Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing April LaMon, Co-Founder of Lead InSite.
April and I discussed technology in senior living marketing and sales, the need for a robust CRM system capable of integrations, Lead InSite’s Prompture™, and how the landscape of senior living marketing and sales is changing as a result.
Kristin Hambleton: How do you see data analytics and CRM technology impacting the future of the Senior Living industry? Where do you see SL CRM heading in the next 6 months and beyond?
April LaMon: CRMs are an effective “central repository” of information that relates to a specific person, lead or prospect. Today most of the information captured is offered directly by the sales lead, is documented by the sales person, and/or is augmented by third party data sources. The effectiveness of the tool is dependent on the quality and accuracy of information collected/provided.
There is a missing variable in the equation. That is the individual’s online behavior and what it reveals about how sincerely interested the visitor is in your community. We have found observed behavior to be a most effective tool for determining interest. As the old adage goes, actions speak louder than words.
We see the very real possibility of incorporating online behavior into the lead profile to provide a distilled, statistically analyzed view of sincere interest. What does that mean? Rather than providing a laundry list of website touches, we analyze the behavior to discern what it indicates in terms of specific areas of interest, how sincere the interest is, and how well your community is likely a “good fit” for that lead from their perspective.
Senior living CRMs which incorporate both offline and online interactions are in the position to design meaningful and reliable lead scoring methods which allow sales teams to determine:
- who are my most active leads
- what are their specific interests in the community
- match specific leads and their interests to specific occupancy gaps
- consider providing incentives or enticements to make a decision
In other words, greater accuracy in segmenting large lead bases based on expressed and observed behaviors.
KH: With the competitive landscape facing senior living sales, how do analytics play a role in marketing to today’s consumer?
ALM: Analytics help us to understand the consumer journey through a decision process. We are able to determine the most effective means of attracting those sincerely interested in our products and services. We can use analytics to determine where a person is in their individual journey. Armed with this knowledge we can then be more purposeful in providing people with helpful and relevant information.
KH: How important is a website visitor behavior in determining the value of a lead?
ALM: Websites are the only marketing and sales tool where the community is fully able to tell their story. The community controls the environment, the message, the experience. Because behavior speaks louder than words, the value of a lead based on observed behavior is much more powerful than simply handing over a name and contact information to your sales people. When the sales person is also equipped with insight into how thoroughly researched the lead is on their community, they can move quickly from qualifying the lead to finding the right fit.
KH: What strategies for engagement do you find effective for today’s senior living prospect?
ALM: People visit a senior living website 6-7-8 times before determining if the fit is right. When it is, they will provide their contact information and initiate the sales process. We find that when we are able to identify those visitors who are sincerely interested and shape their experience while on the website, we can shorten the number of visits to 3-4 times.
We use Prompture™, our prompting or messaging system, to guide the experience within the website by recalling their prior visits, providing shortcuts back where they left off last, promoting relevant content to fill out their journey, and asking for a conversion.
KH: How have lead scoring systems changed and what needs to be incorporated into the scoring system for it to be relevant to the sales team? What are the key elements of a well-designed lead scoring system?
ALM: Currently lead scoring systems fall short because they rely on subjective information only, that being the information the lead is willing to provide and the interpretation of the sales person. It is a natural tendency to discount the value of a lead who is not responding to your efforts to engage with them. Your calls or emails may go unanswered, leading you to conclude that that person is no longer interested. Very often we see that the person is quite engaged on the website despite being unwilling to engage in person. Different conclusion, the person is not ready to engage however remains very interested.
In order to create a comprehensive lead scoring system, an objective, statistical analysis of the lead’s website experience must be added to the mix. This begins with the first visit to the website as an anonymous visitor through to the moment of self-identification and beyond as the lead returns to the website to support their decision process.
Creating a holistic view provides the foundation for a solid lead scoring system:
- Expressed data – Personal information
- Observed data – Website Experience
- Contact data – Sales Interactions
- Appended data – Demographic/Psychographic Profiles
Integrating all sources of data within a robust CRM creates the platform for lead scoring. And, most importantly, puts this vital information at the fingertips of your sales team.
KH: Tell me about how adding behavioral data from the lead’s website interactions improve the organization’s marketing effectiveness.
ALM: Marketing is charged with creating a website that anticipates the needs of many types of visitors. Inbound marketing campaigns such as PPC, banner ads and retargeting, are designed to attract the best visitor to that website.
In order to make a dramatic difference in marketing effectiveness, our clients use Prompture™ to create the best experience for that specific visitor while they are on the website. Our system allows the visitor to initiate their exploration then determines when and how to shape the experience based on current and past website visits. Prompture™ helps the visitor answer the “fit” question faster and in fewer visits. The result is sincerer, well-researched sales leads.
KH: Can you provide an example of how the selling process might change based on site visitor behavior? How do you feel technology can help the sales professional be more effective in their role?
ALM: One of the biggest opportunities to is match specific people/leads to specific business needs:
- Does a community have an expansion project in the works?
- Is your occupancy flagging among smaller units?
- For multi-location providers, is one community full while a neighboring one has openings?
- Is a robust waitlist needed?
We see an opportunity to do a much better job matching people with specific product/community needs.
About Lead InSite
Driving traffic to your website is not enough. Convert your most sincere anonymous visitors into well-researched sales leads by personalizing their experience while on your website. Lead InSite is the foremost provider of Senior Living Industry online research behavior, vital data needed to deliver the most qualified online leads to senior living community sales teams.