You may have a product that will revolutionize healthcare, but how do you sell it to health systems and executives that are bombarded with the “next big thing?”
First and foremost, you must find out where your product has the most value and build your go-to-market around this niche. All health systems are not created equal, so figure out which sub-segments of healthcare need your product the most and and which organizations have characteristics that make them ripe for the deployment of your product.
Once you’ve done the work to build your go-to-market strategy, there are great tools out there that can help in managing your sales funnel efficiently over the course of a long 6 to 18 month sales cycle.
Here are 5 tips for managing your enterprise sales cycle:
1) Know your prospect’s fiscal calendar.
As you work with organizations it’s smart to take their fiscal calendars into consideration. In healthcare, everything breaks down by budgets. Knowing and being ahead of each organization is important to effective prioritization. If you are ahead of the budgeting process, you can make sure your product is accounted for.
What we use: GuideStar is an online database for nonprofit organizations, which most healthcare systems are. You can use GuideStar to understand health system’s fiscal year end.
2) Leverage your team’s network.
The boards of big health systems are full of connected people — if you look at the big hospitals of any given city, they have many of the most important business leaders and well-connected people on the board of trustees. For us, it is extremely useful to know the paths we have into these organizations through existing connections (ie., investors, advisors, colleagues and friends). With an abundance of technologies being sold into health systems, knowing someone on the inside is crucial in cutting through the noise to get heard.
What We Use: Relationship Science is a networking tool that shows your connections to board members and executives. Once you’ve loaded in a list of people you’re close with, you can look at organizations you want to connect to and see if a connection exists. By getting introduced to executives, Relationship Science helps you stand out in a market that’s flooded with products.
Similar tools: LinkedIn Sales Navigator
3) Refine your messaging to gain access without connections.
When you don’t have an “in” via your network, outbound email marketing, with strong messaging, can be a highly successful strategy. The most common mistake in cold emailing is talking about a product rather than a solution: executives don’t care about your product, they care about their own challenges and opportunities. They only care about your product if it’s an obvious and relevant asset.
Once you’ve tested messaging and finding contact details for the executives you want to target is necessary in ramping up your outreach. Upwork can help you outsource this task.
What we use: Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk) is a great way to find contacts. Once you’ve determined which organizations you want to target and their key points of contact, Upwork can efficiently find their email addresses. The professionals at Upwork bring their own tools, and they’re experts at programs like Data.com and Bloom Info. Upwork is very affordable, and the accuracy of the data it gives you is good.
4) Leverage content to reinforce and modify your pitch remotely.
Given the evolving healthcare landscape and an over-sold c-suite, you need to be pitching your prospects continuously and intelligently on your product’s value. This is tricky when you might only spend 3-6 hours with a particular executive in the course of year long sales process. A great way to change people’s opinions and shape their needs is through content.
What we use: ClearSlide is an app that hosts shareable presentations, case studies, videos, etc. online. They provide control over your materials and intel on who looks at your pitch, how long they spend on each page, and how many times they view it. As the content is forwarded throughout the organization, you can capture the contact details of who receives it, which is helps in the continued navigation of complex systems.
You can also update the content you’ve previously sent out through Clearslide, as your messaging evolves over a 6+ month process. This ensures your assets are fresh and up-to-date.
5) Measure client engagement and timing.
Given the long cycles In enterprise healthcare sales, you need as much data about engagement of your prospects as possible. Real-time data on who is reading and clicking through your emails helps to clarify the impact of content and drip marketing. Engagement information allows you to reach out to those who show interest as though it we coincidence (when in reality you are making a calculated move).
What we use: ToutApp shows you who’s reading your emails, who’s clicking your links, and who’s opening your attachments. It also allows you to schedule your emails, which is critical when your targets include surgeons who are unreachable from 9-5 or executives who are in meetings all day.
This is a guest post by the Head of Sales & Business Development of FORCE Therapeutics, William Porter. FORCE accelerates patient recovery from Musculoskeletal Diseases, which impact 50% of adults every year. Leading IDNs, Orthopaedic hospitals and surgeons use the FORCE platform to improve the value of their care through supported patient self-care, standardized provider practices, and streamlined communication.
William Porter is the Head of Sales & Business Development of FORCE Therapeutics.