Looking to end your days of manually entering customer data in Excel? If so, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool is the perfect choice. Three of our senior living industry experts are weighing in on everything you need to know about CRM.
Meet the SageAge Experts
Angela Hamilton, Account Director
Sarah Boeding, Account Director
Sean Ochester, Executive Vice President of Digital & Integrated Strategy
Why do senior living communities need a CRM system?
Angela: CRMs are the source of truth for sales and marketing activities. How else could you track and effectively nurture hundreds or even thousands of leads, future residents, and professional referral sources?
CRM gives the intelligence you need to effectively track the buyer’s journey, properly assess sales performance and success of marketing budgets, and is a key element in nurturing leads through traditional and digital tactics.
Sarah: The senior living sales journey is not a quick journey; it can average up to 18 months and even last 5 to 10 years. An effective sales team needs a CRM system to keep track of leads to ensure we remain in communication and stay top-of-mind throughout the journey. From a marketing perspective, it is necessary to understand how marketing tactics measure against inquiry and sales goals.
Sean: A CRM system can help a community track its leads, manage its sales pipeline, and close more deals. They help by collecting and storing customer data, so the sales staff can better understand their needs and preferences.
What are the benefits of a CRM system for your community?
Angela: As long as good data is put into a CRM, they’re worth their weight in platinum. After all, when you’re spending an average of $450 per lead, you want to know everything about them, and CRM is where that customer’s information should live.
CRM data can also tell you how many touchpoints it takes for a lead to move from inquiry to move-in, what the touchpoints were, what your primary market is, which campaigns were most successful, and what types of events got the most RSVPs.
Sarah: The limit does not exist – Truly, these systems are so helpful for communities. Not just for keeping in touch with leads throughout the long sales process and measuring all marketing tactics, either. Some CRMs can also be where you house all key information of your community, such as move-ins, move-outs, occupancy, and more.
Sean: CRMs can track customer interactions so that a community can provide a faster and more personalized customer experience. They can also improve reporting and analytics by tracking sales, marketing, and customer service performance so that the community can make informed decisions. A CRM system can even help the community ensure accurate and up-to-date data, leading to better decision-making and improved customer service.
What should you look for in a senior living CRM system?
Angela: CRMs with an open API to allow for integrations with other sales tools such as marketing automation platforms, call tracking software, and website form integrations. Robust reporting is also key. As I said before, the CRM should be your source of truth for sales performance and marketing performance. Reporting gives you that knowledge.
Keep in mind that not every great sales team or salesperson is also technologically savvy. Consider the CRMs ease of use, whether or not it’s clunky or requires too many steps. If your team will not use it, all of that market intelligence will live on notecards, spreadsheets, or nowhere at all.
Sarah: If it is built for the industry! CRMs such as Enquire and Welcome Home are created precisely for senior living, so they will have experts who understand the industry to help you measure and keep track of the things most helpful to you.
Also, this is very particular, but it would be incredible if it can track a re-inquiry,. Tracking re-inquiries can actually be rare in CRMs. Still, because the senior living journey is so long, it is vital to understand how marketing tactics are effectively re-engaging the lead database.
Sean: The most important features include lead tracking, sales pipeline management, customer relationship management, and reporting. A community should look for a CRM that will integrate with other business software, such as email marketing platforms, accounting software, and websites.
The CRM should also be easy to use and navigate and have good customer support. If a community has questions or problems, they need to reach out to support to get help, and that support should be quick to respond.
What is your favorite CRM software?
Angela: I prefer to say that I am CRM agnostic. We, as an agency, can work within any of them. Still, three stand out as sales tools that provide the integrations necessary to create omnichannel, integrated marketing campaigns, provide robust reporting functions and share the market insights needed to assess campaign performance: Salesforce, Enquire, and WelcomeHome.
SageAge: Here for You, Always
To learn more about SageAge and how our experts can support you in customer relationship management, contact us today.
SageAge is a multiple-award-winning strategic growth, marketing, and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Melinda Schmitz at 816.349.0464/[email protected].