Can senior sales professionals really improve conversions by spending more time with fewer prospects? That’s the question Susan Saldibar, a senior marketing professional with 20 years of experience, examines in a new Senior Housing Forum column titled “The Top Conversion Rate Is Coming From Here.”

In her post, Saldibar shares results from two studies that disrupt what she describes as “the old model” of senior living sales. “What they are saying is that spending more time with fewer prospects garners more conversions,” Saldibar writes. “For the sales veterans out there (and I’m one), that’s a startling equation.”

Two Studies, One Conclusion

The first study she cites—a 2016 data analysis from the ProMatura Group—quantifies a truth that most sales professionals feel in their gut: Face-to-face meetings have more impact on conversion rates than phone, email and mail outreach combined. “Face-to-face interactions are bound to be more effective in moving a prospective resident towards a move-in than less personal methods of marketing,” Saldibar says.

See also: Why We Want to Share Our Sales Data

ProMatura’s findings are even more meaningful when complemented with this 2015 study cited in Harvard Business Review, Saldibar says. VoloMetrix studied quota attainment data for thousands of employees from a large B2B software company and found that more prospects don’t always lead to more results.

“It’s clear that time with customers matters. However, through further analysis we’ve found that degree of focus can matter as much or more than total time,” says Ryan Fuller, co-founder and CEO of VoloMetrix, in HBR. As an example, Fuller points to a large B2B tech company where top performers spent more time with customers each week than their peers but interacted with 40 percent fewer accounts each quarter, giving them more time with each account compared to lower performers.

“In other words, depth trumps breadth when it comes to accounts — top sellers focused on building deeper relationships with fewer customers rather than casting a wider net of shallower engagement,” Fuller says.

Read together, the ProMatura Group analysis and the HBR study prove that the housing industry’s reliance on activity-based sales management is not as effective in driving improved conversion rates as previously thought. In her column, Saldibar quotes Katie Davis, Sherpa’s chief strategy officer, on how this translates down to sales teams’ daily workflows: “The imperative then for progressive operators is to encourage sales professionals to closely guard and manage their time . . . to become excellent self-managers. The data is clear,  how we spend our time dictates our results.”

More from Sherpa

Want to hear more about how Sherpa measures sales team behavior to increase conversion rates? Co-Founder and CEO David Smith will share his perspective during the American Seniors Housing Association 2017 Mid-Year Meeting. If you’re attending, find him at the Industry Marketing, Advertising & Communications Panel on Friday, June 16.

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