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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”

We have several clients (pretty much everyone at this point) who don’t know day-to-day what their care availability looks like due to COVID policies.

A team member wakes up and has any signs or symptoms of COVID – fever, cough, etc. They are “on the bench,” leaving the schedulers to scramble to find care coverage.

This is a nightmare for our ops teams.

This is a CRAZY zone for our marketers.

Each day they wake up, and they have pray they have availability to market.

Yesterday we had this discussion on our Monthly Mastermind call.

And the discussion was fascinating – from some members who reported “we have an influx of applicants” to “we are struggling to find caregivers because we are growing so fast!”

Each member had a turn to share their experiences, and as always, the community was so supportive and shared really great ideas with each other. Cheryl and I were SUPER impressed with their creativity and out of the box, thinking that was delivering results!

(Want to be part of the Mastermind Insiders Advantage – click here)

We have an acronym:

ABC

Always Be reCruiting

One of our Mastermind members Austin reports he tells all of his leadership team – Always Be Recruiting and Hiring and then make it “Sales” problem!

He means – get to a point where they have so much staff they “don’t have enough to do” and then its “sales” problem to go get more business!  LOVE that Austin!

We have heard staffing challenges from other agencies outside the Mastermind.  Maybe you are experiencing it too.

In one of the agencies, the owner shared they had to turn down 26 referrals last month – it makes me want to cry.

It made the owner of that agency actually cry.

All the time and effort you put into marketing and staffing is an issue.

Staffing has always been an issue. Most of the time, once you get the marketing plan dialed in – and marketers following the High-Performance Sales Process, you will have this problem.

You will NOT HAVE ENOUGH STAFF. So in someway you were meant for this time. We have been here before. But before we could go into the community and recruit staff.

Today not so much.

Most of your Marketers are behind desks, so what do they do, and how can they help?

  1. Mention you have openings when you are doing your Remote marketing weekly sales message – in case anyone knows of someone who would like extra hours or visits
  2. Hold a virtual job fair
  3. Use their social media reach to share the message of recruiting

While you are recruiting, here is how we tell our teams to manage the gap.

  1. Every morning call the office to understand availability and openings for home assessments or SOC.
  2. Market to those areas in which have availability
  3. Your top referral sources – give them a heads up if availability is low in their area. (Several agencies we work with update daily to Care Access or Care Navigation at the hospital on the number of opens they have for the week to be a good partner saving the Case Managers time)

 

This is a VERY dynamic time in the world of HC, HH, and Hospice.

You are UNSTOPPABLE!

Use these tactics in your agency to Bridge the Gap and Serve More Seniors!

Melanie

PS – We just did a webinar today with MyCNAJobs.com and they have great staffing resources – go check them out – www.MyCNAJobs.com