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 | March 3, 2021
Is your health technology company publishing content online? Not sure how to make your health tech content marketing effective?
Each step taken in the process of content marketing matters. Skipping essential steps may negatively affect the whole process. The following steps are critical in your content strategy:
• Defining your ideal buyer
• Gathering insights about how they make decisions
• Documenting how your content will address their needs
Lately, health tech companies are facing too much competition. Thus it would be wise to equip yourself with a good marketing strategy, including a clear content marketing plan. This blog focuses on making your health content marketing more effective, overcoming challenges, and eliminating the chances of failure.
Content Marketing challenges for Health Tech Marketers
Heath tech brands face multiple obstacles with health tech content marketing. They must deal with many challenges such as content proliferation, uncoordinated and inconsistent content creation, and difficulty in reaching out to customers and prospects with relevant and timely content.
A lot of hard work and time is required to create great content. Let us have a closer look at the challenges faced by health tech marketers related to content marketing.
Determining Content Marketing ROI
Many of the health tech content marketers are struggling to show ROI from their content marketing efforts. They cannot claim a specific conversions rate from a channel or a piece of content. Often digital conversion paths of the health tech industry cannot be analyzed or tacked.
Some other biggest challenges of health tech content marketing are tying content to conversions, defining appropriate and relevant metrics for measuring and evaluating the impact of the content marketing efforts on its bottom line.
Figuring Out How to Feed the Content Beast
Including health tech brands, many brands spend too much time thinking and worrying about creating compelling content. Or they worry about making content thattheir boss, salespeople, or other stakeholders need. The goal should be creating content consistently that is necessary for the client's journey. Your health tech content marketing should focus on your target audience searching online for your product and business.
Proving Credibility and Authority
Many health tech marketers struggle with defining a credible and authoritative voice for their brands. They fail in the process of cutting through the noise and grabbing the attention of their target audience for this very reason.
A health tech content marketing strategy should maintain the brand’s identity, improve its authority, and boost ROI. Here, thought leadership has a role to play. Use your people, their expertise, and their passion effectively to share what they know about your product with your target audience. Trust and credibility will follow.
Maintaining Volume, Quality, Speed
Another significant challenge of health tech content marketing is developing compelling, engaging content fast without compromising on volume and quantity. For many marketers, a big pain point is trying to stay agile and nimble within a large corporate structure.
The marketing landscape is ever-changing. It means health tech marketers have to dedicate themselves to learning throughout their life.. They also have to reinvent through innovation to avoid extinction. Primarily, health tech content marketing needs constant innovation and learning. Everyone is trying to navigate the learning curve. It is very challenging for marketers to train teams and update them with the latest marketing practices.
Another challenge faced by most marketers in their health tech content marketing efforts is identifying influencers to amplify content. Creating great content is just the first step. Having an effective promotion strategy to reach your prospects with your content helps.
Reasons for Health Tech Content Marketing Failure
A study by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) on health tech content marketing shows a vast gap between results and goals. Is there discontent in health tech content marketing? Eighty-five percent of the survey participants said they have a content marketing strategy, but only 4 percent only said their content marketing strategy was effective.
So, it's clear that something was not working for them. Here are some of the key reasons:
The Absence of a Content Strategy
Except for some large tech companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce, most vendors do not have a content marketing strategy. For many tech companies, content marketing is part of their overall business strategy. So consider building a health tech content marketing strategy to have a leg up on your competitors.
Lack of Sponsorship
Creating compelling content is a low-priority task for most B2B tech companies. A small marketing team usually takes care of health tech content marketing with limited resources and budget. It results in content that does not align with your market positioning and business strategy.
Content marketers need quality content for marketng. For this, subject matter experts (SME) should be involved in the process of content creation. SMEs, most often, are too busy to participate in the process. As a result, the content may turn out low in quality and might not be consistent
Lack of a Content Distribution Strategy
Unless you promote high value content on all the digital and social media channels, no one will hear about your health tech brand. Most B2B health tech companies fail to promote themselves through effective health tech content marketing on multiple digital and social media channels.
