For decades, having a CRM was a necessary evil and what the team got often matched those low expectations.
But, times have changed.
CRMs have evolved beyond simple databases of your prospects and their activities. Today, the right CRM can help find leads, prioritize prospects and referral sources, recommend next steps, and even do routine tasks that take your sales team’s time away from forging the relationships that fuel your communities’ business.
But, finding the right CRM (and moving your team onto it) can be daunting.
Whether moving on from your current platform or selecting a CRM for the first time, here are some tips to consider.
Understand your needs and the features offered by the different vendors . . . and then put them to the test
The needs of a senior living operator are unique and uniquely complicated. In addition, no two operators are like. Portfolios are different. Teams are different. Sales philosophies are different.
To select the best senior living CRM, you must understand what you need . . . at the community, at the corporate level, for your sales team, for your owner groups, for you.
Start by asking yourself and your team:
- How important is lead management vs referrer management?
- What marketing should be done out of the CRM vs. other tools?
- Can automation enable more face-to-face time?
- Do we want a system that is robust on-the-go?
- What reporting do we want?
- Once you know and think you’ve found the right CRM partner, put them to the test. Ask for a free trial in your communities to see if their marketing matches your reality.
Think about the total cost
Most CRMs charge a monthly subscription fee. But, the advertised monthly fees vary greatly. Some charge based on the number of users, others by the number of communities.
And, that’s only part of it.
You will need to factor in the one-time implementation costs, upcharges for additional features, and ongoing training. In fact, with some CRMs, training costs can more than double your annual spend.
Some questions to ask yourself and potential partners:
- What is the implementation process like? How much is required from your team to onboard communities?
- How easy is it to use? Can I easily train employees?
- What ongoing training support is provided? At what cost?
- Are there any user minimums?
- What if I need to add more users or communities?
- If you push for clarity, you can understand your true total cost of use after the first year and not get caught with hidden expenses.
Finally, recognize that you need to be flexible.
One system cannot do it all. While it’s appealing to have an “all-in-one” solution, no vendor is great at everything. Fortunately, most vendors acknowledge this and integration across tools is now the rule, not the exception. This allows you to have the best across all functions without compromise.
- Are you willing to compromise your sales features and flexibility for the simplicity of a single vendor?
- If not, how easy is it to integrate with other solutions we already use? Is there a cost?
- What if we add new systems?
The right CRM can make your life and business better. And, it’s never been a better time to select one, with more options, with more features, at lower costs. But, selecting the right CRM does take time and thoughtfulness.
If you are considering a CRM, schedule time to talk.