Healthcare IT Sales: How to Shorten Sales Cycles and Increase Sales Velocity

The healthcare technology sales cycle can last anywhere between a few weeks to months or even years. From the sales professionals we speak with in the industry, 8 months is the average we typically hear. According to a recent report by Demand Gen, buying cycles have become longer because the number of decision makers in the B2B buying process has increased. In addition, buyers are now spending more time carrying out research before purchasing, which means less explaining to do from the salespeople’s side but same length of sales cycles (healthcare it sales how to).

Here are some great strategies for shortening the healthcare technology sales cycle:
(healthcare it sales how to)

Align your information and content with the Buyer’s Journey

Your prospects are at different stages of the Buyer’s Journey. Therefore, you need to ensure that your sales content is aligned with their respective stages in the journey. This will make it easier to educate them, move them to the next stage, and eventually convert them into satisfied buyers.

  • Awareness stage – At the beginning of the sales cycle, your prospects are not quite sure what they need. This is also referred to as the ‘Awareness stage’ of the buyer’s journey where prospects seek to identify problems that need to be solved and goals they would want to pursue. Therefore, before setting up a sales appointment, be sure to provide the prospect with educational content that addresses their issues comprehensively. This could be anything from content readily available on your website such as blog posts or infographics to premium content such as eBooks or white papers. As you guide your prospects in identifying their problems, you can decide who your qualified leads are by determining whether your healthcare technology products or services can help them or not. Doing so will help you set your priorities straight; you can focus on helping leads you identified as qualified rather than those who are passive or uninterested.
  • Consideration stage – At this stage, prospects are aware of their problem or challenge and have decided to address it. They are therefore considering different options for solving their problem or overcoming their challenge. You should therefore provide content that positions you as an authority in your industry and outlines different solutions to your prospect’s problems. White papers, webinars, case studies and expert guides would therefore be appropriate for convincing prospects to buy from you and not your competition. But wait! Your content for the Consideration Stage should not mention anything about your healthtech company’s solutions just yet. Your content should focus on educating your prospects and guiding them in the right direction to solve their problems. A good example of Consideration Stage content is Buzz Sumo’s expert webinar series where prospects can get advice, tricks and tips from different content marketing gurus.
  • Decision stage – At this point, your prospects have already decided which approach they’ll take to meet their needs. They are now comparing the advantages and disadvantages of different offers from different health tech companies and trying to decide what would work best for them. Content such as demo videos, comparison charts, trial offers and product descriptions would be appropriate at this stage. Other great ways of leveraging content in this stage are industry-specific case studies, blog articles that compare and showcase your health solutions’ strengths and online calculators that help your healthcare prospects calculate ROI of your solutions.

Leverage email automation platforms to educate prospects

According to the Salesforce State of Marketing report (2017), 67% of the marketing and sales leaders use automation software. It also states that over the next 24 months, an additional 21% are planning to start using an automation platform. You can shorten your sales cycle significantly by automating your efforts. For instance, instead of manually publishing social media posts and sending Lead Nurturing Emails, you can use software to do that automatically. The content linked from your automated emails and social media posts will nurture your prospects over time and make it easier to convert them to customers. Automating your sales efforts will not only shorten your sales cycle but also lower your cost per lead generated. In addition, automation will free up your time and allow you to focus on other important parts of your job as a busy sales rep.

Offer ways to request pricing, then demonstrate specific value

One of the first things a prospect will want to know is the price of your product or service. In case that your health technology software or hardware is well-known or competitively priced, you could include a ‘Request for Quote’ button on your website. This can help you start a conversation to learn as much as you can about their need (before giving them a ‘price’), to then position the value of your offering accordingly. This helps you be responsive to active prospects in the Decision stage of their Buyer’s Journey, and reduce your sales cycle significantly.

Follow your content with constant phone calls to help prospects

Blog posts, social media posts, white papers, case studies and reports are all great ways to connect with and advise your prospects during your sales cycles. Nonetheless, as a busy salesperson you want to shorten those cycles, and picking up your phone and calling your prospects can help you achieve just that. Phone calls allow you to form a more personal relationship with your potential customer. They also give you the opportunity to respond to any questions and concerns real time. A report by The Marketing Donut reveals that 80% of sales require five follow up calls after meeting the prospect. However, the purpose of your phone calls should not just be to make a hard sale. Instead, use them to enlighten the prospect on the value of your offer. This means that a phone call could come in handy at any stage of the Buyer’s Journey.

The major takeaways

Healthcare technology sales cycles can be extremely long, and it’s critical to shorten the cycle for each prospect on your list. The tips outlined above, collectively termed Inbound Sales Methodology, will help you strategize your approach during your sales process in a way that would make both you and your prospects feel good and have their needs addressed throughout the sales cycle (healthcare it sales how to).

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 expedite the closing process.

We’ve helped many talented salespeople weave the Inbound Methodology into their intricate sales process. Feel free to reserve your free strategy session now to help you evaluate your assets and get free insights and suggestions to shorten your sales cycle!

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