By Susan Saldibar
I read some stats recently that were alarming, to say the least. (More about them in a minute). But what I really find disturbing, given the sophistication of today’s marketing tools, is the poor leads-to-leases track record this industry continues to have.
Disturbing, but not insurmountable. Not according to a thoughtful and well-researched white paper titled “How to Turn Digital Marketing Leads into Leases”, recently released by G5. Since G5 is a Senior Housing Forum partner, I asked Celena Canode, their marketing campaign manager, if I could share some salient points of the paper with our readers. I’ll attempt to digest the main points, but you will want to read the full white paper, which goes into great detail in all areas.
The paper identifies five key issues that, if successfully addressed, can help remove many of the obstacles to enjoying a stronger leads-to-lease conversion. As you read this, you might want to ask yourself and your team where you fall on each of these issues.
Alignment of your sales and marketing teams. Okay, here’s one of those stats that I found alarming: A HubSpot survey found that only 22% of respondents think their sales and marketing teams are well aligned. The good news, however, is that communities that have fully aligned their sales and marketing efforts enjoy 38% higher sales “win” rates. Proper alignment starts with using the same measure of success for both sales and marketing. The goals themselves should align, with a clear definition of the value and purpose of each. That, along with developing a clear lead process for both sales and marketing that supports the more strategic goals will help the teams to work together instead of at odds with one another.
Overly complicated and/or inefficient databases. Much of the above issues can be addressed with a good CRM. Among many other things, your CRM should be able to automatically import data from all your lead generation sources and allow you to customize workflows across communities and other departments as applicable. The white paper lists all the “must haves” for your CRM.
No documented follow up strategy. What processes do you have in place to ensure that every lead is responded to in a timely manner? Failure to follow up will result in a dramatic drop-off in the number of qualified leads you have sitting in the pipeline. There are several follow-up processes that need to be in place to make sure you capture and engage with all leads, all the time. One way to do so is to invest in the services of a professional call center. Leads that are responded to within 10 minutes have been shown to have a 185% higher conversion rate than those that are not.
Too much selling and not enough development of relationship and needs assessment. Here’s another alarming stat: 79% of leads never convert into sales, often due to a lack of lead nurturing. How do you keep your prospects engaged? One of the most popular (yet often poorly executed) methods is email. However, to be effective it must meet some pretty tough standards in terms of relevance, tone, personalization, and coordination. Get it right, however, and you can potentially generate 50% more sales leads at a 33% lower cost. The white paper explains how to “get it right”.
Inability to overcome objections. This is where having relevant content on hand is critical. Using videos, blogs, and things like cost comparison worksheets will help your sales counselors open up more meaningful dialog when presented with potential resident’s objections. Proper follow-up after objections are voiced is also important to gain and keep their trust.
So, what’s the take away from all of this? Our world isn’t simple. While some of the tenets of sales and marketing remain the same, many have changed. And nowhere is this more evident than in today’s senior care industry, with our ever-changing demographics, culture changes, sea changes, and imminent silver tsunamis. There are no short, easy answers to how to improve lead-to-lease conversion rates. But there are answers for those who take the time to read informative white papers, listen, and learn.
When is a good time to get after this and start tackling the issues getting in the way of better conversion rates? My guess would be to jump in any time. One thing is for sure. You’ll have plenty of company.
You can read the full white paper here.
For more information about G5 and their many marketing services, you can visit their website.
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