In the best of times, the marketing and sales relationship should be harmonious and productive. When times are tough, marketing should provide the field sales team even more help to ensure success for the organization.
The Challenge: Help a newly deployed sales team achieve rapid success.
Background: The healthcare market was flattening out and a new sales team was deployed to sell Cardiovascular Labs, which have long selling cycles, to hospitals. The company wanted to facilitate a return on its investment in the sales team, so it was imperative that the team rapidly identify buying customers and establish relationships with them.
Insight: Getting a sales appointment is easier if the prospect is already interested in your product.
Strategic Approach: Combine a telemarketing lead generation program, to identify valid prospects, with a direct marketing program, to build company credibility, and open the door for the local sales relationships.
- Use telemarketing to prequalify buyers and narrow the target list from 1,341 institutions to 245
- Three phase mailing campaign sent to about 500 directors and managers of Cardiac Cath labs as well as hospital presidents and CEOs
- Mailing #1: Since most of the recipients had only limited exposure to the company’s products, the goal of the first mailer was to promote confidence in the company’s products. A 6”x6” fold-over card invited recipients to “…experience greater cath lab satisfaction” with the inside payoff noting high customer satisfaction scores from a respected third party.
- Mailing #2: Building on the foundation message delivered by the first piece, the goal of the second mailer was to develop credibility for the product. An 8 ½”x11” envelope carried the imprint “If you invented a stent, which cardiovascular lab would you choose?” The envelope contained a hand signed letter from the VP of Marketing and a case study on how one hospital improved patient care and workflow productivity using the system. One of the physicians at the hospital was a co-inventor of a cardiac stent and carried great credibility with the target audience.
- Mailing #3: The final piece was designed to have the greatest impact with the goal of getting noticed prior to the sales reps call. A 5 ½”x8 ½” box was utilized to deliver a USB stick loaded with a flash animation of the system in action.
- The company’s website was modified to correlate to each of the mailings. For example, when the case study was mailed, a testimonial movie from a key physician was placed online
- Each mailing contained a call to action, but program value was measured in sales calls achieved and orders written
- Total sales generated = $16 Million
- Total program investment = $200,000
The sales team was very positive toward the program and grateful for the assistance in opening doors within their new territory.
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