There are so many different and unique ways to approach your sales outreach plan that many providers have trouble deciding on just one. Some will focus on in-service outreach, educational events, and hospital readmissions. Others may focus on building relationships with discharge planners, social workers, and senior organizations. Regardless of how you plan to grow and maintain your census, long-term thinking is often a weak area for salespeople.
What is Long-Term Sales Thinking?
With short-term sales thinking, you are always trying to get through the month. One more referral, one less empty bed. Some of the best salespeople in our industry have a lot of hustle and fierce tenacity, but their plan starts over on the 31st. Long-term sales thinking goes well outside of the monthly goal. It focuses on establishing the high-referring relationships that consistently produce month-over-month.
The idea behind a long-term strategy is not foreign, but instilling this mindset on your sales reps is vital to their overall success. Hitting your numbers month-over-month without consistent referral sources will eventually drain even the best salesperson. Major wins like hospital or orthopedic loyalty will not only ensure that your reps are achieving their numbers, but it will ultimately raise their expectation and overall admissions.
So how do you get these precious long-term payoffs? Let’s be clear…if there was a simple and straightforward way to become the market leader in every market, there would be no need for any other strategy. However, most referenced and proven method is to modify your approach to the needs of the referral sources you serve. Outcomes and readmissions are important, but everyone is trying to tackle those issues. If you take the time to discover the strengths and deficiencies of your referral sources, you can create or customize solutions that meet their needs.
The art of discovery
Long-term sales strategy involves planning. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” What we know, is that there are several shared challenges that most if not all of our referral sources are experiencing. You can always build your programs and career paths about known diagnosis and potential outcomes. The real planning comes from taking the time to gather as much referral source data as possible. Below are some examples of the type of data you should acquire.
How does the discharge process work?
What are some of the major hang-ups in arranging services?
Is there anything that would make your job easier?
When do you find it fitting to order services?
Is there a specific diagnosis that causes you to work with providers like us?
Is there a process that you would like followed when you send a patient?
By probing your referral sources for their key pain points and understanding how they interact with providers like your organization, you’ll be able to provide solutions instead of just services. Those solutions will separate you from both your competitors and the status quo option. It’s not about being a niche organization, but instead about being a solution-based partner. This type of long- term sales planning goes beyond thinking month-to-month and can build the type of loyalty that can sustain your organization with minimal effort.
Interested in learning more about being successful in sales this upcoming year? Check out our blog: 6 Key Metrics to Succeed in 2018: Two-Part Series on Strategizing 2018 Sales
Want to learn more about Enquire and what we offer? Check out our resources page.