Healthcare sales have historically been a face-to-face process with reps going door to door in hopes of building long-term relationships to achieve a sale. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge believer in human-to-human sales (and I love a fancy lunch), but this is no longer an option in our new reality.
In a very short time span, the COVID-19 crisis, combined with widespread adoption of digital communication in healthcare, has made the traditional sales approach both socially challenging and financially unsustainable. Access to healthcare facilities is limited to strictly necessary functions, and modern digital sales strategies have proven to be more cost effective than knocking on doors. This is the new reality.
It’s a hard pill to swallow (pun intended), but in a post-COVID-19 world, everything has changed. While this change will be the downfall for some, successful healthcare companies will recognize this unparalleled opportunity to embrace innovation and outgrow the competition. These companies will leverage digital marketing to drive inside sales, build their pipeline and navigate the new healthcare landscape.
Key Problem Highlights:
• Leveraging waiting rooms is socially irresponsible and restrictive
• Physician outreach is too costly and time consuming.
• Providers and decision makers are increasingly unavailable.
• Digital communication is lagging in healthcare, despite being vital.
• Sales professionals don’t have enough time to focus on closing deals
• Prospecting is a low-yield game consuming high-value sales reps time
Why is Healthcare So Behind in Digital Marketing?
Change is difficult; we know this. Medical sales requires a high level of trust. For decades, this has been achieved through in-person meetings, handshakes, and face-to-face conversations. While other industries have been forced to adapt, the healthcare industry has been largely immune and has even thrived with dated processes that hindered others. But this is no longer the case.
A hesitation to adapt may be warranted, but leaders and executives must explore solutions and commit to modernizing aspects of their business that would otherwise become limitations on their future success.
One of the largest barriers to success is the digital knowledge gap, which makes it difficult for organizations to find the right people or partners to support their digital transformation. Those that continue to rely on traditional marketing channels often lack the expertise to hire a team that can build a strong foundation, create a strategy, and generate demand. At OM, we recognized this gap and developed a performance marketing program for results-driven organizations that starts with a core foundation and scales up to world-class digital marketing. Our expert team facilitates the transition by enabling data-driven decisions, challenging the status quo, and hyper-focusing on lead generation and revenue growth.
“COVID makes digital marketing an imperative communication tool for healthcare. Traditional methods of direct sales have literally been quarantined. We can’t show up on their doorstep, but we can say hello in their feed.”
Director of Digital Marketing, VaxCare
Innovative healthcare companies will survive with an effective transition to inside sales and digital marketing to drive awareness and consideration. Digital marketing and inside sales have the potential to remove 70% of outside sales inefficiencies and decrease customer acquisition costs by as much as 20%.
An effective digital marketing plan allows businesses to break down the buyer’s journey into three stages: awareness, consideration, and intent. Responsibilities with this approach are split between sales and marketing, allowing each to thrive at what they do best.
“Digital marketing and inside sales have the potential to remove 70% of outside sales inefficiencies and decrease customer acquisition costs by as much as 20%.”
3 Stages of a Buyers Journey
Awareness | Digital Marketing
Using modern platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, along with content creation and audience targeting has proven extremely effective for delivering your solution and message to potential customers at a much lower cost. This allows for scalable touchpoints where thousands of people can be targeted effectively to create awareness and generate intent.
Consideration & Lead Generation | Digital Marketing
Beyond awareness, today’s digital strategies and audience algorithms make it possible to target individuals that have shown interest and intent in yours or your competitor’s solution. In turn, we can create focused tactics for this stage of the buying cycle. Webinars and online demos are proven (and scalable) tactics to spark conversations and introduce the sales function, allowing sales professionals to place solutions in front of decision makers or “VACs” (Value Analysis Committees) at a stage where they are aware and pre-qualified. We call these “Marketing Qualified Leads” or MQLs.
Sales & Onboarding | Sales
Focusing sales efforts and expertise on MQLs, allows the top sales performers to spend their time and attention on what matters most—effective education, sharing the mission, and closing deals. With more time spent on relationships and onboarding, the sales team is able to build long-lasting relationships, resulting in increased close rates and better customer retention.
As you can see, the goal of a digital transformation and this framework is to eliminate inefficiencies of prospecting and demand generation while empowering better sales. By focusing the marketing function on awareness and intent, we are able to accelerate the sales cycle and optimize the inefficiencies of traditional sales with digital education. And don’t forget that these technologies are built for scale—reaching much further and faster than a single individual could otherwise.
Key Solution Highlights:
• Sales team is optimized and focused on intent-based leads.
• Reach a broader audience and more prospects.
• Build a CRM and marketable database.
• Create measurable growth and costs of growth.
• Develop a feedback loop and beer marketing and sales communication.
Understanding Lead Generation & Inside Sales
With a digital marketing strategy, the objective is to create a framework where we encourage prospects to show intent through digital channels. Ideally, we are storing qualified leads in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, such as Salesforce or Hubspot, and engaging them through a phone or virtual experience to introduce our solutions.
Inbound sales and marketing teams work closely to create a feedback loop and optimize as we learn from our prospects and leads. With a combination of both marketing and sales touchpoints, we work to push individuals through a buyer’s journey. This effort fosters an organization-wide measurable sales funnel, from lead to customer, to empower decision-making and measurable growth.
“Patients and staff safety is the number one priority at The Villages Health. We’re continually taking measures to limit any unnecessary staff or patient interaction.”
Operations Manager, The Villages Health
Anatomy of a Modern Sales Organization
Marketing Leader & Strategist: Sees the big picture and understands execution-level components. Develops a short- and long-term growth strategy and actionable plan.
UX & Graphic Designer: Produces high-quality experiences and graphics that tell the story of your solution and portrays the value points of your company.
Website Developer: Quickly turns designs and web experiences into realities, allowing marketers to learn and iterate rapidly.
Growth Marketer: Focuses on creating digital demand through organic channels, paid channels, and content strategies to convert leads.
Content Specialist: Tells the brand story, while pushing individuals through a sales journey. Handles website content, ad copy, and email content.
Sales Development Representative (SDR): Focuses on inbound lead qualification and setting appointments.
Account Executive (AE): Responsible for closing deals. They manage qualified leads until they convert them to paying customers.
Customer Success Manager (CSM): Ensures that customers are happy and do not churn. They aim to maximize Customer Lifetime Value.
Taking Action Now
The healthcare industry has never changed at a faster pace. Patient experience and patient engagement platforms that were in early stages of their penetration, have in a matter of weeks, become mission critical to today’s practices. The time is now to evaluate how you engage and educate healthcare providers in this new reality. Now more than ever, only the innovators will thrive.
“COVID-19 is a terrible virus that has unfortunately affected us all. It’s our duty to learn and turn this into a positive. Almost every patient, doctor, and government on the planet now understands the value of Telehealth and digital engagement technology. As the trends towards digital inevitably increase, having a comprehensive digital strategy to acquire, treat, and inform patients is a new normal.”
CEO, Mend VIP
About OM Performance Marketers
At OM, our core expertise is data-driven lead generation for healthcare solutions and enterprise software. We have a proven process and an execution-focused team of strategists that are able to roll out an effective inbound foundation tailored to your organization.
For organizations that are committed to winning in the new reality of healthcare sales, we encourage you to set up a discovery consultation with our Head of Growth. See for yourself how we continually help high-performing organizations achieve measurable growth.