Selling Opportunities

Prospect management or lead management refers to all activities that are done from acquiring a lead to conversion : BY BENNY DANIEL 

1. More than 80% of the leads go cold because of the lack of connect between the buyer and the seller.

Medical tourism today is opening a lot of opportunities for buyers in Indian healthcare. As buyers (hospitals/ associates/ HMO/ facilitators) are exploring different avenues and sales streams to generate successful patients. There is an underlying opportunity to better leverage this sales cycle. The two aspects that pose huge opportunities are:

  1. Prospect Management 2. Post – operative Management
  2. Post – operative ManagementProspect Management Medical tourism in India is a fast-growing segment with an annual growth rate of over 29%. Although India is posting a lucrative potential behind this segment, there are a few niche sales opportunities that lie ahead of ers. Buyers like hospitals or medical tourism associates need to evaluate this as an opportunity to enhance the yield they get out of their sales and marketing efforts. Most healthcare buyers today are focusing on delivering the numbers using their own established sales channels. Better opportunities also lie in analysing, what we call, the sales funnel. This will help them better leverage on the leads that form a part of the funnel.

When a buyer says they are getting an average of 60,000 patients per annum, it also means that they have got in touch with approximately 6,00,000 potential patients. The option is to evaluate what can be done to this potential but not converted segment of business. From an industry perspective, India received an average of 1,600,000 medical tourists last year. This also means that India as a destination has exposed themselves to over 4,000,000 potential patients who contacted India but, for some reason, have preferred not to travel. The opportunity, as I perceive it, lies in leveraging this segment, which will in turn add a tremendous boost to our growing segment.

Buyers today are establishing various sales related agreements and investing on client acquisition to bring in numbers to their setup. Current international medical travellers’ market space has a higher inflow of patients, hence looking at maximising yield is still not seen as a necessity. At present, the investments are monitored only against the return on investment. But a thought on how to take maximum leverage on their investment will add a higher value to the unit. Buyers who are negotiating with governments / mass activities do understand the work quantum that goes along with managing the prospective leads

Hospitals/ associates who are working on bringing in patients focus on strategies to attract patients. Their prime focus is on encashing on the hot/ active leads to conversion. However, little attention is paid to the warm and cold leads that could turn into potential patients. There are studies that cite that more than 80% of the leads go cold because of the lack of connect between the buyer and the seller. Buyers in healthcare today need to move away from viewing ailment as an episode level revenue source and start looking at it as a disease life cycle that could generate multiple episodes of revenue and minimise the cost of acquisition.

I would like to share a few thoughts on the prospect management that would help buyers focus, not only on returns, but also on maximising yield on every investment made. Prospect management or lead management refers to all activities that are done from acquiring a lead to conversion. In medical tourism terms, it is the set of activities that are done right after a patient sends an enquiry and goes quiet, right until the time the patient is convinced to use the services of a hospital. Prospect management helps buyers develop the following with potential patients:

2. Prospect management should become a processdriven automated initiative where people interventions are clearly marked
  1. Connect with the potential patient to convert them into a successful revenue.
  2. Exhibit the value that the patient will buy when choosing a particular buyer.
  3. Create a referral source for future.
  4. Engage with potential lead to turn them into your agement, the key in this exercise is consistency. A standard communication and evaluation process needs to be set to ensure that all prospects are monitored and managed. Analysis is another key aspect that helps us identify and improve the laid-out communication and evaluation processes. In today’s scenario, this segment is managed manually and is a person dependent process. Hospitals should look at automating this process for better efficiency. In other words, the prospect management should become a process-driven automated initiative where people interventions are clearly marked.

There are several CRM tools that are currently available which can aide in prospect management. The key towards this is the understanding of this by the hospital and buyers. The other critical aspect is the availability of a CRM that fits into the hospitals’ enquiry process and their value. A CRM that can be adopted into healthcare will not yield desired results when compared to a medical tourism CRM that has all these factors laid out and already automated. This is probably the reason why lot of CRM execution stalls to deliver the desired output with medical tourism.

Post-operative engagement
This segment is far more productive because this involves patients who have actually experienced the services of a buyer/hospital. Post-operative engagement does not just help hospitals establish their brand for the long term but also acts as a solution to monitor patients who need a follow up. Post- operative management, in this context, does not refer to the clinical side of care but rather to its management side whereby the hospital communicates with their patients to engage and monitor their levels of recovery.

Hospitals and buyers, today, need to focus on retaining their client base and to develop their client advocacy to rapidly gain growth in this segment. These segments, when looked at with the right vision and with justifiable investment, will surely enable buyers to generate more sustained and loyal client base, thereby reducing their cost of acquisition.

Benny Daniel is a 
healthcare consultant. 

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