By Susan Saldibar

So you didn’t get a new CRM for Christmas. I’m sorry.

But maybe that’s good. Because last minute Christmas shopping can result in some less than stellar purchases. Like when you ran out Christmas Eve to buy Uncle Arnie a tie and the only ones left had winking reindeer heads with rhinestone noses. You know what I’m talking about …

But now we have a fresh new year coming, and you have an opportunity to get a really great CRM. The one you really wanted. 

And I know what it looks like. 

Because I got it straight from the horses’ mouths, in this case Teddy Helfrich and Chris Mohrman (brand new marketing director) from WelcomeHome (a Foresight partner). They joined Foresight’s Leigh Ann Hubbard in the latest Marketing Monday session. (You can watch it here.)

WelcomeHome’s John Lariccia and Teddy Helfrich, by the way, are the guys who spent a full year asking senior living community marketers what they wanted in a CRM.

And then they went out and built it. 

So, whether or not you choose WelcomeHome, here’s what you need to be looking for in a CRM:

  1. Ease of use. The No. 1 thing everyone wants. Make it hard to use, and no one uses it. In fact, the top reason when adoption of a CRM is low is that it’s too hard to use.
  2. Integration. You absolutely, positively need to ask if they have an open API (application protocol interface). And if they run out of breath trying to rattle off all the software they connect with (like Teddy did), that’s a good sign.
  3. Automation. Your CRM should be tracking every single move your sales counselors make. If they forget to enter something, no problem, it’s already in there. So if your team is still spending inordinate amounts of time entering data, you have the wrong CRM.
  4. Reporting. The best way to describe great reporting is Teddy’s example: “So, at 8:00 you send your report to users to spot check for review; by 9:00 it’s updated; by noon it’s off to the regional sales director who adds any updates; by 3:00 it comes back to you, scrubbed and ready. Do a once-over, and by midnight it goes out to investors. That’s the dream for most sales directors.” That’s the level of reporting you should have.
  5. Mobility. There should be absolutely nothing you do on your laptop that you can’t do on your mobile phone.

But here’s the thing. The video has so many of Teddy’s vignettes and spot-on observations that I can’t capture here. You have to watch the video to get all the great details.

Maybe a better option is to just go straight to WelcomeHome and check out their demo. There is just nothing this CRM can’t do.

So, if you didn’t get a shiny new CRM under the tree this year, cheer up! The new year is looking bright.