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How Saleswhale helped General Assembly add 2,603 qualified prospects to theirstudent pipeline

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    2,603

    MQLs added to Pipeline

    >10k

    Hours Saved Across 3 Teams

    32%

    Lead Engagement Rate

2,603

MQLs added to Pipeline

>10k

Hours Saved Across 3 Teams

32%

Lead Engagement Rate

Company

General Assembly is a pioneer in education and career transformation, specializing in today’s most in-demand skills. The leading source for training, staffing, and career transitions, the school aims to foster a flourishing community of professionals pursuing careers they love.
www.generalassembly.com

Industry

Education

Headquarters

New York

The Customer

General Assembly is not your average private school.

 

It aims to close the global skills gap by training professionals in the most sought-after skills in the digital economy. These include web development, user experience design, digital marketing, data science, and product management.

 

The school has come a long way since it started as a co- working space in Manhattan in 2011. General Assembly now boasts 20 campuses across six countries and over 35,000 international graduates.

The Challenge

Not enough manpower to follow up with thousands of leads

Having made a name for itself in the education space, General Assembly now attracts a great deal of interest from prospective students worldwide.

General Assembly gets leads from two main sources: the course enquiries forms on its website, and organizing free events and paid workshops.

The leads that came in via the website were usually more interested to enroll into full or part time courses, and took around two weeks to make their decisions. On the other hand, leads garnered via events and workshops tended to be in the very early stages of their buyers’ journeys. Their sales cycles were longer too, sometimes up to six months. Therefore, the admissions teams preferred to focus on the higher potential website leads, instead of workshop and event leads.

General Assembly soon found itself with a backlog of thousands of untouched leads from events and workshops. It needed a way to engage with all those leads about enrolling for full or part time courses, without putting too much strain on its limited manpower.
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The best feature Saleswhale provides that is hard to replicate with a human sales force is the ability to provide timely, tailored follow-ups to 100% of our leads. We are able to unburden our sales team to focus on the hottest leads handed over by our AI Assistant – leads that are ready for a conversation.

Jonathan O’Brien Regional Admissions Director

The Solution

Use a bot to engage leads in two-way conversations at scale, qualify them, and identify hot leads

One day, General Assembly received a cold email pitch from Saleswhale. Intrigued, they requested a product demonstration and was impressed by the bot’s ability to engage multiple leads in ongoing conversations. General Assembly’s APAC team signed on with Saleswhale in September 2017.

First, Saleswhale set up a bot that would reach out to every attendee. Saleswhale then set up conversation workflows that covered how the bot would respond to commonly asked questions.

For instance, if someone expressed interest in a course, the bot would send more course information over. If someone had pricing concerns, the bot would provide some basic guidance.

Finally, General Assembly team uploaded the names and contact details of all attendees into the Saleswhale bot system.

The magic of running a bot was that it could engage with thousands of people at the same time and qualify them based on their intent to buy. For those who needed more time to decide, the bot would touch base with them at a later date. When someone confirms their interest in signing up, the bot would route them to the admissions team to complete the sale.
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The Results

More qualified leads, shorter sales cycle, significant time savings

To date, General Assembly’s bot has reached 100% of the 13,582 leads enrolled by the APAC team. At the end of the lead qualification process, ​General Assembly received 652 hot new leads in their sales pipeline. ​All from engaging leads that the admissions team had previously left untouched.

Besides getting more qualified leads, using the bot allows admissions producers to focus on other important tasks, like closing sales. ​


In fact, the bot has saved the APAC team 145,557 minutes so far -- that’s about three months of work!


Finally, since General Assembly started using their bot, its sales cycles have gotten shorter. Jonathan estimated that their bot has shaved off about two months from the time taken by a typical class attendee to enroll into a part-time course.

General Assembly now has the bandwidth to focus on other areas of growth, such as tapping into new markets where it does not have a physical presence. General Assembly has also introduced the Saleswhale bot to its other teams. The London team started running its own bot in February 2018, and got seven enrollments in six months.

Jonathan enthused,  “We’re continuously refining the process with Saleswhale, and becoming more and more effective as time goes on, and as we learn what works and what doesn’t. I’m so excited to see what further applications it has in the future.”

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