5 Tips for Closing a Healthcare Tech Sale
Closing the sale is not easy, regardless of your product or industry. It's not supposed to be easy. A big purchase is a big decision, and your prospects will put time toward that decision. In healthcare tech sales, closing the deal comes with a special challenge: the complex sale.
So what can you do to get your technology solution into the hands of the hospitals (and therefore, patients) you know it will benefit?
Tips for Closing a Healthcare Tech Sale
What is a complex sale? When the process is thick and complicated and the decision makers many, we would consider that a complex sale.
"There are a lot of decision makers, but there are a lot of blockers," says Kyle Mumley, senior manager, Solution Sales at HIMSS Analytics. "There are people that can't say yes, but can say no. That means you have to win over both decision makers and non decision makers."
Often, the conversations between those two parties are internal conversations that you, as the sales representative, can't be part of. That brings us to our first tip.
You will not be able to get into those conversations unless you have the ability to lay out responses to the concerns and questions of your contact's greater team.
"Ideally at this point, you've found a coach internally — someone on the inside who can give you the scoop," says Mumley. "Work through them to get to the naysayers. Understand who they are, and don't be afraid to ask questions. For instance, ask your contact who the person is who signs the contract at the end of the engagement. Ask about what they need, or their concerns," he says.
When you sell a solution to a hospital, you might be selling to a particular department. But because you're selling technology or tech services, IT needs to get involved. Leadership needs to get involved. Development teams might need to get involved. There are a multitude of players and priorities to consider. In addition, concerns or objections come in all forms. A prospect might be hung up on pricing, availability, or technological function. There could be a competitor product already in place. Until you ask these questions, you won't know your next move.
Deliver a Response
Once you have accessed some of those decision makers and their concerns, it's time to deliver your response. Set up a meeting with key stakeholders, or, if necessary, give the information to your coach to present. If you find out they're going to go talk with the leadership team making the call, ask if you can be a part of that meeting. If you can't be part of that meeting, then give your coach five slides with talking points so they can work to sell it for you.
If you know the specific blockers, you can offer to get on a call with a decision maker to discuss those blockers directly.
"When the blocker is cost, there's always a challenge because people don't want to talk about money," says Mumley. "But it is an open conversation. So if you can get people talking about it, you can resolve this pretty quickly."
Let your coach or contact know that your organization spends a lot of time on pricing your solution, but you do so without insight into their organization's cost constraints. All that needs to happen for you to get on the same page is a frank conversation about those constraints.
Get Past Silence
Sometimes a contact disappears. You think you're working together to solve their needs and satisfy objections, but they drop out of contact. Have your boss call out to them, or reach out to someone else in their organization, perhaps a partial decision maker your contact mentioned prior. Connect with that person around what they need. Persistence is effective.
In fact, according to Sirius Decisions, the average salesperson only makes two attempts to reach a prospect. But we also know that 80 percent of sales require five follow-up phone calls after a meeting, meaning the average salesperson isn't being nearly persistent enough.
Be Ready in the 11th Hour
What if you've made it all the way to what you think is the closing point, and something's still in the way? To overcome this challenge, you need all of the information you can get prior to its emergence. You should have already asked questions around how closing the sale works:
- How long is finance's procurement process?
- Which departments is the budget coming from?
- Who will be completing the invoice?
- Who will be signing the contract?
These are the types of questions we mentioned in our first tip. They can be difficult to ask, but timidity won't get you anywhere.
Finally, be ready to do what it takes in the 11th hour. Reducing cost is the last card you want to play, but at some point, you have to make a decision about whether the deal is worth the cost reduction or tacking additional items onto the package you are selling. What will this win mean for the future?
It Takes a Little Extra
Healthcare tech sales present unique challenges in the sales process. You need to push a little harder. Ask the tough questions. Move forward when you feel like stopping. If you want to close the deal, curiosity, directness and persistence are key.
Make this your most successful year at HIMSS by coming to the show prepared.