Sales Enablement Role in Marketing for Senior Living and Care in Congregate Settings

Sales enablement has significantly evolved over the years.  Having an understanding of what sales enablement is, its impact and growing importance, and its relevance to senior living and care in congregate settings, is essential to driving success.

Before going into detail about sales enablement within the Senior Living and Care industry, let’s first understand the impact of COVID-19 on the congregate living and care sector.  According to Enquire’s October 2020 special report titled Senior Living: COVID-19 Statistics, there has been collectively an 18% decrease in inquiries and a 38% decrease in initial tours (based on YOY Averages) among senior living communities offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and life plan (CCRC) residential options.  With fewer inquiries and leads to develop, it is more important than ever that sales have what is needed now. Sales enablement is a key driver of success.

What Is Sales Enablement?

Whether in the Senior Living and Care sector or any other industry, sales enablement is the process by which a sales or business development person or team garners all the resources, data, information, and tools needed to engage and nurture prospects throughout the customer journey. It is the process of providing sales or business development with the assets they need to compel and engage the target audience with the goal of conversion to a customer.   It allows sales or business development to sell more effectively and efficiently through personalization, automation, and innovation.

Formulating a Sales Enablement Strategy

Sales enablement is not a one size fits all approach. It starts by developing a tailored sales enablement strategy that aligns to your business and goals. Specifically, this strategy will outline the approach your business will take to provide sales or business development with all the resources they need to sell effectively and efficiently.

Your sales enablement strategy must first include a review of all the current resources, tools, content, and information that you provide sales.  With these findings, you can then develop a sales enablement strategy aligned to the desired goals and outcomes you want to achieve.  As such, the sales enablement strategy, plan, implementation, execution and metrices will vary for each Senior Living and Care organization.

Benefits of Sales Enablement 

Internal Collaboration

Sales enablement offers the ability to transform your entire Senior Living and Care organization, and not just sales. As sales enablement programs become integrated, new opportunities and benefits begin to manifest themselves across the business including marketing, IT, customer service, and of course, in sales or business development.

Sales enablement has many sides to it. This means the process requires the help of those working in and out of sales. Sales enablement requires full participation and integration of both marketing and sales. It is the process and platform that glues these functional areas together.

Sales Efficiencies

A key benefit of sales enablement is that your salesperson or team operates more efficiently. Sales enablement data can be seamlessly integrated with your existing DBM (Database Management) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Thus, every change that is made by sales is automated and scaled accordingly with minimal redundancy. This results in increased availability to devote to selling, and less time required for data entry.

Sales Effectiveness

Sales enablement initiatives lead to more effective workflows, closer collaboration, and greater opportunities. These initiatives enable your organization to better sell to its prospective customers, further demonstrating the impact and value of sales enablement.

Sales Empowerment 

Sales managers and franchise owners or leaders at Senior Living and Care providers are key to the implementation and execution of sales enablement. However, to properly implement and leverage sales enablement best practices, they often require strategic coaching, training, and development. The productive sales enablement programs are optimized when seamlessly integrated with training and user-friendly technology, that include self-service tools and asynchronous learning.

Delivering ‘Intelligent’ Interactions

Interactions or touchpoints vary depending on where your prospects are in the sales funnel. The content needs to change and align accordingly to their needs. For example, blogs, infographics, ads, are best used at the top of the sales funnel. Whereas, case studies, testimonials and demos are most effective when shared with those further down the sales funnel.

Properly managing each interaction or touchpoint to personalize the prospect to customer journey and approaching every sales conversation with the intelligence and foresight needed is not an easy job…it is the job of sales enablement.

Optimizing Sales 

Sales enablement programs are powerful because they eliminate the guesswork. How? By having the right technology to support success. Sales enablement initiatives must be powered and optimized by data intelligence throughout the sales process. This intuitive sales data then gives your organization the confidence, control and intelligence needed for each interaction, enabling your sales person or team to move prospects in the right direction by correctly addressing their pain points throughout the process.

Who ‘Owns’ Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is owned by both marketing and sales.

Marketing provides sales with a variety of resources and tools that they need to effectively sell. These resources and tools often include videos, blogs, and brochures, product guides to support sales in their interactions and touchpoints with prospects. However, if not used, or not used correctly, they are of minimal value.   Not only must marketing provide sales with the assets they need to sell throughout the journey, but they must also provide the training on how to properly use and leverage each of the resources and tools.

It is not however, a one-way street. To provide sales with the assets they need, sales need to continually inform marketing about which types of content and materials are missing so that they have what they need to share with leads throughout their journeys. Marketing in turn, can effectively provide them with what is needed and most effective.

Since sales and marketing jointly ‘own’ sales enablement, they both will impact your business’ overall sales enablement strategy.

The Impact of Sales Enablement 

According to a recent State of Sales Enablement 2020 Report published by Highspot, the findings were clear that sales enablement is vital to helping organizations increase win rates, improve customer satisfaction, and accelerate revenue. Specifically, the report states:

-Sales enablement practitioners who leverage a sales enablement platform for their sales teams report win rates that are 7 percentage points higher than those who do not.

