You have a lead; now what?? While Part 1 of our marketing mix discussion focused on starting points such as landing pages and content marketing, Part 2 walks through the lead conversion process that happens once someone is in your sales or marketing funnel. In this episode, you’ll learn how to pay more attention to the parts of the lead conversion process that matter, what to do when the pipes aren’t connected, and how to adapt when you aren’t getting the response you expected.
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Announcer: It’s time to think differently about healthcare. But how do we keep up? The days of yesterday’s medicine are long gone, and we’re left trying to figure out where to go from here. With all the talk about politics and technology, it can be easy to forget that healthcare is still all about humans. And many of those humans have unbelievable stories to tell. Here, we leave the policy debates to the other guys, and focus instead on the people and ideas that are changing the way we address our health. It’s time to navigate the new landscape of healthcare together, and hear some amazing stories along the way. Ready for a breath of fresh air? It’s time for your Paradigm Shift.
Michael: Welcome to the “Paradigm Shift of Healthcare,” and thank you for listening. I’m Michael Roberts, here today with my co-hosts Scott Zeitzer and Jared Johnson. Guys, in today’s episode, we’re continuing on with part two of a discussion. In the last episode, we talked about how to pick that right marketing mix, you know, how to pick out the channels that we want to use, what tools you need to use. And we got through quite a bit of that discussion, and then realized we had a lot more to say, and we kind of ran out of show to be able to get through that. So, today, we’re going to be focusing more on, you’ve already kind of fixed some of these problems, you’ve already fixed some of these processes, and now you have a lead. Now what? You know, what do you do with this lead once it comes in? So, Jared, let’s kind of talk about this from a very, like, high level, I guess, like, this lead conversion process. What is it that companies need to be thinking about?
Jared: Yeah. So, the process is important, because it has changed a lot. It is not as simple as if you build it, they will come, or we turn on…we fire this platform up, or these tactics, and all of a sudden, like, the fire hose is on. We have to realize what we’re competing with. And it’s funny how often that comes up in any marketing conversation. And a lot of folks are just like, “Yeah. But we’re, you know, we’re…” I think they just give themselves more brand equity in their minds. That’s probably the best way to put it. We think our brands matter more to people than they actually do. And they might, but in context, and we’re thinking about marketing from a certain standpoint, trying to solve a certain problem, when that problem is usually not the thing that any human being that you’re trying to target is trying to solve or think about first thing in the morning when they wake up.
They’re dealing with everything else in their life. And now there’s more in front of us than ever. There are more distractions than ever. There are more brands trying to compete and engage with us than ever. So, like, there are a lot of outside, I guess, exterior, external reasons for our leads not just, like, firing like they used to. And I think that’s an important part of any discussion, because the tactics, and the platforms, and the marketing mix itself, all the channels, all the things we’ve been talking about, these only get us so far. We have to give ourselves the best chance of those leads actually mattering, and of, you know, we’d better take advantage of every single one that comes in. I recall our episode with our interview with Jessica Walker, with Care Sherpa. We referenced it a number of times. We’ve referenced a lot of these process-related thoughts on a number of episodes.
And it bears repeating, just because, again, things have changed. There’s so much context that we need to think about. So, when we’re talking about, like, what kinds of issues that we have in terms of our lead conversion process, there are some basics. There’s some simple parts about all of those lead sources. It’s not uncommon to have some digital advertising. So, some Google ads running, some Facebook ads running, or Instagram ads running, depending on what we’re trying to focus on. LinkedIn sponsored posts, whatever it be. We…you may have anywhere from 3 to 5 to 8 to 10 different channels that, you know, that we’re trying to gather leads in.
And first and foremost, we talked about landing pages a lot last time, which I’m glad, because that’s the first and foremost part. Where do they go when they click on the thing that is attracting them? So, we can reference, you know, part one of the discussion of tips there for the landing page itself. But then, it’s like, so, hey, where are all the pipes connected? Where do they go from there? Is there a single source? That’s where a CRM is usually a key part of any lead conversion process, when we’re talking about the tech stack that’s underneath it. And that can take any number of forms. But at the end of the day, we need to have a central source where all the pipes are tapped into. So, whatever’s flowing there, they need to go to the same place. And that’s the easiest thing to do is not to be checking all of your different dashboards. The best thing to do process-wise is to have a single place there. That’s something that’s just going to help with the process itself. So, you know, that’s just a starting point. You know, I’m curious, you know, what other questions, Michael and Scott, that you’re hearing specifically, you know, about the process itself.
