As home care marketers it can quickly become an obsession to generate as many home care leads as we can to hand over to the sales team. Despite all our efforts, however, when we evaluate how many of the home care leads we have generated against how many of them are actually in communication with the sales team, we often find that the results are not what we expected or desired. Why should we bother to put forth so much effort in generating home care leads when the sales team isn’t going to take it to the next level?
Aren’t these leads just being wasted?
The short answer to this is no. These home care leads are not being wasted. If your marketing plan is sound, leads simply aren’t “wasted”. Before we talk about that, let’s check the background of the home care sales funnel:
The Home Care Sales Funnel: Where We Think Our Home Care Leads are Going to “Waste”
First, let’s make sure everyone is clear on what the home care sales funnel is.
- The first element is the generation of home care leads. The marketing team focuses on both high quality leads and a high volume of leads when generating.
- Once generated, these leads are sent to the sales team, which is often referred to as “rotating”. Your home care marketing team or person may choose to only rotate pre-qualified leads to the sales team or they may rotate all of them, depending on your policies.
- Of these leads the home care sales team will choose to work some by assigning a sales rep. This representative will try to contact the lead through email or by phone.
- If the attempts to connect work, the rep will schedule a specific sales call and progress from there. That is essentially the home care sales funnel.
For some of you running smaller home care agencies, the marketing person and the sales person might be the SAME person…. or two people.
- The owner of the agency may be in charge of networking, internet presence (website) , and any other advertising. He or she might be the “face” of the business.
- The sales person might be the person in the office who is in charge of following up with all leads and referral sources.
Regardless of how BIG your home care sales team is, the same rules apply.
So, knowing this, why would you think that any home care leads are being wasted?
As home care marketers, when we “rotate” our leads to the sales team, we are telling them that we generated the leads and that we want them as the sales team to work them as best they can.
Unfortunately, it is all too often that we notice a disconnect between the home care leads that are rotated and those that are worked. This can be incredibly frustrating for us as we try to figure out why all of the home care leads that we generate aren’t being worked. After all, shouldn’t the sales team be eager for all the new home care leads they can find?
This results in you (the marketer, the owner) thinking that the leads are being wasted.
It is important that you realize that these home care leads are not being wasted! Of course, it is still frustrating when your sales reps aren’t working every lead that you generate, but before we talk about why these leads aren’t being wasted, let’s explore a little about why your sales team is choosing not to work every lead that is rotated to them and what you can do to change it.
The Leads Your Home Care Sales Reps Aren’t Working At All and Why
It is possible that your home care sales team isn’t working the leads that you send them deeply enough or that they are choosing not to work some of the leads at all. First let’s discuss two of the reasons why your sales team may be choosing not to approach some of these leads at all.
Low Quality Home Care Leads
The primary reason why your sales team might be choosing not to work some of your leads is that they are not of good quality.
The reps might be evaluating the information provided by the home care lead and determined that some are simply not a good fit. The team might have set criteria that is evaluated for each lead, and if the lead does not meet the standards in any of the areas it is likely that they will not convert into a sale, and are therefore not worth pursuing at the time.
If the real reason behind your sales reps not working all of the leads that you send them is that these leads are low quality, you should actually see this as a very good thing and feel confident that you have a strong and capable sales team. Making these decisions means that they are putting forth the effort to prioritize the leads and identify the highest quality ones in order to not waste their time trying to connect with and pitch to leads that are unlikely to become customers.
So what can you do if you are directing low quality home care leads to your home care sales reps?
To start, it is important to come up with a clear and concise definition of what qualifies as a good lead.
- Discuss these qualifications with the sales team so that you are all on the same page as to which leads should be pursued and which should not be generated in the first place.
- Use this definition to determine how many of the total leaves you generate are actually good lead and optimize your efforts to gather a higher percentage of these good leads.
- This might mean that you need to change your process in order to target a different audience, focus your efforts on certain marketing channels that you have been neglecting…
- Or focus more on nurturing your home care leads to provide a better education about your home care company prior to rotating them to sales.
Shall we define a HIGH quality Private Pay Home Care Lead?
- Need- family member or senior identifies a need for in-home care.
- The family or the senior have the money to pay for the care privately.
- The potential client is in agreement, and would like to have someone visit them in their home regularly.
- The family or senior calls your office or fills out a form, asks questions, and sets up a time for an in-home assessment.
- The in-home assessment happens, the family signs up for services.
- This is perfection. This doesn’t happen every time.
Let’s define a LOW Quality Private Pay Home Care Lead:
- Family member or friend identifies need for some type of services in the home.
- Family member or senior contact your office and immediately ask if Medicare or Medicaid will cover home care services.
- Family member and or senior need some quick education about how people pay for home care.
- Family member or senior decide they will “call back” when they have a chance to talk to other family members. They are in the meantime recovering from sticker shock.
- There is no in-home assessment scheduled.
There Are Just Too Many Leads?
It may also be the situation that your sales team is not working all leads simply because they do not have the time to handle the volume of leads that you are generating.
If your sales reps already have an abundance of high quality leads, they will not have the time to begin contact with other leads that you have rotated to them. This can be frustrating if you know that there are high quality leads in the sales funnel that are still not being approached.
If an overabundance of leads is what is causing your sales team not to work all of the high quality leads that you have generated for them, this is an indication that you do not have a large enough staff to handle the quantity of leaves that your marketing team is generating. If it can be worked into the budget effectively, consider expanding your resources by taking on a larger sales team. While this is not as common a situation as low quality leads, you could be missing out on the opportunity to increase your rate of revenue generation because you don’t have a large enough team to communicate with all of the interested prospects you have found.
