Highland Marketing: Using sales acceleration to aid business growth

Getting the right message to the right people is a key activity when it comes to engaging with the NHS market, as Highland Marketing explains in this article on sales acceleration.

If you want to engage with the NHS, then getting the right message across in a direct and meaningful way is essential. Sharing details of your products and services with the right people is key. In our experience, one of the best ways of doing this is through sales acceleration.

As its name implies, sales acceleration is all about speeding up the sales process. Once you’ve researched your target market, and got the right messages in place, activity is directed towards identifying the right person to approach.

Then, it’s all about getting them to see how you can meet their needs and turning that approach into a sale. Sales acceleration works by knowing the market, the message, and the medium required to get in front of the right person at the right time.

Sales acceleration in practice
One client that we have been working with was looking to build market presence and generate leads in advance of a key conference.

Our first activity was to raise awareness for our client within its target market. That meant conducting market research, and working with one of its existing customers to develop a case study to show its product could help address local and national policy concerns. A strong PR campaign was created in the national media to echo these messages.

Our second activity involved the core components of sales acceleration. Using telemarketing and direct contact with key individuals, we were able to build on the PR campaign to secure appointments with market influencers and potential customers.

By picking up the phone, talking to the right individuals, and referencing media mentions, we helped to make sure that the client’s presence at the conference was the launch pad for a hugely positive sales pipeline.

What do you need for an effective sales acceleration campaign?
If you are going to do sales acceleration well, you need a targeted database of relevant contacts. Highland Marketing has been working in healthcare since 2002, and knows the healthcare technology sector intimately.

You also need to know what to say. We know our market because we go to events, conduct desk research for clients, and talk to people within the NHS and within the healthcare IT industry.

That’s why we were able to help our client put together consistent messaging for a PR campaign that resonated superbly with the media and the market and to help them get the right approach for individuals on the phone.

You also need to be persistent, and flexible. There are many individuals involved in decisions about our client’s solutions. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to sales acceleration.

Moving beyond business development
This process might once have been called business development. But, for us, putting potential customers in front of our clients at the right time and with the right support, is sales acceleration.

The process is crucial in these tough financial times. Any money invested in sales and marketing has to deliver a return on investment. The cost of sale falls significantly when you target the people most likely to be interested in making a purchase.

Sales acceleration activity can also flex to meet a budget. A hundred calls to potential customers might lead to two valuable leads, with others in the pipeline. Supporting this through an integrated marketing campaign of the kind outlined above can help to increase those numbers.

But sometimes generating leads and sales through working the phones has to come first. A lot depends on the maturity of the business, of course. But as with so much in life, the more you put in, the better the end result.

Sales acceleration is very often the best way to generate sales and leads in as short a time as possible; and it’s speed of sale that can help businesses survive in these challenging financial times.