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Hallmark Care Homes began using Sherpa CRM at the end of 2020 to increase occupancy for Santhem Residences, a retirement residence in Essex, before rolling out the CRM to six care home properties and eventually their full portfolio. They have seen a steady rise in occupancy since then.

Hallmark is a family-run provider of 19 care homes in England and South Wales. The organisation has earned more than 100 awards since it was founded over 25 years ago. Their person-centred philosophy encourages them to not only provide the highest quality care possible but also to support active, fulfilling lifestyles such as gardening, cooking and other routines that ‘bring residents joy’.

Sherpa’s mission to support stronger, more individual connections with prospective residents resonated with Hallmark’s leadership and sales teams, and aligned with the organisation’s charter. An excerpt of the charter reads:

‘We value people and our relationship with them as our greatest asset. That relationship is the unique partnership we have with each and every person who participates in and touches our communities. We are inspired by what becomes possible through that partnership.’

Sales as a reflection of company culture

Hallmark’s emphasis on building meaningful relationships with residents and their families starts with the first conversation with a prospective buyer. How can you make the most out of a single phone call or tour to build trust and increase sales velocity? How do you prepare for next steps and make follow-up more impactful and personalised?

The sales leaders at Hallmark knew they needed a simple, intuitive CRM system that also presented the team with complex data analysis on a company level. In addition to the metrics, they wanted a tool that salespeople could adopt to better understand their buyers and make sure they didn’t miss sales opportunities.

‘The system has given a much stronger direction and focus to the sales team,’ said Vicki Pickering, Head of Sales for Hallmark. ‘It has undoubtedly contributed to additional sales that we wouldn’t have seen had we not opted for the change.’

When values align, change happens faster and lasts longer. Take home visits, for example. These activities are when a salesperson meets with a prospective buyer at their own home or a neutral location outside of the property they are looking to buy.

Hallmark’s Hutton View Care Home

To a traditional salesperson, home visits may seem intrusive and time-consuming. When done with the right amount of pre-planning and confidence, however, they can be an effective approach to advancing a sale. They’re one of the sales behaviours we’ve seen increase sales velocity for best performing sales teams. The impact of home visits on sales results was clear to those at Hallmark.

‘We were looking for a point of difference, and we were ready for the change,’ said Vicki. ‘Home visits were a new thing for us. It felt a little uncomfortable to start with, but once the team understood it might not be the right approach for everyone and not to force the issue, the home visit approach came a bit more naturally. They started to feel the benefit.’

Meeting onboarding challenges

In addition to new ways of selling, technology can be daunting to implement across an organisation. This is why Sherpa has a hands-on onboarding process including topic-based webinars and CRM training as well as a dedicated customer success manager to support the company’s success from implementation and beyond.

‘The onboarding process was thorough and an easy set-up from our perspective,’ said Vicki. ‘The team at Sherpa walked us through what to expect every step of the way. Virtual training worked for us initially and was followed up with a face-to-face session when we brought additional homes online.’

Simplifying a sales strategy

‘The team have a good understanding of Sherpa and how it can help achieve their sales targets. It is extremely easy to use and didn’t take anyone very long to pick up.’

Vicki Pickering
Head of Sales,
Hallmark Care Homes

A deeper view into successes and opportunities

Case studies and notes help salespeople excel at relationship selling. The benefits of sales data not only informs individual interactions but also reveal effective selling behaviours on a larger scale. Sherpa’s sales reporting is easily accessible and unmatched in terms of breadth. Where does all the selling time go? For sales leaders using Sherpa CRM, the answers are a few clicks away.

‘Sales management capabilities were a priority for Hallmark,’ said Vicki. ‘We regularly check on conversion rates, trends over months or years, enquiry sources, and sales activity. Business Intelligence reports also give us a good overview across the business. The ability to adjust, edit, schedule, and save reports to tailor what we need is really helpful and something we utilise a lot.’

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