Article | February 18, 2021
Your sales cycle encompasses every action you take to close a new customer as a salesperson. But there is a possibility for the sales cycle to be confused with sales methodology. Sales methodology is a framework in which one practices a sales cycle. Whereas the sales cycle is the step-by-step process of you, as a salesperson, to close a deal with a client.
Piper Drive, a sales CRM and pipeline management platform defines a sales cycle as the series of predictable phases required to sell a product or a service, and that sales cycles can vary greatly among organizations, products, and services, and no one sale will be the same.
Especially with the healthcare industry, a thorough understanding of your health tech sales cycle will make your sales operations more efficient. Shortening the sales cycle without an up-front investment for sales is one of the critical healthcare sales and marketing goals. If you shorten your health tech sales cycle, you get more time to make additional leads. This will ultimately result in having an improved bottom line.
A faster and shorter sales cycle can bring you more advantages in the competitive sales world of your industry. It will indeed allow your company to grow its business by improving market share. Have you ever thought, as a salesperson, about the effective ways to shorten the health tech sales cycle? This article mainly focuses on proactive ways to shorten your sales cycle and improve profitability.
Challenges of Long B2B Health Tech Sales Cycle
According to Marketing Sherpa, a market research institute, the length of the sales cycle can vary from industry to industry. Comparatively, the health tech industry has a longer sales cycle. Still, there are many effective ways to shorten it and bring a positive impact on your sales process.
In general, B2B sales take a lot of time to maintain. Thus, the B2B health tech sales cycle takes even months to close a sale with a prospect and faces many challenges in the process. Some of the challenges you may face, as a health tech salesperson, can be the following on the process:
Turning the Lead to a Sales-Ready Prospect
No health tech salesperson will find a lead ready to make the sale without any persuasion from you. In the health tech sales cycle, lead nurturing should be your best bet to convert a prospect.
With longer sales cycles, it won't be easy to nurture a lead all through the process and make a sales-ready prospect. It would be easier to convert leads when they are ready if you keep in touch with the prospects. People often find it difficult to do so in the long health tech sales cycle and end up not converting potential clients into happy customers.
Maintaining Engagement Over Time
The sales team keeps converting leads on their radar. As days and months pass, it is challenging to memorize each prospect you have interacted with. Neglecting them brings nothing to your business.
It can be a juggle to balance new prospects with existing SQLs. Older ones may get lost in the weeds as new leads come in. No one can tell which one is a higher priority. Whom will you pay more attention to and for how long? It can be a severe obstacle in the long B2B health tech sales cycle.
Keeping Your Sales Team Energized
If your sales team is not engaged with the process itself and enjoys it, they will have a more challenging time dealing with leads. It is a fact that, unfortunately, salespeople can become frustrated or bored due to working with difficult and hesitant leads.
As the health tech sales cycle drags on, it is tough to remain emotionally calm. If you have no strategies to energize them promptly, apathy or discouragement may come into play.
Ensuring Marketing and Sales Alignment
Lack of communication between the sales and healthcare marketing teams can pose the most detrimental challenges. It can impact the health tech sales cycle seriously. This loss of alignment between marketing and sales can hurt lead nurturing and lead to further difficulties like the ones listed above.
When the two teams move out of sync, it often requires a lot of effort to get them on the same page again. These teams can work separately with decisions and different goals, but it would not benefit the entire company.
Five Stages of the Typical Sales Cycle
It is better to understand the five stages of the health tech sales cycle to comprehend how the sales cycle comes into play completely.
This is the stage where the sales team attracts leads and listens to them, and learns to offer what they need.
This is the stage for you to get leads to move forward with your offers. You can utilize all the data you have amassed during prospecting.
As a salesperson, this is when you learn about leads and determine whether the prospect intends to buy.
In this stage of the health tech sales cycle, you offer your product or services as an effective solution for your lead's pain points.
It’s a fit! By now, you know if your lead wants your product or service and move forward.
