By Susan Saldibar
If you’ve ever managed sales, you’re no stranger to the unrealistic goals of eager sales reps. Chances are you’ve adjusted these goals downward every quarter to jive with a shifting reality, usually due to elements that have been tricky to capture, let alone inject into your forecasts. So, the forecasts suffer, making them prime fodder for skepticism, finger pointing, and the uncomfortable reality that, win or lose, you may never really know why.
Maybe you disagree. Maybe you’re already collecting a broader and more granular base of data about your prospective residents. Great! And maybe you’re meticulously channeling this data into your CRM where it can be organized in a way that empowers your salespeople to take intelligent actions. Greater still! Then, perhaps you’re exporting this rich CRM data into your spreadsheets to massage it and run some “what if” scenarios. Oops. Sound the buzzer! Wrong answer. At least by today’s standards.
How Can We Get All This Great CRM Data into Our Spreadsheets?
Continuum CRM (a Senior Living Foresight partner) has built a new predictive goal modeling feature within its platform that automatically incorporates all the rich data contained in the CRM into a forecasting tool. I caught up with Lynn Madderra, VP of Operations for Continuum CRM, to get more details about the new tool.
Lynn tells me that it was developed in response to a question from clients: “How can we get all this great CRM data into our spreadsheets?” Which brought up an even better question from the Continuum development team: “Why don’t we leverage all this deep data into a modeling and goal setting capability within our own application?” So, they went on to develop this tool natively within the application. Users don’t have to dump their data it into spreadsheets anymore. It’s centralized, so that it can be easily shared as well.
Lynn went on to explain that goal planning and measurement is an iterative process. The goal plan is initially set by the sales director and the users enter their activity so it can be measured against those goals. And goal modeling and forecasting doesn’t stop there. “To truly produce an intelligent forecast, we need to continually be able to learn from our measures and auto-adjust the plan based on performance and change”, Lynn says.
The image below depicts this cyclical process that includes input from the sales director, sales counselor, and the goal modeling engine itself.
What’s cool about this tool is that it is useful for any experience level. “Lots of clients don’t even know where to begin to forecast properly”, Lynn says. “So, the feature automatically provides a default model based on existing information. Or users can input their own data. Nobody is left out.” Here’s a thumbnail of the features:
- Wizard-based worksheet interface
- Set goals for fiscal year, quarterly, monthly
- Unlimited “what if” scenarios by community or service line
- Re-projects forecast based on actual performance at end of month
- Leverages what is already known in the system (e.g. current occupancy, past performance, move-ins, move-outs, etc.)
- Performance is automatically historized
- Standard dashboards/reports are available at the sales counselor, director and executive levels
By designating your desired occupancy and plugging in different variables, the user can produce a goal prediction focused on helping the organization reach their occupancy target. “If you are currently doing all this work outside of your CRM, then this alleviates that headache,” Lynn says. “If you are not sure where to get started or never had a system to give you enough intelligence to get started, now its baked right in.”
And it increases the odds of getting more move-ins because you are creating an intelligent, accurate view of where your goals should be at any given point. “It’s one thing to track goals”, Lynn says. “It’s another altogether to have a tool that predicts what your goals should be.” Pretty exciting stuff.
For more information about Continuum CRM, please visit their website.