Plan Your Process: An Easy 6-Step Account Planning Method for Commercial Success

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Every healthcare deal has a rhythm—an ebb and flow that moves prospects through the funnel and ultimately, to the finish line. The beat of that rhythm is the sales process, a repeatable cycle that ensures a clear path to closing. With a good process, digital health companies can better measure success, remove barriers, and predict win ratios and timing overall. With a failed process, everything can fall apart. 

Defining a process, and then replicating it, isn’t always easy. After working in healthcare sales for the better part of two decades, I’ve seen some templates peter out and others do well. But the winning recipe—the process that continues to see traction and success, deal after deal—is likely more straightforward than you might think.

It’s six steps in all, from beginning to end. Along the way, you can supplement with supporting tools and strategies like client profile lists, sales playbooks, targeted marketing, battle cards, and more. But at the outset, follow these basic steps to shore up your account planning strategy and find the rhythm that works for you:

  1. Pick a methodology. Countless sales tools and classes exist, from SPIN Selling to Miller Heiman. I’m a big believer in the latter; I’ve found Miller to be the most simplistic and valuable to manage sales stakeholders and influencers, competitive outlooks, and market conditions. I always recommend that sales teams find a methodology and stick with it across the organization—this gives your process a central vision and ethos team-wide.
  2. Research the influencers. Do homework on every potential influencer who could affect the outcome of the deal—both those who can support it as well as those who risk killing it. Get to know them and understand their primary objectives, professionally and personally, too. Create an organization chart to visualize roles and responsibilities.
  3. Review and reevaluate. Set a recurring appointment with your cofounder, sales lead, or even a mentor or investor to review your pipeline list weekly. Take time to reconsider your strengths and red flags, as well as weaknesses, opportunities, and potential gaps in information. That frequent review can make sure you’re always thinking about how to move every deal forward so that none stagnate.
  4. Learn who writes the checks. I often see founders afraid to ask about budget upfront, but it’s info you must know (and, generally, info most buyers are accustomed to giving). Determining the budget source early can make sure you’re targeting the right prospects; you wouldn’t want to chase after pathology, for example, if oncology holds the purse strings.
  5. Define the buyer’s journey. As you begin to see patterns in how targets are buying your solution, document those into a buyer’s journey unique to your sales engine. This legwork can inform other sales process materials, like sales playbooks and best practices.
  6. Finalize the close plan. Every good account plan starts with a close plan—that upfront promise you make to the buyer. It could be to deliver a certain result by a certain date, or include them on a speaking opportunity, article, or other shared thought leadership venture. Find out what motivates them, and build that into the deal.

Six steps that hold the whole sales process together end-to-end. And to be sure, each step will itself include many other strategies designed to bring deals through close—but it’s so much easier to build those atop an existing, strong foundation. You just have to find the right rhythm and then stick with it.

Have a question about your sales process? Reach out and ask us!

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