-Enablement teams with 2+ years tenure who report to a revenue leader experience win rates that are 10 percentage points higher than those who report to a marketing leader.

-Many enablement teams focus on enhancing the customer experience by enabling post-sales roles, and those that do experience win rate improvements of 4 percentage points.

While these numbers are impressive, they represent only a few of the key metrics of impact reported by nearly 400 respondents across 19 countries. To learn more, the full report is available for download on the Highspot website.

Additional Benefits of Sales Enablement

In addition to the quantitative metrics that support the value and impact of sales enablement, here are other benefits that a sales enablement strategy, process and system will bring to your Senior Living and Care business.

  • Keep you up to date across the organization.

Sales support and other client-facing materials including but not limited to print, audio/video, online/digital materials, along with training, require updates to:

  • Respond to time-sensitive market needs and conditions
  • Explain new enhancements or services
  • Share new pieces of information

A sales enablement system makes it easy to upload new and revised materials and eliminate old ones. This prevents old content from being shared with clients and removes outdated training. You gain confidence knowing your reps are using current messages and materials.

  • Make content and training available to everyone.

A sales enablement system benefits everyone at a company, not just the sales and marketing functions. It serves as a central repository and distribution point for all your company’s content, including training, marketing materials, and all other external facing collateral.

Besides streamlining, managing and optimizing the content across your organization for each person to have access, it becomes less likely that there will be disconnects between departments and breakdowns in your planning, research, development, production, review, testing, marketing and sales processes.

  • Improve engagement between your team and those for whom Senior Living and Care services are intended.

More than ever, seniors are taking responsibility for their own living and care solutions. They want to thoroughly understand the pros and cons of alternative options, so that they feel more confident in their decisions.

Because of this, Senior Living and Care providers need to be able to explain their offerings, their differentiation from alternatives, and their value in a clear and understandable way. Having the tools to do this provides a competitive edge.

A sales enablement system makes it more likely that your sales or business development team will correctly share this information and messages to those who will need and use them.

  •  Adapt to the changing marketplace.

New offerings are introduced constantly by your competitors. Senior Living and Care providers must remain nimble on how to respond. Your sales messaging and materials may need to change quickly. A solid sales enablement process and system will give your team the messages, materials and training they need to optimize these changes, and respond timely to the market and to the competition.

  •    Leverage data to identify trends.

Issues and trends can be of national, regional, or local in nature. Having a sales enablement system in place will help you identify opportunities to leverage and get ahead of the competition.

Implementing a Sales Enablement Program, Where to Begin:

Centralize Customer Data via a CRM

Customer data is invaluable to your sales process. Housing this data in a centralized CRM is key to making it easy for marketing and sales to input, update, share and view this information. Also, it can help you to eliminate or streamline data entry and processes.  Where possible, let today’s technology do the work for you by importing, deduplicating and appending data. Customize your CRM to reflect your business’ unique sales process and to be sure it integrates with your other tools.

Develop Customizable Content for Every Buyer 

Content is the foundation of sales enablement. Today’s prospects for Senior Living and Care are savvy and smart. They want content that is timely and specific to their needs and challenges. Your sales team will become a trusted resource and partner if your content ‘speaks’ to these timely needs, and makes prospects feel assured that your solution is the best for them.

By using the most current data and information, your sales team is able to develop or share on-demand the content that they need that to nurture and engage with prospects. Having the technology to support this is an important aspect of sales enablement.

In addition to technology that enables the sales process, your salesperson or team must also have easy access to the content. Thus, you need to regularly refresh the content to keep it timely and relevant, while making it available on demand.

Deliver Market Data Seamlessly

Market data is constantly changing. While Senior Living and Care is a national industry, it is also a regional and local industry. You will better enable sales by delivering pertinent market and competitive data that they can access to manage their time more efficiently.

Connect Sales with the Right Contacts

Having the right contacts is critical to sales. Beyond the data you have in your CRM, you need a plan for generating new leads and contacts for sales. There is no doubt that a sales enablement program and system will help you do this significantly better by improving the processes and tools available to sales. Yet, due to the uber-competitive nature of the Senior Living and Care sector, the value and benefits of sales enablement are further increased.

ROI of Sales Enablement 

Sales Enablement is the iterative process of providing your sales or business development professional or team with the resources needed to nurture and close more sales.  These resources may include content, tools, technology, knowledge, and information to market and sell your product or service effectively and efficiently to your target audience.

Sales enablement provides a positive ROI by helping your team to close more sales and drive top-line revenue.

Is your sales enablement strategy addressing today’s market for senior living and care in congregate settings?

While this offers several general recommendations, there is no one-size-fits-all sales enablement solution for providers of Senior Living and Care in Congregate Settings.  Determining what is best varies by business.

Need some help? Just let us know.

Marketing Matters based in Stamford, CT in Fairfield County serves healthcare organizations and providers including those offering senior living and care in CT, NY, NJ and throughout the US. We help clients across the marketing spectrum including gaining research and insights, strategizing, planning, marketing and communications, and of course, enabling sales to drive growth and success in today’s evolving market.  For questions or to learn more, contact us by phone at 203.329.7773 or online.