This year, many of our colleagues in the Senior Living industry are seeking to replace MatrixCare® REPS™ Leads with a new CRM system.
Sales and Marketing professionals are considering their options and asking questions typically asked by prospects visiting their communities for the first time:
- What will we do?
- When should we do it?
- Who will help me navigate the options?
- How do I know I’m making the right decision?
There are lots of choices today in senior living CRM software. It’s difficult to know where to start.
The team at Continuum CRM understands that the thought of finding a new CRM system after years of using your current system is daunting. Here’s some guidance to assist in your selection process.
Starting the Search: Know What You’re Missing and Think of The Future
Most of the people wanting to schedule a demo for their community have the following in mind when they begin thinking of the new system they want to adopt:
1. 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.
2. Better Reporting
With more robust reporting you can increase transparency of the strengths of the marketing and sales teams. 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.
3. 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.
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 service line has their 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 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. (Hint: Continuum CRM does.)
6. Marketing Automation
Whether it’s simply having a more efficient way to send and track email or if it’s full-blown marketing automation you’re seeking, the future of senior living marketing and sales involves marketing automation. Select a tool that supports forward-thinking and emerging marketing trends.
All the above are things you need to consider and define before you start the search. Make sure you can identify which items are needs, which are wants, and which are going to be deal-breakers in the selection process.
Don’t get sucked in by a sexy sales pitch only to find out after you’ve signed a contract that the CRM you chose can’t satisfy a requirement list of must-haves for the new system.
So you’ve decided that you don’t want or can’t keep your existing CRM system. You have a list of needs and wants. What other concerns need to be addressed?
One of the biggest concerns voiced when considering a 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 questions to ask potential vendors:
- Do you have a reliable and robust process covering all facets of data migration including extraction, translation, cleansing and validation?
- Will you analyze and inspect the information to validate data quality, 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?
The Project: Discuss Expectations Before Signing a Contract
Whether your project is big or small, you should always address the following before signing a contract with a CRM vendor:
- How long will the project take and what involvement and time commitment is expected from the community.
- How do you support training of the new CRM?
- What kind of support do you offer the users long-term, 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 we may want to make in data fields, workflows, and reporting?
- Can we customize the software 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 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. You don’t want to be caught at the June 30 deadline for leaving MatrixCare® REPS™ without a new CRM tool.
Budget at least 90-120 days to find a new CRM system. This gives time for you to be up and running and trained on your new CRM before your old system is deactivated.
Let the experienced team at Continuum CRM help guide you on this journey and use our experience to assist in the transition. Visit our website at www.continuumcrm.com or call 800-570-6030 to request a demo today.