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Ensuring a Successful CRM Adoption Webinar

Ensuring a Successful CRM Adoption Webinar

You’ve done all the research and decided on your new CRM. That was the easy part. The next step – CRM Adoption – is critical in getting the most value out of your CRM. How do you get user buy-in and engagement in embracing a new CRM? How do you create a culture of inclusion, in the selection and implementation process? And most importantly, how do you engage users during training and leverage the tools after implementation?

In this recorded webinar, you’ll learn:

  1. Why User Adoption is Important
  2. How to Use Best Practices to Get High User Adoption
  3. How to Involve the Team in the Selection Process
  4. Why Management Support is So Important
  5. How Training Impacts Use Adoption

Kristin Hambleton is the Vice President of Business Development for Continuum CRM. She began her career in senior living in 2010 as the Director of Sales for a multi-site CCRC. Her strengths in leveraging the CRM data for strategic planning, coaching her team to success, and improving processes within the organization led her to her current role. Kristin’s passion is assisting other marketing & sales teams in becoming more effective in their role using their CRM.

Making It Stick - Healthcare CRM Adoption

Making It Stick – Healthcare CRM Adoption

Let’s face it: one of the least favorite tasks of senior living sales and marketing professionals is updating their lead management database or healthcare CRM. They are motivated to build relationships with seniors, families, and professionals. They are energized by personal interaction rather than administrative tasks. So there is usually resistance to entering data, updating notes, and documenting activities. However, for sales manager, this documentation is crucial to identifying trends, barriers, and opportunities and for creating effective strategies. Here are some ways to reduce resistance and improve CRM adoption:

Create a User Advisory Board

Be sure there is representation of all user groups and stakeholders in the vetting and decision-making process of choosing the CRM. Create focus groups comprised of community, regional, and corporate sales and operations team members.

  • Assess. Make a list of everything that the team likes and dislikes about what they are using. What works, what is clunky, ease of navigation, duplication of data entry, integration, reports etc. Make a “good, bad, and ugly” list with each stakeholder group and look for consistency. Ask each group to make a list of their “hopes and dreams” to access their mindset about making a change. Sometimes teams are more comfortable using a terrible system that they know and despise rather than making a change to a better solution because they are afraid they will not be successful and may even lose their job.
  • Brainstorm. Create a wish list of features and functions that would make their jobs easier. Ideas include intuitive user experience to simplify data entry, automated lead integration with website, live chat and third party referral sources, email blasts, tracking of email clicks and open rates, notification of when a prospect is on your website, dashboards, goal setting, quick links to social media, integration with training resources and document libraries. Dream big—this is an important decision!
  • Test. When you get to the testing stage with vendors, select a representative sampling from the advisory board to have them test the usage and provide feedback. Always include your lowest tech community user because if it is too complex at that level, then none of the fancy reports, dashboards, or bells and whistles will matter because you will not get the data you need. Provide each test user a lead to enter and test the steps throughout the sales process (documenting advances, activities, adding notes, scheduling tours and assessments, documenting a deposit, and converting to a move-in) for each vendor.

Be Mindful Regarding Your CRM Selection

Here are some tips for choosing the right CRM for your senior living community.

  • Compare. Take the feedback from the focus groups and look for commonalities of the various stakeholders to find common ground. It is important to select a CRM that meets everyone’s needs. Each user group needs to get a win—something that saves them time, makes documentation easy, integrates systems etc.
  • Alignment. One of the most important considerations is to align your new CRM with your sales culture. For example, if your goal is to motivate your sales team to spend time developing relationships with prospects and referral sources, the CRM should have the ability to measure and reward for that behavior. If your sales culture is more task, activity, and conversion ratio driven, select a CRM that provides that data in real time. Your CRM will not stick if your sales culture and training says one thing, and your CRM measures something else. Your sales team will always behave according to the structure of the CRM rather than the culture and training.

Selecting the CRM Isn’t Enough

Once you’ve made your selection, you need to prepare your team for implementation. Here’s what to do.

  • Training & Reinforcement. Budget generously for the rollout! If possible, use a training center to train small groups outside of the community setting to limit distractions and interruptions. It usually takes two to three days for the initial training. Day one is a reinforcement of your sales culture and training to create alignment with the new CRM. This can be done in a community setting. You’ll then need a full day of classroom training using a test site to practice entering leads and explore all the features and functions. Day 3 can be either a half day or whole day training to demonstrate report functions, dashboards, and more sophisticated features, such as marketing automation. Users should leave this initial training feeling competent and confident. Schedule ongoing training sessions using remote screen sharing as well as open hours and help desks for questions.
  • Data Migration. This is a great opportunity to clean up your data. Work with your CRM vendor to “de-dupe” or merge your duplicate records for leads and referral accounts. Decide if you want to migrate all of your data or move only those within a specific timeframe (for example over two years old) or with specific stages (e.g. leads labeled as “lost”). Providing a clean data set will go a long way in getting users onboard.

Good luck!

Want to learn more about CRM adoption? Watch for our FREE WEBINAR

What Should Go On Your 2019 Marketing Wish List?

