When a prospective student (or their family) is interested in your organization, you may keep track of them as an enrollment lead in the BigSIS Leads module. An enrollment lead is a student whose family has demonstrated an interest in your school and who you would like to follow-up with and, hopefully, ultimately enroll in your school.
How to Leads get Entered into BigSIS?
Enrollment leads are typically entered into BigSIS through an inquiry form. There are two inquiry forms available: one public that can be placed on your school’s website (see example here), one internal that may be used by your office staff (to see an example, go to Admissions/Leads > Quick Add Lead). The former allows the public at large to visit your website and initiate the first contact with you on their own terms by filling out the inquiry form by themselves. The latter allows your staff to log a new enrollment lead instead (e.g., when a parent calls on the phone to inquire rather than fill out your public inquiry form). How an enrollment lead is entered doesn’t matter, all leads end up in the same place.
What Happens Once a Lead is in BigSIS?
Once a lead is in BigSIS, your staff can keep track of them via a series of phases. There are five distinct phases that most new enrollment leads will move through in sequential order: (1) Inquiry, (2) Application, (3) Application Decision, (4) Contract, (5) Enrollment. This is also known as the admissions process. The order of these phases is static and may not be changed, and no lead may be in two phases at once. But, many of these phases may be skipped when necessary (e.g., a family may forego an inquiry altogether and instead proceed directly to an application). The Leads module also offers additional flexibility should it be needed. Additionally, if your institution elects to use BigSIS to process re-enrollments, you may not need them to fill out inquiry forms or applications for returning students, instead, you may just need the family to sign a new enrollment contract for the new year.
While a lead sits inside a particular phase, its status within that phase may vary. Each phase offers a choice of statuses that reflect the current status of the lead. For example, while in the application phase a lead may have the status of (A) Application Submitted, (B) Application on Hold, (C) Application Withdrawn, (D) Application Completed. All of these statuses are available ONLY while in the application phase. A different set of corresponding statuses are available while the lead is in other phases (e.g., during the Inquiry phase, a lead may have the status of Inquiry Submitted, Inquiry On Hold, etc. instead). Like phases, no lead may have two distinct concurrent statuses at any time. Unlike phases, however, statuses are not moved through in sequential order, so leads may be assigned any status within that phase at any time. In fact, a lead may move in and out of statuses, for example, a lead may have the status of Application Submitted, then be moved to Application on Hold if the family hesitates, then moved back to Application Submitted if the family decides to re-open a dormant application. Moreover, though each phase has several available status options, most leads will only ever be placed into one or two of the statuses within a phase. If a lead is progressing along nicely, for example, there may be no need to ever place it in an "On Hold" or "Withdrawn" status so you may ignore those statuses altogether. Finally, to move a lead from one phase to another, the lead must have either a “Skipped” or “Completed” status in the previous phase.
Keeping Track of Leads with Task Workflows
The final component in this leads/admissions process is the workflow. A workflow is a series of tasks you set up for yourself and your institution that must be completed during each phase. Workflow tasks act like a checklist or shopping list to remind yourself what must be completed in order to move the lead along. Tasks are tied to specific phases, thus you may have a set of inquiry tasks that remind you what you need to complete during the inquiry phase (e.g., respond to the inquiry, schedule a school tour, send out an application form, etc.) and a separate set of application tasks that remind you what to complete during the application phase (e.g., collect all supplemental material, send application check to business office, distribute application to decision makers, etc.). Tasks may be assigned to different members of your team and they may be set to trigger follow-up tasks. For example, Jane may be tasked with responding to an inquiry and once she completes that task, a follow-up task to schedule a school visit may be assigned to Amber automatically. This keeps the workflow going, it is like passing a baton from one relay runner to the next. NOTE: Tasks will not automatically change a phase or a status for your lead. No matter what tasks or how many tasks you complete, you must still manually change a lead’s status on your own. Thus, even if you mark each of your tasks in a phase (e.g., the inquiry phase) as completed, the system will not automatically move the lead to the next phase (application phase) for you; instead, your staff must still manually adjust the status of the lead to move them into the next phase. This demonstrates that tasks are strictly a self-help list of actions you come up with to remind yourself what needs to be done next.