Benefits of Shortening your Sales Cycle
A shorter health tech sales cycle allows you to meet more prospects within the same time frame. For example, if you take one week for each prospect to complete the cycle, you can meet more people than with a two-week average life cycle for a single prospect. As you meet more people, it allows you to make more money. Moreover, most of the prospects prefer to have shorter sales cycles provided that you fulfill their need and solve their problem.
However, even with a short health tech sales cycle, you should have an effective method to track sales information. Along with a short sales cycle, an effective method will increase your team’s efficiency and sales numbers. You will make more profits and improve your sales cycle.
Ways to Shorten your Long Health Tech Sales Cycle
One of the significant challenges faced by healthcare technology salespeople is shortening their health tech sales cycle. Unlike B2C, the B2B process of sales has to deal with many decision-makers and educate them about the value of your products. Typically, it takes a lot of time and effort to convince your prospects that your solution is customized to meet their unique needs.
However, your health tech sales cycle can become agonizingly long as each prospect can have a different perspective about your solution. It can also occur due to the number of people involved in the decision-making in B2B companies. According to the latest Demand Gen Report, the buyer’s journey is getting more complicated and longer. This makes the sales process worse, which is already tedious.
However, the good news is that you can follow these marketing strategies to shorten your health tech sales cycle tactically.
Understand Your Buyer Personas
Keep yourself away from trying to engage the wrong people. This will not bring you any results in the end. Before commencing the sales process, you should have a clear idea of who your targeted audience is. The decision-makers or influencers in the organizations you are targeting are your buyer personas.
After identifying your personas, by answering the following questions, you can outline their qualities:
• What are their goals?
• What are their responsibilities?
• What trigger drives them to buy?
• What problems are they dealing with?
• How do they like to research?
• What inhibits a purchase?
As you answer these questions, you will get a clear idea of the best way to approach them.
Send an Introductory Video
The prospects get to know the salesperson only in the in-person meeting. So before the in-person meeting, you can consider sending them an introduction video. This would add value and explain why you are interested in them with a ‘call-to-action. It creates familiarity by the time you connect with them. This is a very creative step to shorten your health tech sales cycle.
Provide Pre-Sales Appointment Content
Having a sales appointment with a prospect, who does not know anything about your solution, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your health tech sales cycle. This means you may have to have several meetings to convince the client. This problem can be eliminated with a lead nurturing email with informative content. This email can have a link to an informative blog about your product, which was written previously. It will make them peruse your website before the actual sales meeting with you. It saves your time by eliminating many meetings to educate the prospect about your product.
Provide Post-Sales Appointment Content
The prospect is expected to come out with some concerns and objections after the first sales appointment. As a healthcare tech company salesperson, it is your responsibility to eliminate all those obstacles by addressing them strategically. Sending follow-up emails, videos, and case studies helps address those concerns. The content can be used to guide other prospects too. Overcoming these obstacles with effective content can shorten your health tech sales cycle effectively.
Come Clean with Pricing
Pricing of your products can be one of the main concerns for your prospects. Many salespeople address it only at the last stage of the health tech sales cycle. Not revealing the price at the beginning will only lengthen your process. Moreover, it may result in losing trust in you. Be transparent and reveal the price, to save yourself from such issues.
Leverage Social Proof
One of the smartest ways to win the trust of your prospect is to provide social proof. It will also make the deal close sooner. The best social proofs are case studies with the impact of your products or ROI. Remember to make that the company featured in the case study is similar to the particular prospect's company.
In the health tech sales cycle, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the prospect. Your sales cycle should connect with the process of lead nurturing, where you act as an advisor. This will also help you build trust with the prospects and increase your chances of closing the deal before the expected time.
Executing all of these alone would be challenging. At Media7, we help companies market their healthcare technology product with innovative strategies and support by implementing these strategies effectively. Our strategies help attract prospects, convert them and turn them into your happy customers forever. To know more about us, visit https://media7.com/
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the stages in the health tech sales cycle?
