Integrated Senior Lifestyles has more than 20 locations (a combination of IL, AL, MC and extended care) across Texas. Also part of the Integrated family is Town Village, an IL/AL community in Oklahoma City. Their sales teams cover different geographies but also work together under a common goal: support a more active, enriching option for retirement living, one that Rick Simmons envisioned when he founded the company nearly 20 years ago.
Integrated Senior Lifestyles began using Sherpa’s platform for their independent living offerings in 2017. Two years later, the company included assisted living to the platform and saw impressive results.
Sales increased by 58% after fully onboarding to Sherpa in 2019. Just a fluke? Integrated’s sales leaders think otherwise, as move-in numbers remained consistently higher in the months that followed. This “new trajectory” included increases in both sales conversions as well as team member satisfaction.
Integrated Senior Lifestyle’s Andrew Chapin, Vice President of Development, and Allison Vanderford, Corporate Director of Sales, explain how a Prospect-Centered Selling® strategy set new sales benchmarks across their organization.
Defining and motivating sales success with data
When Andrew Chapin, Vice President of Development for Integrated Senior Lifestyles, looked for a new sales CRM, he wanted a tool that could not only record data but also inspire action.
“You can compare leasing counselors and their performance, so if someone is really doing a great job at creative follow-up, you can see the effects of that and you can show the rest of the team,” Andrew says. “When you broke it down by those leading indicators, it painted a very clear picture to the rest of our organization.”
“It changed our trajectory entirely. That 58% increase put us on a different level in terms of sales and raised our expectations entirely of what we can do.”
Managing sales teams and maintaining a culture across regions has its challenges. You need to hire and retain the best talent, onboard the most effective tools. Perhaps most importantly, teams should support a way of selling that inspire and motivates sales counselors and prospective residents alike.
Allison Vanderford believes in this approach. That’s why she and her team at Integrated chose to implement Sherpa’s sales enablement platform across the organization. We asked if she felt making the transition posed a challenge for regional sales staff or if change was met with resistance.
“I think we’ve seen quite the opposite, an increase in satisfaction amongst our employees with them feeling supported and having the tools to be successful,” Allison says. “Consistency across the platform, of expectations, reporting, defining success across the CRM is what was really important for us.”
“It’s really changed our culture from the top down… that was really exciting for me, more focus on empathy and trust.”
Integrated’s Andrew Chapin and Allison Vanderford describe to Sherpa Chief Customer Officer Matt Jesperson how Sherpa increased their sales teams’ satisfaction and performance.
Establishing a proactive mindset
Integrated Senior Lifestyles understands the value of having an Executive Director involved in the sales process, and Sherpa provides the the context as to why.
“When you tell an ED, ‘If you spend five minutes with that prospect, there’s a 30-and-change percent increase that they will become a resident,’ that changes the formula,” Andrew says. “Because then, that five minutes is worth the time invested in each of those prospects.”
Home visits. Personalized, creative follow-ups. Proactive planning sessions. Instead of investing in the “smile and dial” approach and hoping for the best, these sales activities had a measurable impact in driving higher occupancies for Integrated Senior Lifestyles.
Sherpa equipped the sales team with a common language and helped align goals. It was a process that challenges many of the traditional views on selling, but the results speak for themselves. Allison Vanderford recalls one sales team member who was struggling with creative follow-up, so they focused on that key area. As this metric ticked up, so did others like planning. It was clear to see in Sherpa CRM that these efforts directly improved results for himself and the team.
“For him to see that time and that investment was worth it, it was beautiful,” Allison says, “It was that aha moment for him, ‘I’m not just preaching it because it sounds cool. You do it and you get success.'”
Integrated Senior Lifestyle’s Allison Vanderford, Corporate Director of Sales, describes how Sherpa impacted the way her teams train and hire talent.
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