What does accelerating sales mean?
Here at Carevoyance we think of sales acceleration as successfully engaging more prospects, progressing more deals to the next meeting, and, of course, making every meeting count. All these steps accelerate you to the end goal which is closing more deals.
Every sales person obsesses over closing more deals. You've got a couple of options here when it comes to accelerating sales and closing more deals --> you can work harder or you can work smarter.
Since there are only so many hours in the day, we are big fans of working smarter!
Let's explore how you can work smarter using data and technology as a strategy to accelerate sales.
There's nothing magical or mystical about data. Data alone or in isolation isn’t sufficient to make improvements in how we work or what we do.
What matters is the decisions we take in response to the numbers.
Therefore, think about your interactions with data as not just in terms of the number of rows and columns in your spreadsheet or even the pretty graphs you can generate it but constantly be asking yourself what decisions can be made with these data and what decisions can be made better with these data.
Consider, for example, the outcome if you approach a hospital administrator to have a conversation about your surgical monitoring product. You go into that meeting with no idea who the hospital's most important anesthesiologists and surgeons are that would benefit most from your product. You have no idea how many surgeries the hospital performs, what their quality metrics look like on these cases and certainly no clue as to their competitive standing.
It's safe to say - you'll have no chance of closing the deal.
Not only will you waste the hospital administrator's time (as well as your own!) but you will have missed an opportunity to position yourself as a value-add asset to the organization and begin the process of building relationships with product champions. That is, the very important influencers who could move the needle on the buying and decision making process.
On the flip side, you could invest hundreds of thousands of dollars (or possibly even more) buying various private and public datasets and then wrangling them together (but after you first get that masters degree in data science!) in an effort to achieve that enticing crystal ball of knowledge giving you 100% insights in that hospital or doctor prospect.
Of course the data you buy start aging and degrading immediately so you'll want to act fast. Also consider that no matter how many doors you knock on, some data like behaviors with the Medicaid populations or characteristics of cash-pay patients may never be available to you
When it comes to healthcare data, strike the right balance for your specific product and target market.
What is the definitive source of data on hospitals and physicians?
Well, how much you invest in healthcare data may be influenced by the price of your technology, the market potential of your product, how competitive the landscape and, of course, how much faster you can accelerate sales for every additional dollar or hour of time invested.
The easiest place to start if you are new to using healthcare data in selling to hospitals or selling to doctors is to find a realistic plan for acting on the data. This especially holds true when you have a big messy set of data staring you down in excel!
A great place to start is defining your initial goals with healthcare data as trying to achieve the following:
The first goal really boils to do: Find the target.
Your marketing team most likely has a very clear definition of your product - from the types of physicians who use it - to which diseases it's indicated for - to how it's define in the healthcare codes. If that's not the case, or perhaps your product is at an early stage in the commercialization lifecycle then be sure to check out a previous blog post where we covered best practices for getting at these answers on how to define your ideal customer profile.
At the end of the day, your field-based team will need a set of defined codes or physician and hospital characteristics that allow them to quickly evaluate their territory in order to build a game plan for how they are going to target their market.
Some Sales Reps may expect that plan of attack to be built out for them by marketing or their managers. Hopefully most of your Sales Team will see the value in building and understanding their own plan of attack . There are several reasons for Sales Reps to own these steps in the process. It often helps them to better understand their markets or uncover hidden gems within the data, especially given their firsthand knowledge of the territory. Keep in mind other motivations for owning the game plan may involve a contingency plan in case they are ever in a position to change companies!
The second goals is clear: Win the target.
Medical sales reps can't simply rely on old relationships or expect to show up with samples and win the deal.
Sales reps that are reliably and predictably accelerating sales uncover information about their physician or hospital prospects that demonstrates the value they bring to the table . They will show their prospects they understand the competitive landscape, which cases are being lost to other facilities, who is gaining or shedding market share, where patients are coming from and whether they are leaking to other facilities.
Other Sales Reps, who are working smarter (not necessarily harder), will add value by drawing connections between their products or technologies and different quality metrics.
Team members may need different data in order to get context for what they’re trying to achieve. But hopefully this blog post focused on how to use healthcare data to accelerate sales provides a blueprint useful to your commercial organization.