Beyond Activity Tracking
CRM systems of today are more than just activity tracking software applications.
They can be powerful tools to help your team become more accountable for their daily routine, assist sales people in building relationships (after all the key word in the middle of the acronym is relationship), and if properly designed, can be a vital part of increasing your team’s effectiveness.
How can one tool do all this? Not easily. I’ve seen quite a number of CRMs demonstrated and not all are created equal.
Some have great relationship building platforms. Others are focused on marketing automation. Still others are focused on activity tracking and planning next steps in the hopes that by logging all those interactions you’ll one day know when your customer will be ready to move to your senior living community.
Seriously, that last one… How does just tracking activity and logging time with the prospect measure readiness? It doesn’t.
For some people you might as well throw out the CRM and just have a Rolodex. Don’t bother logging the calls, they don’t read their notes anyway and when they do, they lack the detail to glean any useful information about the prospect.
Without gathering the right kind of the information in the system, and without helping the team see the value of why they have to log this data, the CRM is pretty useless. I mean why do we bother to log all this stuff?
We log this stuff for a lot of different reasons. The meaning behind the why is different depending on the role.
For the Sales Team
For the sales person, you want to log every interaction so you can build upon the relationship. With the average senior living counselor having somewhere in the range of 1,000 leads you can’t remember everything. The details in the conversation will make a difference in the long run. The better you get to know your prospect, the better chance you’ll have of knowing when they’re ready to move to your community. Each person in sales should know the readiness indicators, the actions each prospect goes through before writing a deposit check, of their prospective residents and aim to gather and track that information in order to move prospects down the path of becoming residents.
For the Management Team
For the Marketing Director and possibly the VP of Sales or CMO, (depending on the size of your organization), the reason is to have better knowledge of where to spend their budget for ad campaigns and events. They also need to measure the metrics by which each organization is successful so they can be better strategists, and coach the team to success. Or, in terms of the buzz words of today… Measure and analyze Big Data.
Based on your community’s history and sales averages you can certainly figure out the math of your sales cycle and your prospects readiness indicators. I hope all the sales managers/marketing directors out there love math, because that’s what it’s about.
Once you know the numbers, and what data you should be gathering, a great CRM can give relatively good indication when someone SHOULD be ready. It’s still no guarantee.
I remember once working with someone who had been in the CRM for literally 20 years. 20 YEARS!! The final sign of readiness? Undiagnosed cognitive impairment. Even then, his wife was the one pushing for the move. She knew if it wasn’t then, it was never going to happen.
Gathering data means nothing if you don’t use it. Every person from the top down needs to know and be invested in how metrics impact the organization and what to measure.
I was always a believer in not only knowing the community numbers, but those of each individual contributor. If every sales person knows what activity it takes for them to make a sale, they’re more likely to aim for it. Not what their neighbor in the next office needs to do. Them.
Some counselors excel at making connects but lack in securing appointments. Some are fabulous at getting people in the door but can’t close the deal. Others still call and meet with fewer people, yet they’re your best sales person. Each of these tells us something about the individual strength within the collective.
Having reviewed the metrics with each person on the team, number of attempts, connects, and appointments needed to make goal, the best place to house this information is the CRM. It’s not just about the numbers the counselor generates, but the numbers the prospects generate.
If your average prospect completes 4 tours, 15 phone calls, and 3 events before leaving a deposit, everyone on the team should know and capture this activity for every prospect. Obviously, you would want your counselors targeting every prospect that is near those numbers. Your CRM should do a good job of drilling-down and filtering on prospects that meet these criteria to make your counselors more effective.
The CRM dashboard should supply each person with their individual goals, so a glance they can see for themselves where they measure up. This increases the counselor’s accountability to themselves as opposed to you holding them accountable. Seeing the data each time they log into the system via a graphical dashboard is a constant reminder of what needs done to be successful. It’s not just logging tasks. It isn’t just checking off the box when an appointment is completed.
Focus on other leads is secondary to those actively engaged and interested in learning more about your community. If the focus is on inactive leads, it detracts from the overall effectiveness of the team.
You do need to nurture those leads and know when to convert them to prospect status or cut them loose and wish them the best on their journey. As sales people, we tend to want to hang on to every lead for the hope that “someday” they’ll call us back and want to give us a deposit check on the spot.
Sales goals and metrics aren’t met with hope. They’re met with hard work, perseverance, and a confidence that if you reject someone from your CRM doesn’t mean they can’t someday re-engage. That’s why you need email drip campaigns for lead nurturing.
Your CRM should provide you with a place holder for the stagnant leads that divert attention from actively engaged prospects. It should also give you the capability to schedule email drip campaigns and forget about it until the lead re-engages. This technology helps to make sales counselors more effective by freeing up their time to focus on the active prospects without having to give up on the lead nurturing.
Make your CRM work for you, not the other way around.
Empowerment, Accountability, and Effectiveness
Empowering each individual contributor with the knowledge of their value and the value of the tasks they complete daily will increase the effectiveness of the entire team. Giving them the right CRM tool to help them attain higher accountability with visual daily metrics through dashboard reporting will allow each user to self-monitor their success and the clarity to know who exactly how to meet their goals. Providing your organization with a powerful data-driven analytical tool will strengthen the effectiveness of the leadership team.
If you’re looking for a powerful yet easy to use tool that puts your most important data at your fingertips, sign up for a free Continuum CRM demo today!