Sales Management Tip of the Month: 5 Critical Components to Consider When Evaluating Senior Living C
Updated: Jun 7
Choosing the best customer relationship management (CRM) software platform is no simple task no matter what industry you work in. In the senior living industry – where the sales process involves an emotional and personal customer journey as well as possibly multiple decision-makers who may not be the actual customer – it can be even more so. Evaluating, narrowing the field, and choosing the best CRM software platform for your senior living company is a lot easier when you know what to look for.
Here are 5 tips for choosing the right senior living CRM software in 2022:
Ease of Use
Anyone who has worked in sales in the past 25 years has most likely experienced a CRM that is clunky, awkward, not customizable, unintuitive, and – worst of all – has a steep learning curve to mastery. Hey, it’s the 2020s, and in the modern world where “there’s an app for that” when it comes to just about everything, your CRM had better be:
Simple for the end user to navigate to all the necessary functions.
Simple for users on every level from sales director to executive director to corporate/enterprise user to learn and use.
Intuitive, meaning that is designed with the senior living industry in mind and its unique sales process and customer journey.
Visually appealing – the fonts are easy to read, the colors and symbols have meaning, and it’s more than a little fun and cool to use!
Whether it’s the Monday morning stand-ups in the senior living communities, the mid-week calls with the ownership group, or the Friday afternoon recaps to management, the ability to generate reports is a must for users on all levels of senior living. The CRM’s reporting function should be:
Easy to navigate. Digging through multiple screens and menus to get to where the reports are located is frustrating and time-wasting, so for such an essential function of a sales CRM, reporting had better be within easy reach.
Accessible to all user levels. Everyone from sales directors to the CEO should be equally able to easily get their hands on the reports they need.
Pre-set with the most common reports. It’s no good that every single time you need to generate a particular report you must select data, choose how to sort it, and specify in what timeframe. A senior living CRM should anticipate what reports its users need and have them ready to go.
Capable of querying data easily. Why is this important? Because sometimes your marketing manager needs to pull a list of prospects in a certain zip code for a postcard mailing. Or your sales director needs to select all their referral sources to email an invitation to a business-after-5 mixer. Or your VP of Sales needs to see total move-ins for all communities year-to-date.
Generating reporting that is complete and ready to present. When you need to show the owners the occupancy growth in a visually appealing way, you shouldn’t have to export your data from your CRM and import it into a spreadsheet to create a presentation-worthy report.
There is always the temptation of going with an all-in-one application, but that’s almost always a case of “jack of all trades, master of none” that leaves you with a system that might not do anything especially well. The reality is: a dedicated CRM is going to be much more robust than a component of or an add-on to another application. It’s imperative then that your CRM is designed to integrate with your other systems.
For example, is your senior living company using Company A for lead generation, Company B for marketing automation, Company C for live chat, Company D for mass emailing, Company E for virtual meetings, Company F for call tracking, Company G for virtual tours and 3D floor plans, Company H for your office suite, Company I for website management, and Company J for your overall operating system? Are you giving your tech team anxiety because you’re planning to add a CRM into this mix – and you’re expecting it to integrate with all of these other platforms? And in some cases, are you expecting it to have 2-way integration with some of them as well?
The ability of a CRM to integrate with your current systems is imperative. Equally important is being able to integrate with new systems as you add or change them.
What information does the home screen of the desktop and mobile versions of a CRM tell the end-user? What actions does it allow them to take without going to a different screen? Is the home screen visually appealing? Is it intuitive for the users at all levels? Does it give enough data to help support the sales directors but not too much data to overwhelm them with unnecessary distractions?
The CRM is a powerful sales tool, not just a place to store prospect data. The home screen should be able to support the:
Sales directors: The home screen should display to-do lists; the status of their sales pipeline; progress toward meeting expectations and benchmarks over a certain period of time; total move-ins and move-outs for the month; year-to-date sales; and KPIs.
Regional directors: The home screen should display the necessary information about the sales status and health of all communities in their region. Reporting should be easily accessible.
Enterprise-level users: For executive management and owners, the home screen should display the sales health of the entire portfolio. Reporting should be easily accessible.
It can be difficult to know ahead of time how quality a CRM provider’s customer service really is, so don’t hesitate to ask for references and ask them about it yourself.
Before you jump into a commitment with a particular CRM, you’ll want to know:
What avenues of help are available: Is there a manned helpline, a training portal, a tech support ticketing system, a user forum, or something else?
What is the duration of tech support? Is support ongoing or is it only available during the setup and training stages?
What does training and support cost? Is there an up-charge for a training and support package, or is it included in the cost?
Who do you go to with questions? Do you have an assigned account manager, a specific technical support person, or is there a general help desk? How many other clients are they supporting? Are you one of hundreds or are you their priority?
How responsive is the support? Can you expect help within the hour, within 24 hours, or within several days?
The choice of a CRM is not a one-and-done decision, it’s an ongoing relationship with the CRM company. Because senior living providers experience changing portfolios, add systems needing integration, and change platforms – it’s important that the CRM’s customer support team is a good long-term fit for your company.
If 2022 is the year you’re adding CRM software to empower your senior living company’s sales team, or are changing from one that is not living up to your expectations, knowing what to look for in a CRM is very helpful in making the best decision. Experience for yourself what thousands of senior living professionals rely on to make their job easier: request a free demo of WelcomeHome’s CRM today.
Don’t take our word for it that WelcomeHome is hands-down the best senior living CRM out there – check out our Google reviews!