I was recently at a HIDA Manufacturer/Distributor Conference. I love going to HIDA meetings for many reasons, one of which is the thought-provoking discussions that happen; and how the industry comes together to problem solve.
Here were some of the questions that were asked by the attendees:
• How do we restructure sales teams to speak to IDN’s?
• What competencies do we use to keep our sales reps relevant?
• How do we demonstrate clinical value to our products or services?
• How do we help our sales force understand both sides of the fence?
• How do we work effectively in the IDN space and in distribution?
• How do we level the playing field if we’re a small manufacturer?
• How do we reach the decision makers?
• How do we get to the right call points?
Great questions, right? HIDA did an awesome job of inviting medical facility decision makers to be a part of a panel to begin peeling the onion, if you will. The bottom line is the healthcare institutions don’t want to be called on by sales people, there is no secret sauce to getting to the decision makers. They want you to be a problem solver, a solution for the issues they are facing on the clinical side.
The answer: it’s not all on your sales team, it’s on the whole team. What do I mean by that?
• Align your sales and marketing (this is what we call Smarketing): They’ve operated in isolation for too long.
• Build content/information that will position you as a trusted resource: Deliver solutions for your potential customer.
• The more you develop in content solutions, the more you engage, the more you gain in qualified leads.
• Your sales teams should be educated on how to problem solve and research what solutions would answer the need of the customer.
• Use that content to drive them inbound as opposed to the traditional outbound methodology.
• Attract with relevant information that answers a need.
• Convert to a qualified lead.
• Close the sale!
What you’ll begin to experience, will be a cohesive internal team, not teams in isolation. You’ll experience ownership of content development, solutions being shared, corporate positioning as a trusted resource happening, and sales growth in an uncertain environment.
What does it take to prepare your sales team to sell in the IDN arena? It takes the whole team, harnessing the knowledge you have, and the knowledge you’ll gather, compiling it into relevant resources, and an active inbound marketing strategy.
What’s been your biggest challenge in reaching your IDN decision maker?
Photo by: California Cthulhu (Will Hart)