Friday, June 29, 2012
Initially, it's natural to assume that nothing can make something more imperative than having the government behind your back. Have you found an efficient replacement for mercury thermometers? Have government agencies mandate it! Do you want to spread awareness of a seasonal virus? Let the government impose new rules and start programs to assist prevention! Meanwhile, you can just sit back, focus more on improving your services, and wait as the prospects come in because they need to comply with the new regulations.
No doubt you have heard that this has also been what's going on in the medical technology industry. In different parts of the world, governments are issuing new laws and regulations that are more or less putting pressure on all those in the fields of health care to 'upgrade' their tools and facilities. Systems like EMR and EHR are being made more necessary to meet standard requirements, despite the still widespread hesitation and, at times, outright dissension of medical professionals and institutions alike.
Of course, you would insist on the urgency. The use of increasingly aging technology and inefficient practices will always do more harm than good in the long run. You can cite statistics showing how faster and more cost effective hospital and medial work can be through the use of EMR. The accuracy of new applications and the greater availability of information can greatly assist doctors and other professionals in diagnosing patients and organizing their data.
The question is, do they really know that? When your medical software business suddenly gets a bigger swarm of software sales leads, is that really the result of them being informed? Chances are, they may just be hastily falling in line because they don't want their hospitals shut down or lose their licenses. They don't know or maybe even care to know about what it is they're asking from you.
And as a result, you get the many problems plaguing the medical software industry. Implementation is less than perfect. People aren't really using the software as well as you'd hope. Some of your clients develop unrealistic expectations from your technology. Others are just bitter that they have to put up with more work that's been piled on by your systems.
The thing you're missing is that the government can't teach these people about your technology better than you can. In fact, sometimes having the government back you up means you have to teach them first before anyone else! After all, they have to know why it's so urgent that you need the weight of federal law to encourage usage.
The real tragedy though is that medical prospects can be taught to appreciate the new tools and applications. They're not entirely opposed to change and they even acknowledge the value of having better ways to obtain information on a patient. They just have other grievances that neither you or the government seem willing to hear.
That has to change and the government won't do this for you. You need to really focus on the relationship between yourself and each prospect. Software appointment setting isn't just there so you can bombard them with the benefits. It's there so you can exchange information, address concerns, and make it easier for them to understand why implementing (and using) your software is so important!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Cloud computing and mobile are all the rage in the B2B software world. With companies like SAP and Oracle both making moves to integrate this new technology and start offering SaaS, it only goes to show that taking things to the cloud is becoming the next step in advancing business technology.
However, not everything is perfect and certainly not cloud computing. The biggest issue facing developers and clients alike is the safety and security of putting sensitive information and delicate processes online. Such a move puts both in dangerous exposure to hackers and other online threats. Furthermore, if something happens to you that compromises your ERP system, your clients are going to be filing in with a lot of complaints.
If you think a ticketing system is enough to get all their inquiries in line, think again. You might as well be giving them another thing to complain about. And the thing with complaints is, once you get enough of them, your business will be served a whole buffet of bad referrals.
A bad reputation like that spells bad news for business growth. For instance, your B2B lead generation campaign won't be bringing in interested prospects because a lot of people have been taking in too many negative reviews about your service. What else can you expect?
The solution to that though is just as obvious. You have to be in constant connection with both your current clients but at the same time, you need to know how to effectively establish that while trying to get new ones. Here are several steps:
- Don't just depend on the internet. - This might sound ironic but just relying on input from an online ticket system is not enough. Utilize other means of communication for prospects with different preferences. For those who can't wait, give them a number and have inbound telemarketers ready to handle their calls.
- Inform them as soon as possible. - This should be done by any means necessary. If something has happened and your system has been compromised, your clients should be the first to know. As with the above, don't limit yourself to just one form of communication. Spread the word in any way you can. And yes, telemarketing can also be used towards that end.
- Always keep them in the loop – It's not just during emergencies that you need to keep in touch. There are times when you have made your own changes so your clients need to know about that as well. There might even be new services that you can offer that they would like to know about. (On that note, this is perfect when you're trying to make software sales leads out of current and past clients.)
Out of all criticisms levied against cloud computing, security has remained to be the one where the proponents are still struggling to overcome. The above steps may not be perfect either but you should at least acknowledge the validity of these concerns, set a few things straight, and all in all, keep in close touch with your clients.