Five Tips For Selling Into The Healthcare Sector

Slintel Image
Slintel Image

Deepak

Last updated April 9, 2018

If you are targeting the Healthcare sector, you would have probably noticed that getting access to decision makers is not very easy. While Healthcare is a great segment to go after, due to deep pockets of companies ( 17% of all US spending - $3.3 Trillion is focused on Healthcare), you’ll find that it is not easy to reach decision makers as a number of them do not have public profiles and are not active on social media. So you may have to rethink some of your sales strategies while selling into this segment. We’ve identified 5 tips that we think could be of help :



 

Given how broad the healthcare sector is, the first step is to understand which specific industry you should be targeting. Are you better off selling into pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment companies, healthcare insurance companies or to healthcare facilities? Interests of decision makers vary widely based on the industry they are in, so it is important to tailor messaging based on the audience. Even if you want to cater to all of these segments in the long run, it is best to prioritize which ones you’d be targeting first and tailor your campaigns accordingly.


 

The next step is to identify who you want to reach out to within the industry you are targeting. For instance, if you were to look at healthcare facilities, there are wide range of firms ranging from large multi chain hospitals to specialty clinics to ambulatory service providers to palliative care providers.

Your target audience may vary based on the category of companies you are reaching out to. For instance if you are selling a recruitment product to large hospital chains you may want to target physician/ nurse recruiters, but if you were to sell into speciality clinics you would probably want to target partners /owners making these hiring decisions. Your messaging would also vary based on whom you are targeting. Given all the specializations and super specializations within healthcare, you need to be speaking the language of your buyers in order to get their attention.

Not all healthcare professionals are going to be very active on social media - Some may not even have social profiles. So you need to figure out what’s the best place to get to their profiles. Based on whom you are targeting, you may to explore channels that house their information. For instance when you are looking for doctors/ nurses you may want to run your searches on ZocdocDocplanner etc. Or you may want to look a companies such as PracticeMatch that house physician profiles in their databases. If you are looking at physician recruiters, you may want to look at NAPRor ASPR.

Once you’ve identified their contact details, you need to figure out the best way to get in front of them. Unlike companies in other industries that are concentrated in specific locations, healthcare companies are spread across all states and cities. Meeting decision makers across all regions may be difficult. Given many of them are not active on social, or may be very busy to reply to an email/ voicemail, you may have to look for alternate approaches to get to them.

For instance you could look at key industry events to identify where you target audience is. You can then present a booth or a banner at the event, or just meet people and introduce yourself. It may even be a good idea to reach out to people before the event and follow up during the event.



 

If you think having a field sales team does not justify the RoI, you should look for distributors, resellers, and channel partners that can help you reach your target audience. They typically have the connections to buyers in a specific region and can help you get your product/ service in front of them.

It is always a good idea to invest in content marketing and SEO to let people find you, than you having to find them. Talk about a pain point that resonates with your audience and evangelize how you are tackling the problem. Create buzz that gets them talking about you, or even better find you in the first page of search results when they look for a solution for their pain point.

While Healthcare can be a very broad segment to sell to, with thousands of companies in this space, the margins are very low as there is continued focus on consumer price reduction spiralling downward pressure on spend in healthcare companies. This means you need to be able to articulate your RoI well, to be able to justify the additional spend.

A good idea would be to focus on transformation and not disruption as Healthcare companies tend to be resistant to any major changes that may impact the outcome of their patients. They don’t want to fix anything that is not broken, even if it may improve their productivity. You should think of how your product / service can work well with their existing systems and think of how you can integrate with their current environment.



 

Also deployments in this space are organization wide and training is imparted to stakeholders across the organization - This means the decision making process is probably going to entail a lot of key personnel across different departments. So be prepared to research what each of their interests are, and craft your pitch accordingly. In all probability, given their risk aversive nature they may want to start with a pilot - So think of ways in which you can structure this to make this successful for both parties.

From a timing perspective, try to target these companies a few months before their fiscal year, so you are on their radar when budgets are being determined. If you’re selling to them mid cycle, think of innovative business models you can offer that can make their purchase decision easier.

Healthcare is a great sector to go after, but you need to rethink your sales strategy to get the most out of your outreach. We hope the above tips help in channelizing your sales efforts. Happy hunting !

  1. Identify what industry you are targeting

  2. Understand your audience within the industry

  3. Find out how you can get to their profiles

  4. Identify the right channel to reach out

  5. Focus on the right messaging