The sales funnel provides us with a useful visual representation of how the sales process operates. It depicts the steps by which prospective buyers are identified and then vetted, with the qualified prospects separated out from those with less sales potential. The higher potential prospects are then engaged by the organization in a variety of ways designed to make the sale and convert leads to residents.
In a perfect world, your senior living community’s funnel would always be brimming with solid prospects at the top that are successfully engaged in the middle and then ultimately converted into new residents at the bottom. Your community would always be full with a long waiting list of people seeking to move in.
A Shared Process with Specific Functional Challenges
Unfortunately, we don’t live in that perfect world. In reality, marketing and sales professionals need to do specific things very well and work together effectively in order to achieve the results you want for your community in the most cost-efficient way possible. To do this, the three levels of the sales funnel must be evaluated closely to ensure that each is functioning at its highest potential and producing the greatest number of sales possible.
To conduct an assessment, you might begin by asking yourself the following simple questions: Are your marketing efforts capturing as many qualified leads as they should be for your community? Are the prospects you’ve identified being successfully engaged and connected to your community with meaningful content that has value to them and motivates them to move forward? Is your sales team using best practice techniques that have proven most successful in turning “shoppers” into new residents? If you cannot easily answer yes to all of these questions, then your sales process is probably operating below its potential and your sales are being impacted.
How You Can Improve Your Funnel’s Effectiveness
According to the Salesforce.com article, “Why Lead Nurturing Done Right Aligns Sales and Marketing,” lead nurturing is a great example of how marketing and sales, working together, can realize superior results. Research statistics show that well-run lead nurturing practices result in more sales qualified leads (+50%, Forrester Research), more sales opportunities (+20%, DemandGen Report), and better sales quota achievement (+9.3%, CSO Insights).
What makes for “well-run lead nurturing?” It involves input from both marketing and sales in terms of who to target, which marketing channels and tactics to use and how both groups can interact most effectively with leads as they progress through the sales funnel.
Specific Tips for Improving Sales
Adrienne Mansfield Straub, Director of Client Services, Traditional & Online Media for SageAge Strategies, says that senior living communities can make specific improvements in each of three areas of their sales funnels that can have a significant impact on the quality, efficiency and productivity of their sales functions and result in higher conversion rates and increased move-ins.
“In working closely with senior living communities, we’ve found that valuable improvements can be made at each level of the funnel. At the top of the funnel, strategic social media services, robust search engine marketing campaigns and positive organic ranking of our client’s websites generate incoming leads. To improve mid-funnel performance, we train your sales team on initial contact best practices and building productive relationships. For the bottom of the funnel, we teach your sales team how to apply proven, evidence-based closing techniques to increase their sales.”
“Additionally, technological innovations such as user-preference coding or “remarketing” can identify unseen visitors to your website and engage them with relevant information based on their areas of demonstrated interest. For example, an adult daughter who views the social engagement section of your website on behalf of her increasingly isolated mother, but has not yet taken the next step, will receive online communications about your wide array of social activities and options.”
“When all levels of your sales funnel are finely tuned and working in sync, they create a synergy that can result in higher occupancy and a much better return on your marketing and sales investment.”
Expert Help is Available
If you are a senior living community considering the need for assistance in increasing your sales through an integrated marketing strategy that optimizes the effectiveness of your sales funnel, we encourage you to contact us for more information. SageAge Strategies is an award-winning strategic growth and consulting 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 833-240-0655 / [email protected]. You can also visit us on our website at https://www.sageage.com/.