This past month, Continuum CRM was pleased to be a sponsor of the annual SMASH (Senior Care Marketing Sales Summit Headquarters) conference in Chicago. If you are in Senior Living marketing and sales and haven’t attended, I highly recommend this conference.
This was my third year in attendance, the last two being on the provider side of the fence. Through that experience I have met some amazingly talented, forward-thinking, senior level executives in the Senior Living industry whom I respect and admire.
So, when I sat down with a few of them this year, me now on the supplier side representing Continuum CRM, I should not have been surprised when the biggest question was: “Why does the Senior Living Industry need another CRM?”
Excellent question! Thought provoking, challenging, and a reasonable thing to ask.
And honestly, I froze.
So unlike me. I’m typically not without words so I actually surprised myself with this one. I should have been prepared for that question, after all, it is MY JOB to promote Continuum CRM.
So really, why do we need another CRM in this business?
There are several out there to choose from already. While I was working at a CCRC I’ve seen them myself, and witnessed what they can and cannot do. When it came down to it, I never felt any had the full package. Don’t get me wrong, each one in their own right can get the job done. But each one also has its own individual strengths and lacks important functionality in other areas.
We need a CRM company that is going to challenge senior living professionals to go further in their roles, be more than they are, and be positioned for the future, not just today. The landscape of the senior living is changing, evolving, and the leadership teams need to embrace and go with it.
In order to better service the prospective residents and create purposeful, intentional interactions, whether that is through marketing, or residential programming, leadership teams need to embrace data while nurturing the relationships that drive the success of their communities.
This industry is in need of new ideas and approaches that challenge the widely accepted notions of what it should be. Through those challenges we stretch our thinking and preconceived beliefs and begin to open ourselves to new ways of thinking. This approach allows us to become unique and offer a truly individual value proposition to our customers.
Tying this thought directly to the marketing & sales departments, and most specifically the CRM use, we need to throw out the conventional wisdom of what constitutes success in a marketing and/or sales role, and what we should be doing to contribute to the organization. Continuum CRM challenges traditional thinking in terms of data collection, measured metrics, and KPIs.
In sales, we need to test the limits of what we believe our responsibilities are. Yes, sales counselors must be relationship builders and trusted advisors first and foremost. But they need to do more.
They need to get excited and embrace the possibilities of what can be done with data. They need to be interested in gathering data for future analysis.
The reality is that the more data we gather at the sales counselor level, the more senior leadership can do with the information to make their jobs easier. We can uncover so much more about our prospects, our community, and our industry through the gathering of data.
Different data. Call it the data circle of life.
Gathering it leads to analysis. Analysis leads to strategic initiative. Strategic initiative leads to better ways to market to and capture specifically targeted, highly qualified leads. Targeted, highly qualified leads mean more prospects for the sales team that could result in shorter sales cycles.
Each person working in the CRM should be able to easily extract data themselves and contribute to the success of the organization. They need to know their own metrics, their strengths, the personas of the prospects that become residents. They need to be able to gather facts about prospective residents and measure them against actual residents to predict the highest probability of move-in.
We need to rethink the same old KPIs and challenge ourselves to measure the metrics that provide predictive analytics and tell the story of our prospects that convert to residents. Simply measuring the number of calls to tours isn’t enough.
We need a CRM that is industry specific, yet also lives up to the high standards placed on those in the general CRM market. One that supports everything sales and marketing experts need to be more effective in their roles. One that tracks everything. One that incorporates event & advertising management; inventory management; email marketing and tracking; activity tracking; at a glance dashboard and reporting capabilities. One that is fully configurable to the needs of the individual organization.
We need a CRM that the user can easily and seamlessly extract data for analysis while not sacrificing the ability to incorporate a relational sales workflow that is defined and customized by the organization’s processes.
We need powerful tools to help us earn our place at the strategic planning table. We need visual dashboards and reports that unequivocally tell the story of our prospect and product. You really can have both the relationship tool and the data gathering and analysis tool. You should want, and demand both.
Without them, you’re still living and accepting of the way things have always been done.
We need the CRM that elevates our way of thinking in sales and marketing and allows us to position ourselves as the experts in our field with our COO, President, CEO and Board. This is why we need another CRM.
On the plane back from Chicago, I had a great friend whom I was sitting next to sum it up for me in one nice neat little phrase that I’m now going to paraphrase and steal:
“Continuum CRM is the place where relationships and data live together.”
I love how she said that. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. I wish I had thought of it first, and most importantly, thought of saying it while my respected colleagues were challenging me at the conference. What a missed opportunity I had on that one! I won’t miss it again.
Want to check out a CRM that challenges accepted beliefs of CRMs in Senior Living? Let’s challenge the status quo together. Schedule a Continuum CRM demo today.