B2B health tech sales cycles include seven main stages. They are sales prospecting, making contact, qualifying the lead, nurturing the lead, making an offer, handling objections, and closing the sale. Following these steps help a salesperson to close the sale effectively.
How does the health tech sales cycle help?
The health tech sales cycle helps you identify potential clients and nurture them through the process of sales. It makes you effectively and efficiently guide your clients and gives them the confidence to go forward with more effort.
What are the best practices for the health tech sales cycle?
The best practices for the health tech sales cycle can be attracting more prospects through content marketing, building trust by understanding clients better, focusing on your customers' clients, and knowing the prospect’s organizational chart.
Why is the sales cycle important in health tech?
The sales cycle in the health tech industry helps the sales managers to forecast the accurate picture of your sales. This because they know where your salespersons are in the sales cycle. It also gives a clear picture of how many deals your salespeople close out of a given number of leads.
Article | January 29, 2021
COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of healthcare technology solutions by healthcare providers. This has unexpectedly brought a peak in opportunity for health tech companies to achieve important business, demonstrating your innovations. However, it is very challenging and competitive as bigger health tech companies pivot and new health tech start-ups keep coming into the healthcare market. This also makes the healthcare technology market an increasingly competitive space.
Thus, all health tech companies need to depend more on effective health tech messaging for their business purpose and credibility. This will help them bring their targeted clients on board for the long-term.
Health tech Messaging Challenges Faced by Marketers
Nowadays, the process of marketing products online is a combat sport. With every passing year, it is becoming more challenging for health tech marketers to beat the algorithms, build the audience, and ultimately win the hearts of the customers through effective health tech messaging.
Digital health leaders are coming up with amazing technology innovations that can revolutionize the healthcare industry. Electronic medical records (EMR) software, medical billing software, medical practice management software, electronic claims software, medical database software, medical research software, medical diagnosis software, medical imaging software, telemedicine software, etc. are some of the examples of amazing technology innovations and latest healthcare technologies. But, things fall apart when it comes to marketing through effective health tech messaging. The following are some of the health tech messaging challenges faced by marketers.
• Communicating the purpose and value of your business and the products effectively to
• Making the clients understand the credibility of the technology products and your business
• Product positioning
• Lack of clear healthcare marketing strategy
• Bad marketing advice
• Lack of effective and compelling marketing content
• Failing to understand the client/buyer persona
• Failing to understand the brand pillars,
• Ignorant of effective use of various messaging channels, and much more
Why Does Effective Health Tech Messaging Matter?
From the introduction part, you might have already understood the power of a good health tech messaging strategy. If you do not have a unified marketing strategy, you will end up merely alienating potential customers; they may end up in confusion about the purpose of your health tech brand. Moreover, without an effective health tech messaging strategy, you may become incoherent to your audience. But the real impact of a cohesive and good health tech messaging strategy will surely go beyond everything we have talked about already and empower your business in all aspects.
Different marketing materials, whether they are social media posts, emails, podcasts, videos, or something else, your health tech messaging strategy will guide you in determining what to focus on and what tone to be used. If you are planning a social media campaign or writing blogs and articles, you will know the attention-grabbing ways of speaking to your customers. This is possible only if you have a defined messaging strategy. Customer service teamwork also becomes more effective and easier, when you have a good health tech messaging strategy. Educating the customer is easier when you speak to them in a tone and language that you know they will understand. Doing it consistently makes you win the customer.
How Health Tech Messaging Can Work for Reaching Healthcare Decision Makers
It is not an easy task to engage healthcare decision-makers in hospitals, insurance providers, health systems, and private practices. These high-powered directors, managers, and executives are busier than ever. This makes the process of health tech marketing difficult. Apart from overwhelming job responsibilities, these healthcare professionals are also inundated with ads, emails, and phone calls. So rather than sending them messages randomly, it is important to help your prospects when they are free from their daily disruptions and have time.