B2B health tech companies want instant results. The survey by in 2020 HIMSS points out the minimum time needed to fetch results from content marketing programs. A health tech content marketing program launched in this quarter will not bring you any developments in the same quarter.
Effective Content Marketing Plan for Health Tech Marketers
The global pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital marketing. Many healthcare technology marketers focus on pure sales collateral and product-centric content instead of thought leadership and human-centric content.
Here are five areas that deserve more attention in your health tech content marketing plan. These should be top priorities in your content plan.
Planning the Process and Setting Reasonable Goals & Objectives
Data shows that most healthcare technology companies do not have an effective health tech content marketing plan. It is not surprising that these companies, accelerating ahead everyday, do not have the time to plan or enough resources to execute it. There are three reasons behind it:
• They never made planning a proper priority.
• They realize they don’t have the time.
• The team doesn’t know where to start.
Good planning with realistic goals and expectations solves this issue. Quality content marketing is a long-term investment, not a short-term performance vehicle.
Benchmark the Market & Your Competition
Investigating your competition may get you down. Analyzing every aspect of your competitors’ content, including approach and strategy, will help you learn many essentials things. You will get ideas to improve your health tech content marketing from your competitor analysis.
Do not get confused between your sales competitors and content competitors. Your sales competitor is the one who sells your exact product or service. Your content competitors are companies ranking on search engines for the same content that you want to ranked for on search engine result pages. In addition to pure sales competitors, these content competitors can include major publishers such as trade associations and newspapers.
Fine-Tune Your Messages, Themes & Topics
It is effortless to come up with a long list of content ideas. It is vital to understand the themes and topics, which will work better for your business goals. The topics should be worth the time and effort you put in. Your themes, topics, and other content ideas in your health tech content marketing plan should support your core health tech messaging.
People usually tend to create content randomly and wonder why their content marketing does not work in the end. Fine-tuning your themes, messages, and topics and making sure they are all unified in the process is a big part of ensuring your content succeeds in the end.
Address All Four Content Distribution Channels
Creating great content is just a first step to your health tech content marketing. You may have to think of the content distribution channels: owned media, internal channels, earned media, and paid media. All of these channels have multiple options for content distribution. Depending on your company’s business goals and particular situations, you can choose the best-suited application from these channels.
Get the Most Out of Your Content Marketing Efforts
Maximize your health tech content marketing investment with the three Rs: refresh, repurpose, and repromote.
Refreshing means updating old content that performed well in the past. It may include changing the published date and updating the internal links to timely and more current information. Repurposing means changing the format. You can make a blog post out of a webinar or create an infographic out of a case study. Promoting and redistributing older content that performed well in the past is repromoting.
With content marketing, it is tough to have long-term success without a documented strategy and commitment. With a detailed process, you will have clarity about your goals and the tactics you will use to achieve them. If you do not have this practice, it's better to develop your strategy and write it down to improve your health tech content marketing's better effectiveness.
Content marketing is a proven way to connect with the tech industry audience, especially in health tech. Creating great content about your business, which the audience finds reliable and helpful, will make your company reliable and a trusted source to solve problems.
Doing it alone may be a tiresome job. We, at Media 7, provide all the assistance in marketing technology products online. We have the right solution for all your demand generation, lead generation, sales, and marketing problems. Media 7 converts leads and turns them into your happy customers forever. To know more about Media 7, visit: https://media7.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is content marketing important in health tech?
Content marketing is crucial in health tech as unique content makes your target audience trust your brand and consider it a trustworthy source for solving their issues. Moreover, to build your brand, content marketing is a vital component.
How do you create a successful health tech content strategy?
When you create a successful health tech content strategy, an ideal buyer profile, buyer persona, customer journey, etc., should be considered. Along with that, you should have clear objectives and goals when you make a content strategy.
What is the essential step in creating a health tech content marketing plan?
The essential step in creating your health tech content marketing plan is defining your targeted audience and understanding the buyer persona. It will help you create relevant and audience-focused content.
