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As the calendar year draws to a rapid end, many of us are eager to have 2020 be in the rearview mirror. This is the time of the year that sales teams start to plan for the upcoming year. 

If you are like most sales executives, you are focused on using the precious few selling days between now and year-end.

Unfortunately, you are also being tasked with creating your 2021 business development plans. Hopefully, this guide will help you create it with a little more ease.

The most important thing to know before anything else gets done is to know what you will be responsible for next year. What is your mandate? What are you responsible for accomplishing? Are your bonuses structured for 2021?  What will make your boss pat you on the back and proclaim you are a rock star? 

First things first, nail down what your VP, CEO, CFO,  or COO (…or whatever the title of the individual you report to) that you understand what they expect from you!

  • What growth goals have been set for the company?
  • What part of the growth goals are you and your team responsible for?
  • What services will be emphasized?
  • What markets will be targeted?
  • What major sales initiatives will be started in 2021?

Ideally, there is a well-structured plan or system in place for setting and hitting the company’s goals. A strong plan provides you with the direction that you need to build action steps to hit 2021 goals. Once you have the goals set, you need to think about the overall framework for planning.

Start building your Strategy!

Strategy: Strategy is all about HOW. It is HOW you are going to achieve those goals that are largely dictated by your leadership. They could include things like:

  • Key Accounts to target
  • Growth percentages
  • Growing Gross Margins by seeking certain client/patient types that have higher reimbursement
  • Improving public image by doing more community events
  • New product/program launch

Structure: Structure follows strategy. Structure describes the pieces related to how your sales resources will be organized, distributed, layered, and compensated.

  • Territory management and expansion
  • Inside sales development
  • Sales Budget
  • New and expansion business (hunters/Farmers)

Sales:  This is where you want your most valuable resources (your clinical team) to benefit from the new business coming in the door. This is the time of year to have your sales reps have a virtual meeting with the caregivers providing services in their market space and discuss details such as:  Which doctors do they want more patients from? What is the best facility for them to work with? 

When you support growth where the clinical teams what to do business it is a win-win for everyone.

You can also suggest that the sales executives take the clinicians out to meet the accounts!  This can be remarkably successful.

  • Training needs for 2021:  consider new product training
  • Resources for 2021 such as promo items, marketing materials
  • Compensation and Quota setting for 2021
  • Reward and Recognition for 2021

People:  Your organization will succeed or fail based on the strength of your people. You need to plan on recruiting and retaining amazing clinical talent. In order to hit growth projections, you need additional clinical team members in order to grow!

  • Recruitment Process Improvement Program
  • Retention Program and Committee
  • Allocation for budgeted funds to include additional recruiting
  • Orientation programs that produce highly qualified staff
  • Ongoing personal development, training, and coaching

Process:  Process is at the heart of getting things done. A good process removes friction! Process is not a bad word. Having a solid process makes getting to your goals easier. (and honestly… who doesn’t want that?)

As you begin to think about next year, start looking around your organization and ask:

  • Are the current processes making things easier or more difficult? 
  • Could we make changes that would save us time? 
  • What needs an upgrade? 
  • Is the current process going to help you achieve your goals or create another problem that needs to be fixed? 

BONUS: Could you onboard 40 new employees a week?  Owners: If you can’t answer that with a resounding yes, then you need to fix your onboarding system.

Time to Build Your Roadmap To Hitting Your Goals

Step One:  Start by listing each category, Strategy, Structure, People, and Process. Under each category list the appropriate measures that apply in your organization.

Step Two: Scan down the list of measures and identify what components are currently out of alignment with your 2021 goals.  You need to allocate more of your time to get them in alignment or you will set yourself up for failure.

Step Three: Now it is time to assess each of the problem areas based on some key metrics.

  • Complexity: Challenges are associated with timing, resources, scarcity, or cultural barrier from within the organization’s leadership. Use a ranking system 1 – 10 (where 1 is an easy fix, and 10 will require specific efforts and buy-in from all levels of the organization)
  • Impact:  This refers to the positive effect this initiative would have on attaining your goals if time and energy were invested. Here you are trying to assess how much benefit you would gain by focusing on this process issue. Again use 1-10 scale where 1 means focusing here would barely move the needle and 10 means it would significantly impact your year.

