Sunday, July 10, 2016

Healthcare Vendor Sales Growth Strategy, Thought Leadership & Social Media Selling?

Healthcare sales are involved. But when one isn’t utilizing the social media tools of LinkedIn, Twitter,  company blog,  trade publication news articles, thought leadership, etc.,  the job just got harder. Social media use in sales is about amplification.  An amplification tool for what you’re selling utilizing the Internet of Things that key channel segments pay attention too.

Use of social media isn’t a feature and benefits selling approach. Use of social media is a solution/thought leadership selling approach. It’s an inbound advisory approach as opposed to outbound cold selling. Social media is not only sales and marketing intelligence but about sales and marketing demand generation as well.

Let me explain.

In an age where messaging is quickly becoming undifferentiated and looking like me too,  how then can the sales client executive hunter find ways to differentiate one’s company’s message?

I am not slamming any marketing department or product managers.   Marketing and product managers need to be integrated closely with sales. In the end, though, messaging for sales faces the “rubber meets the road” test at every prospect or client interaction. 

Still more challenges.

Another challenge sales face is how providers and others for that matter go out with RFPs and RFIs sent to a select few vendors. When a supplier receives an RFP or RFI, the sender has already done 75 percent of the detailed search work.  The prospect company has already identified the problem, a solution and potential vendors to talk too.

You don’t become a trusted adviser without thought leadership or social media selling.

Notice that I said provides the answer to solving the problem. Through the Internet of Things and other social media sources, providers have done their homework in understanding who the market leaders are that can provide solutions to the business challenge at hand. Companies want to know what people are saying about the vendor, and what the seller is offering up in thought leadership.

Social media amplifies. It’s a ready-made sales executive bullhorn.  

So it reasons that if the vendor is not expanding the message with social media and thought leadership on the Internet of Things, then it’s not a surprise that the vendor is left out.

The point is this, social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and other outlets can become a useful tool in the arsenal of the sales client executive. Just add compelling content and sharing of pertinent articles.

Client executives need to be on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and sharing news articles; the company thought leadership and your thoughts about topics.  

One needs to be using the social media sharing buttons commonly found on publication website stories, blogs, and other thought leadership venues to your audiences. One needs to subscribe to the major story email newsletters in your vendor segment to share those articles.

Client executives and marketing need to collaborate closely with social media and the use thereof for the benefit of the company.

When that RFP, RFI or call comes in the door out of the blue, the client is already in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey.  Tag, you’re part of the final section process.

Now you are considered a thought leader and a solution provider, not a salesperson just trying to meet a quota.

Michael is an independent healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters has over 20,000 page views a month.  He is also a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified.

For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

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