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How to Align Senior Living Sales and Marketing Strategies

Align your sales and marketing activities into one powerful strategy that leads to improved efficiency and better occupancy. We’ll show you how.

Karen McDonald, 20th November 2023

Senior living communities have a challenging task ahead of them: They must continue serving a discerning target audience with complex demands — all while navigating rising costs and fierce competition.

But senior living operators can communicate with potential residents and their families in a more efficient and customer-centric way by making one major change: aligning their senior living sales and marketing strategies.   

True alignment between senior living sales and marketing strategies could result in as much as a 32% increase in year on year revenue growth, according to SiriusDecisions Research, a global B2B research and advisory firm. Other typical results include a better customer experience, more top-line growth, and higher sales productivity.

In this blog, we’ll look at:

  • Why your senior living sales and marketing strategies work better when they’re aligned.
  • What sales and marketing strategies for senior living audiences have in common.
  • How to seamlessly align senior living sales and marketing strategies.
  • How to choose effective KPIs for sales and marketing in senior living communities.

Why Senior Living Sales and Marketing Strategies Work Better When Aligned

Many times, marketing and sales strategies are executed in silos for a few good reasons.

Traditionally, each function operates on different timelines. Marketing takes a longer-term view, focusing on building brand awareness and nurturing leads over time. Sales, on the other hand, typically works on shorter sales cycles and immediate revenue generation. The difference in timelines can lead to a lack of alignment. 

Each strategy usually focuses on separate goals. Marketing strategies are focused on generating leads, creating brand awareness, and nurturing prospects while sales strategies are dedicated to converting leads into paying customers.

But the historical separation between sales and marketing can often negatively impact your ability to attract, engage, and retain residents. Messaging between marketing materials and sales calls clash. Efforts are duplicated or wasted. Hard-won leads go ignored and unconverted. It can be the cause of countless other missed opportunities, confusing messaging, and frustrated customers. 

However, when sales and marketing are aligned, you supercharge your efforts to ultimately reach your goals. You can attract more potential residents and gain a deeper understanding of their needs.

Related: Learn more about how to create an effective marketing strategy for senior living.

How to Seamlessly Align Senior Living Sales and Marketing Strategies

A senior living sales and marketing alignment strategy should account for the industry-specific challenges mentioned. It must emphasize building relationships, educating and informing potential residents and families, and prioritizing the potential resident’s needs.

To align your  sales and marketing strategies, start with:

  • Setting goals: Setting concrete goals helps bring your senior living sales and marketing strategies together.
  • Defining an opportunity: Breaking down components, like customer personas or clarifying the definition of a “hot lead,” helps you identify which leads to follow up with first.
  • Outlining the process: The senior living buying process is complex. Many potential leads need to be nurtured slowly over a long period of time. You need to enact your outreach at different times throughout the buying process. Outlining specific action steps helps you capture unexpected opportunities.
  • Employ the right tools to keep you on track: Strategies can look solid on paper, but the reality may not meet your expectations. Sales and marketing tools automate the process and keep everyone one the same page following one process. 

How to Choose Effective Metrics for Success

Your goals could include increasing the number of incoming leads each month, improving lead conversion rates, enhancing customer satisfaction, or boosting resident retention. 

These KPIs could look like:

  • Frequency of time between touchpoints: For every day that passes after your last interaction, the probability of the lead moving into your community drops off dramatically. When a prospective resident reaches out to you, jump at the opportunity to make a follow-up call or invite them on a tour. You should establish follow-up rules and timelines, identify leads for direct follow up, and nurture them through automated marketing campaigns. This is when a CRM that prioritizes leads and guides teams through scheduled follow-up tasks is critical.
  • Forecasting: Stabilizing occupancy rates in senior living communities follows a certain one-step-at-a-time logic. First, look at overall turnover and determine how many tours and inquiries are needed to result in the required number of move-ins each month. Let’s say five residents move out of your building each month. That means you need five move-ins to replace them. If you know that a third of your tours result in move-ins, you need 15 tours. The numbers will vary building by building, but the sales strategy will likely be just as interlinked — inquiries affects tours, tours affect move-ins. Marketing dollars are precious, so shift them away from inquiry pipelines ahead of pace to pipelines behind pace. Develop micro strategies that back up your larger quarterly goals and be prepared to allocate different resources to each strategy, depending on performance. That way, your data can help you act on — rather than react to — the trends you see in real-time. 

Keep measuring the same metrics through a single business quarter and re-evaluate once core insights come to light. Remember, constantly changing your strategy can be just as damaging as never changing it at all. 

How to Set Up Senior Living Sales and Marketing Processes

Now that you’ve established what you want your sales and marketing to achieve, let’s talk about how you can weave each strand together into one cohesive strategy.

Establishing the right senior living sales and marketing process helps you identify overlapping responsibilities, achieve a consistent external message, and find blindspots.

So how do you set up ideal processes for your sales and marketing senior living team? 

  1. Market research and customer profiling: Understand the needs and preferences of seniors and their families. Develop detailed profiles, considering factors like age, health status, lifestyle preferences, and financial capacity.
  2. Refine your message: Produce blog posts, social media updates, and videos that answer your target audience’s questions or address their pain points. This could be about health care, lifestyle, financial planning, and senior living options.
  3. Lead generation: Use online directories, senior-focused websites, email campaigns, referral services, and community events to inform and attract potential leads.
  4. Nurturing leads: Develop a process for following up on leads with specific action steps. Keep the lines of communication open and active.
  5. Sales outreach: Schedule in-person tours and consultations. Address their concerns and provide detailed information about your community’s offerings and amenities.
  6. Read the numbers: Analyze conversion rates and occupancy rates. Monitor customer satisfaction and staff performance. Continuously refine and improve your marketing and sales strategies based on data-driven insights.

Establishing processes helps you connect the different strengths of your sales and marketing efforts so that your potential resident has the best guide available along their journey.

How to Choose the Right Senior Living Sales and Marketing Tools

Aiming to optimize and align your senior living sales and marketing teams is no small feat. Your entire organization needs to be in constant communication and ready to respond and communicate with prospects without lag time— and that’s not something you want to attempt using spreadsheets or disconnected point systems. Investing in a dedicated senior living tool puts your sales and marketing teams on the same page throughout the buying process — helping you build and maintain a high-performing sales and marketing culture.

Learn More

Ready to build a better performing sales and marketing team? Learn more about Aline’s sales and marketing solutions can help you surpass your goals and find success.

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