Today, many senior living communities have made the substantial investment into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. CRM and other sales enhancement systems offer great potential for increasing your sales team’s productivity and cost efficiency, resulting in better conversion rates and improved ROI for your community. The operative word here is Potential.
Unfortunately, many senior living communities have struggled to get the most out of their sales enhancement systems and expected better results from their sales personnel. The good news is that there are tools and tactics that can be used to turn “potential” into measurable performance improvement. These include a detailed analysis of your database, review of your lead generation methods for best practices, and training to assure optimal use by your sales and marketing team – working together.
CRM offers great promise for improving your operations through database marketing, prospect identification and follow-up. Used correctly, it can achieve better sales results and an improved bottom line.
Experts tell us that getting sales and marketing teams to use the technology effectively is frequently a problem. There can be many reasons for this: it is new and unfamiliar; they view it as complicated; they do not understand how valuable it can be to their success – (i.e. if used correctly, a database lead acquisition system can provide them with vital information about prospects and customers, an enriched sales funnel with better prospects and ultimately, more move-ins.)
CRM is a Tool, Not a Solution in Itself
It is important to realize that CRM is simply a useful tool – one that needs to be set up, used and assessed effectively. In many ways, it is only as good as the information your sales team is entering into it and then tracking. To apply the oft-used term of market researchers, it can be “garbage in, garbage out.” Many sales people also have difficulty with identifying leads in their system that may be warming up and ready to make a decision.
To quote the Forbes.com article, “Tips for Getting The Most Out Of Your CRM System,” “By now, it’s common knowledge that CRM systems have transformative potential when it comes to streamlining operations and maximizing revenues. Yet very few businesses get the most out of their CRM systems. In many cases, high expectations lead to disappointing results, such as an influx of data that yield limited insight. But how can this be when so much sincere effort has been invested in making CRM a game-changing innovation?
“They (companies) want their CRM to be the omnipotent center of their sales universe from day one. They expect it to be the single, all-knowing hub of all selling activity and information. If that sounds like your organization’s desire, then I would offer you only four words’ counsel: good luck with that.
“The number of companies that we’ve seen succeed with this center-of-the-universe strategy out of the gate can be counted on one hand.
“CRM systems were originally sold as a fantastical reporting machine for senior leadership. Consequently, these systems are tremendously effective at generating management reports. However, that’s not the best use for CRM. A CRM system’s ideal role is to make it easier for salespeople to do their jobs. How can it enable better selling and improve buyer/seller interactions? That is the riddle that must be solved.”
Keys to Optimizing Your Lead Acquisition Process
By effectively using CRM software, you are better able to gauge the ROI of your advertising programs, quantify your marketing efforts and maximize the database of leads already present, instead of only focusing on generating more leads. In many cases today, the improper tracking and follow up of those leads is wasting marketing and advertising dollars and inflating lead acquisition costs. Proper utilization of leads tracking software and methodologies can ensure you are effectively measuring the ROI of your advertising dollars.
Melinda Schmitz, an experienced senior living growth strategist and Senior Consultant for SageAge Strategies, says, “It is important for leaders to ask themselves some hard questions about the effectiveness of their lead acquisition processes and strategies, otherwise they risk continuing with what might be a highly inefficient and underperforming system.
“For example, are you paying too much for your leads? How do your lead acquisition and resident acquisition costs stack up against your competitors? Do you even know what you’re paying per lead and per resident? Are you generating the right kind of leads for your community?”
A 3-Step Plan for Peak Sales Performance
Ms. Schmitz adds, “CRM is relatively straight forward and uncomplicated, but it does require a certain degree of expertise and technical know-how. To help communities get the best results – and value – from their lead acquisition strategies, I recommend a three-step approach that includes:”
Lead Database Analysis – To evaluate the leads in your system, prioritize them and create an optimized action plan for your sales team to follow.
Advertising Effectiveness Review – To assess the results of your current lead generation campaigns and implement the latest best practice methods for increasing your response rates.
Training – To assure that your sales and marketing team members are working together effectively and using the lead acquisition process to maximum effect for your community.
Are Your Database Sales Efforts Meeting Expectations?
Recently, SageAge Strategies introduced a leading-edge service designed to make the most of the leads you already have in your database with targeted and strategic follow-up. Called Taking the Lead, this service helps communities to stop wasting money, energy and time at working the wrong leads in the wrong way. Specifically, this service:
Analyzes all of your leads
Determines the viability of your prospects
Categorizes them in order of value and viability
Presents you with a detailed action plan based on where your leads lie in the buying process
Expert Lead Valuation and Prioritization Can Optimize Your Sales Efforts
If you are looking for assistance in conducting an intensive leads database analysis to start converting your leads into sales, we encourage you to contact us for more information today. SageAge Strategies is a multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the senior living industry and was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, please call or e-mail Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext. 202 / firstname.lastname@example.org.