4 Challenges in B2B Healthcare Technology Marketing & How to Solve Them
May 31, 2022
B2B sales and marketing is rarely a simple undertaking, and nuances within individual industries only add further complexity. One such vertical where this is especially prevalent is healthcare technology.
The Healthcare IT (HIT) sector is expanding faster than ever before, anticipated to grow globally by over 17.4% by 2027. This poses an exciting opportunity for companies within the health tech space, but it can be a real challenge for B2B healthcare marketers to capture attention and get traction in such a competitive vertical. To capitalize on this period of accelerated growth, HIT and SaaS vendors must ensure their sales and marketing efforts can successfully generate a predictable flow of qualified leads with healthcare providers.
Thankfully, existing strategies can be adopted to solve for these challenges, making it easier to generate, nurture, and convert leads when selling to healthcare organizations.
Challenge #1: Timing & Sizing the Market
For B2B healthcare marketers, it can be difficult to get an accurate estimation of the total addressable market (TAM). Not all institutions are privately owned, and government healthcare funding can vary wildly, therefore affecting a provider’s propensity to buy. For example, a hospital may fit the scope of your ideal customer profile, but if they’re chronically underfunded, they’re probably not looking to invest in new tech and not a viable prospect. Furthermore, many organizations won’t begin searching for solutions to their problems until a Request for Proposal has been submitted—a formal request for suppliers to bid to complete a specific project or solve a problem. This can make it tricky to know when it’s a good time to reach out to prospects versus when it’s going to be a non-starter.
How can HIT companies ensure they’re targeting the right people and avoid wasting resources on untenable leads?
Technographic install data can be especially helpful, providing insight into existing health IT stacks and ensuring product recommendations and messaging can be tailored accordingly. As well as identifying ready-to-buy prospects, intelligent data can help to expand the TAM by facilitating powerful segmentation based on ideal customer attributes
High quality, accurate B2B data is key to solving this challenge, providing sales and marketing teams with a list of potential healthcare technology buyers who are currently in-market. Technographic install data can be especially helpful, providing insight into existing health IT stacks and ensuring product recommendations and messaging can be tailored accordingly. As well as identifying ready-to-buy prospects, intelligent data can help to expand the TAM by facilitating powerful segmentation based on ideal customer attributes. Armed with this data, sales and marketing teams can pinpoint buyers who are actively seeking solutions like theirs and allocate their resources accordingly.
Challenge #2: Extended Sales Cycles
B2B sales are rarely short, but within healthcare they’re renowned for being especially arduous, often taking a minimum of 12 months and frequently hitting the 18-month mark (and in some cases even longer). Given that the decisions made can quite literally be a case of life or death, this prolonged sales cycle is hardly surprising. It does, however, create issues for sales and marketing teams, who must invest extra time and energy moving prospects through the sales funnel.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that can help to trim the sales cycle thanks to its highly targeted and personalized approach. With campaigns tailored to individual prospects, ABM focuses on delivering the right messages, at the right time. No resources are wasted on irrelevant or untimely messaging and potential customers quickly get the answers they need to inform their decision. Although HIT companies can’t directly speed up the processes involved in the purchase decision, with ABM they can at least make the buyer’s job as simple as possible, hopefully saving time and money along the way—for both parties.
Challenge #3: Multiple Stakeholders
Every vertical has its range of stakeholders involved in the buying process, but perhaps none so disparate as in healthcare. When selling to health professionals, it’s necessary to understand the unique needs of each stakeholder to reassure them your solution is the best fit for their organization. This can involve everyone from clinical end-users to procurement managers to members of the C-Suite. Obviously, this poses a challenge when it comes to crafting relevant sales and marketing messages, as you seek to address the concerns of all the stakeholders (and the teams they represent).
Creating robust buyer personas can help ensure you’re catering to each stakeholder. Having a deep awareness of everyone’s pain points enables you to craft a marketing strategy that meets all their individual needs, from the nurse on the ward to the CFO in the boardroom. It’s wise to go a step further in this analysis and think about the patients themselves—considering them as the customer of your customer. Patient experience is of paramount importance within every health tech purchase decision, and vendors that go the extra mile to understand this will be favored highly.
Challenge #4: Decline of Traditional Sales Tactics
In the pre-pandemic world, trade shows, conferences, and in-person visits were a major part of healthcare tech sales. However, thanks to COVID-19’s lingering effects, digital has become a much larger part of the B2B sales process. Despite this, it’s still possible to add a personal touch to selling, and it’s in the interest of HIT companies to do so—buyers are 48% more likely to consider vendors that personalize marketing to address specific needs.
Building on the foundations laid by creating solid buyer personas, personalization helps businesses differentiate from competitors by delivering individualized marketing campaigns as opposed to one-size-fits-all messaging. It’s a great way to build trust with potential customers, an especially useful tool in an industry such as healthcare where buying decisions directly impact human lives. Personalized marketing will demonstrate you are truly in-tune with the requirements of your prospects and enable you to make a more memorable impression.
Data, the Healthcare Marketing Game-Changer Although the healthcare technology sector has some additional hurdles when it comes to lead generation, it’s possible to overcome them by taking advantage of insightful B2B data. With advanced solutions to identify, activate, and convert opportunities, DemandScience makes a perfect partner for health tech companies looking to accelerate their growth. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.