Step Four:  This is the toughest part of the planning. Since we all know there is never enough time or money to do everything we want, it’s time to prioritize all of your potential initiatives. Start at the top of your list and assign each potential initiative a letter grade of A, B, or C.  An “A” means this initiative is critical to your success and you will unlikely reach your goal if this is not addressed.  “B” means important but not essential, and “C” refers to something that, in all likelihood will have to wait for another year.

Be careful here – the usual tendency is to rate most or every this as an “A”

Unfortunately, for this to work, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. You may need to go back over the list a couple of times, but you should aim for an even distribution of As, Bs, and Cs.

I made you a quick spreadsheet that you can download and make your own.

Download 2021 Business Development Guide Here!

Step Five: Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing how and what, questioning, tenaciously follow through, and ensuring accountability. It includes making assumptions about the business environment, assessing the organization’s capabilities, linking strategy to operations, and the people who are going to implement the strategy. 

During this final step, you’ll be synchronizing those people and their various disciplines and aligning rewards to outcomes. It also includes mechanisms for changing assumptions as the environment changes and upgrading the company’s capabilities to meet the challenges of an ambitious strategy.

In its most fundamental sense, execution is a systematic way of exposing reality and acting on it!

Be successful in 2021! 

Have a plan and execute on it! To make this easier for you we would love for you to consider joining our new Caring Agency Mastermind!  (CAM FAM, for short) Not only do we cover business growth planning, but we include information on all 5 pillars of success.

To learn more, go to www.homecaresales.com/cam.  We have only a few spots remaining to get you started for the 2021 year!

I love my clients. Helping home care agencies, home health, and hospice organizations service more patients is the most rewarding work I have ever done! 

Home Care Sales has done such a great job at helping organizations grow that we create a new problem. Not enough staff.

Not enough staff can be caused by 2 different problems.

  1. Recruiting Process not producing candidates.
  2. Losing current employees

Last week, I wrote my blog about the recruiting process. (<- Click to see the blog)

Today’s blog post is about retention. I just got done working on a brand-new recruiting and retention program for Home Care Sales Mastermind clients, and I spent hours reading and practicing strategies at my own organization.

Fact: Replacing a minimum-wage-earning employee costs the average business about $3500 every time it happens. 

On average, a retail business replaces 59% of its workforce each year. Many home health, private duty, and hospice organizations have a 59% workforce turnover in aides each year. Companies can’t afford this level of employee turnover.

Retention really comes down to 5 key responsibilities of management plus one shot at making a great first impression for a total of 6 responsibilities. When a company handles these 6 responsibilities well, employees stay with the company longer. 

Management needs to provide employees with:

    1. Thorough orientation to the job at the start and continued opportunities to learn.
    2. Consistent communication every day.
    3. Respectful discipline and fair treatment when they make any mistakes.
    4. Sincere recognition when they do something exceptional
    5. An annual performance evaluation that offers a clear path to future professional growth.
    6. And my final recommendation is a First day that makes a great impression.

Today I want to share with you just a few strategies that can help you retain the staff that you just spent tons of money and time onboarding. I am going to just share a few that I absolutely love and that I’ve been able to implement.

1. WOW them on their first day! 

Announce them to the entire company with a Welcome To The Family Poster. We use a chalkboard, and when a new employee enters our agency, they see a welcome message and their name on the chalkboard. We also like to continue to WOW them with lunch on their first day with their manager whenever possible.

We also send to each new employee (at about day 21) a goodie box of snacks. Just when they think we forgot about them we sneak in this surprise, and folks just love it.

We send it to their homes where their family gets to see how much we appreciate them. Employees love to tell their friends and family about their first day, and how great they felt. This is a wonderful (and proven) recruiting tool!

2.  Provide them with a mentor! 

Many agencies I’ve worked with (and even my own) use an amazing preceptorship program. We team up each new employee with a buddy. This buddy is an outstanding employee who has proven themselves and is respected by all. We pay them a small preceptorship bonus, and they are trained on how they will preceptor new employees. 

