Are your healthcare marketing and sales teams working hard to build relationships with customers and prospects, but their efforts just don’t seem to produce solid leads and sales? If so, the problem might be that your medical sales tactics aren’t aligned with today’s value-conscious customers.
Here are three common mistakes to avoid:
1. Relying On Freebies To Make Your Case
Offering free meals, drug samples and swag might persuade a doctor to take a quick meeting with you, but these tactics do little more than get your foot in the door, according to Medicalsalestraining.com. If your products or solutions don’t provide real value to your prospects, their practices and healthcare facilities and their patients, freebies aren’t going to make your case.
Doctors and other decision-makers at hospitals and healthcare systems are becoming increasingly cost-conscious, and medical sales professionals must develop new value-selling strategies to remain competitive.
2. Checking In On Prospects Without Adding Value
Stopping by to see a customer or prospect may feel like it’s a productive activity that leads to medical sales. However, many reps just make small talk or reiterate a message that’s already been conveyed, without offering any new information of legitimate value. Checking in may feel productive to the sales rep, but it’s often an inconvenience to others.
If a doctor is going to give up valuable time to learn about a new device or product, the sales rep must make sure that the time spent is a good investment, according to Medicalsalestraining.com. The doctor should experience a noticeable advantage from spending time with a salesperson, in a way that is legal, ethical and benefits the doctor, the practice and the patients.
3. Relying On Personal Qualities
Personal charm and charisma are wonderful qualities to have, but they do not, in themselves, constitute an effective medical sales approach. No matter how charming the rep, relationship selling is no longer the most effective driver for medical sales.
A successful medical sales strategy starts with developing a business model that focuses on today’s value-oriented customers, and supporting that model with a well-aligned healthcare marketing strategy and medical sales management process to identify potential markets, estimate demand and deliver effective messages.
Through the entire medical sales process, you must focus on selling value that is relevant and tailored to the prospect’s specific needs. When you’re providing valuable information and education to prospects, you’re building the types of relationships that matter in value selling.
Tools For Emphasizing The Value You Offer
For many companies, moving to a value-selling approach is a major change in sales strategy. The shift is especially challenging for companies that have been competing on price alone or have been focused on selling premium, innovative products.
To be successful in value selling, “manufacturers need a deep understanding of the value segment’s needs and profit pools,” according to a recent report by the McKinsey Group. Based on that information, you may decide to change the product itself, but in many cases, the best approach is to modify your sales model or service offering.
Obtaining an understanding of value-conscious customers isn’t something you do by searching Google, and developing a competitive sales strategy requires much more detailed research and assessment. Sophisticated tools for capturing, analyzing and managing sales data are must-haves.
A recent MD+DI report identifies three technology tools that improve the effectiveness of your medical sales management process: customer relationship management (CRM), master data management (MDM) and mobile technology.
“CRM focuses on developing more informed and engaged rep-to-customer relationships” while “MDM provides the underlying infrastructure to help medical products companies accurately define their customers and synthesize more robust data at an actionable level,” according to MD+DI. Mobile technology provides an important bridge “that supports more efficient and effective implementation of new medical products sales models.”
Together, these tools help to bring hard data and actionable insights into your medical sales management process. When your sales reps are armed with this information, “checking in” on a prospect is more than small talk – it’s a strategic opportunity to provide meaningful value to the prospect.
Ready to get the most from your healthcare sales leads? Download “Decoding Your Sales Data,” a free, 30-minute webinar from the Sales Scientists™ at Invenio Solutions®.