At Hexi, we consistently hear the same pain point from healthcare marketing and sales teams - they spend months or years chasing deals that keep getting pushed back, and many “sure thing” prospects ultimately never close. Whether the customers are providers, payers/health insurers, life sciences, med device, or employers, anyone who works in healthcare sales is familiar with the long sales cycles, many stakeholders, and frustrating bureaucracy of selling into enterprise healthcare. In a survey conducted by Hexi of B2B health technology companies in 2018, their average sales cycles were 13 months, and each new customer had a Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) of $180k. According to the Harvard Business Review, 63% of B2B salespeople across industries are under-performing, and we hear similar statistics in healthcare specifically.
We attribute this underperformance to the often used "spray and pray" method of lead generation - marketing and sales teams contact as many people as possible in the hopes that a small fraction might convert into a meeting. They do so despite knowing that their specific products and services are only relevant to a subset of the market. This inefficiency at the top of the sales funnel distracts teams with “doomed leads” and causes the notoriously long sales cycles in healthcare. Classic symptoms include many meetings but few deals, and estimated close dates that continuously get pushed back.
At Hexi, we encourage sales teams to move away from the “spray and pray” method by leveraging data and AI to generate what we call engineered “Sales Serendipity.”
What is Sales Serendipity?
Imagine a world where we could find new prospects, who at this exact moment, have the pain points that our products and services solve? This is Sales Serendipity. When done right, finding Sales Serendipity can free marketing and sales teams from non-productive outreach, accelerate deals, and delight prospects who ultimately turn into customers.
For example, one of Hexi's customers uses telehealth to treat patients with diabetes. Using Hexi's AI, we were able to identify over 150 health systems that had recently launched new diabetes initiatives or were discussing the use of telehealth to support diabetic patients. We delivered intel on the decision-makers at each health system who were responsible for these initiatives and mapped their relationships to the telehealth company's network of current customers, investors, and champions. Their sales cycle length decreased by 30% and pitches increased 3x in the first 6 months.
Putting Sales Serendipity into Action:
Switching from the old ways of doing lead generation - buying lead lists from lead sellers, using drip email campaigns, and cold calling - is easier than it may seem. To do so, first, it's important to identify the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This can either be done using customer interviews, or with the help of tools like Salesforce Einstein, which uses data from your CRM. At Hexi, our AI reverse-engineers ICPs by finding the common attributes amongst your best customers, including their past initiatives, pain points discussed, decision-makers’ job tenures, organization profile, and more.
Next, a sales team can use the ICP to find prospects who match that profile. Make sure to not just focus on job titles and organization profiles (that’s the old way of doing things), but expand to the buying signals that really matter: pain point signals, decision making power, topics of interest, and even factors such as an organization's financial health. Hexi's buyer scoring system makes doing this easy, and automatically calculates scores for each unique ICP for 250,000+ healthcare decision-makers. We call these “low hanging-fruit prospects” (LHFPs) - they’re aware of the problem you’re solving, likely have the relevant pain points, and have the decision-making power necessary to make thing happen.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, check to see if people in your network know these LHFPs well. Tools such as Linkedin and Relationship Science can help track down warm introductions. Hexi’s Relationship Mapping technology does this specifically for healthcare decision-makers.
The Last Word:
Powerful tools now exist that can free marketing and sales teams from chasing unproductive leads. Successful teams are now more sophisticated in who and how they target. With a focus on fewer, but more relevant prospects, teams can condense their sales cycle and reverse the trend of long sales cycles in enterprise healthcare.