I will share with you that all the new employees love having someone on the inside. The preceptor reaches out daily for the first week and just offers to answer any questions and be a great resource. 

We love that the preceptor is a peer and can give the new member policy and procedure guidance. We also like the preceptor to take the new employee to lunch the first week. When we interviewed new employees to ask them how to rate our orientation system, we score extremely high in satisfaction. We attribute this incredible success to using the preceptorship program.

3.  Employee Newsletters! 

Newsletters can take a lot of work and they never make everyone happy… but when you ask employees what is important, they love communication. When we do our annual interview with our staff, we ask them what is one thing that we do that you love about working at our company. The answer that receives over 80% or higher scoring, is our employee newsletter.  It is basic. 

Our newsletter includes the following:

    • New Employee’s names, titles, and a few sentences about them.
    • Employee Anniversary’s, Birthdays, and special employee news (births, graduations, and celebrations)
    • Monthly Health Observance information
    • Crossword Puzzle about key terms related to the holiday, Unique Selling Point, or monthly health observance
    • News about new things going on at the agency.
    • Opportunities to join the company!

4.  Annual Agency Report: 

We call our annual report, the State of the Organization. We have an annual meeting, usually a holiday party, that we take about 15 min to deliver the highlights of the company in-person. We also mail this annual report to each employee’s home.  We cover quite a bit in this report. 

Here are just a few of the highlights:

    • Patients Serviced and report on year-over-year growth
    • Insurance contracts accepted
    • Employee Survey results
    • Performance Improvement Project
    • Complaints and Resolutions
    • Annual Goals and progress towards hitting them
    • Survey results
    • New Contracts, technology, learning opportunities
    • Any changes coming for the upcoming year

Employees love being in the know!  When they can share information about the company they feel like an insider!  They feel like they are part of the company and that makes them feel a sense of belonging to the organization.

Final Thoughts…

I hope all of you are doing a great job of retaining your staff. I really do.

Just remember: other organizations will be trying to get your best employees to join their team. You need to act now to keep them!  

Small things, such as a monthly thank you email or a moment of recognition can make your staff hang up on a recruiter trying to win them over. Whenever the unemployment rate is below 6% headhunters are quite active.

Beat them at their game by keeping your staff loyal to you!

 

If you would like to read more about my agency and its culture, you can download my first book: The Five Steps To Sales Success to Grow your Private Duty, Home Health, and Hospice Organization at www.homecaresales.com/book.

If you prefer a printed copy you can find it from the link below.

Buy Book Here!

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

For years, Home Care Sales has been helping organizations around the country to grow their agencies. We love what we do!

We are well-known as the consultants that teach you to sell using medical diagnosis (which has been pivotal in millions of dollars in revenue for our clients).

While our clients have experienced great success, many say that our products help them grow but then a new problem is created… Staffing!

We need more caregivers, nurses, or therapist is what we hear from our clients.

 

Today’s blog is about your recruiting process and a few tips that will help you make sure your recruiting process is working.

First, do you have a process? Does each person tasked with hiring follow the same process? Does the process work? Do you have any KPI’s that you are tracking to prove that your recruitment process is working or to identify when it is broken? Is one manager better at hiring than another business manager?

Here are a few of the recruitment metrics that I would suggest that you measure:

 

  • How long does it take to hire employees?
  • Is your potential candidate the right fit for the job?
  • How much money are you spending on the entire hiring process?
  • How efficient are you in the hiring process?
  • How many candidates are applying for your job postings?
  • Which places are the candidates looking for your job postings?
  • How well does your new employee perform at the job?
  • Does the job description that you provided with the listing accurately represent the actual job details?

Many of the organizations are operating without a formal recruiting process. Below are some of the points that I suggest your organization adopt to improve your recruiting key performance measures.

Just changing a few things will improve your recruitment efforts.Melanie and I are working on a new Caring Agency Mastermind, we call it our CAM FAM, and we have created an incredible recruitment and retention program that we are including to our CAM FAM members.

This mastermind group will have “hot seatproblem-solving calls for owners/executives twice a month. The hot seat calls are designed to help you solve any issues and hold you accountable for hitting your short term and long-term goals.

CAM FAM was created to help you get upgraded quicker, easier, and more enjoyable.

