One of the main charges of a company’s information technology division is to improve the performance of other departments. This multi-tiered initiative is usually at the top of most IT executives’ agendas. And it’s no joke!
Evaluating strengths and weaknesses in each department and determining targeted technological interventions is a massive undertaking that must be planned in almost granular detail.
That work makes for a nice fat spreadsheet jammed with steps designed to take each department to the next level of productivity.
But in this piece, I want to explore only a slice of that pie – the healthcare sales and marketing work stream.
That is, an examination of how IT can focus its efforts to elevate the key revenue-generating teams to the top of their game!
As we all know, healthcare entities are knee deep in an avalanche of information stemming from medical records, patient files, charts, insurance carriers, government payers and other data sources.
Making IT happen
Given this massive data pool, how can marketing communications and sales teams extract the information they need to outreach, nurture, and sell to consumers? And how can a crack IT squad help salespeople spike leads and conversions?
This is where IT can really shine! Why? ...
Because today, most solutions for connecting with customers, clients, and prospects are web-based. That’s right up IT’s alley!
Here are some steps IT can take when supporting sales and marketing:
- Evaluate needs of audiences
What age groups, native languages, income ranges, zip codes, ICD codes, etc. is the marketing team targeting? With a well-defined profile of prospects, IT staff can identify software, online tools, and other solutions that are proven effective for connecting with certain populations.
Also, IT can educate marketing experts about the best ways to query data repositories to uncover the information they need most about specific groups.
- Look at existing communications
Are all sales communications on the web? Are most promotional materials mailed, sent via email or text? Are ads traditional, digital, or both? Perhaps the sales department already knows they should do more online advertising.
IT can apply their expertise of tech tools in these cases to strengthen existing communication strategies. For example, IT may know of programs for automating email distribution to efficiently drive more traffic to website pages containing ads and banners.
- Examine each part of the sales funnel
White papers, product descriptions, and webinars are used to engage prospects at different stages of the sales cycle. IT staff can serve as consultants in suggesting which programs for presenting these materials offer the best value in terms of cost, professionalism, customer convenience and ease of use.
- Encourage internal sharing of information
Providers and data analysts are the main staff in healthcare organizations involved in measuring performance and managing information. They are most familiar with assessing operational, clinical, and administrative consolidated data. Generally, other departments have little or no participation in the ongoing analytics of patient data.
While IT can offer tremendous guidance to sales staff in deciphering data to understand patients for the purpose of improved communications, IT might serve a more meaningful role as a middleman, encouraging clinical and marketing divisions to work more closely together.
Healthcare providers are likely to offer sales and marketing professionals even deeper insights when it comes to understanding service utilization trends, prescription adherence levels, and other information that can paint a descriptive picture of patients.
Arguably, marketing can prove incredibly supportive of medical teams in lowering clinical costs and improving care delivery, if health education messages reach the right patients at the right times through the most appropriate communication channels.