The Avamere Family of Communities is based in Oregon and includes 33 community-based care communities. The company’s mission is to provide exceptional service while also honoring and celebrating the diversity of its residents and staff.
As a larger provider with multiple locations, Avamere faced a challenge in aligning an effective sales culture throughout its communities. That’s why the company leveraged Sherpa’s training, not only in using the CRM, but also to give regional leadership the opportunity to rally around a common, Prospect-Centered Selling® strategy that increases performance and drives results.
Another challenge, one faced by the industry as a whole, was in sustaining occupancy and sales during the pandemic. Avamere onboarded Sherpa in January 2020, and during the start of the pandemic, Sherpa’s Customer Success team recommended more executive director involvement in training, and ultimately, the sales process. This new direction created a big shift in the sales culture at Avamere, one that boosted sales numbers and set the groundwork for future success.
Thomas Cloutier, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Communications for Avamere Family of Companies, describes how Sherpa’s methodology, analytics and training helped generate results during the pandemic and improve the way its communities approached sales.
All hands on sales
Having used Sherpa in a previous company, Avamere Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Communications Thomas Cloutier knew that the CRM and Prospect-Centered Selling (PCS) could make a huge impact. With Avamere, his team onboarded Sherpa CRM at the start of 2020. A couple months later, they faced a sales landscape impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and looked at training as a way to support each and every one of the company’s communities.
“We invested in additional training and one-on-one time to not only ensure they understand Sherpa but understand how to keep moving with it and keep progressing prospects and set up your next step with them,” says Cloutier. “All the different trainings have served a different purpose for us, but the one that was crucial was definitely one-on-ones with our executive directors.”
Executive director (ED) involvement is one of the factors that has been correlated with better sales outcomes according to our Best Sales Performers Report. Avamere also supported initiatives that increased the time spent on creative follow-up as well as planning, which was not a formalized process within their organization before using Sherpa. The investment that moved the needle most, however, was training their regional leadership in Prospect-Centered Selling through Sherpa’s PCS Leadership Virtual Classroom.
“The team members that plan more and spend time with their EDs and put in the time and energy into planning, they have a direction when they meet with prospects,” Cloutier says. “We’ve also seen those communities not only close at a better rate but have sustained move-ins for a significant period time.”
“Those communities that have been super active in Sherpa and have really adapted well to it have shown sustained success throughout the pandemic.”
Cloutier notes that he can’t be in all of Avamere’s 33 locations at the same time. And so the opportunity to bring regional leadership together through training has been instrumental in aligning strategy and promoting best practices throughout their organization. Training with Sherpa is not a one-size-fits all offering. Avamere and other organizations have been able to use Sherpa’s analytics identify and deliver additional training, coaching and support where it’s needed.
“That’s one thing I love about Sherpa,” Cloutier says, “which is just extensive analytics of where are your leads coming from, what is your closing percentage, what is your Time in the Selling Zone, Time in the Outreach Zone. Just a good way to track, so we have a basis of metrics to work off of and continue to improve.”