What Should Go On Your 2019 Marketing Wish List?

It’s budget season and a time to dream BIG. That is, until you realize your budget hasn’t increased from last year, even though expectations have.

Not to mention there are so many choices: digital, paid search, social media, direct mail, marketing automation, advertising, radio—the list is seemingly endless. And each of these broad categories requires more decisions (for example, Instagram vs. Pinterest or Google AdWords vs. Facebook ads).

So how should you go about creating a reasonable marketing wish list for the 2019 fiscal year? Ask yourself the following questions to get started—they cover the most important areas that we recommend to our clients. Then, build your list accordingly.

1. Is your website on its last legs?

If your website is more than two to three years old, it’s time for a new one—or a solid refresh at the very least, one that includes enhancements to improve traffic and conversions.

If your communities are on separate URLs, consider integrating them into one domain so you don’t compete against yourself for SEO and so that you create a better experience for your site visitors.

Where to begin? Start by developing buyer personas to attract your ideal prospect, investing in a keyword analysis of your rankings compared with your competitors, and building a content strategy that combines the interests of your personas with relevant topics.

Oh, and make sure your site is secure, meaning your site should be using HTTPS and not HTTP. You could see your site traffic drop considerably otherwise. Learn why here.

2. Is your content getting results?

If you blog regularly with quality content, you should expect to see three times more visitors and 3.5 times more leads per month and a 79% increase in sales revenue from website leads within one year.

Is your content struggling to give you these results? Remember: consistency and quality are the essential elements—and harder to achieve than you might think. That’s why content should always make it onto your marketing wish list. You can always improve it and make it better.

At the very least—and especially if your content is currently underperforming—invest in an editorial calendar that is keyword enriched to improve your search ranking and use professional writers to create educational content.

Also, you should budget for at least one piece of premium content per quarter (think guides, e-books, toolkits). “Gate” this content in order to convert anonymous website visitors into prospects. Invest in quality landing pages to collect contact information.

3. Would automating your marketing help convert prospects to customers?

Ninety percent of the leads on your website are not ready to buy right away. Marketing automation technology nurtures the “not yet ready” leads by providing relevant content based on their expressed interests and creates workflows to keep them engaged until they are ready for a sales interaction—and once it’s set up, it’s completely turnkey.

Marketing automation completes follow-up in a way that is dependable, timely, and consistent with brand standards. It’s like having a 24/7 virtual sales person available at all times to ensure that leads are nurtured and advanced.

But good automation technology, like HubSpot, is an added expense—but one that will pay for itself over time—which is why you should add it to your marketing wish list.

4. How’s your CRM? (You have one,right?)

Customer relationship management (CRM) technology has come a long way in the last five years. You should not settle for an old, outdated, clumsy system that is a pain for your sales team and does little more than track tasks and activities.

Good CRMs help sales teams stay focused, build stronger relationships, and leverage excellent data to inform decisions. Choose a CRM that is in alignment with your sales culture, budget, and users’ technological skillsets. Make sure it offers training and onboarding to support adoption and success.

5. Is your data easy to digest and access?

It’s not that there is a lack of data available. It’s just that it is fragmented and un-integrated.

You should be able to track every marketing channel and every touch point in the customer journey and calculate ROI to inform strategy and spending, both online and offline. You should be able to access all this info in one dashboard, in real time, and analyze it by location, portfolio, service line, or investor – any way you need it.

If you currently can’t do this, make sure you add it to the wish list. Hint: often times you can get analytics and marketing automation software in one package, so look for products that can solve both problems.

Can you think of any other smart questions to ask as people prepare their 2019 marketing wish lists? Share in the comments.

Senior Living Marketing and Sales: CRM Search Made Easy

Senior Living CRM Search Made Easy

Choosing new senior living CRM software can be a daunting task. But it can also be an opportunity to discover new features that can enhance your sales culture. Below, you’ll find helpful tips for choosing a new CRM.

The Senior Living CRM Search: Make Your List and Dream Big

Before you schedule demos, make a list of what you like about your current CRM and everything that frustrates users. Create three lists: Must Haves, Would Be Nice to Have, and Non-Negotiables.

Here are some of the top considerations when researching senior living CRMs:

  1. Ease of Use: Like our prospects, we’re comfortable with the familiar. Change is difficult. We want our users to transition with ease.
  2. Better Reporting: With more robust reporting, you can increase transparency between marketing and sales teams. Look for a system that delivers what you want on all levels of reporting. Think basic user through leadership team.
  3. A Refined User Experience: Sales and marketing teams today don’t function on recording activity alone. There are many roles within the department. Look for a system that delivers an experience tailored to different roles.
  4. Simultaneous Support of Multiple Service Lines: Communities are no longer operating within the brick and mortar communities. Today, there are multiple lines of service, community outreach efforts, and census management functions. Each one has its own set of data fields, workflows, and supporting reports. Choose a CRM that can deliver on the expanding markets your community is either currently immersed in or considering for the future.
  5. Defined Sales Process: Senior living counselors are no longer order takers. Competition is fierce. Having a defined sales process that everyone follows is the key to success. Whether you want a pre-defined process or you want to build your own, make sure to implement a CRM that supports process. Bonus points if it can simultaneously support multiple processes or workflows that tailor the experience for your different service lines.
  6. Marketing Automation: Whether it’s simply having a more efficient way to send and track personal email or you’re seeking full-blown marketing automation, the future of senior living marketing and sales involves marketing automation. Select a tool that supports forward-thinking and emerging marketing trends.