Scott: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting you bring that up. So, you build it, and then they actually come, and you’re like, “Okay. Now what?” To your point, Jared, there’s a couple of things happening. You’ve spent money on a variety of different platforms, advertising platforms, and people are picking up the phone, say, or filling out a request for more information. With doctors’ offices, they ultimately end up just calling the main line. And that can be good and bad, right? Because there are some people who answer the phone who are more knowledgeable than others. Some people who are more…have more time to be polite, have more information about what a particular prospective patient may be calling about.
Remember, those people we’re trying to essentially book cases, not to get into a long conversation about some complex orthopedic procedure, or whatever type of procedure. Jared, you brought up some sort of CRM tool on the back end. For sure, you need that. Our platform certainly has a way to keep track of all that. But you also have to be able to be, I don’t know, calming, reassuring, intelligent, etc., to actually convert the prospective patient to a new patient. Wouldn’t you agree, Michael?
Michael: You know, I just had a process where I had to reach out and schedule an appointment. And the fact that you’re talking about somebody actually responding is already a step further than where I started out in my process of trying to book an appointment. You know, I reached out, sent the form in. I’m on the old side of millennial, so I think I still qualify by a hair. But, you know, the phones, like, that’s just the tool that you use to send texts, right? So I’m not the one that likes to call all the time. But it doesn’t really help if you have the digital tools to take in information if you never respond with said digital tools. So, you know, I fill out the form, I’m like, “Cool.” I’ve got that process, you know, handled. Mid-week, the following week, when I realize that I’ve never received an email or a phone call or anything, okay, you know, “Crap. They never responded.”
So, there’s that point in your head where you have to say, like, “Do I want to go ahead and switch doctors at this point?” You know, because I hadn’t…this isn’t a doctor I’d seen before, so I’ve got no investment here other than I looked you up and you seemed okay. Do I keep going down this pathway? And I think that, you know, for every group that’s out there where you have patients that are filling out some kind of form and they’re not getting responded to in a decent, you know, timeframe, they’re not hearing back from whomever’s supposed to be doing that, like, that’s what the patient is going through. They’re already considering whether they should move on. And it has nothing to do with your ability as a doctor. It’s just, did somebody respond? Did somebody write back or give a call? So, I agree. Let’s definitely have people that can answer the phone well, but let’s have people that actually do answer the phone, or do respond via, you know, email.
Scott: There’s so much lifting going on, right? You spend so much time creating that website, the landing pages, the advertising to get to the landing pages, and you just didn’t think about that last component. And we do talk a lot, you know, about Jessica over at Care Sherpa, and we’ve had some very key clients, and we had her do some secret shopper work, you know, where she made some phone calls, and unsurprising to her, it wasn’t really any passing grades by anybody. And these are successful surgeons. To your point, Michael, it had nothing to do with the surgeon. She calls at lunch.
So, whenever lunch is in that particular time zone, she calls during lunch. I can’t tell you how many doctors’ offices don’t answer the phone during lunch. That’s all well and good for people answering the phone, and I’m not saying that people need to not eat lunch. That being said, you may want to rotate, you know, some people around so that maybe one person eats lunch at 1:00, etc., instead of the 12:00, because that’s when a lot of patients call, during lunch, and there’s nobody to answer. Then, God forbid somebody actually, if you leave a voicemail, somebody calls back, and you don’t get to that phone. Do they call back again? Oftentimes, we found no, they didn’t. I called back once, that’s it. It’s their job to call back. This is a cash paying patient, that’s a problem.
