with dozens of leads via email , text, Facebook Messenger, and more, it’s easy for families to slip through the cracks or for staff to accidentally send the wrong information.  

A CRM acts as a centralized database that efficiently stores and organizes leads to guarantee smooth, consistent communication with families. It also keeps your entire team informed of a family’s lead status, or where they are in your enrollment journey.   

Not a User Yet?

Schedule a demo to learn how your team can expertly manage leads, stay organized, and save time with ChildcareCRM. 

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Already Using ChildcareCRM?  

Subscribe to the blog for more information about easy-to-use lead management systems and additional ways to improve organizing family data across your centers.

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