In terms of inquiries, generating and tracking are two sides of the same coin. We can likely all agree that generating inquiries is a top priority for senior living communities. But the flip side of tracking is often underutilized or less of a priority. To effectively make use of the benefits related to generating inquiries, communities need to track all inquiries (new leads and re-inquires), even the unpromising ones.
The importance of tracking inquiries can be misunderstood. And keeping a consistent record of inquiries is often difficult for many on-site sales and marketing teams.
As generating inquiries are important to converting leads, on-site sales teams need to place more emphasis on tracking their inquiries to see all of the benefits. Here we’ll dive into why your community needs to track inquiries and how they’re important to your overall sales and marketing strategy.
What Is An Inquiry?
An inquiry comes from a person who expresses interest in your community and takes an action to learn more. Examples include:
- submitting an online contact form on your website
- downloading gated content like floor plans or a brochure
- calling the community and leaving their information with a sales or marketing team member
The key here is the exchange of information. The community receives contact information to follow up in exchange for information about the community. This can be in the form of access to floor plans, downloading a brochure, and more. During this first touchpoint with your community, the inquiring individual is taking the first step in the buyer’s journey to find a solution to a personal problem or situation. Your community may have the answer.
Now, it’s important to distinguish that an inquiry is not a lead—yet. An inquiry becomes a lead once it’s been determined that they are a potential fit for your community. This is determined mainly through age and income qualifications. Your team’s job is then to determine if they’re a viable, quality lead. If so, you’ll guide the person through the sales process, ideally ending with a conversion.
For Independent Living, The Sales Journey Can Take Up to 2 years.
The senior living buying journey is more complicated than your average purchase, or even other larger purchases or decisions. Choosing a senior living community to call home comes with many emotions—both from the seniors themselves and likely family members. They’re potentially moving out of a family home, choosing a new place to make friends, and deciding on a new way of life. It also brings several big decisions about future health care services. Often, this means questions about assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation services and other health services offerings.
The buyer’s journey is often long and occurs sporadically over a period of years. Therefore, someone may re-inquire about your community weeks or months after their initial inquiry, becoming a re-inquiry.
While the goal is to generate these inquiries and re-inquiries, it is only so valuable on its own. Without prioritizing the tracking of this information, you’re not getting the full benefits of your efforts.
Tracking Re-Inquiries Can Determine Where An Inquiry Is In The Sales Cycle.
Once your inquiry has followed up or reached out to your community, it’s clear that your community has something they’re looking for and would benefit from further information. By keeping a diligent record of inquiries & re-inquiries, you have an idea of how interested the buyer is in your community. This also shows how quickly they’ll be ready to make a decision. Even better, it provides the sales team with information for follow up to hopefully convert into an appointment or tour.
Tracking Can Expose Trends & Provide Insight Into How To Spend Your Marketing Budget.
Tracking all of your inquiries allows you to analyze all of the data for where and/or how your inquiries are discovering your community. This provides you with significant insight into areas of interest about your community and possible trends. For example, let’s say you receive a high number of inquiries asking about a specific floor plan on your website. This shows this is an area of interest for your target audience and could be important to highlight with your other tactics.
Understanding the trends in inquiries brings benefits as well. Trends can show the return of investment for different tactics and can reinforce where to allocate your marketing spend. If you notice a high percentage of inquiries coming from paid advertising, like Google Ads, this can validate an increase in spend or reallocation from a tactic that isn’t working. This can help determine planning and budgeting.
Understanding The Quality Of Your Marketing.
Similar to revealing trends, tracking your inquiries also demonstrates the quality of your marketing tactics. For example, you may be attracting a fair amount of people who aren’t a good match for your community. This provides you valuable information as to how you’re representing your community. Perhaps you’re miscommunicating your services or marketing to the wrong audience. Reviewing tracked inquiries for both positives and negatives—or qualified and unqualified inquiries— allows you to fully see the big picture of your marketing strategy.
Need A Few Ways To Track Your Inquiries?
As you’ve read above, tracking all the inquiries coming into your community is extremely important for your marketing team. But even so, it can be difficult to track inquiries without a plan.
A great place to start is with establishing a clear, consistent plan. This plan demonstrates how a phone or email inquiry should be managed and what information should be gathered. A questionnaire with specific information can help each sales team member know how to handle each interaction as well as what information to ask.
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is a useful tool in tracking inquiries. A CRM provides your on-site team with a tool to maintain the database of inquiries, leads, and prospects. This eliminates losing inquiry information stored with personal computers, notebooks, or maybe even sticky notes. This gives your team a way to share, manage, and update all of your consumer information in a useful and efficient way.
Your sales team likely receives dozens of calls each day. Call tracking is another helpful way to know how your inquiries discovered your community or which tactic was the catalyst for reaching out. This is a process of assigning specific phone numbers to your different marketing tactics, enabling you to track where an inquiry saw your community, whether a print ad, paid advertising, or the website, and review which tactic is generating the most inquiries and return on investment.
No matter your team’s system for tracking, we hope you either start or continue to track your inquiries and see the many benefits of analyzing and tracking this information. Discover more ways that inquiries can be useful in meeting your sales and occupancy goals with the help of Angell Marketing. Contact us today!