Jared: Yeah. That’s a great way to think about all this is back to this pipe analogy. I mean, it’s a whole lot of pipes that are just dripping out into the street somewhere, and they’re not connected to the building or to the house. And no one’s bothered, because, “Hey, my job was just to put the pipe there.” You know, they’re not like, “Hey, where’s it going from here?” It’s not uncommon, you know, so it’s not a knock on anyone. It’s just a thought of, like, this is what we’re seeing when marketing has accelerated so quickly over the last decade, and there have been so many tools to put in there. And there have been so many people out there who are willing to help in one aspect or another, but there have been so many aspects of it that it’s hard. You know, you need that general contractor to be able to put all the parts together, to really understand where they’re going.
And so, you know, a couple of quick checkpoints to go on are that…so that…let’s carry on that thought of secret shoppers, Scott, you know, the calling the line. So, that part I think resonates with people that it makes sense to them. Sometimes it’s a little less common for someone to say, “Okay, why don’t you click through…” start with this ad, or start with, you know, this landing page or the, you know, this blog post, whatever the initial piece of your marketing mix it is that attracts somebody’s attention, that gets them into your funnel, have, let’s do some secret shopping in that way, in that digital flow. It’s not as common, at least from what I’ve seen, for that to be an active part of your lead conversion checklist, you know, for somebody to actually test drive it, like, all the way through.
And a lot of things come up when you do that, not surprisingly. There are parts that I don’t think anyone totally ignored. It’s just usually you assume that a couple of pipes got connected by somebody else, or that, you know, they didn’t require the process that it did take. So, there’s a lot more going on under the surface, and, you know, a good marketer makes that part look easy, and that’s not usually the part that you see when you’re seeing how somebody else is advertising themselves. But it’s an important part of the process, and if it is overlooked, then, yeah, and all those marketing dollars are not as effective.
Michael: Everybody, I always appreciate that you tune in, that you’re listening to the show here. I wanted to let you know that we have set up a new newsletter that you can get to at paradigmshift.health. That’s paradigmshift.health. You can go there. And the reason that we’ve got this newsletter is that we’d like to send out a few extra pieces of information with the show. We also have the full transcript for every single episode that we do, and we can let you know that through email. We can let you know also if we have, like, a good quote card to be able to show for every episode. So check that out if you’d like, paradigmshift.health. Thanks so much.
Scott: You know, Michael, you were talking about how you simply wanted to book an appointment. So many things have changed. So, in the past, you probably would have seen a primary care provider, would have told you, “You need to see this person.” You wouldn’t have even looked up any other options, but essentially picked up the phone and kept calling until you got your appointment. Because that’s the person you’re supposed to see. Things have changed. So, you know, I talk about this all the time with our customers, where we say, “Hey, it’s no longer a referral from another provider that is good enough.”
It’s no longer good enough that another provider essentially, “You should go see Dr. X.” Dr. X still has a lot of work to do. And is going to require a little bit more work when you finally get them to pick up the phone and/or email you, requesting information and/or an appointment. You’re going to have to take those extra steps. And thinking that going to work for the hospital, or the big mega center down the road is the answer, well, I gotta tell you, I think the people at Care Sherpa make a good living helping those hospitals, too. So don’t think it’s magically taken care of there.
Michael: For sure. We see this happen all the time with medical practices. And it’s something where as patients, everybody’s experienced this, right? Like, we’ve all had some form of this when we’re trying to just get the appointment booked and just trying to get in to see the doctor. And, you know, one last point I’ll make around that experience, for surgeons, for medical practices, there are so many competitors that are thinking about this. The surgeon down the street is working on this probably more than you think. So, you know, in the secret shopper experience that we’re talking about, you know, the…this person would call not only the main, you know, the practice that we were working with, but a few others as well.
And this person was able to get appointments more easily at other places. That was a test, right? That’s something that we’re just doing to improve systems and make happen better. But those are potential surgeries that the surgeon isn’t getting, you know. So, I think that just trying to, like, emphasize, like, no, this actually matters. The process matters a ton here. So that’s medical practices. We’ve all experienced it as a patient probably. So, let’s switch over to larger companies. Because, you know, as everybody knows, if you’re in a company and not a medical practice, you’ve got all this stuff figured out. Right, guys? Like, no problems from there on.