Article | December 15, 2020
As medical science has improved rapidly, life expectancy around the world also has risen. Still, as longevity increases, healthcare systems are facing a growing demand for advanced services, increased costs, and a struggling workforce to meet various requirements of patients. Demand is driven by many unstoppable forces: a shift in lifestyle choices, shifting patient expectations, population aging, and the never-ending cycle of innovation are a few among others.
Challenges Faced by the Healthcare Industry
According to Mckinsey, one in four people in North America and Europe will be over the age of 65 by 2050. This shows that, soon, the healthcare industry will have to deal with a larger number of patients with more complex requirements. Catering to these patients is expensive and requires health systems for providing long-term focused and proactive care. To remain sustainable, healthcare systems need major transformational and structural changes.
The industry also needs a larger workforce because according to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally there is a shortfall of approximately 9.9 million nurses, physicians, and midwives. Apart from attracting, training, and retaining these healthcare professionals, you also have to ensure that their time and effort add value to patient care. Utilizing the solutions powered by modern technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the healthcare industry, will add perfection and more value to human efforts.
AI in the healthcare industry has the potential required to transform and revolutionize healthcare by addressing the challenges in the industry mentioned earlier. AI can better the outcomes, improve efficiency, and augment productivity in healthcare delivery. This article takes an in-depth look at the impact of AI in healthcare.
Impact of AI in the Healthcare Industry
In the coming years, AI in the healthcare industry will improve the day-to-day life of healthcare practitioners, augment the patient experience, improve care delivery, and can even facilitate life-saving treatments and revolutionize the industry. Additionally, AI will improve population-health management, operations, and strengthen innovations.
According to Statista, the global AI healthcare market will increase to more than US$28 billion by 2025. Here is a detailed look into the areas where and how AI in the healthcare industry will be impactful.
Chronic Care Management
Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, are the leading cause of disability and death in the US and the main drivers of the country’s annual health cost. Effectively managing various chronic diseases is an overarching and long-term process. But with the help of the right tool, healthcare providers can meet the needs of these patients without delay.
Artificial intelligence tools in the healthcare industry can help healthcare providers overcome the complexities of chronic disease management and make it more effective and provide quality treatment. AI in the healthcare industry is increasingly being leveraged by organizations to improve chronic disease management, enhance patient health, and drive down costs, which will also eventually result in data-driven and personalized care. AI in the healthcare industry is expected to move the industry toward proactive care delivery from a reactive one and lead the industry to provide more individualized treatments. This is just one of the ways AI in the medical industry is going to revolutionize chronic care management in hospitals.
Artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry is changing the way care is delivered; it is expected to make healthcare more efficient, accurate, and accessible. Reducing costs and improving health outcomes are the values health systems and hospitals are trying to deliver to patients every day. Hospitals are increasingly incorporating technologies, which are powered by the use of AI in healthcare to meet the challenge.
According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), AI in the healthcare industry has unlimited potential to solve most of the vexing challenges in the industry. They identify AI use cases in the healthcare industry in four broad areas, which are administrative, operational, financial, and clinical areas.
Administrative Use Cases for AI in the Healthcare Industry
• Admission procedures
• Appointment scheduling
• Customer service responses
• Discharge instructions
• Hiring and orientation protocols
• Licensure verification
• Patient check-in procedure
• Prior authorizations
• Quality measure reporting
Operational Use Cases of AI in the Healthcare Industry
• Inventory management
• Materials management
• Supply chain management
• Facilities management
Financial Use Cases for AI in the Healthcare Industry
• Billing and collections
• Claims management
• Insurance eligibility verification
• Revenue cycle management
Clinical Use Cases of AI in the Healthcare Industry
• Predictive technologies
• Interventional technologies
By incorporating and utilizing these scopes with AI in the healthcare industry, the industry can be transformed into a next-gen level in no time. It also allows healthcare practitioners to focus more on patients, which would eventually help in raising staff morale and improving retention.
