Are you losing potential patients because of poor process and communication? Determine if a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is right for you.

Here is a typical scenario:
A plastic surgery practice decides to take the initiative and invest in a multi-channel marketing campaign. Creative messaging and eye catching visuals, full integration of its website, Internet marketing, print ads, radio spots, TV commercials and billboards had the phones ringing. Everything was beautifully executed, including the monitoring of performance measures like measured numbers and landing pages.

After analyzing the first quarter the practice was able to measure:

  • Increase in website traffic
  • User search behavior on website
  • Website split testing
  • Number of phone calls to the practice from each campaign channel
  • E-newsletter opening and click-through rates
  • Growth of social media followers
  • Growth of email database

While these were all very important things to know, the doctors asked their marketing and sales team additional questions that they could not easily answer:

  • How many leads do we currently have?
  • How many consultations were scheduled because of the radio placements, and out of those consultations how many were turned into procedures?
  • How many leads opted out of the procedure due to cost?
  • Are the leads being contacted in a timely manner?
  • What is the current cost per lead?
  • How many times have the leads been contacted?

If these are questions you have been asking your team, it might be time to implement a CRM system.

What is CRM?

CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” A CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and sales activities. With CRM, you can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location. You can also track your sales team communication with your leads. Popular CRM Systems include Salesforce, Netsuite, Infusion Soft. At Points Group, we really like Capsule CRM, which is made by Google.

CRM systems can come with a range of functionality and can be customized to meet your specific needs. While this sounds great in theory, it can be a lot to manage. Most organizations become overwhelmed with the amount of options and either overcomplicate the system or decide not to use CRM systems at all.

It is very important to determine what kind of benefits a CRM system could have for your practice and then properly prepare the implementation.

Benefits of a CRM system

As I said before, a CRM system is a powerful tool and there are a number of ways it can be implemented. In the case of working with a healthcare practice, we have had success with the following methods:

  • Coordination of sales and marketing team: Marketing gets the lead into the sales funnel and the sales team converts the lead into a customer. The CRM system lets these two worlds merge and combine their efforts. Consider the following scenario that a CRM system can help measure: A marketing campaign is bringing in leads, but few of them are turning into actually getting a new customers. A CRM system can help determine whether:
    • The leads that are being generated are quality leads. Does the messaging of the marketing campaign need to be adjusted to a different target audience?
    • The leads are quality but the sales team is not following up with the lead in an efficient or timely manner, which in turn is not optimizing the leads that marketing has generated.
  • Ability to track sales interaction with leads: There are many benefits to tracking sales communication:
    • If you have more than one person handling leads it gives you a central location to document the communication.
    • In the event a lead does not make an immediate decision and a follow-up is warranted, you can schedule the follow-up with a reminder in the system.
    • Do you have leads that are ripe for closing but the sales team just has not pursued them? Reports can show if the sales team is following the communication process and contacting the leads properly.
  • Help project sales pipeline: When it comes to sales you should be able to project what the sales pipeline is and what stage your leads are in. Your schedule may say you only have 5 surgeries scheduled, but if you look at your pipeline you may see that 10 people have called to find out additional information, 15 are scheduled for a consultation in the upcoming weeks and 9 people had their consultation and are looking into financing options.
  • Automated reports: Hundreds of reports can be generated if you slice and dice your statistics. While most of these reports could be generated manually if you had the time and resources, the purpose of the CRM system is to quickly and efficiently run reports that can then be used to draw conclusions and help refine your marketing campaigns.

Using a CRM to track referrals

I have mainly discussed using a CRM system to track business to consumer (B2C), or in the case of healthcare, practice to patient. However, a CRM system is a great way to track B2B (Business to Business) relationships. In a healthcare practice, the business can be referring physicians, lawyer referrals, case manager referrals, etc. At Points Group, we understand the importance of referrals for a healthcare practice and the need to develop and nurture these relationships. Below is a sales funnel visualizing the stages in which a B2B lead follows. Being able to track what stage a referral is in will greatly help to determine how they should be communicated with.

Preparing your team for a CRM system

If you have determined that using a CRM system is right for your practice, the implementation process has to be carefully planned out.

  • Introduce the project to the entire staff: It is not enough to just let people know that a new system is being implemented. You must communicate why the practice is using it and how the practice and individuals will benefit from it. Remember, by implementing a CRM system, you are most likely adding extra steps to your team’s work. If they know the importance of the system and “what’s in it for them” they will have a better time adopting the system. Even if there are people that will not use the system, no one should be left out when introducing the changes to the practice.
  • Determine what information you want to get out of it: You should always define what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are and how you would like to measure them. Knowing what you want to get out of the system will help determine what information should go into it.
  • Define the process: Unless a process is formalized and documented, every person on the team will manage leads differently. Make sure you create a standard process on WHAT you communicate to your leads, WHEN it should be communicated, HOW it’s being communicated (phone, email, mailer) and WHO should be the one communicating it.
  • Train your staff: A CRM system is just the technology behind the information it is being fed. If your staff is putting in inaccurate data, the system will report inaccurately. Because a CRM system is so customizable, it is easy for the team to use it in different ways. Be sure to create a manual defining how the system should be used and carefully train everyone who will be using it. Also, put in place a process for someone to assess if the data is being put in accurately and how to hold people accountable.

If your practice is ready to use a CRM system, make sure you consult with a professional who understands your industry. It is very easy to spend a lot of time and money on implementing a system that has the potential of greatly helping your sales and marketing, but fails because of improper implementation and training.

At Points Group, we have a team of healthcare CRM experts. Our CRM managers work with your practice to determine what system is best for you, customization of the system, process reengineering, and staff training.

If you would like to speak with one of our CRM consultants, call 973-998-8008 today.

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