 

We will also have one wonderful in-person gathering every year to connect with other members, learn some new information, and gather with others who speak your language. 

If you want to learn more, about any of our mastermind groups all you have to do is go to www.homecaresales.com/mastermind to fill in an application. We cannot wait to have you join us on this exciting new journey!

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

One of the most frustrating things that I have seen repeatedly from Sales Representatives is that they continue to call on accounts that have never referred. According to Ziglar, that is the definition of insanity! 

Over the last 10 years, I will share with you that I have studied my fair share of data. Sales representatives are taking about 5-8 sales touches before they get their first referral. Today, I wanted to share with you an exercise that I learned to help sales representatives get in touch with their sales messages. 

When sales representatives understand how important the sales message is, they can use it effectively to finally bring in the referrals.

Here is the assignment that I give reps to improve their sales results. 

First: I ask them to list 5 reasons that describe why someone refers a patient to receive care. 

 

The way to do this is to look at the last 5 referrals and go ask the person who referred them for services:  Why did you refer this patient for services? 

Here are the types of comments that I receive back:

  • The patient had multiple hospitalizations
  • The patient had multiple falls
  • The patient has cognitive deficits
  • The Patient is non-compliant
  • The patient cannot get to the doctor’s office
  • The patient has a problem with blood sugar
  • The patient constantly is calling the MD with problems.

The next part of the assignment is to have them create “one marketing message” related to each reason why the patient was referred for their company’s services.

 

  • We can prevent multiple hospitalizations
  • We have a falls prevention program
  • We treat patients with cognitive deficit’s
  • We educate patients on disease management
  • We can help you by doing a telehealth visit search

(Note: Tie into Call-To-Action for your product/services)

Now I have them turn this into a trigger question and a “what is in it for me?” statement to bring in the referrals. 

Quick Example: “Which patient might end up in the hospital this week? I’d love to make sure you don’t have to worry about him or her this week.”

There are many variations of this, but over the years, we have unlocked several that almost always work.

The follow up to this is to build a year of weekly sales messages and provide handouts that support the questions. 

 

This part can be daunting, but you don’t need 52 DIFFERENT topics! You won’t simply talk about heart conditions once a year. You are more likely to talk about it once a quarter, but if you focus on your key diagnosis and reasons for referring, you can build out a strategic plan like the one we provide in the Roadmap of Referrals.

Once you’ve compiled that, We need to talk about gatekeepers (window witches, window wives, dragons at the gate, etc…)

 

You need to figure out how to get through the gatekeepers present at all your account types. We can’t spell out EVERY strategy here, but there is a good chance you can predict the kind of gatekeepers you will meet. Having an effective strategy past these people obstacles will put you on target to build the referring relationship you need. 

Finally, to truly knock it out of the park, you need to roleplay your sales messages.

 

This will let you figure out what you will say when you will meet objections like:

  • We don’t refer
  • You need to have a Lunch and Learn
  • The hospitals handle all our referrals
  • I have a provider that I use for my patients
  • My patients can’t afford your services
  • My patients don’t need your services

Once you have mastered all of this you are finally done.  You have completed your very own 52-week sales plan.

If this is too difficult for you, do not worry, we have done this for you. 

 

Our weekly sales messages can produce up to 5 times the number of referrals you are currently getting from an account. We also provide the handout (PDF) to email, and phone script to use to build the number of referrals you are getting from your current referring accounts.

The real secret sauce happens when once a month the agencies get to join Melanie and I in our virtual coaching room and hear us roleplay:

  • How to use the trigger questions,
  • How to deal with the most common objections that your sales representatives will face
  • How to use trigger questions when asking for specific patient types

Why this works so well is this…. Your sales representatives get to build up their confidence.  And folks, confidence sells.

Want to see what this looks like? 

Go to www.homecaresales.com to learn more or just email Mike@homecaresales.com and you can have your own private demo. This product can help you close the prospecting funnel. This is THE TOOL to stop no value sales calls. 

Don’t just let your sales team wander aimlessly without a Roadmap of Referrals. 

 

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

PS – You can also claim some of Mike’s time directly on his calendar here:

https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales