When we think of conversion metrics in the Senior Living industry, the same few measurements often come to mind:
- Inquiry to Tour
- Inquiry to Deposit
- Tour to Deposit
- Deposit to Move-in
While these are important to measure, they are often used as the basis of a sales counselor’s performance metrics. These metrics only look at what one person is doing and don’t tell the whole story about the performance of the team. They also rely on sheer volume of activity, which is not an effective way to work in this industry.
What we really need to focus on is measuring effectiveness. And we need to understand that using conversion metrics alone is not enough.
With the traditional conversion metrics as our focus, we don’t know the actionable steps sales and marketing need to take to move the prospect through the pipeline. What we do know, and what they tell us, is how volume of activity correlates to sales.
The old way of measuring also leaves the oneness of selling entirely on the sales person. Traditional metrics leave out the marketing team and their duty to nurture leads before prospects engage. This facilitates and promotes a culture of order taking within the sales department.
Counselors chase low hanging fruit and don’t spent quality time cultivating real relationships. In other words, if you make enough calls, you get enough tours to fill a monthly sales quota.
Our marketing and sales teams need to stop working in silos. They need to come together for the good of the team, and the organization.
No longer can the marketing team say “we got you the leads, you close them.” In the traditional sense, inquiry to tour and inquiry to move in metrics are really a measurement of the quality of the leads brought in by the marketing team and the effectiveness of the lead nurturing campaigns. Yet the sales person is typically held solely accountable.
The sales team really shouldn’t become involved until leads become active and engaged by requesting a visit or additional information in their journey. Only then should we begin measuring the effectiveness of the sales person’s techniques.
A Roadmap to Improving Effectiveness
Before we begin to measure the effectiveness of our sales team, we need to be able to evaluate the quality of the leads being driven into our CRM. We need to leverage our CRM to clearly define the steps by which we will move the prospect through the process of going from an initial inquiry to a resident.
Without a process, the counselor only has subjective feelings and few indicators that a prospect is ready to deposit. Think about the prospect that comes on multiple tours, attends events, and takes all your calls. They seem to be super-hot and ready to give a deposit. Then they go cold.
Without a process in place to measure effectiveness, we can’t determine where or why the prospect got stuck. We don’t know what tools to use to re-engage and help them move forward.
Defining a Process
Our sales and marketing teams need direction. We need to stop “checking-in” with our prospective residents and give them a roadmap to success. The steps you define can be as simple as Engage, Tour, Prepare to Deposit or as elaborate as you desire. If you follow a sales methodology, you should implement that methodology into your CRM.
No matter what process you choose, the steps will clearly spell out where someone is in the journey and give your team the clarity to know which tools to use to continue to move the prospect forward.
New Metrics to Measure
Once we have defined our sales process and implemented it into the workflow of our CRM, we are able to complete more intelligent and objective analysis of the effectiveness of our team. Below are just a few new things we can begin to measure.
- The Length of time it takes to move a prospect from one step in your process to the next
- The number of agreed upon, and completed, action items the counselor has instructed the prospect to tackle to get ready to move
- The number of prospects the counselor effectively moves on to the next process step each month
- The length of time it took each prospect by inquiry source to deposit. This measures both the effectiveness of your sales person, as well as the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. We all know certain sources close faster than others, but do we measure all the depositors in those sources and put our marketing dollars to use with the fastest closing leads? If not, you should.
- The length of time it took a new inquiry to engage. This becomes a measurement of our lead nurturing effectiveness. If you do not incorporate email marketing or lead nurturing marketing into your process, you are simply relying on the volume of calls a counselor can make until they find a lead that’s ready to engage.
Filling Our Tool Boxes
Sales people need to be armed with a full tool box to engage and convert prospects at each step in the process. Messages are different in every stage and marketing needs to be ready. They need relevant content that supports the decision making and resonates with the prospect where they are.
Every prospect journey is different. You need to engage with them where they are in order to move them to where we want them to be.
You also need a CRM that supports process, tools, and segregation of leads vs. prospects. By having this kind of system in place, you’ll be able leverage the reporting tool to measure effectiveness.
The Future Can be Brighter!
As a result of using a defined sales process to measure counselor effectiveness, and by implementing it into your CRM system, as a manager you’ll be able to:
- Effectively coach counselors on how to differentiate engagement with the prospect in each step
- Have a clearer understanding of knowing what the prospect needs to accomplish at every step to move forward in the process
- Design Marketing messages that are more effective and resonate with the prospect at the right time they are ready to hear it, thereby having a greater impact on the prospect
- Increase move in rates/Reduce cancellation rates as truly ready prospects are less likely to cancel deposits
- Experience higher conversion rates by measuring only engaged prospects: establishing a new set of guidelines and goals to meet
And if you’re looking for a new CRM system to help your senior living community, assisted living community, or CCRC measure results more accurately, sign up for a Continuum CRM demo today.