A few months ago, I had the pleasure of co-presenting a webinar with renowned HME Sales Consultant Eric Kline as part of the ongoing webinar series offered by HME News. Together, Eric and I shared our best practices for Aligning Technology to Improve Sales Success.
Here are a few of the highlights from our presentation that cover many of the questions we received from participants.
Improving the productivity and effectiveness of your sales reps is a great way to boost profitability, especially when you use a process-driven sales approach supported by technology-driven marketing tools.
HME News offered these bullet points to summerize the topics we covered:
* Fostering consistency and utilizing technology to share new information in referral source visits
* Creating online communities using social media to develop a trusted relationship with referral sources
* Being proactive in asking for referrals and providing those referral sources with online tools to guide their decision-making
A couple of quick and easy techie tools that can assist sales reps in the planning process are:
Healthgrades.com: This website was designed to help consumers find a local healthcare provider. But you can use it to better understand your referral sources before you visit them. Look up a physician on Healthgrades and their profile will include the number of patients they see per day, their areas of specialization, office hours and locations AND a list of the health insurances they accept. Pretty good details to know before you call on them, right? And the best part — it’s free.
Task assignment and management thru CRM. If you don’t have a system for assigning follow-up items to field reps, how can you expect them to remember the details? It’s very hard to drive a process within your sales team without implementing a tool that makes them follow one. A system that records and reminds reps of their to-dos, follow-ups and opportunities is key, as it helps them organize their next steps in terms of the biggest wins first.
As your call lists change, your outbound marketing efforts should coincide to support their sales focus. Here’s another advantage of CRM, if you are storing contacts and call priority in a database, you can export that list to target with personalized email campaigns that contain your rep’s contact information. That way you are still communicating with that prospective referral even when the rep isn’t in the office, and providing them with a means to connect with you on the spur-of-a-moment when they have a need.
Route planning tools: When your reps are heading out, do they plan their stops in order or do they cut back and forth across town all day? Save time in traffic by GPS-ing your destinations to determine the quickest routes before you set out.
If you don’t remember anything else:
Eric says it’s crucial to emphasize that sales reps should “Always ask for the referral on every call, every time.”
But because referrals sources don’t always decide on the spot, I always stress importance of creating an online resource on your website, so you can direct referrals sources there for more information. Also, be sure to leverage online marketing, direct mail and email efforts to target those prospects that don’t merit an in-person visit as the charge for e-communication is only a fraction of what your feet on the street cost you.
About Eric Kline
Eric offers more than 20 years of sales and management in this industry. On a daily basis, he helps HME companies increase their top-line revenue by hiring, training, managing and mentoring salespeople. He’s also a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, donating his time and resources to fly critical-care patients to treatments across the Southeast.
About Lisa Wells
As a HME/DME/Medical Device marketing consultant, I have +17 yrs of global product management and marketing experience with a technology focus. I often give back to the HME community by serving as a subject-matter-expert on marketing for industry publications and speaking at events like the HME News Business Summit, Invacare Supply Group’s annual Customer Appreciation Meeting and Medtrade.