When done well, sharing data with an account is a powerful way to get your contact to share their perspective. It can create a more balanced sales call where you are learning as much about the account as they are about your services. That is how it should be when you are working as partners! This article explains our recommended approach for leveraging Trella Health. Additionally, we provide guidance for creating a leave behind to both support the conversation and reinforce the key messages with other stakeholders that may not have attended the sales call.
Follow our three-step approach to impactful sales conversations that use data:
- Connect with a Personalized Insight
- Differentiate on a Meaningful Outcome
- Suggest a Reasonable Next Step
Connect with a Personalized Insight
Review the account and determine which metric you think would make for a compelling conversation. Consider highlighting an area for potential improvement that the account may not even know existed. Remember that your contact may initially be sensitive to you uncovering a weakness. You don’t want to come across as condemning them for doing a poor job. Position the conversation as one of partnership to activate their problem solving. Sometimes contacts that initially respond negatively will quickly transition to taking responsibility for the problem.
NOTE: You will find it helpful to know your organization’s strengths and weaknesses before performing account planning. If you haven’t already performed a competitive analysis, we recommend you start there!
Differentiate on a Meaningful Outcome
After a discussion about the account’s situation, share your differentiating performance metric and provide underlying support for how you achieve those clinical outcomes. Start first with outcomes, such as readmit or hospitalization rates. Also, it is generally better to be more specific because that will help your contact connect the metric to their understanding of how they provide care. For example, when talking to a hospital, it is better to discuss a readmit rate for a specific major diagnostic category than all patients.
Suggest a Reasonable Next Step
Provide compelling next steps that you are ready to act on as an organization. The best next step will often depend on the type of account and your relationship. What’s important is to make progress.
Creating a Leave Behind
You don’t have the create a leave behind, but it can make it easier for your contact to remember the conversation and act later. We’ve provided example personalized leave behinds in the resources section at the end of this article.
Keep It Simple
If you put too much information, then you are likely to overwhelm your contact. Focus on one or two metrics and clarifying their context appropriately. Then provide a concise summary of your analysis of the metrics, so your contact doesn’t have to do it themselves. Don’t just provide data. Tell a story that the data supports.
Make Highlights on the Images
It’s okay if you aren’t a graphic designer, but don’t let a technical challenge get in the way of a powerful conversation. To create our example leave behind, we used programs native to Microsoft Windows for creating the images. First, we used the Snipping Tool to grab the desired chart and copy it into our document. We only selected the headers and metrics that we needed to support our point. For emphasis, we surrounded key metrics with a red rectangle. To perform that step, we inserted a shape (rectangle) to the document in Word, removed the fill, and updated the outline color to red. Most computing environments have similar steps.
Consider Using Percent Change
When comparing performance numbers, it is appropriate to use percent change as opposed to percent difference. Since percent change tends to create more compelling numbers, consider using percent change to summarize your comparison to benchmarks or competitors. This is especially important when using small numbers.
Percent Difference = Your Value – Benchmark Value
Percent Change = (Your Value – Benchmark Value) / (Benchmark Value)
Here is an example to illustrate that point:
Your readmission rate is 1.0%. The county’s average readmission rate is 1.5%.
The percent difference between you and the county is 1.0% - 1.5% = -0.5%. You would state as, “Our readmission rate is 0.5% lower than the county.”
The percent change between you and the county is (1.0%-1.5%)/1.5% = -33%. You would state as, “Our readmission rate is 33% lower than the county.”
Both statements are correct. For account planning purposes, mentally comparing 1.0% and 1.5% with percent difference to determine that you are performing better than the county is helpful. When it comes to presenting your performance, I’d rather be saying that I’m 33% lower than the county, wouldn’t you?
Add the image below to your document to clarify the data as coming from a trusted third party.