8 Sales Outreach Strategies for Today’s Healthcare Suppliers
As a healthcare sales or marketing specialist, your livelihood hinges upon your ability to generate and convert sales leads. In addition to traditional outbound sales techniques, you must expand your channels of communication and ensure that your sales and marketing departments are in sync with one another. Most importantly, you must make sure that your sales team is armed with the proper training to thrive in their roles as health care experts. Below are eight outreach strategies for today’s healthcare suppliers.
1) Introduce live sales chat on your website
“A chat box sits calmly in the corner of the screen (usually the lower right corner) until the user decides to bring it up. And when someone types in a question, that question usually gets answered in a flash. That’s why most people (about 79%) use live chat.”
– Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics
Before the advent of live chat, health care providers essentially had two choices if they needed to ask questions about a product or explore a purchase. They could send an email and potentially wait hours or days to receive a response, or they could make a phone call that could send them to voicemail or leave them lost in a sea of automated prompts.
Live chat is a welcome solution to today’s busy health care professionals who seek an immediate response to their inquiries. Additionally, live chat eliminates some of the most unpleasant aspects of sales, such as being put on hold, contending with voicemail, or waiting for days to receive an e-mail response.
2) Expand your trade show calendar
Medical fairs and industry trade shows provide an ideal forum to meet new prospects and reconnect with existing customers. According to SpinGo Event Management, 99 percent of exhibitors feel that trade shows deliver value. And with 92 percent of attendees coming to see new products, trade shows provide an excellent venue to provide new product demos to visitors. Trade shows also help you expand your customer database to yield a more robust email campaign list.
3) Develop an outbound calling strategy
“Cold calling gives you immediate feedback from customers and prospects as no other strategy can. This is why many seasoned sales professionals don’t just tolerate cold calling, but actually prefer it and enjoy it.”
– Mark Sallows, Fit Small Business
Contrary to popular belief, cold calling is not dead. In fact, 60 percent of IT professionals surveyed by DiscoverOrg acknowledged taking an appointment or attending an event because they received an unsolicited phone call or email. As doctors and health care administrators become increasingly bombarded with emails and text messages, a phone call is sometimes a pleasant surprise.
4) Prepare a superb digital marketing strategy
A stellar digital marketing strategy can position your healthcare firm for industry stardom. In some cases, the best way to build an effective strategy is to seek the expertise of a digital marketing firm that specializes in healthcare projects. An experienced digital marketing agency can provide you with the tools you need to optimize your leads. And with the help of seasoned professionals, you can attract more prospects, satisfy your customers, and focus your energies on what you do best.
5) Master the art of social selling
“Social selling isn’t a difficult concept. It is simply using social media to directly engage prospective customers with information and other content. This is done in hopes that the prospective customer will ultimately become an actual customer.”
Social selling is effective and empowering for sales and marketing specialists. Social media can be used to promote new capital equipment products, share online reviews, and feature case studies of satisfied doctors and surgeons. Here are some reasons why social selling is such an effective tool for healthcare companies:
- Nearly one-third of online shoppers use social media to browse new items to buy
- An average LinkedIn message has a 50-60% open rate compared to an email open rate of 20-30%
- Prospects are more likely to buy from a social media contact because they share a personal connection
- Sales representatives feel empowered and motivated by the ability to generate their own leads
6) Provide the highest quality sales training
The popularity of live chat, outbound calling, and social selling shows that many healthcare professionals still want to engage with experienced people before they complete a purchase. However, you need to make sure that your sales team is properly trained in each of these sales techniques. Many organizations are providing training through a learning management system (LMS) to make training more effective and enjoyable for participants.
The most critical element of the sales training process actually unfolds after medical sales representatives complete their training requirements. Sales training follow-up is essential to ensuring that sales reps retain and correctly apply learned information:
“…Research by Huthwaite Inc. shows that salespeople lose around 87 percent of the information they acquired through training within one month if it is not reinforced in the workplace.”
– Monika Gotzmann, Training Industry
7) Launch a blog
Establishing a blog is a great way to connect with doctors and healthcare providers. You can use your blog to post content about exciting new products, company expansions or changes, and other pertinent industry information. Before you launch your blog, make sure that you have the resources to provide useful healthcare-related content on a regular basis. If you do not have the internal resources to provide content regularly, you can outsource this task to an experienced content writing firm.
8) Ensure that your sales and marketing teams are aligned
“Although evidence suggests that organizations with strong marketing and sales alignment generate nearly 40% more revenue than companies lacking it, most marketing and sales teams remain in constant conflict.”
– Danny Wong, HuffPost
Highly aligned medical sales and marketing teams enjoy 38 percent more sales than organizations with poorly aligned sales and marketing strategies. Here are a few simple steps that healthcare suppliers can take to ensure that sales and marketing teams are on the same page with their goals:
- Stress the importance of shared goals throughout sales and marketing training
- Schedule monthly meetings between sales and marketing teams
- Make sure that the details of marketing campaigns are shared with both sales and marketing staff
The Bottom Line
With thousands of medical equipment companies across the globe, today’s healthcare providers must develop innovative outreach strategies to achieve growth and attain industry leadership. By following the recommendations above, you can expand your current outreach efforts to achieve new heights.