Was purchasing a new CRM on your shopping list for this year? Did you do it? Or are you carrying the project over to next year?
If you’re thinking of putting off purchasing a new CRM, it may not be a wise move. Too many senior living community operators put projects on hold that could have been benefitting them months ago.
If you start taking steps now, you can make a selection and begin putting the pieces in place before the end of the year.
First, before you contact any vendors, before you do any demos, talk with the people who will be using the system. No one knows what they need better than your sales and marketing people. Including their input into your decision making will help ensure that you end up with a CRM they will actually use!
Key capabilities you should be looking for in a new CRM
- Data Migration: This is critical. Make sure the vendor you select can seamlessly import your data. That includes wait lists and prospect history, among other things.
- Tailored user experience: Make sure they can deliver role-based layouts and custom data fields. You’ll want a tailored experience, with data fields related to your team’s daily tasks. That will dramatically increase user adoption.
- Ease of use: If the CRM requires too much maneuvering and isn’t intuitive to use, your team may not use it at all! It is important to make sure that it supports the workflow of your team and that all processes work together seamlessly.
- Simultaneous support of multiple service lines: Today, communities operate many lines of service, perform community outreach, and manage the census. Each community needs to have their own set of data fields, workflows, and supporting reports. Your CRM must be able to keep up with the diversity of your portfolio and service offerings.
- Defined Sales Process: 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 that process. Bonus points if it can simultaneously support multiple processes or workflows that tailor the experience for your different service lines.
- Marketing Automation: The future of senior living marketing and sales involves automation. Whether it’s having a more efficient way to send and track emails, or deliver relevant content, select a tool that supports marketing automation.
- Reporting: You should be able to easily create custom reports that provide top down visibility of all your campaigns, programs and activities. This helps you learn what’s working and what’s not working as well as spot issues before they become big problems.
Important implementation and training services you need from a CRM provider
Once you have a good handle on which of the above each CRM vendor can provide, you need to ask about the process of implementation and training. Here are some good questions to ask about implementation:
- How long will the project take?
- What involvement and time commitment is expected from our community?
- How will they support training on the new CRM?
- What kind of support do they offer on a long-term basis? Do we have to pay for it?
- Do they offer ongoing online training? Live support? A built-in knowledge base?
- Will the CRM support changes we need to make to data fields, workflows, and reporting?
- Can we make changes ourselves or do we have to pay for professional services?
Remember to look at all these aspects of the CRM and the CRM vendor before you sign any contracts. Only when you feel satisfied that the vendor is on point with all your needs and wants should you lock into a purchase decision.
Finally, don’t let a busy schedule or fear of the length of the project keep you from moving forward! The project should take between 6-8 weeks to be up and running efficiently. If you start now, you’ll be off to a running start well before the new year.
Give us a call at 800-570-6030 and see how Continuum CRM can improve your sales and marketing effectiveness without breaking the bank. Or, feel free to visit our website www.continuumcrm.com to learn more.