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Smart Sales Funnel Strategies for Senior Living

Published by Ana on

Smart Sales Funnel

How are you driving qualified inquiries to your community? With an increasing reliance on digital, senior living communities must be proactive in how to reach families seeking local options for a loved one.

Does your senior living community have a system for driving new inquiries online? We call this a digital sales funnel. 

COVID forever changed the way we do business in person. Over 75% of senior living consumers start their search for eldercare online​. So crafting or optimizing a digital sales funnel is crucial for a smart senior living marketing strategy. 

At its core, a traditional sales funnel is defined by 3 key elements:

  1. A great product (that leads to…)
  2. A compelling offer (which inspires a…)
  3. Purchase from your ideal consumer

For aging service providers this may look like offering a free tour of your community or an invite to a fun event. These types of offers will entice decision-makers to come explore your community. Once there, discussion with your team will open to help them decide to move either themselves or their loved ones into your community.

With a digital sales funnel, most of these initial touchpoints—and a few of the follow-up touchpoints –  can be moved online.

The benefits in doing so are endless. When you streamline your sales process you can find, attract, convert, and retain customers on autopilot. This leaves more room for your teams at the community to focus on what really matters, the seniors you serve.

Laying the Foundation for Your Sales Funnel

Not all digital sales funnels are created equal. And not all digital sales funnels will work for the specific needs of your community. 

So before you begin to implement any sales funnel strategies, you must first lay the foundation for your funnel. And that starts with outlining your goals. This will determine what type of funnel you should create. Ask yourself the following questions:

What action do I most want potential customers to take?

While an increase in occupancy may be the ultimate goal, try to reverse engineer that goal to outline what steps a potential customer may hit before making that decision. This could be anything from filling out a contact form for more information to taking an in-person or virtual tour. 

Post-move-in, your goal may shift to leaving a review and giving feedback on their experience. 

Are my sales and marketing efforts strategically aligned? 

Without sales and marketing alignment, you risk attracting leads with no real system in place to organize them. At minimum, you should have a CRM to keep track of prospects and customers alike. Ideally, using a marketing automation tool that offers call tracking, lead scoring, and autoresponders can help support any sales funnel you create. 

Remember: marketing’s job is to elevate and accelerate the sales process. With a truly aligned sales and marketing system, the data helps your team make key decisions on communications and follow-up that moves families closer to the decision.

ActiveDEMAND is a smart marketing automation tool you can trust. For more information on how it can help you, click here.

Types of Senior Living Sales Funnels

The next step to crafting a smart sales funnel strategy for your community is to decide what type of sales funnel you’d like to create using the above question, “what action do I most want potential customers to take?

In many cases, you may already have a simple version of a sales funnel on your website. The “Contact Us” page on your website with a simple form for inquiries is very basic funnel that you can immediately optimize. Let’s look at the anatomy of your Contact Us funnel:

  • The Offer: Connect with a person at the community
  • The Landing Page: Has a form, an address, and a phone number.
  • The Follow-Up: If they call or stop by, your sales team probably has a process in place to handle those inquiries. But for the form…do you have the following set up?
    • Autoresponder Thank You email from a person at the community
    • A sales notification email so the team can call the inquiry quickly (…speed to lead does matter)
    • An automatic sync to your CRM database so the inquiry has been counted in your sales reporting
    • A follow-up Welcome email campaign that drips 3-5 email messages about your community to the person inquiring

All of these pieces are part of your Contact Us sales funnel. In many cases, families using your “Contact Us” web form are closer to making a decision than someone earlier in their journey.

What about other types of senior living sales funnels? 

Here are a few common sales funnels for senior living that can be added to your existing marketing strategy:

Lead Generation Funnel

The mother of all sales funnels, a lead generation is exactly what it sounds like, a funnel specifically designed to capture leads. Once you have these leads you can nurture them into taking action. 

The most difficult aspect of this funnel is determining what offer you can create that is valuable to your audience to trade their email address for the information. The possibilities really are as vast as your imagination allows since community living touches on all aspects of someone’s life.

Here are a few ideas we see working well:

  • Checklists
  • Cost comparisons
  • Ebooks with tips 
  • Resource guides
  • Recipe ebooks
  • Community brochures
  • Floor plans

For example, say you’re a community that focuses on healthy activities and clean eating options. One way to build leads is to create an ebook on the importance of physical health and clean eating as we age that specifically targets your ideal audience. Include healthy exercises for older adults and a few recipes from your chef. Now you have a value-packed offer with content that is interesting to healthy-minded prospects or caregivers.

Once someone downloads your ebook, you continue the conversation through a follow-up process that expands on the information, highlights your community, and shows up in a way that is helpful to them. 

This follow-up can be automated so your sales team doesn’t have to worry about sending any emails until someone specifically requests a visit or call from the team.   

Webinar Funnel

If your audience extends beyond potential residents to the children of residents, a webinar funnel may be a great option. A webinar is a type of lead generation funnel, yes, but what makes it unique is the video component. 

A webinar allows you to give more detailed information in an educational format that can convey your message in a meaningful way. Similar to a lead generation funnel, once a prospect registers for your webinar, you can nurture them based on if they attended live or not. You can continue the conversation with follow-up information that leads them to making a decision. 

Appointment-Setting Funnel

A move-in is the ultimate goal of any senior living community, but first, you want a prospective family to come visit or tour your community. These in-person moments can be a great digital appointment-setting funnel where someone can select their own time right from your website.  

The goal of these funnels is to make it easy for a busy caregiver or prospect to schedule time with you and to fill your schedule with qualified tours with prospective families. 

Plus, once the appointment happens, the real magic can be in the follow-up. You can deliver value by following up via email, phone, and in-person.  When your funnel connects with your CRM, you can even automate the follow-up tasks so sales and marketing are working together to deliver the right message to a prospect in a post-tour stage.

Supercharge Your Existing Funnel

If you already have an existing sales funnel but it’s not yielding great results, there are three ways you can optimize it without changing the entire structure of your funnel. 

  • Monitor Your Metrics: Audit the touchpoints of your current funnel. Are you generating enough traffic? Is that traffic opting in? Where exactly are your prospects losing steam? It could be as simple as tweaking your traffic or ad strategy or changing the language on your landing pages. 
  • Soup up the Sales Page: Speaking of landing pages, a high-converting sales page is vital for getting more inquiries from your website. Does the page have a clear CTA? Is the copy compelling and written to invoke action? The answer to these questions can help you determine what, if any, changes need to be made in order to increase conversions.   
  • Fine-Tune the Follow-Up: The way you follow up with prospects is incredibly important in any digital funnel. Again, take a look at the metrics. What are your open rates? If prospective customers are opening but not booking a tour, perhaps they’re not receiving adequate information in your emails. Or perhaps they’re receiving too many emails altogether. 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution as each community has different goals. The key here is to track, test, and be willing to adjust in order to meet your community’s needs.

Smart Senior Living Marketing

If you’re ready to take your senior living sales funnel to the next level, contact Smart Girl Digital. Our funnel building services include a strategy intensive deep dive of your current systems to determine the best course forward for sales funnel success. 

Click here to book a FREE Digital Discovery session and let us help you build a smart sales funnel designed to meet your occupancy goals.

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