Article | May 19, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic upended the healthcare system, hospitals and doctor’s offices doubled down on technology and implemented a host oftelemedicine services, from virtual visits to remote patient monitoring and customized treatment plans.
The results were unexpected. Not only did telemedicine help bridge the gap between physicians and patients during the health crisis, but arecent J.D. Power studyfound that telemedicine also delivered increased customer satisfaction, outpacing other healthcare services.
Patient-centered care played the largest role in this shift. Technologies that let staff reach patients anytime, anywhere enabled providers to shift their functional focus away from simply treating issues to building better relationships.
Article | March 11, 2020
Healthcare organizations are faced with addressing the “triple aim” of improving cost, quality and access to medical care. Telehealth has been seen as a tool to improve access with its convenience and availability with mobile apps or personal computers. Regulators are seeing the value of the technology with states loosening rules about the practice of telehealth and reimbursement improving, the American Telemedicine Association said. However, it will take some time for telehealth to reach its full potential to blend telehealth into current care processes. Right now, telehealth is separate from many of the healthcare workflows, which is keeping the technology from reaching its fullest potential – in terms of quality and patient experience. This can be overcome by addressing the economics, whether that is in health plan design and also how providers are compensated. Despite recent improvements in telehealth reimbursements, many of the payments are tied to in-person visits. Healthcare providers, payers and regulators need to figure out what treatments need to be reimbursed. Telemedicine, which involves clinician-to-clinician remote consults, is immensely important in emergency care and has shown a great deal of use in treating stroke, since not every facility has neurology covered around the clock. Certain medical specialties, such as psychiatry or dermatology, have a real opportunity to capitalize upon telehealth, as well as non-emergency, urgent care.
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 | February 22, 2021
The criteria of patient satisfaction have changed dramatically. The priority of your healthcare business is to provide patients the right treatment. But nowadays, you cannot excel in your service and win the hearts of the patients just by providing the right treatment. You will also have to focus on delivering a great patient experience. Thus, a comprehensive healthcare marketing strategy should be designed accordingly.
In this digital age, along with their healthcare requirements, people are already overwhelmed with all the necessary information they need regarding their work and life-related issues. This has turned them into customers, rather than just being patients. And has led them to want and expect more. According to a study done by McKinsey, people expect from healthcare companies the same way they expect from other non-healthcare companies. Your patients now expect:
• Your deliverance on their expectations
• Great customer service
• Great value
• To make their life easier with the service they get from you
They look for whether your healthcare services provide these benefits through online resources. A Kantar Health Report says that around 60% of millennials depend upon online information as the best resource for healthcare information. They also consider word-of-mouth referrals trustful. This makes it vital for you to put in place the right digital healthcare marketing strategies. It is necessary to avoid your prospects going to your competitors whenever they search for effective medical services online.
The need for a robust Healthcare Marketing Strategy
Creating an effective healthcare marketing strategy is part of the inbound marketing process. The strategy can include and utilize all the resources to bring in opportunities. The resources also can confront the threats that come your way to hinder your healthcare business. The resources can be in any form of original content such as articles, blog posts, podcasts, interviews on medical topics, informational videos, e-books, case studies, press releases, white papers, etc. These resources deal with threats and opportunities that are concerned with persuading prospects to come to you.
Healthcare marketing strategy is a vision statement. It lays down the healthcare marketing plan in detail for some time. It should include objectives and plans for exceeding the current performance of your particular healthcare business. It should talk about competition analysis, target marketing, budgets, marketing tactics, and SWOT analysis, which are essential elements of an effective healthcare marketing strategy. Having the right healthcare marketing strategy in place will help you increase patient inflow and lower your marketing budget, which increases your return on investment (ROI).
Benefits of Having an Effective Healthcare Marketing Strategy
The right healthcare marketing strategy focuses on two main things; bringing in more patients to your hospital or clinic and maximizing your ROI. ROI can be maximized by minimizing expenses on both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. It is called ROI based marketing plan or strategy.
There are many benefits to having an effective healthcare marketing strategy in place for your medical practices. They include anticipating and assessing threats and opportunities, prepare to make a road map to counter the threats in time effectively, and find out creative ways to enhance your outcome. Below are some of the other benefits of having a healthcare marketing strategy:
Goals and Objectives
A sound healthcare marketing strategy, as discussed earlier, helps you to understand what you are going to achieve in a scheduled time frame. This keeps you focused on your goals without getting diverted. Moreover, it provides you a clear picture of your business's growth and makes you aware of how far you can go with your business in the target market.