Here, an effective health tech messaging strategy can help you reach out to decision makers easily. Health tech messaging strategy lays out various health tech marketing techniques, tricks, or tactics. These health tech messaging techniques or methodologies are helpful in the three stages of your health tech client journey: awareness, consideration, and decision making stages. Through all these stages of health tech massaging, you help or influence health tech decision makers to recognise they have a problem, consider a solution, and finally they take the decision to purchase your product.
4 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging
Performing your brand messaging haphazardly is not going to take you anywhere in reaching out to people, who need your products. Instead, you should slow down yourself a bit and build a compelling health tech messaging strategy. Test it, launch it, and learn from it.
If you are strategic, you are truly going to drive your mission despite the noise that is existing on the internet today. Here are four important factors that will help you make your health tech messaging strategy effective and compelling.
Understanding Your Targeted Audience
You have a better idea of who you are and what you offer. Now you need to know who your audience is, which is equally important in building health tech messaging strategy. Throughout the process of messaging, it is vital to keep your ideal buyer in mind. So, you will only create messages that will resonate with the needs, interests, motivations, and pain points of your potential clients. The things you want to know about your targeted clients are called buyer/client persona.
It is better to create a buyer persona that tells who your customer and what their goals are. Buyer persona also will help you align your brand with your customers. According to HubSpot, a buyer persona can be a semi-fictional representation of your potential customers based on real data and market research and about your current customers.
Knowing who your messages are aimed at is important in developing a successful health tech brand messaging strategy. Before you go any further, buyer persona makes you know:
• Who you are marketing to
• What they care about and value
• The sort of language they use and will respond to
• Geographical location
• Educational and income levels
• Psychographics and behavioral patterns, etc.
Focusing on Your Differentiating Factors from Competitors
To figure out your differentiating factors from the competitors is as important as you understand your place in the market. You will have to assess the differences and similarities between the products and services you offer and your competitors’ offerings. Also, compare the targeted audience of you and your competitors.
Understanding your competition, you face from the market, will get you a clear image of your brand and what health tech message you may have to send out to your targeted audience. Just remember that each of the health tech brands can have only one message; it needs to be unique. Due to the competition, messages can be too similar, but it should not make your customers get confused about your business.
Thus, communicating your uniqueness to your audience is a very important factor. In this regard, conducting some competitor analysis may help you a lot.
Making your Value Propositions Obvious
You can influence how people perceive your brand if you could successfully communicate the values of your business. Values are principles or mission that guide all actions of brands. Storytelling can be effectively used to illustrate the values of your brand. Success stories from Salesforce and Microsoft’s Story Labs are examples. These stories can be on things such as empowering small businesses or improving the world through technology. It creates loyalty when you make your clients feel they are part of something that is going to change the world for the better.
It is very helpful to start your health tech messaging process with your value prop because it is the core of what you do and who you are. Your value prop explains both the emotional and functional benefits your service or products provides. This means the value people get out of your products. Communicating the values of your company is considered strong health tech messaging only when it specifies how your brand is going to solve a problem and why should people choose your product.
Using Multiple Technology Channels for Brand Messaging
In general, digital health tech messaging has to be pinpointed. The spray and pray method will not work to bring in inbound leads. However, if you want to reach out to health tech audience with your health tech messaging, you should be there on all the channels they are on. Here are a few examples of channels, which can be used to reach out to people effectively with your health tech messaging process.
If digital ads are used effectively for health tech messaging, you can reach out to your target audience easily. When digital ads are used correctly, you can pinpoint the audience through audience targeting and keywords. Moreover, through ad channels, you can reach out to people who otherwise would not have ever known about your products. However, if you are not using digital ads effectively, you will lose money without any results.
Most people are active on some sort of social media channels. Many of these people use these channels either for networking or educating themselves in their field.
This is the reason why you should concentrate on social media platforms for effective health tech messaging in a way that encourages interaction and feedback. Along with establishing a strong relationship with your prospects, you can also use social media platforms to build brand awareness through health tech messaging process.
