Senior Living Marketing and Sales: CRM Search Made Easy
Matrixcare is retiring REPS Leads™ leaving many users looking for a replacement CRM. Choosing a new CRM can be a daunting task, but it can also be an opportunity to discover new features that can enhance your sales culture. In this edition of SMARTNews, we will provide guidance to assist you in making the right selection.
Starting the Search: Make Your List and Dream Big
Before you schedule your demos, make a list of what you like about your current CRM and everything that frustrates your users. Create three lists – Must Haves, Would Be Nice to Have, and Non-Negotiables. Here are some of the top considerations:
- Ease of Use: This is important because like our prospects, we are comfortable with the familiar. Having to make the change is difficult and we want our users to transition with ease.
- Better Reporting: With more robust reporting, you can increase transparency of the strengths of the marketing and sales team. Managers often want a way for the team to hold themselves accountable to achieving goals and hitting metrics. Look for a system that delivers what you want on all levels of reporting from basic user through leadership team and board reporting.
- A Refined User Experience: Sales and marketing teams today don’t function on recording activity alone. There are many roles within the department and having a CRM that can deliver role-based layouts, reporting, and custom data fields is an increasing need. Having a system that can deliver an experience tailored to your role (so you can focus on your job and not be inundated with additional data fields or reports you’ll never run) is ideal.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
Fear of Data Migration:
One of the biggest concerns voiced regarding the change is, “Will all my data transfer?” Make sure the vendor you select can seamlessly move your data, including your waiting lists and prospect activity history. Find out if they can execute the project and data transfer on their own, or if they need to outsource that piece of the project. Some things to ask potential vendors:
- Do you have a reliable and robust 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, and 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?
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 support training of the new CRM?
- What kind of ongoing support do you offer and 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? AND… can we make these changes ourselves, or will we have to pay you (the CRM vendor) for any changes?
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. The impact of learning a new system will be far less scary if each member of your team is open and receptive to change.
Finally, don’t let the fear of change, or the fact that you’re busy, keep you from diving into the search. The process of vetting, selecting, and implementing a new CRM may take longer than anticipated, and you don’t want to be caught at the June 30 deadline without a new CRM. Budget at least 90-120 days for the process. This gives time for you to be up and running and trained on your new CRM before your old system is deactivated.
Guest author Kristin Hambleton is the VP of Business Development at Continuum CRM. Let their experienced team help guide you on this journey and use our experience to assist in the transition. Learn more about Continuum CRM in the Marketplace or call 800-570-6030 to request a demo today.
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