5 Smart Ways to Slay Sales While Mobile
Every health technology field sales agent knows the exhausted (but somehow energizing?) feeling of life on the road. You have to have direction. Clarity. And perhaps most importantly, superb communication with your team, prospects and internet/phone providers. Even heading out of the home office to see your clients and prospects demands extra care and planning. But you can still crush sales while you're traveling. Just follow these guidelines.
1. Be A Savvy Trip Planner
When you're on the road commuting between different opportunities, time is a valuable commodity. One of the best ways to maximize your sales efforts is also one of the most obvious — plan out your trips before you take off. It's likely that more than one sales opportunity exists in a given area that fits your target demographic — it's simply a matter of finding it. If you know you're scheduled to meet with a prospective or current customer in Boston, for example, you can preemptively research other potential opportunities in the area or along the route to make the most of your visit.
Planning the best use of your time on the road often means making some preliminary phone calls or sending a few emails before your scheduled departure, so you can plan in-person meetings for the appropriate day and time you'll be passing through town. No matter how you spin it, sales is still a numbers game — and the more qualified prospects you engage, the more likely you are to land a deal.
2. Connect with Prospects Before You Arrive On-Site
In the digital age, there's a deficit of excuses for not making meaningful contact with someone before you show up at their office. With email addresses listed on almost every website and LinkedIn profiles available for most business professionals, it's easier than ever to send a quick and relevant message that introduces you and opens up a personal avenue of communication with a prospect (without a secretary or gatekeeper playing middleman). Looking at a prospect's LinkedIn profile and website are also great ways to get a preliminary understanding of the individual buyer and company you'll be pitching to.
3. Be in the Know
Again, in today's day and age, staying informed is easier than ever. Not only do most hospitals have an online footprint of some sort — a website, a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook page or a blog — there's also a variety of innovative mobile apps designed to keep you abreast of opportunities in your industry, target network and current customer base.
Before entering into a meeting, it's important to understand the unique mission statement of the system you're targeting (i.e. what drives them to do what they do, how they differentiate themselves from their competitors and what their long-term goals are). While it sounds simple enough, knowing the nuances of a given system's mantra and history can help you anticipate their needs and potential hang-ups — so you can prepare for each potential scenario before it arises in conversation.
If you won't have access to a computer during your commute, make sure you stay current on your intelligence by downloading the appropriate apps on your phone prior to your departure.
4. Customize Your Pitch
Along with knowing your prospect's history and brand identity, you can use other available information to tailor your sales strategy to fit their needs. Did your prospect purchase a similar product a few years ago? What was their experience with that product? How can your product help them achieve their long-term growth goals? How does your company's technology or product fit into their overall value system? How do they compare to their peers, and how can you help make them a more viable contender? Finding the right language and cadence for each prospect will engender meaningful connections and lead to more conversations — and ultimately more sales.
For instance, if one prospect has purchased a technology similar to yours, and their hospital didn't adopt that technology within a given timeframe, thereby leading to its deprecation, you should speak to the high quality user experience your product creates, how your customers ensure adoption, and how your company works to educate users so the product never becomes outdated.
Customizing your sales pitch also means taking into account the most up-to-date information available. You can use your mobile device as a lifeline to check the temperature of current industry trends. You'll also want to keep tabs on other business updates and relevant changes which might influence your prospect's receptiveness to your pitch (and might influence how you should approach them).
5. Communicate With Your Team
Anytime you're on the road, it's important to keep an open line of communication with your own team — so that everyone involved is on always on the same page. If your team knows exactly where you'll be and who you'll be speaking with, they can also offer better ground support — alerting you to any key updates you might have missed and helping you adapt accordingly. Your team might know, for example, that a certain decision maker at Hospital B has objected to your product before, during their time as a decision maker at Hospital A. But your team probably wouldn't tell you that — unless they know that you're about to try to sell into Hospital B.
Use Mobility to Your Sales Advantage
Being on the road is hard work, but it shouldn't hold you back from your quota. Instead, it should stoke your month and quarter by helping you form stronger relationships with prospects and helping them understand how your product can provide real value for their clients and their communities. Using the tips in this post, you can make mobility your friend, so you have time to focus on nurturing relationships — with room for developing your sales strategy, too.