Where are the exec leaders questioning the sanity of all this? [<2 min read]
3 reasons responsive agent agreements should be in your recruitment toolkit
Traditional contracting ensures most institutions pay too much, can’t get enough load, or are non-diverse.
Today there are two main levers any institution can use to optimise its agent sales approach:
- how much it pays its agents, and
- how well it supports them
Both hinge on institutions’ levels of spend. Or, put differently, how much margin they’re willing to sacrifice.
5-star retreats in warm climes? Tiered bonus schemes? Application prioritisation? More FTE?
It all erodes margin. Sometimes staggeringly so.
By striking real-time commission deals institutions can differentiate in ways that are impossible today.
Here are just three of the dozen ways variable commission deals can help institutions.
#1 | Growing your load where & when you need to grow it
With responsive commission agreements you invert your attraction of international students from a passive, filter-feeder approach where agents worldwide send you applicants for any of your programs (= low conversion success & uneven application focus), to one where participating agents agree to actively source a defined number of prospects to a specific program as your need dictates (= optimised conversion & applications where you need them).
And if you’re an institution in a market that’s about to constrain international student numbers, this also lets you pre-secure the efforts of your agents, and vice-versa. Getting ahead of this impending challenge is critical, and presents a huge cost-saving opportunity (since supply scarcity supports marketised commission values & increased agent commitment).
Real-time commission deals let you see what programs & intakes agents are offering to recruit to. They let you lock in that load where & when you need it, at a price that works for you and the agent.
Example: An Executive Dean of a UK Business School wants more Turkish UG students for September 2024 entry, so she asks the team to secure terms for these – at a commission price the institution proposes – with an agent who can supply these students.
#2 | Cutting your acquisition spend
Thanks to the bloat of traditional contracting, all students cost too much to acquire today. Marketise the commission amount and you can cut direct costs and improve margin on every student. This is true for institutions with both flat rate & tiered commission structures, but especially when they are tiered, and/or when bonus payments occur.
So if your average commission for Commerce/Business students from Indian & Sri Lankan agents combined is, say, 17.2%*, create listings that target your lower commission earners in those markets to drive down your cost of sales.
This is also a great way to reinvigorate an agent tail. How lengthy is yours?
[*Do you know what yours is? Our software tells you this & more]
Example: A regional manager targets his agents in India & Sri Lanka earning <14% commission with an offer to earn 15.5% for recruiting MSc Civil Engineers. The Regional Manager saves his institution £10,000 (£400 per agreed place) versus average commission rates AND locks-in the supply of crucial load. What could this tool deliver for you at scale?
#3 | Controlling your pipeline 100%
Has your institution experienced spikes in applications for some programs, but with single digit conversion? Or perhaps some courses’ applications are running dry? i.e. famine / feast.
Both issues are common amongst providers we speak to. Why do these happen? Traditional agent contracting removes admissions levers by encouraging application spikes, but fails to incentivise conversion to one specific institution. Hence the costly bonuses many offer.
Example: A Computing & IT Faculty wants 35 Cyber Security students from LatAm for its January intake. It targets agents in Brazil & Colombia, inviting their offer of commission (i.e. “pay us X and we’ll find you Y students”), and restricts subsequent placements for these agreed places to qualified entrants with LatAm citizenships.
For a confidential discussion about the needs of your institution, email email@example.com.