Fostering a highly effective sales counselor in a senior living community requires time and effort on the part of sales management. By nature, successful individuals in senior living sales are outgoing and personable, and they can often get caught up in the activities they enjoy most: connecting with prospective residents, conducting tours, and meeting with referral sources in their local area. They are motivated by the desire to close a sale. It’s no surprise then that they can be distracted from the administrative side of sales, especially maintaining their database in their CRM.
Training: The Time to Set Expectations
A newly hired sales counselor may come to your company with previous sales experience including selling skills and procedures. Training them on your company’s sales system and CRM presents opportunities to instill the expectations for recording their daily sales activity. Establishing a routine of recording the details of outbound and inbound sales calls, tours, outreach and other sales activities during training reinforces its essential function of their role. Modern systems, like WelcomeHome, make this easy. Tasks that are initiated and performed inside of the system, whether calls, texts, emails or videoconferences, are auto-logged. So, the effort is in recording the details and nuance, not the fact that the activity occurred.
Tools for Success
Remind your sales counselors that the sales system and CRM are tools provided to them to aid them in their success as they work to increase occupancy. These tools have been refined over many years with the input of countless sales professionals. Most importantly, the tools are highly effective at supporting the activities the sales counselor needs to be doing to move prospective residents toward the decision to move in.
Coaching is an opportunity to review the sales counselor’s recent sales activity, practice sales techniques, and congratulate successes. It also alerts the sales manager to any failure to record their sales activities in the CRM. Consistent review of sales and outreach activity reinforces its importance. Pulling data also demonstrates how what is entered into the CRM is reported to senior level decision makers. It’s often said, “If it’s not entered, it didn’t happen,” and from a reporting and accountability standpoint, this is true.
End of Week Recaps
A Friday afternoon recap of the sales counselor’s activity during the week – number of new leads, tours, deposits, referrals, and move-ins – further reinforces the importance of using the sales tools. This recap can be done by email, phone call or voicemail and is a great way to share the week’s productivity, discuss challenges and successes, and provide a foundation for the following week’s sales and outreach goals.
Reviewing the Sales Database
Periodic review of the leads in the sales counselor’s CRM database ensures that the sales counselor is actively using the CRM for the greatest benefit of the sales counselor, the community, and the company. These reviews help to ensure that the sales counselor is making the periodic contacts with their prospects as expected in the sales system. It also ensures that there are little to no past-due sales activities. It’s also an opportunity to close out any cold leads and enter outreach details as well.
Instilling in your sales counselors the importance of the sales system and CRM, training them in their use, coaching them to success regularly, expecting a recap of their activity at the end of the week, and reviewing their database with them regularly all count towards your goals as a sales manager of promoting the use of the sales systems and CRM and gives you ample opportunities to inspect what you expect and produce desired results – increased sales and move-ins.