Emails are the fruitful medium for effective health tech messaging. You can build brand awareness through seeding emails regularly. It will work as a bookmark than a selling point. Potential clients will remember the good interaction you had with them through emails when they have a problem in the future.
Along with these channels, other channels such as videos, websites, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc. also can be used for effective health tech messaging. These multiple channels, where most of your potential clients are present, are selling points for your health tech products or helps in lead generation for healthcare technology products.
To sum up, what matters more in health tech messaging and marketing is projecting your values, differentiating factors, knowing A to Z about your targeted audience, and meeting them on the channel, where they are present. Your health tech brand message is something that makes you dwell in the minds of people. Thus, how you are perceived matters a lot. Start building your brand today by sending out effective health tech messages to your potential clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does health tech messaging help?
Heathtech messaging helps you to improve your business by making your potential clients understand what you are and what you do. Brand awareness of your products is done through effective health tech messaging.
What is the best health tech messaging method?
The best health tech messaging method is to project your business values in all the marketing campaigns you do. It should specify what your customers can expect from your products and services and what changes it will make in society.
How does technology help in healthcare?
Technology helps healthcare to avail all patients the best treatment available and make them satisfied and engaged. Also, technology helps healthcare industry to innovate treatments and revolutionize the entire practice in the healthcare sector.
Why is technology important in healthcare?
For achieving optimum patient satisfaction and engagement, technology is important in healthcare. Also, technology plays a role in improving the healthcare system and saving the lives of people.
Article | July 17, 2020
The COVID-19 virus (C19) pandemic is turning out to be the event of the century. Even World War seems timid in comparison. We are in the 4th month of the virus (in non-China countries) and have gone past the lockdown in many places. Isn’t it time we re-think the approach? What if there is another wave of C19 coming soon? What if C19 is the first of many such events in the future?
Before we get into analysis and solution design, summarizing the C19 quirks:
While a large section of the affected population is asymptomatic, for some it can be lethal
There isn’t clarity on all the ways C19 spreads
It’s known to affect the lungs, heart, and kidneys in patients with weak immunity
It has been hard to identify a definitive pattern of the virus. Some observations in managing the C19 situation are:
With no vaccine in sight, the end of this epidemic looks months or years away
Health care personnel in hospitals need additional protection to treat patients
Lockdowns lead to severe economic hardship and its repeated application can be damaging
Quarantining people has an economic cost, especially in the weaker sections of society
If one takes a step back to re-think about this, we are primarily solving 2 problems:
Minimise deaths: Minimise the death of C19 and non-C19 patients in this period
Maximise economic growth: The GDP output/growth should equal or higher than pre-C19 levels
One needs to achieve the 2 goals in an environment of rising number of C19 cases.
An approach that can be applied to achieve this is:
Data driven health care capacity planning
Build a health repository of all the citizens with details like pre-existing diseases, comorbidity, health status, etc. The repository needs to be updated quarterly to account for patient data changes
This health repository data is combined with the C19 profile (disease susceptibility) and/or other seasonal diseases to determine the healthcare capacity (medicines, doctors, etc.) needed
The healthcare capacity deficit/excess needs to be analysed in categories (beds, equipment, medicine, personnel, etc.) and regions (city, state, etc.) and actions taken accordingly
Regular capacity management will ensure patients aren’t deprived of timely treatment. In addition, such planning helps in the equitable distribution of healthcare across regions and optimising health care costs. Healthcare sector is better prepared to scale-up/down their operations
Based on the analysis citizens can be informed about their probability of needing hospitalisation on contracting C19. Citizens with a higher health risk on C19 infection should be personally trained on prevention and tips to manage the disease on occurrence
The diagram below explains the process
Mechanism to increase hospital capacity without cost escalation
Due to the nature of C19, health personnel are prone to infection and their safety is a big issue. There is also a shortage of hospitable beds available. Even non-C19 patients aren’t getting the required treatment because health personnel seek it as a risk. This resulted in, healthcare costs going up and availability reducing.
