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Healthcare IT Sales: Proven Ways to Avoid “Death By Demo” (Lost Leads)

Every sales pro in healthcare technology knows product demonstrations are a very important part of “closing the deal” in the healthcare IT sales process. A good presentation can be an effective way of generating interest by prospects. However, most B2B product demos are too generic and boring to elicit any interest from the potential buyer, and often are presented too soon before knowing what a prospect’s needs are. Instead, these demos end up ‘killing’ your chances of building a relationship and making an effective and persuasive case. This in many cases pushes prospects away to your competition, or feel too pressured.

Think of it this way, a new prospect and you are set up on a date. Not literally, but stay with me… On your first date, do you think it’s best to; talk about yourself and brag about how great you are – or – get to know them a bit, learn the interesting things you have in common, and show that you understand them? You guessed it, the latter. After all, no one wants to get married on a first date. It takes careful listening, genuine interest, and a helpful approach to get your prospect to build interest in you also. Your demo should be treated no differently than a first date, so that you can have a second date, to build the value they are looking for and get closer to a sale.

Here are some tips that will help you avoid ‘death by demo’ in your healthcare IT sales:

Getting prospects to the demo

Understand your Buyer Persona

Just as people aren’t ready to get married on their first date, even if they ‘request a demo’, your prospects aren’t ready to watch your product demo presentation the first time they come to your website or get an email from you. You can ramble on and on about your health tech solutions, but without a full understanding of who you’re talking to and what these people need, it will be very difficult for you to close them. Therefore, it’s best to begin by outlining and studying your top Buyer Personas (fictional character that matches your ideal customer). This will help guide both your marketing department’s efforts and help you better prioritize your outreach and demo. For instance, your Buyer Personas could be ‘Clinician Christine’, ‘Physician Phineas’ and ‘Administrator Adam’ with a list of goals, challenges and other characteristics that define each. You can then customize your healthcare IT sales demo and presentations to address each of their specific needs in general, and when speaking with them to discover their unique needs, make tailored adjustments individually. This way they are seeing your offering as a solution and not a one-size-fits-all widget.

Giving the demo

Keep it short

Once you finish covering how your product or service will meet the prospect’s needs, pause for a minute. Talking continuously without a break during a presentation will just make your audience lose interest. Be sure to keep your demo brief, focusing only on what’s actually important. Also, don’t get too caught up in the presentation and forget about your prospects. Look at their facial expressions and gestures to determine if they have any comments or questions. Whenever your prospects want to say something, pause your presentation and allow them to interrupt you.

Be animated

B2B sales presentations have traditionally been very stiff, boring and generic. If you want to engage your audience effectively, you will need to put some zest into your presentation. Be sure to vary the tone of your voice all through the presentation. People will quickly lose attention if you talk in a monotone. Use your facial expressions and gestures to show your prospects that you are excited about helping them solve their problem. Anik Singal, the Founder and CEO of Lurn and VSS Mind, is a good example of someone who makes a B2B demo lively and engaging.

Use case studies and stories

Don’t spend all your time talking about the features and benefits of your healthcare IT sales product or service. Use case studies and stories to show how other companies or organizations similar to those of your prospects have benefited from it. For instance, you can mention during your demos how your healthcare tech product or service helped ‘X Hospital’ decrease the average patient waiting time by Y%. Doing this will make it easier for potential customers to have a general idea how much benefit your company will bring to them and, subsequently, make a buying decision. Marketo’s case studies are a good example of studies that teach their prospects on how to choose marketing automation software.

Avoid unnecessary comparisons

Many salespeople use presentations to compare themselves to their competitors and prove why their products or services are better. This needs to be done sparingly and with discretion. If you know that the prospect is considering a competitor, then find a subtle way of highlighting your strengths versus the competitor’s weaknesses. However, if you bring up a competitor that your prospect wasn’t even thinking about, you might just be giving them another option to consider. To avoid such mistakes, you can ask exploratory questions to find out where exactly your prospect stands in the buyer’s journey and which options they’re considering.

Practice, practice, practice!

It is advisable for anyone giving a presentation to practice it in its entirety at least twice prior to the actual presentation. Getting more familiar with the content of your presentation will calm your nerves and make you appear more confident. Going over your materials multiple times will also help you identify your mistakes and correct them. If possible, find a partner who can role play as the prospect and give you feedbacks. Don’t forget to test any equipment that you might use for the demonstration to ensure that everything is working well.

Be on schedule

Whatever you do, make sure the product demo begins on time and ends on time. Starting or ending late will only annoy your prospects and hinder your chances of closing potential healthcare IT sales. If you happen to begin late due to unavoidable circumstances, apologize and explain the reason for the delay. In case you need to extend by a few minutes, ask the potential customer if they can spare a few more minutes. Your prospects are just as busy as you are, so always remember to think about them first!

End with a call-to-action

Be sure to conclude your presentation with a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA could be asking directly for the business, scheduling a phone call or asking to speak to other decision makers in the organization. This will ensure that the conversation continues after the demonstration. This will give you more time to deal with any objections, thus enhancing the chances of making healthcare IT sales. Corevist, a leading distributor of SAP B2B ecommerce solutions, has a short product demo that ends with a CTA to schedule a personalized demo.

After the demo

Keep engaging prospects with content

After a prospect requests a demo and either doesn’t show up for the meeting, or says they are not ready to discuss their situation, you can be a helpful advisor by providing them content to help continue to educate them until the time is right. Using your defined Buyer Personas, you can work with your marketing team to create content tailored to the needs or interest of each type of ideal buyer. This content can be in forms of blog posts, infographics, how-to-videos, or other forms you find appropriate for the job. You can then drip these content on a weekly basis to your prospects in Lead Nurturing Emails. Doing so will help your prospects educate themselves to strengthen their trust in your brand (thought leadership). Over time, the content can raise awareness about the problems your prospects have and help them consider different healthcare IT sales options and solutions so that they’re actually interested and excited to get a demo by you.

The bottom line

As important as it is for you to give a nice and confident presentation, your efforts will truly prove to be successful only if your prospects are moved by what your healthcare IT sales have to offer. In order for that to happen, the content that you provide and the demos you give should be aligned with your prospect’s goals and needs. In other words, your sales process must be customer-centric, where your aim is not to sell another product or service but to help your prospects overcome their challenges. This type of sales process is collectively called the Inbound Sales Methodology.

It can be very challenging to do all of this alone. We here at Responsify partner with health technology sales and business development pros to offer strategy, support, and help implementing these activities. By collaborating we help marketing and salespeople strategically attract new website visitors, convert them to qualified leads and happy customers.

We’ve helped many talented salespeople incorporate Inbound into their sales process and close more deals. Feel free to reserve your free strategy session now to help you evaluate your assets and offer free insights and suggestions to help you master your demo and close more deals!

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