Sorry, procrastinators—you should plan your 2023 sales strategy today

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By Alex Card

Many a college degree, household renovation, and creative project came to fruition on a foundation of procrastination. Unfortunately for those of us inclined to 11th-hour action, successful annual sales strategies demand an earlier start.

With the year nearly over, there’s probably plenty of excitement already growing within your team around next year’s big plans and projects. Whether you’re moving into new territories or expanding current ones, building relationships with decision-makers and experts, or eying other market opportunities, it’s the perfect time to start planning for 2023.

Of course, moving forward also means looking back at last year’s strategy and determining where it succeeded—as well as where it had room to improve.

Wherever you are in the process of shaping your sales strategy for 2023, consider these tips to make it even more effective. Just be sure to start sooner than later—there’s more at stake here than your GPA.

1. Look at last year’s performance

Neither you nor your 2023 sales strategy should be fixated on the rearview, but you can learn a lot from a little hindsight.

Dig into your sales team’s metrics and see what stands out. Which reps won the most prospects and closed the most sales? What’s the relationship between phone time (or emails sent) and business won? How long were the average sales cycles?

You can learn even more by examining the demographics behind your team’s wins. If you’re selling into the provider space, what kind of providers were most amenable to your product? Was there any correlation between contacts’ ages and response rates—or preferred methods of communication? Were there any surprising trends among the patient bases at facilities where you closed deals?

The right healthcare commercial intelligence makes these details easy to access and analyze, helping you transform your past performance metrics into a winning strategy for the future. Definitive Healthcare offers a variety of commercial intelligence solutions to support the unique needs of every industry within the healthcare space.

2. Chart sales territories for now and later

All the sales expertise and charisma in the world won’t score wins if you’re selling to the wrong people in the wrong places. Sales territory mapping is a proven way to pump up sales, expand your customer base, and build a sense of unity and direction among your team.

You’ll want to analyze geographic areas for the providers and patient populations who can most benefit from your product, whether at the city level or within Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs). Our platform delivers insights into population trends, regional bed counts, facility types, and other factors to help you determine where your best targets are.

Make sure you’re considering your long-term business objectives alongside your current sales quotas. Upcoming product launches, potential buyers’ business plans (such as announced mergers and acquisitions), and anticipated regulatory shifts can all play a role in your optimal map. The wrong territory in Q1 2023 might be the perfect target in Q4. Our platform also provides industry news so you can keep a close eye on the rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

3. Target the right decision-makers

With your sales territories mapped out, it’s time to start reaching out to prospects—preferably those with purchasing power. You’ll need to do a little research to find the individuals most likely to respond to your initial outreach and champion your product.

A facility org chart gives you a basic understanding of who’s who within a target hospital or nursing facility, and how departments interact. You’ll want to identify the provider leaders, key opinion leaders (KOLs), and decision-makers for whom your value proposition will resonate the most, and those who can actually sign off on a sale.

Definitive Healthcare can give you an even closer look into physicians’ clinical activities and executives’ contact information. We offer the procedure, diagnosis, and prescription data on the providers you want to know better, so you can tailor your messaging to their specific needs. You can even use our platform to identify which electronic medical record (EMR) your prospects are using.

Our platform can also help you understand target providers’ and facilities’ financial and clinical performance. Metrics like readmission rate, bad debt ratio, bed utilization rate, and payor mix can make it easier to address unique problems and pump up your value proposition.

4. Plan for a change of plans

More accomplished writers than me have said plenty about our best-laid plans. If you’re not much of a reader, here’s the gist: Good plans go wrong for a great number of reasons.

Your sales team can stay nimble by building flexible goals and strategies around real-time data. As your prospects’ performance and goals shift quarter to quarter, yours may need to be adjusted, too.

Healthcare commercial intelligence based on real-time, real-world data keeps you keyed into the changing market as well as the activities of the players within it. Using reliable, current data, you can spot new opportunities—or potential obstacles—as they arise and adjust your plans accordingly. These factors could be anything from a delayed clinical trial to a change in leadership to an emerging health concern.

Remember: Waiting too long to plan for next year’s sales strategy puts you at a disadvantage—but so does waiting too long to change the strategy as your circumstances evolve.

Get the right intelligence for your sales goals

If you’re a battle-hardened sales rep, these tips might come across as entry-level. The truth is, no sales strategy will work for every organization in every situation. To really start winning, you’ll need the right data and analytics to guide a sales plan that addresses your unique needs and goals.

See how Definitive Healthcare can help you win more sales and meet your goals by signing up for a free trial today.

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