Healthcare Technology sales is a never-ending process of prospecting, consistent outreach, more outreach, closing those healthcare software sales, and repeating. One of the best ways of fueling this so-called “sales pipeline” is by building a steady flow of qualified leads and managing a CRM well. According to a Technology Advice report, firms that apply pipeline management experience 28% higher growth than those that don’t!
Here is how you can build a steadily increasing sales pipeline to boost your healthcare software sales:
Understand how your customers buy
The stages of your sales pipeline should be aligned with those of the Buyer’s Journey. The Buyer’s Journey is made up of the following stages:
- Awareness Stage – Your prospects realize that they have a problem/challenge and are in the process of identifying and thoroughly understanding this problem/challenge
- Consideration Stage – Your prospects have a full understanding of their problem/challenge and are researching possible solutions for it
- Decision Stage – Your prospects have decided which approach to use for resolving their problem and are now comparing specific vendors
Clearly define the sales stages
With the Buyer’s Journey in mind, the stages of your sales pipeline could be as follows:
- Identify – A visitor of your website takes an action like filling out a form, attending a webinar, or ask questions via the comment section on your blog posts or your chat service. Alternatively you can proactively prospect and build a list of ideal leads.
- Lead Nurture – In this stage you can start engaging by sharing steady content via carefully crafted Lead Nurturing Emails weekly, that does not mention your company or solution, but helps your lead continue to learn about their problem. Using tracking software, you can then engage prospects that react to content around specific topics.
- Engage – Starting a conversation about the challenges and goals over email or phone calls helps you pinpoint whether most importantly the prospect has a need to solve a problem you can help with. Then when making contact, building report and trust and scheduling a discover call or meeting.
- Discover – In this stage you carefully ask questions and learn more about your prospect’s unique challenges, goals, and responsibilities. It’s best to fully understand their situation in this stage, and not sell your solution just yet.
- Prepare Presentation of a Tailored Solution – Create a custom presentation based on what you’ve learned about the prospect. Remembering to use their language and provided details.
- Propose a Tailored Solution – Your prospects agree to have a meeting with you by phone or in person and you review their specific goals and challenges, and position your solution.
- Agreement Review – When you get a prospect to request your solution, you prepare an agreement to review with prospect and iron out any objections.
- Close – Your customers sign the dotted line, make deposit payments, and close the healthcare software sales.
Establish your goals
You need to have specific goals for each stage of your sales pipeline. This will keep your salespeople motivated and enhance the chances of success. For instance, you could have a goal of closing 120 large healthcare software sales deals in a year. This translates to 10 deals in a month.
Create a dashboard
After defining the stages of your pipeline and establishing your goals, create a sales dashboard which will help track your progress. The dashboard should be updated on a daily basis with important information regarding your sales pipeline. At a glance, you should be able to know where you are and what your next course of action is. You can build a dashboard using a spreadsheet or sophisticated CRM software like Hubspot. You can check out Hubspot’s Advanced Sales Dashboard here. The dashboard should help you monitor details such as:
- Priorities – Which projects and tasks are the most important?
- Calendar – Is my schedule influenced by my priorities?
- Activity goals – For instance, how many proposals do I need to send out every month?
- Revenue goals – What progress am I making towards my revenue targets?
- Leads – Do I have sufficient leads to fill my pipeline?
Keep your sales pipeline filled
According to the sales guru Colleen Francis, many salespeople find themselves caught in the ‘sales trap‘. This is a situation where a lot of effort is put into making sales and little or no effort in generating prospects. With time, this results in a dry pipeline. To avoid this, you need to have a discipline of filling your pipeline continually. Here are a handful of ways to keep a steady pipeline of leads:
- Buying Lists – Although most sales people find purchased lists inaccurate and off target, sometimes lists can be helpful for providing a pipeline of leads.
- Lead Generation Services – Similarly to buying lists, these services are a hit or miss, however specialized services can provide enough leads to add to the mix.
- Build Your Own List – With professional networks like Linkedin, you can create a list of ideal companies and find the individuals at those companies there. Then using services to try and identify contact emails and phone numbers can help you get qualified leads in your pipeline.
- Inbound Lead Generation – Getting leads to come to you is by far the most ideal. These leads already have a recognition of your brand and have some interest in a topic related to your solution. The indication of their interest can range from visited your website, opened and clicked within an email, downloaded a premium piece of content on your website when doing research, requested a demo, or filled out a contact form. To learn more about generating leads online to fill your pipeline steadily, check out this article “Generating Leads Online: The Birds and the Bees“.
Maintain your pipeline
As you send proposals and close deals, take time to find new contacts to fill the top of the funnel. This should be a daily routine to ensure that your pipeline is always flowing. Figure out how many prospects you need in the Engage stage in order to meet your sales targets. The good news is that there are sales management software out there that can help you monitor the movement of your prospects in the sales pipeline.
Clean up your pipeline
If a potential customer becomes unresponsive or remains at the same stage of your healthcare software sales pipeline for too long, it is time for you reevaluate them. Occasionally cleaning your pipeline will help you focus on your qualified leads who deserve your attention. In addition, you will be able to plan better and make more accurate sales forecasts for next time. Cleaning up your pipeline also involves ensuring that your data is up to date. For instance, if a prospect leaves your target company, remove this person from the pipeline and identify the new decision maker in the company. Double check your goals often to ensure that they are challenging as well as realistic.
The bottom line
Building a steady healthcare software sales pipeline is challenging for even the best salesperson. Thoroughly understanding who your prospects are and where they stand in their Buyer’s Journey will help you assemble a well-flowing pipeline. This process is a part of a larger body of marketing and sales strategies called the Inbound 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 building an inbound leads pipeline. By collaborating we help marketing and salespeople strategically attract new website visitors, convert them to qualified leads and happy customers.
We’ve helped countless sales pros incorporate Inbound into their existing sales process. Feel free to reserve a free strategy session now to help you evaluate your assets and get free insights and suggestions to guide you in the right direction.