By Susan Saldibar

AI is cropping up online everywhere nowadays. It’s in our searches, it’s where we buy things, and what we watch on TV. And, the moment we ask Siri or Alexa anything, AI kicks into action.

So, when I interview someone about a technology platform or app, I find myself asking without even thinking, “Oh, so that’s an AI component?” or words to that effect.

The point is that we throw the term around a lot. But in senior care, where does AI fit in? And how useful is it without the addition of human intelligence?

I spoke recently with Scott Farmer, Co-Founder, and Lynn Madderra, VP of Operations, for Continuum CRM (a Senior Living Foresight partner). We talked about the human side of intelligence. What it is we need to provide the sales counselors to help them make more “intelligent” decisions. Scott proceeded to list a lot of very intelligent tools that they provide. He is wary of claiming that they do have AI, but check out what they do have and you be the judge:

    • Prospect Readiness Score: This is a score that indicates how far along a prospect is in his or her decision-making journey. Scoring can be based on whatever set of characteristics the user wants. So, it could reflect things like, do they have a family member in a community? Or a recent illness? The system then scores each prospect, knowing where they are in the process. Does everything match up? From that, you get a “readiness” score.
    • Customizable workflows: These workflows follow the steps of the buyer’s journey. The system includes a dashboard with red, yellow, and green action items, which indicate whether follow up is due today, overdue, or scheduled for the future. “It is basically capturing everything sales has done with that prospect and making it readily available,” Scott says. “Sales may not remember everything. But once it’s input, it’s there in the system.”
    • Goal modeling/planning: Lynn talked about their goal modeling and planning capability as being 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,” she says. “And it doesn’t stop there. To truly produce an intelligent forecast, we need to continually be able to learn from our measures and Continuum is auto-adjusting the plan behind the scenes based on performance and change,” Lynn says.
    • Smart forms: Scott explained how their smart forms work. “When you’re in the process of inputting an item, based on what you just did and where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey, you will get a ‘smart form’ delivered to you with fields in edit-ready format,” he says. “Let’s say sales just got a deposit. The form would prompt that you need to have gathered specific data because of it. There’s a form for each action you take.”
    • Reporting: The reporting option has the depth and granularity to get to any piece of data in the system that you need. They dive deeper than traditional conversion metrics to provide real-time visual representations of key performance indicators.

As you might imagine, underlying all this is a platform structured to organize all the data it collects over the entire lifecycle of a prospect; a big help for things like onboarding new sales staff. “When a sales counselor leaves, if you haven’t captured all that intelligence, you have to go back and start from scratch,” Scott says. “That interrupts any progress that might have been made.”

Which brings us full circle around to the value of AI. Scott had started our conversation by saying that he really didn’t believe they provided AI, at least in the strict sense of the term. But, by the end of the conversation, we all realized that much of what Scott and Lynn were describing was, in fact, AI. Maybe more “actionable” than “artificial” in this case.

As Lynn says, “We provide a very deeply focused platform, which provides intelligence to sales.” And it is information that has been gathered and segmented in ways that connect many of the dots needed to bring intelligent visibility to the sales team. But it’s what humans do with it that makes the difference,” Lynn and Scott explain. “In the end, the intelligence really comes from the salesperson,” Lynn says. And, isn’t that the way it should be?

For more information about Continuum CRM, please visit their website.