For most healthcare businesses, marketing and sales are two functions whose approaches differ but have a common objective of growing the business. Marketing informs healthcare consumers of the existence of your business and attracts traffic and leads to the business. Sales involve engaging prospects by convincing them that the organisation offers the best solution to their problem with the aim of making sales.
Marketing looks at the big picture and takes a long-term approach with campaigns that can span months or years. Sales takes a short-term perspective, with targets measured on a monthly or quarterly basis. The two business functions may be different in their approach but have a common goal of attracting prospects and converting them into customers. There is a need for the two functions to coordinate efforts to grow the brand and generate revenue.
A recent study indicated that 60% of the marketing and sales professionals felt that their functions were misaligned and that the misalignment had a negative impact on performance. This alludes to a need for the two teams to work together for the benefit of the organization. When marketing and sales efforts are coordinated, organizations experience substantial improvements in critical performance metrics. Coordination reduces market entry costs, shortens sales cycles, and reduces the cost of making a sale. Aligning sales and marketing can help an organization make a 208% improvement in marketing revenue. It can cause a 38% increase in conversions and a 36% improvement in customer retention.
By coordinating efforts, marketers can benefit from salespersons first-hand knowledge of the customers. The sales team can benefit from insights provided by marketers regarding the type of content and language customers and prospects respond to. This approach can help increase the number of salespersons who meet their quotas by over 10%.
All too often, marketers pass poor quality leads to the sales team even though such prospects are not a good fit for the organization or are not ready to buy. Collaboration between marketing and sales can help improve the quality of leads that the marketing team transfers to the sales team. The two teams should work together to identify the ideal lead. The sales team should help build a buyer persona by compiling the characteristics of leads that end up making purchases. The marketing team can then use advanced data analytics to filter down the prospects who have these characteristics.
The marketing team should also involve the sales team in content creation. They should contribute towards tailoring content to the needs of the prospect or customer at every stage of the sales funnel. This should help reduce the high volumes of marketing content that is left unused by the sales team. If possible, they can create content that salespersons can customize while closing leads. For instance, the content draft can leave space for FAQs that the sales team will answer while engaging different customer groups.
The marketing and sales teams can formalize their collaboration by entering into a service level agreement (SLA). An SLA outlines the roles and responsibilities of the sales and marketing department. It establishes the deliverables expected of each party and enforces commitment to the partnership. In the document, both departments define the shared goals, standardize lead definitions, and develop ideal buyer personas. It also establishes protocols for lead management and outlines how the two teams will assess performance.
The covid-19 crisis has changed how patients consume healthcare services. There have been changes in scheduling and consultation that have complicated healthcare consumption. In this environment, patients need information. Marketers and salespersons should collaborate in patient education by providing authoritative and proactive information about different aspects of healthcare delivery. They should provide information about covid prevention, symptoms, tests, and treatment. Healthcare providers who communicate effectively will benefit from increased trust and strong relationships with patients.
For healthcare marketers, the pandemic presents a huge public relations opportunity. Beyond seeking sales, healthcare providers should give a human touch to their marketing and communication strategies. They should position themselves as highly committed to protecting their customers against infection. The communication should be helpful, compassionate, and trustworthy. They should provide factual and verified information about issues, such as the covid-19 vaccine and the measures they are taking to deliver vaccines safely.
Healthcare organizations need to re-evaluate every point of the patient journey and enhance interactions to make patients feel confident in the safety of their services. Healthcare marketers and salespersons should collaborate in scheduling appointments, outlining procedures for telehealth and in-person appointments, explaining safety procedures and requirements, and providing general information in a simple language.
They should also collaborate in optimizing organization websites to make covid-19 and telehealth information easy to find. They can make a dedicated page with all the FAQs and CTAs or links to appointments and other resources. They can also provide a bespoke app that customers can use to browse for healthcare services.
A recent report indicated that 71% of the respondents lose trust in an organization if they feel that it is prioritizing profits over customer safety. Most of the customers want organizations to use their platforms to educate consumers. The report also indicated that majority of the respondents trust healthcare professionals as credible authorities on covid-related issues.
Healthcare marketers can enhance their credibility by informing consumers of the measures they have taken to protect patients during the pandemic. They can assert their authority by providing physician-vetted information on sites that patients frequent, such as Google My Business Listings. They can also use different platforms to draw attention to the initiatives the organization is taking to help communities cope with the pandemic.
The reduced movement resulting from the pandemic forced healthcare consumers to search for information online. This presents an opportunity for marketers and sales teams to collaborate on SEO and content marketing campaigns. They can work together in optimizing content for local markets to capture consumers who are seeking credible medical practices near their residence. The teams can also provide guides on telehealth and rich content advising patients on how to look after themselves.
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