Healthcare marketing strategy helps you create a detailed operation budget in advance for your business. By knowing your expected future costs, expenses, and forecasted income over the year, you can make better plans for all the expected and unexpected challenges of your business.
Service Line Decisions
When you compare your result with your expected results, you will understand where it worked well and the areas you need to improve. By knowing the areas in which you failed, you can improve them and yield better results on the next run by improving your line of services.
In business, risk management includes forecasting and evaluating the financial risks and identifying solutions to minimize or eliminate their impact. A clear healthcare marketing strategy in place allows you to manage these aspects of your healthcare business efficiently.
A marketing strategy provides you a clear idea of how to process your budgeting resources for your organization's future. It is possible with both short-term and long-term plans.
Developing an effective healthcare marketing strategy
Creating goals and defining objectives or benefits that you intend to achieve is the first step to the creation of a healthcare brand strategy. Once all these things are set, you may assess all the required and available resources. Then devise a final strategy on when and how to fulfill these goals.
Healthcare digital marketing is unique as it is the most cost-effective way to reach out to your most relevant prospect at the right time. It ensures thatyou reach your patients in the time of their need. Here is a step-by-step healthcare marketing strategy for you. It is designed keeping in mind all the aspects of your healthcare business, including your competitors and prospective patients.
Establish Your Target Customers
The first step starts with identifying the most relevant target market for you. A comprehensive online and offline research would help you with it. The research can be based on demographic, geographic, behavioral, and psychographic information.
Then concentrate on all the marketing resources you have, in order to attract relevant customers. Clarity about your target audience ensures you create the right content for the right people. It also adds to the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital healthcare strategy.
Study Your Competition
Your competitors also target the same audience. So, identify competitive influences and issues to have a proactive strategy and plan. It helps you stay ahead of your competition with your healthcare marketing strategy. Use internet, TV and Radio commercials, referrals, data analysis, billboards, or other media to research your competition.
Internal and External Evaluation
To evaluate your external and internal environment, conduct a SWOT analysis of your healthcare business. Thorough knowledge of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will make you determine how to use your resources for better results effectively.
Decide Your Long-term and Short-term Goals
Most businesses conceive their marketing plans and strategies for a year. However, the best healthcare marketing strategy is the one, which is aligned with both the long-term and short-term goals of your brand. Evaluating, prioritizing, and organizing various combinations of specific marketing tactics and strategies will suit you the best in pursuing your business goals.
Plan Your Marketing Budget
Protecting and generating sources of revenue is generally a significant concern in marketing. Creating a task budget and clear objectives to work towards realizing the exact goals and outcomes you expect from your business is very important. For this, you may have to specify your measurable and quantifiable goals. Define your marketing tactics and strategies, including advertising, brand development and enhancement, networking and public relations, etc.
You also have to evaluate profitability, launching plan, and marketing plan. Moreover, monitor and track closely to adjust tactics and strategies necessary for achieving, maintaining, or exceeding your expected profit level.
The best part of having an effective healthcare marketing strategy in place is that it makes you focus your energy and time on improving your healthcare practice. The digital marketing team will work according to the strategy for realizing both your long-term and short-term goals.
Doing all of it alone may be challenging. We, at Media 7, help healthcare companies, especially healthcare technology providers, with healthcare marketing strategies, which are proactive and profit-oriented. We help you attract prospects, convert them, and make them your customers. To know more about us, visit the Media 7 website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are marketing strategies for health tech marketers?
Health tech marketers can effectively use many marketing strategies, including engaging customers in social media platforms, video marketing, creating content for niche communities, email marketing, paid media advertising, event marketing, and content marketing.
What are the tips for creating the strategy for health tech marketing?
Updating your organization’s mission, vision, and values, conducting a business and operational analysis, developing strategic options, selecting strategic growth objectives, developing the strategy execution plan can be included in your health tech marketing strategy.
What are the best social marketing strategies for health tech?
Start using chatbots, create a personalized experience for your customers, create an efficient content marketing strategy, create a community for your audience, and create profiles on the relevant channels that can be the best social media strategies for health tech companies.
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