To mitigate such issues, hospital layouts may need to be altered (as shown in the diagram below). The altered layout improves hospital capacity and availability of health care personnel. It also reduces the need for the arduous C19 protection procedures. Such procedures reduce the patient treatment capacity and puts a toll on hospital management.
Over a period, the number of recovered C19 persons are going to increase significantly. We need to start tapping into their services to reduce the burden on the system. The hospitals need to be divided into 3 zones. The hospital zoning illustration shown below explains how this could be done. In the diagram, patients are shown in green and health care personnel are in light red.
**Assumption: Infected and recovered C19 patients are immune to the disease. This is not clearly established
Better enforcement of social factors
The other reason for high number of infections in countries like India is a glaring disregard in following C19 rules in public places and the laxity in enforcement. Enforcement covers 2 parts, tracking incidents of violation and penalising the behaviour. Government should use modern mechanisms like crowd sourcing to track incidents and ride on the growing public fear to ensure penalty enforcement succeeds. The C19 pandemic has exposed governance limitations in not just following C19 rules, but also in other areas of public safety like road travel, sanitation, dietary habits, etc.
Maximise economic growth
The earlier lockdown has strained the economy. Adequate measures need to be taken to get the economy back on track. Some of the areas that need to be addressed are:
One needs to evaluate the development needs of the country in different categories like growth impetus factors (e.g. building roads, electricity capacity increase), social factors (e.g. waste water treatment plants, health care capacity), and environmental factors (e.g. solar energy generation, EV charging stations). Governments need to accelerate funding in such projects so that that large numbers of unemployed people are hired and trained. Besides giving an immediate boost to the ailing economy such projects have a future payback. The governments should not get bogged down by the huge fiscal deficit such measures can create. Such a mechanism to get money out in the economy is far than better measures like QE (Quantitative Easing) or free money transfer into people’s bank accounts
Certain items like smartphone, internet, masks, etc. have become critical (for work, education, critical government announcements). It’s essential to subsidise or reduce taxes so that these items are affordable and accessible to everyone without a financial impact
The government shouldn’t put too many C19 related controls on service offerings (e.g. shops, schools, restaurants, cabs). Putting many controls increases the cost of the service which neither the seller not buyer is willing or able to pay. Where controls are put, the Govt should bear the costs or reduce taxes or figure out a mechanism so that the cost can be absorbed.
An event like the C19 pandemic is a great opportunity to rationalise development imbalances in the country. Government funding should be channelized more to under-developed regions. This drives growth in regions that need it most. It also prevents excess migration that has resulted in uncontrolled and bad urbanisation that has made C19 management hard (guidelines like social distance are impossible to follow)
Post-C19 lockdown, the business environment (need for sanitizers, masks, home furniture) has changed. To make people employable in new flourishing businesses there could be a need to re-skill people. Such an initiative can be taken up by the public/private sector
The number of C19 infected asymptomatic patients is going to keep increasing. Building an economy around them (existing, recovered C19 patients) may not be a far-fetched idea. E.g. jobs for C19 infected daily wage earners, C19 infected taxi drivers to transport C19 patients, etc.
In the last 100 years, mankind has conquered the destructive aspects of many a disease and natural mishap (hurricanes, floods, etc.). Human lives lost in such events has dramatically dropped over the years and our preparedness has never been this good. Nature seems to have caught up with mankind’s big strides in science and technology. C19 has been hard to reign in with no breakthrough yet. The C19 pandemic is here to stay for the near future. The more we accept this reality and change ourselves to live with it amidst us, the faster we can return to a new normal. A quote from Edward Jenner (inventor of Small Pox) seems apt in the situation – “The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases”.
Article | March 2, 2020
The information and data within any business is a valuable asset. It is now considered a key driver to business growth and success. Data is collected every second of every day, and so it is important for businesses to capture, process, and manage data correctly. The security of data must be a priority within a business. It needs to be protected from unauthorised access to prevent it from being tampered with, destroyed, or disclosed to others.