In Part 1 of this Blog Post Series, Three Trends Affecting Payer Group Sales, we broke down 3 trends that highlight why the importance of differentiate your communication strategy to employers: 1.) highly saturated market, 2.) new entrants, & 3.) increasing customer expectations. These trends means two things if you are selling into a new business:
- The business likely already offers their employees health care from one of your competitors
- The evaluation will be highly competitive, both from traditional players as well as new entrants
So how should payer marketing teams respond to these trends? By delivering a differentiated customer experience across the entire customer life cycle.
Let’s look at 3 scenarios at how trailblazers in the payer market are doing this today and leveraging Salesforce Pardot to help.
scenario 1: New Customer ACQUISITION
Whether you are leveraging a broad-based marketing strategy (focus = lead gen) or if you are leveraging an account-based marketing strategy (focus = grow key accounts), your ability to personalize the buyer experience is paramount. According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, 69% of business buyers expect Amazon-like buying experiences. So how are payers getting this “Amazon-like” level of personalization when engaging with employers?
Let’s walk through a few examples how payer organizations are personalizing their new client acquisition journey. In this scenario, let’s say that you’ve identified high tech businesses in the Bay Area as being a top target market. Based on your experience, you know that high tech companies are looking to offer premium benefits to their employees to attract top-tier talent. You want to position your premium coverage plans specifically to this audience.
- Targeted Digital Advertising: After you build an ad campaign that positions your premium health plans to tech companies, you can leverage digital advertising platform to target your specific buyers. You can target specific high tech accounts you are going after across search, display, and social media. Then you can leverage lookalike audiences to target businesses and individuals that look like your best accounts.
- Progressive Profiling: Every digital ad, social post, and web engagement in general, should drive to a call-to-action that encourages a customer to fill out a form to access compelling content or speak with a rep. As customers fill out new forms to access additional content, leverage progressive profiling to continuously learn more. Instead of asking the same questions over and over a gain, collect new information about a prospect each time they fill out a form.
- Dynamic Lists: Dynamic lists allow you automatically segment your current customers and new incoming leads by creating a set pre-determined rules. For example, if a customer selects “high tech” as the industry on a form they fill out, you can dynamically add that customer to targeted “high tech” new lead engagement campaign v. your standard new lead campaign.
- Dynamic Content: Dynamic content allows you to personalize the images or copy you send customers via email or what they see when they visit your website based on predeter mined criteria. For example when a high tech company lead comes to your website, you can have your website automatically render an image of millennials walking through downtown San Francisco rather than displaying your standard welcome image of a family at a park in a midwestern suburb.
Scenario 2: Sales Engagement
In top performing payer organizations, marketing and sales are aligned – aligned metrics, aligned processes, and unified data. Let’s walk through an example of how marketing can empower sales to have more relevant, personalized conversations. As marketing is running a campaign targeting tech companies in San Fransisco, they can expose all the data they are collecting to sales in meaningful ways.
Small Group Sales Teams frequently manage a large number of broker relationships and even more prospect and customer accounts. Account Executives can leverage AI based lead scoring to identify their best “fit” leads, leads that are showing the highest “intent-to-purchase,” and understand key engagement insights. This allows account executives to prioritize the hottest leads and share valuable insights to their broker partners that will help close deals.
With Salesforce Engage Alerts, account executives gets real-time alerts the moment a prospect goes to your website, opens an email, clicks on link, or downloads a data sheet on your health plans. Imagine you’ve been having trouble getting in front of a strategic target account, and you get an alert showing they are on your website researching the types of plan you offer – amazing! Now your account executives can align with your broker sales team to reach out reach out to the prospect at the moment of interest.
To help sales manage broker relationships, marketing can enable account executives with marketing curated email templates to educate, share new plan information, and stay top of mind with their broker channels. Sales has the ability to send these emails 1:1, 1:many, or through automated nurture – saving account executives save time managing, drafting, and sending emails.
By aligning sales and marketing, sales can better manage broker relationships, and ensure the right accounts are being engaged at the right time with the right message. In competitive deals, having the the ability to to deliver real-time, personalized touch points can be the differentiating factor in winning a new account or the business continuing to work with their existing health plan.
Scenario 3: retention and growth
Marketing’s roles evolving from focusing on demand generation to partnering with sales and service to help drive customer success, retention, and growth. In terms of growing your business, ensuring you retain your existing customer is just as important new customer acquisition. Marketing is uniquely positioned to solve for both.
Payers are leveraging marketing automation to build personalized post-sale journeys. First, we recommend starting off with a new employer on-boarding journey. Send your new employer’s HR team down a personalized journeys educating them about the plans and services you offer. Along the way you are tracking their engagement, you can see if they opened your email on the services you will offer their employees during open enrollment and see if they are actually clicking on links in your emails to learn more. You can leverage these engagement insights as early indicators on how a potential roll out of new health services will go at the organization.
Then, after the employer is onboarded, you can leverage marketing automation to manage ongoing education and provide updates on changes to your existing services and make your customers aware of new service offerings. By leveraging lead nurturing capabilities, marketing can now help drive ongoing employer engagement, keep employers up to date, and grow those relationships through targeted upsell campaigns.
What to do next?
The first step to driving more personalization and differentiation across your customer experience is some deep self reflection. Try white-boarding your current employer customer experience as it stands today. Map out each touch point employers have with you across the entire customer lifecycle. Get marketing, sales, and service involved.
From there map out what the ideal state would look like – whiteboard what would your customer experience look like in an ideal world. Then, identify where there are gaps, identify what are the quickest wins to improving the customer experience, and determine what are the most impactful long term changes you will need to make to get to your ideal state.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to build your “ideal state” strategy, check out our e-book, The Healthcare and Life Sciences Guide to Account-Based Marketing.