Successful selling into healthcare takes tenacity and a crystal-clear understanding of the multi-layered systems and buying processes. Competition is fierce and it's extremely difficult to get attention, and even more difficult to keep hold of it.
Healthcare is at the most complex end of the B2B spectrum because the organisations themselves are staggeringly complex.
It's easy to come up against hurdles during the lead generation process, but we’re here to share our experience gathered from those hard-earned lessons.
Here are 4 essential insights we can offer to companies who are currently selling into (or thinking of selling into) healthcare systems.
1. You are not selling to a single decision maker
Your entry point into the health system is rarely the decision maker. The decision-making process is typically multi-layered and often made by a committee, sometimes at Trust level. Almost invariably you will have to build champions and layers of interest above your entry point.
The vast majority of your initial conversations will be with the end user or the person your product most appeals to. But their main role is to act as a champion for your product.
2. You must understand the decision to purchase
An absolute key to successful selling is developing an understanding of how the decision to purchase will be made, where they are in their buying cycle, who will be involved, the precise timing of that decision, and how you get your champions on board.
Think about one of your current prospects:
- Do you know (and can easily describe) the process for getting to a yes?
- Have you tested that theory with multiple individuals at your prospect?
- Are you positioning yourself as a resource to help your prospect manage the sales process effectively and successfully?
These are questions you should think about regularly throughout the sales cycle.
3. You must understand the complexity of healthcare systems
There are multiple roles involved in the buying process. Constant healthcare system restructuring has led to sprawling organisations made up of multiple labs, clinics, hospitals, practices and outpatient centres. Those systems are usually governed by a wide range of leaders with varying responsibilities to individual hospitals and facilities as well as at the broader system level.
If that wasn't complex enough, add another bewildering layer of board, clinical and governing committees, razor-thin margins, constantly changing rules, regulations and policies, and the natural risk-aversion necessary to protect the lives of patients.
All in all, you quickly realise that healthcare requires a rigorous and careful process to navigate and your target 'decision maker' is simply the entry point to a sprawling organisation and the person who can help you understand internal processes.
4. You must get to know the budgeting process
Any healthcare budget holder can tell you how difficult, old-fashioned and time-consuming the budgeting process can be. They are highly political and always under the microscope.
As part of your sales process, you'll need to understand:
- the organisation’s financial year
- if your solution appears in an existing category in the budget
- if funding for your type of solution is budgeted
If the answer to any of those questions is no, be prepared to nurture that account through one or more budgeting cycles.
Getting off to a strong start
With countless vendors out there chasing healthcare pounds, you need to play the long game to convince risk-averse executives to opt for your safe, affordable and viable solution, which you can back up with verifiable results.
But the first step is to start those initial conversations with your entry-point champions.
Get in touch to learn more about our specialist healthcare lead generation service.