Clinical Decision Support
Recent advancements in AI in the health industry are capable of enhancing the currently used clinical decision support (CDS) tools to have value-based imaging and to improve patient safety. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the synergy between CDS systems and AI in the healthcare industry will be able to:
• Reduce friction in radiology workflows
• Identify relevant imaging features easily
• Generate structured data to develop machine learning algorithms
• Enable an evolution toward decision support for a holistic patient perspective
• Suggest imaging examinations in complex clinical scenarios
• Assist in identifying appropriate imaging opportunities
• Suggest appropriate individualized screening
• Aid health practitioners to ensure continuity of care
AI in the healthcare industry is competent in making CDS a next-gen one, enhancing the experiences of radiologists and providers, and improving patient care.
Slowly but surely, AI is improving almost every aspect of human life with innovations and advancements. The latest is that AI in the healthcare industry is impending a revolution in medical diagnostics by providing accurate risk assessments, accelerating disease detection, and boosting hospital productivity. By automatically prioritizing urgent cases and accelerating reading time, image recognition AI enhances the workflow of radiologists. It even helps in the prevention of diseases by the early detection of diseases.
In medical images such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, AI-driven software can efficiently be used to accurately spot signs of many diseases, especially in detecting many chronic diseases such as cancer. According to the NIH, AI will be widely applied in the healthcare industry especially for various tasks such as patient engagement and adherence, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. So, there is no doubt that AI in healthcare will revolutionize the diagnostic process in the approaching years by detecting diseases, classifying diseases, and improving the decision-making process. The application of AI in the healthcare industry will make people live longer.
Triage and Diagnosis
AI can be effectively used to automatically triage cases. AI algorithms will analyze the cases and forward cases to pathologists after determining the priority based on the probability of cases according to the criteria set by labs. This makes the workflow of pathologists easier and efficient. Through the process the algorithm will be able to:
• Verify the digital images attached to the case belong to that case
• Validate the tests ordered and match the specimen type
• Identify cases marked as stat
• Determine the cases, which can be positive or are most likely to be negative
Moreover, AI technologies in the healthcare industry also can be effectively used to provide more accurate and faster diagnoses. This speeds up the entire process of triage and diagnosis and is expected to revolutionize the healthcare industry soon.
The Future Outlook for AI in the Healthcare Industry
Over the next few years, AI in the healthcare industry has the best opportunities in hybrid models to support clinicians in diagnosis, identifying risk factors, and in treatment planning. This scope will result in faster adoption of AI technology in healthcare, which will show measurable improvements in operational efficiency and patient outcomes.
With a plethora of issues to overcome, which are driven by documented factors such as growing rates of chronic diseases and the aging population, it is obvious that the healthcare industry needs new innovative solutions. AI-powered solutions in the healthcare industry will achieve a clear impact on the global healthcare industry in a short time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best application of AI in the healthcare sector?
Cognitive surgical robotics is the best application of AI in the healthcare sector as it helps practitioners collect data from real surgical processes, which would help in improving existing surgical approaches.
Why is artificial intelligence important in healthcare?
Artificial intelligence in healthcare is vital as it can help make decisions, analyze and manage data, and have conversations. So, AI will drastically change the everyday practices and roles of clinicians.
When was AI-first used in healthcare?
The term, Artificial intelligence (AI) was first described in 1950, but the limitations of the term prevented its acceptance. In the 2000s, these limitations were overcome and people started to accept the term.
Article | March 27, 2020
The key concerns of healthcare management today are data processing and data security. Patients don’t have full ownership of their medical records, and are unable to control how their information is updated. There isn’t enough transparency to the process. There are also significant concerns related to data security, especially in the areas of personalized medicine and the rise of wearables. Patients and medical staff need secure and straightforward ways to record data, send it over networks, and receive advice without security concerns. Blockchain technology can help solve these problems. Introduced in 2008 as a means of recording cryptocurrency transactions, blockchain is a distributed cloud-based ledger that offers the ability to verify the origin of data and prevent breaches. When a user wants to make a transaction, they issue a request signed with their private key. The network verifies its authenticity by using a public key. If the verification is successful, the transaction is broadcast to the network and included in a block. The network of “miners” solves the block to get a reward, and once the block is revealed, it is added to the blockchain, making it permanent. It’s impossible to introduce new information in a block unnoticed, because that would change the structure of the entire chain. This feature makes the system safe and transparent.