The long sales cycle for healthcare products and services presents special challenges. The solution-selling strategy, in which you focus on the healthcare buyer’s needs, leads to better conversion rates in the long term. However, identifying potential customers and tracking their progress through the sales funnel requires a significant investment in staffing.
Whether you expand your in-house staff or use outsourced sales professionals to cover preliminary research and the ongoing follow-up necessary for lead generation and lead nurturing, the sales support team will help you do the following:
1. Identify Your Potential Customers
It’s common sense that you should not waste time trying to sell your products and services to people who are never going to buy them. Even within the universe of healthcare buyers, though, some prospects are more likely to buy than others. Preliminary research lets you identify exactly who your most promising potential customers are, as well as their needs and whether you can fill those needs.
The questions you’ll start with to identify your sales opportunities are actually pretty straightforward, though the answers may turn out to be complex or even contradictory:
- What problems are possible customers experiencing?
- What solutions to those problems do you offer?
- What factors – cultural, social, personal and psychological – influence their decision to act?
2. Know What Other Options Your Customers Have
You also need to be clear about what’s going on in the competitive landscape.
- What companies and firms are your direct competitors?
- What are the main differences between you and your competitors?
- What are you currently doing better? Can you sustain your competitive advantages?
- What are your competitors doing better than you? Can you learn anything from them to improve your own position?
- What’s the bigger picture of your industry? What factors are driving or inhibiting market demand for the solutions you have to offer?
There’s more to lead generation than cold-calling prospects. You want a partner that can gather and interpret the necessary data about prospects. That partner doesn’t necessarily need to have deep knowledge of your potential customers; they’re doing basic market research.
Research about both specific prospects and the overall marketplace provides solid information that your inside sales team can leverage to more effectively present your offerings to potential customers. Those customers operate in a dynamic environment.
3. Know When Your Customers’ Needs Change
Even if your product is a good fit for a potential customer, now may not be the right time to close the deal. By maintaining contact with prospects – and especially by educating buyers through calls and email campaigns – you can make sure that they continue to move smoothly through the sales funnel.
All of these tasks take time and expertise that your inside sales team probably doesn’t have. By using outsourced sales professionals to handle these essential support functions, you can let your staff focus on what they do best: closing the deal.
Learn how to successfully reach healthcare buyers through the value-selling strategy.