What Data Do You Need for Account-Based Selling Success?

HIMSS Analytics

Account-based selling isn't new; salespeople have been using this strategic approach for decades to create success. In the health information technology market, where there's often an array of decision makers needed to buy in and close a deal, this approach is especially popular. But targeting highly valued, pre-qualified healthcare organizations requires gathering a lot of information first.

Whether you have a set of targets in mind or have no idea where to start, you can't use an account-based approach without using data analytics to gain insight into what a specific organization needs and wants from a vendor. And once you have that data, what do you do with it?

To help you succeed, we've outlined some of the key information you need to gather for an effective account-based approach to selling.

Key Questions to Ask for Account-Based Selling

1. What technologies does the organization have installed?

Before approaching an organization, you need to understand its technology landscape. Which solutions do they have installed currently, and which vendors are they working with? What is their history of IT adoption? Are there gaps in their current tech stack? How many of those solutions are interoperable with yours?

Knowing this information before you approach decision makers shows that you've done your research and you understand how your solution can solve for their problems. It increases your credibility as a salesperson, and it arms you with the information you need to tailor your message.

2. What is the organization's size?

Depending on the size and structure of the organization, your approach may differ. If it's a larger organization, you may want to begin talking to contacts who can influence decision makers into working with you. If it's a smaller organization, you may want to approach those decision makers directly.

You should also understand how the organization is structured and who is on the C-Suite. If it's a larger organization with a more complicated structure, you may need to approach multiple decision makers involved in the technology selection process.

3. Who are the key contacts within the organization?

Speaking of those multiple decision makers, who are the key contacts within the organization? Who is the CEO? The head of nursing? Who have you spoken to in the past, and who's most likely to be involved in the decision making process?

Knowing this information allows you to consider the different perspectives and pain points you may need to target with each decision maker.

4. What is the organization's EMRAM sophistication?

The EMRAM score will tell you about an organization's current technological capabilities and how committed it is to achieving a paperless EMR environment. Knowing this information tells you where an organization still has room to grow, and you can tailor your message accordingly.

5. How many organizations of each type (how many hospitals, practices, etc)?

Some health systems have multiple facilities, and they may or may not be using the same technology across every location. Understanding how many facilities an organization is comprised of, as well as the technological landscape across those facilities, will help you identify what it would take to run your solution throughout the entire system.

6. Does the organization have purchase plans? RFPs? ITBs?

This data is key — are they even in the market for your technology? With limited time and resources, you want to make sure you're focusing on accounts that have the highest potential and interest. Find out which technologies these organizations are looking for and when they're planning on buying them. Even if they haven't officially announced purchase initiatives, is their digital body language indicating they're getting ready to?

This will prevent you from wasting time on organizations with no intentions to buy or no potential technology green space. Most prospects won't want to talk to you until they're already considering products, so knowing whether or not they have purchase plans lets you know when to approach them and about which solutions.

7. What's the organization's location and geography?

Where is the organization? Is it in a suburban or urban location? What are their neighboring organizations like, and what vendors and technologies are they currently using? This information will indicate whether or not this organization is in a leadership position in the area, as well as where there might be competition — which could be a key component in your message.

8. What is the organization's budget?

You might have the perfect product for a certain organization, but if they can't make room for it in their budget, then they're not a good prospect to spend your time on. Knowing an organization's financial model will tell you how to approach them and how to adjust your message.

9. What are similar organizations doing?

Look at similar organizations — with similar sizes, budgets, sophistication levels and technological landscapes — and look at which vendors they're working with, how they're approaching the decision making process and which technologies they've implemented. This information can give you some direction in tailoring your account-based selling, because it will help you forecast how the organization will interact with you.

Where do you find this data?

Gathering this much lead intelligence data can be a daunting task for one person. Luckily, HIMSS Analytics's Logic platform allows salespeople to create a dashboard where they can quickly and easily pull all of this information. It cuts the time of compiling a sales enablement report way down, and gives you all of the lead intelligence you need on any health system to take a smart, targeted account-based sales approach.

If you already have a target identified, the data contained in Logic can help you educate yourself on nearly every aspect of a healthcare organization. It's always worth validating your own assumptions — use this information to support your gut instincts as an experienced salesperson.

Remember, there's no one size fits all. Good salespeople excel at taking a tailored, custom approach to each account and feeling their way through it. If you don't have the data, don't make it up — arm yourself with as much information as possible, so you can understand an organization's pain points and craft your message as the best solution for solving that pain.

In the health IT industry especially, networking early is extremely important. Even if the buying decision isn't going to be made until twelve months out, you can use lead intelligence data to start building that relationship ahead of time and stay top of mind when the time comes.

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