Senior Living CRM: Fear of Data Migration:

Make sure the vendor you select can seamlessly move your data, including your waiting lists and prospect activity history. Ask potential vendors the following:

  • Do you have a reliable process covering all data migration facets of extraction, translation, cleansing, and validation?
  • Will you perform analysis and inspection of the information to validate data quality? Will you pinpoint required data and highlight gaps in the data from the current system?
  • Are you well versed in detailed mapping and transformation exercises to define migration rules, cleansing routines, and final execution plans?

Senior Living CRM Training, User Support, and Flexibility

Learning a new system requires training, reinforcement, and on-going support. Here are some questions to ask before you sign a contract with a new CRM provider:

  • How do you train people on the new CRM?
  • What kind of ongoing support do you offer? Do we have to pay extra for it? (Think online learning center, live support, built-in knowledge base.)
  • Is the CRM flexible enough to support future changes users may want to make in data fields, workflows, and reporting? Can we make these changes ourselves, or will we have to pay you (the CRM vendor) for any changes?

Senior Living CRM Implementation: Embrace the Change

Regardless of which CRM you choose, you will experience a learning curve. Embrace this fact and go with it. Fear of change can be paralyzing and inhibit the ability to accept and retain new information. Remember, the impact of learning a new system will be far less scary if each member of your team is open to change.

Finally, don’t let the fear of change keep you from diving into the search. The process of vetting, selecting, and implementing a new CRM may take longer than anticipated. Budget at least 90-120 days for the process.

Guest author Kristin Hambleton is the VP of Business Development at Continuum CRM. Let their experienced team help guide you on this journey.

senior living marketing

Senior Living CRM Software: 6 Things To Consider When Choosing

It is such an exciting time in the senior living industry with the influx of innovation. One area of growth is in senior living CRM software. Of course, with more choice, you can have more confusion. Below, you’ll find six things to keep in mind when choosing your system.

1. Avoid retrofitted CRMs of yesterday.

CRMs were primarily designed for either the multi-family housing or real estate industries. Then, they were adapted for senior housing use. Retrofits tend to have clunky user interfaces, multiple entries of duplicate information, and clumsy navigation. AVOID!

2. Choose a senior living CRM.

In other words, choose senior living software developed by senior living operators, sales trainers, and experienced thought leaders. How to tell? Visit the industry section on the CRM website. Or look for case studies that highlight use in senior living industries. It’s OK if the CRM company caters to several target markets. Just make sure senior living is among them.

3. Decide between a stand-alone or integrated CRM.

An integrated CRM is connected to a suite of software resources, including clinical and billing/accounting functions. (And sometimes pharmacy, staffing, HR & payroll.)  The upside: the flow of data between departments. The downside is that usually there is one area of strength (strong in accounting/ GL/ financial reporting and budgets) but is weak in the clinical or CRM component – or both.  But once you choose integration, you are stuck with the entire suite leaving some stakeholders frustrated.

A stand-alone CRM only manages the lead base and sales process. The upside is that there are some great choices that match a preferred sales method or philosophy. Also, because it is built specifically for sales, there are usually features included that are not standard in integrated solutions. The downside: once the sale closes, resident information has to be re-entered into clinical and billing/financial systems creating a duplication of effort and an extra investment of time.

4. Evaluate your current situation.

Finding the right senior living CRM software requires an honest analysis of where your community/company is today with both the existing resource, the sales culture, the user comfort level with technology, and training/implementation resources. Begin by getting feedback from stakeholders at every level. What do they think works about the current solution? The goal: to retain the positives of your current solution.

5. Begin with the end in mind.

Once you understand the above, the next step involves evaluating the gaps and what you want to accomplish with the change.  Community, regional, and corporate users will have different priorities. So, it’s important to create a work group representing different roles.

6. Participate in demos of senior living CRM software.

Equipped with a “wish list” and workgroup, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices. Schedule demos with the senior living CRMs that match your requirements. In addition to demos, request access to a test site or sandbox so your users can take the software for a test drive.

Some features sound great, but if they’re too complex for an average user, why bother?  Ask lots of questions. This is a high value purchase. A thoughtful and deliberate decision making process is a worthy investment.

When considering the cost, be sure to find out if pricing is based on the number of users, priced by community with unlimited users, a subscription, etc. Ask if there’s an additional cost to migrate data from your current system to the new software. You might be facing set-up fees and training & support fees as well.

Work with an agency that can help you select and implement your CRM.

That would be us! :) We can help you find the perfect CRM for your needs. We have some favorites that we work with (like Sherpa CRM). Plus, we can show you how to get the most out of it. Let’s chat!