A Tough Transition Made Easier

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Assisted living is a growth industry, but people looking to place loved ones are often faced with information overload.

“It’s a daunting process—emotionally and financially,” says Howard Brown, founder and chief executive officer of Senior Transitions (ST). The 5-year-old company helps consumers find appropriate assisted-living facilities (ALFs) and then passes those leads on to the potential homes.

The process of matching consumers with ALFs wasn’t always easy, and Brown was using Act! for the manual task of managing the contacts. In 2005, Brown signed on with Salesforce.com in order to automate the sales-to-lead cycle. Realizing ST’s industry-specific requirements went beyond the norm, Brown enlisted consultancy Appirio for help. After a year of implementation, Brown says ST saw a 101 percent increase in productivity in terms of leads and sales opportunities.

ST recently upped the automation ante even further, implementing a partner relationship management (PRM) application that allows access to the lead database of its facility partners. Part of ST’s revenue stream involves the first-month’s rent of any tenant who signs on to an ALF after using ST’s placement assistance. That makes it essential for ST to keep an eye on what’s happening with any leads it sends, something the PRM software makes possible. “The better [the] leads, the quicker they follow up, the better [the] revenue,” Brown says. The PRM software also helps ST in its role as a consultancy for some of its partners—a critical source of revenue as economic constraints have led to a drop-off in its main line of business.

ST is also looking at Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform for innovation. The current application has evolved to include analytics, a Google Maps mashup, and payment options, but as ST has scaled—new advisors, new partners, new clients—it may need another assist.

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