Adding market intelligence to your B2B sales data is surprisingly underestimated by NHS IT suppliers, and I’ll tell you why.
(Off topic but relevant): Would you play darts without a dartboard? No.
This is because you need to know where to aim and what you want to achieve to really focus your efforts.
I’ve come across some NHS IT sales teams who simply take a blanket approach to cold calling prospects hoping they are qualified, have a purchase requirement and are ready to buy.
Good luck with that.
I am not too sure why these teams do not invest more in market intelligence to inform their strategies and engagement exercises – maybe it’s seen as a ‘nice to have’ – but I believe it’s an essential element of your B2B sales data.
This is especially so in the NHS. It’s unlike any other market, with an eco-system of buyers guided by national, local and co-shared visions and budgets. You need direction.
This is where market intelligence can help. Accessing information on which systems are deployed at each local NHS trust or organisation, contract end dates, their IT strategies, procurement intentions, and key contacts (buyers and influencers) can dramatically increase your chances of setting sales appointments.
Here’s some ways that market intelligence can be used to great effect
1 Define your market
Work out how large or small your addressable market is and make informed decisions on which segments to target first. You will waste less time and effort by identifying who your qualified prospects are and when they will be in a position to engage with you.
2 Understand your prospects’ needs better
Qualifying out is time well spent. Finding out the detail behind the purchase decision-making, and whether a segment is right for you, means you can exit before you invest time and money on marketing.
3 Identify market trends and opportunities
The commercial outlook for the NHS IT market is expected to reach a whopping £4bn by 2022. Shape your sales strategy with insight into who has funding, expecting funding or is going out for tender to meet their digital aims.
4 Manage resource more effectively
Establishing a pipeline of opportunity will help you to plan ahead. Get your sales and marketing people ready to convert leads, and clear diaries for your bid and demo teams. Top tip: don’t pay your sales lead generators to build market intelligence data – they are two very different disciplines, and it doesn’t make economic sense!
5 Watch for competitive threats
Assess market share and see who has relationships at which local NHS trusts or organisations. Anticipate your competitors’ next moves, and counter against them with market messages and activity.
6 Inform PR campaigns
As well as informing your key messages to help market differentiation, you can use feedback and comments from market intelligence activity to inform thought leadership campaigns, in turn helping to educate your market to increase profile and credibility of your brand.
7 Build a predictable pipeline
Many sales professionals are driven by short-term sales targets and bonuses. By investing in market intelligence, you can plan and build a pipeline for up to a year, and be confident of hitting those targets, and some.
Why by September?
Within the NHS calendar year, August is often written off as holiday season for procurements and marketing efforts mainly because purchasing decisions are delayed as members of the decision-making unit are on a sandy beach or sunny (or soggy) campsite.
Whilst there is some truth in that, it also represents an opportunity for you and your team to re-group and assess/set your sales strategy so that you are ready for when the NHS wakes up again in September, but make sure you are armed with the right information to do this justice.
We build one-off dynamic databases turbocharged with information like system data, contract end dates, and notes on who is the best person to target and why, to help prioritise sales engagement and deliver appointments faster.
This service is available as an ad-hoc investment or an annual maintenance plan giving you reassurance that your data is always up-to-date and available for any campaign, whenever you need it.
If you want a chat about how market intelligence can support your sales objectives, please call 0808 168 6426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org