The Home Care Leads Your Sales Team Are Not Working Enough, and Why
If you find that your home care sales reps are contacting most of the leads that you generate but you are still not getting results, it may be that these leads are not being worked enough.
The sales reps may call the leads, but when the prospect of does not answer the phone, the rep will simply leave a message, send a short email and wait for a response. If there is not one, no further contact is made.
If a sales rep doesn’t get In touch with a prospect within a few attempts, they will simply give up and move on.
Unfortunately, the lead that they gave up on may have been a good fit. Unlike the issue of low quality leads, this is simply not a good excuse for your sales team to not be working the lead.
To handle this, create a standard procedure for lead follow-up:
- For example, you may implement a standard for attempting to contact a qualified home care lead at least five times before giving up.
- This means that the assigned sales rep will need to make calls, leave voice messages, and send emails at least five times before that lead is marked off the list.
- By enforcing an operating standard, you are establishing a minimum of effort that you expect each member of your sales team to exert in order to demonstrate that the lead has been worked deeply enough yet did not convert.
- If you find that your sales team is not living up to these expectations, or that the standards are simply not being met, you can implement tracking programs with in your marketing software to keep track of each of the times that a sales rep attempted to contact a lead and then hold your sales team accountable for meeting the established minimum.
Now that you understand why your sales team may not be working all of the leads that you have generated for them and some of the ways that you can handle this, let’s explore why regardless of the reason the sales team is not working the leads, they are not being wasted.
Why Your Home Care Leads Aren’t Being Wasted Even if They Aren’t Worked
Revenue generation is more important than work rate
If the only measure of effectiveness that you are focused on within your sales team is work rates, your priorities are not in order.
It is important to remember that the goal of your home care sales team is the generation of revenue for your company, and that is accomplished by working leads, not the other way around.
This means that you need to focus on how your bottom line should be grown, not necessarily on how to enforce a higher work rate among your sales reps.
Rather than having your efforts placed on increasing the work rate of your sales reps, you should be helping them increase their close rates. Think of it this way, wouldn’t you rather your sales team close a transaction with one good lead than take the time to call a dozen leads who are unlikely to convert? Stop focusing on how many leads your reps are communicating with, and focus rather on their ability to identify the highest quality leads and apply the right work to these leads in order to generate the highest rate of revenue.
Home Care Sales reps like the freedom to choose their prospects
Even if you are putting forth all the effort possible to make sure that you are funneling qualified leads to your sales team, it is still the team’s responsibility to qualify these leads. In other words, the leads that you think are the highest quality may not be the ones that your sales team would see in the same way. It is important that you realize that this is completely acceptable. As long as you continue to generate a high number of leads, you are providing your sales team with plenty of options to choose from. This increases their opportunity to identify the leads that they are most confident will be a benefit to the company and work them accordingly. Being flexible in this area can bring you tremendous benefits.
Nurturing home care leads that aren’t quite ready yet
The home care leads that go into your sales funnel will be at varying stages of the buying cycle. Some may be fully informed about your service and have already made a purchasing decision before they are ever contacted.
More, however, will have been generated by offering educational content such as an e-book or subscription to your blog or newsletter. Leads that are not yet ready to make a purchasing decision are also not ready to be funneled to your sales team. Instead, they should be nurtured further into the buying cycle. In other words, it is completely normal to generate leads that are not yet ready to be funneled to your sales reps. This is not the fault of your sales reps, and you should not hold it against them.
In fact, it is your responsibility as a marketer to ensure that the leads you send to your sales team are fully qualified before handing them over.
Holding on to some leads for the slower times
There are certain months in the year when marketing efforts receive lower results. This means, for example, that if you generate a surplus of leads in January, your sales team can save the ones that they could not get to that month for the slower month of February. Rather than allowing the more difficult environment of the slower months to threaten the progress of your sales reps, you can simply fill in with leads that have already been generated. While it is less than optimal to let a few weeks pass between a prospect expressing interest and contacting them, it is certainly better than not contacting them at all.
The more leads you have, the more people there are to spread the word
There is also an indirect benefit to generating a high number of leads. The more leads you generate, the more people there are to share your content with their friends and family and tell others about your services. This will help to increase the traffic to your site and may even generate more qualified leads.
However you see it, the more home care leads you generate, the more people know about your company and are able to spread the word
So as frustrated as you may be seeing some of these leads you have worked hard to generate not be worked, it is important to remember that your efforts are not truly being wasted. Keep working hard and generating as many home care leads as you can. Not only will this benefit your company, it will only help you to become a better and more effective home care marketer.
Valerie’s motto and favorite saying is: “Impact is not created by big budgets, impact is created by innovative marketing ideas!”
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and the author of three books, Aging Answers (2003), The Senior Solution (2007) and Priceless Caregiving (2009). Her adventure in internet marketing began as a self-promotion experiment and ended up becoming a full time marketing consulting business for the elder care market.
Valerie has appeared on national television (Today Show), has hosted her own local radio show, and has been interviewed for dozens of publications and radio shows across the country regarding her business and the business of elder care.
She fast became the foremost authority in driving sales via the internet, seminars, and e-mail for senior service providers and elder care entrepreneurs.While Valerie’s best known for her expertise in marketing, her students share that her biggest impact comes from her ability to make things happen quickly, even on a small budget.
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