When making a considered purchase, like most high tech products in health care, buyers have to feel comfortable about making the purchase decision. These prospects need to know certain things to feel comfortable making a commitment to you and your product.
In mature replacement markets, buyers already know the answers to all or most of these questions because they’ve bought these kinds of products many times before. Selling into emerging or disrupted markets is harder because buyers have little or no experience buying those specific products. Thus, they often don’t know all the questions, and they certainly don’t know the answers to the questions.
In my experience there are 8 key questions buyers want answered before they’re ready to buy. For many years, all of these questions were fielded by sales reps, along with cold calling for leads. This was very inefficient as it took time away from key sales activities like onsite demos, sales presentations and asking for the business. By leveraging your company's web site, marketing can automate the generation and capturing of leads, and the process of answering these 8 questions, before turning a qualified and nurtured prospect over to sales.
Here are the 8 questions, from the buyer’s perspective and in the order in which they often arise:
- I think I have a need — I certainly have pain — but what are my needs exactly?
- I’ve never bought this type of product (or key new feature) before and know nothing about the technology, common features, how they work, etc. I’m not sure what I need to know, what questions to ask vendors or what the answers really mean.
- How do I match up my needs with a prospective solution? What questions do I need to ask?
- What are the common mistakes buyers make when purchasing these types of solutions, and how can I avoid them?
- What kinds of benefits, value and cost savings can I expect? What are the critical success factors for actually realizing those benefits and value?
- How do I gauge cost and value? What’s a reasonable price? Are there hidden costs?
- How does this company compare to their competitors?
- Am I ready to move ahead? Do I need to do anything to prepare?
If your website answers these 8 questions (and you’ve validated this with your prospects/customers and/or sales), congratulations, you are one of the few using web marketing best practices. Any of the 8 questions you do not effectively answer on your website must be answered manually by sales, taking time away from closing more business.
When considering these 8 questions, you may find this blog post about the 6 categories of ignorance helpful in understanding prospects' struggles with these questions.
Tim, I worked for a large health care organization and bought a *lot* of technology-I’ll add a few other questions they can answer:
How well do you scale? How well will you integrate into the healthcare technical environment? What is your service philosophy for repairs/maintenance? Where are you on the maturity lifecycle? If we buy your product or approach and then help you with further product refinement or development, what do we get?