Scott: Yeah, of course.
Michael: It’s funny, because you do see so much more sophistication. We do see people that have bigger tool sets and they have more people that are actually trained up in marketing, as opposed to having to just add it on to the amount of things that they get done in a practice during the day. You do see people that are trained up in the space. But usually with those bigger companies come a very, very long list of responsibilities as well. So these people can be just as hectic as the people that we’re seeing in the medical practices.
Scott: I’ve worked for very large companies, Fortune 500 companies, me specifically working directly as an employee. I know, Jared, you have as well. We’ve all worked with small to medium to large sized companies, and they all have their different foibles. And a lot of it has to do with, like you were saying, Michael, like, there’s a structure, and there are a set of responsibilities that the marketing department has. And then, adapting and being agile enough to see what’s changing in the marketplace, and adapting roles. Man, that’s hard. It really is. It’s hard for four people in an office to do. And in some ways, it’s harder to do with 400 people in an office.
And I know that I got a lot of marketing friends who listen to this podcast, and they’re shaking their head going, “Yeah, you’re right.” We talk about how do you get the word out appropriately about your product? And so, part of that conversation, I always go back to well, who are you talking to about your product? Are you talking to the surgeon or physician who is going to utilize the product? Or are you talking to the end user who’s going to actually have said product implanted in him or her, or utilize said product? Right? Because those are two different conversations.
Jared: It’s funny how often things come back to who are you targeting, like you were just saying. We all feel like we understand that. But yet, it doesn’t come up very often after the very initial focus of marketing strategy planning. And another piece that I’m seeing a lot lately is, for companies of this size, it’s pretty common. In fact, even in a lot of small or mid-sized companies, this is becoming more and more common. It’s like having a Ferrari in the garage, or multiple Ferraris in the garage, where the martech itself, where we figured out a platform, and we’ve got a platform, but we don’t know how to use it to its full, you know, to even drive it around the block.
So we don’t…either we don’t have the right driver, or we were just scared to do it, or we don’t know which direction to drive it. But it’s sitting there. And we just need to instead of thinking now, “Let’s go get another Ferrari to…that’ll solve the problem of this Ferrari not performing properly. Let’s go get another Ferrari.” So, like, the…just recognizing that…there’s a combination of things. There is the strategy. There’s the direction of how do we use this thing. Then, there is making sure that the talent stays with it. And all those pieces are alternate answers to the question of what’s my right marketing mix? Because that is too easy to try to say that, “Hey, our marketing isn’t performing the way we want it to. It must be the Ferrari itself. We need a different one.”
Michael: I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of different marketing teams now. And I’ll say for the majority of them, for a lot of the teams that I had the chance to work with, one of the biggest issues that I saw was having a combination of enough humility to understand what you don’t know, and to be willing to look for help in it. And then, having enough time to have that humility, to be able to step back and go, “I have this Ferrari, and it doesn’t seem like it’s working. Why is that?” And being able to ask those kinds of questions, because so often, so many of the conversations are just focused on, well, what’s the next task? What’s the next campaign we’re running? What’s the next thing that we’re putting out there? You know, and going back to this topic of conversion, right, like, of trying to get that customer all the way through to a buying stage, are we really starting at the very last point before the sales process closes, and working our way back?
You know, are we taking it very holistically like that, from the sale all the way back to how does a podcast fit in with that? How does the trade show appearance that we’re doing fit in with that? All of these different tactics that you have, what’s the path that’s going to make a difference? And sometimes, a company needs to be able to understand, this is a branding play, and this is a, you know, a direct sales play and this one…but is that conversation happening enough, to where people are really thinking through, you know, “Hey, I’m spending a lot of money on this thing, on this tactic.” Whatever it is, or on this Ferrari, whatever that thing is.
And are they getting enough chance to step back and say, like, “I might have a problem here?” And do they have enough humility to say, “I definitely need some help here.” And I think that people are willing to do so. I think that you…sure, you have your people that have the mega egos out there. But I think a lot of people are willing to admit where they need the help. It’s just if they have enough time, and enough, like, strategy to go, “Oh, I actually need help here.”
Jared: Right. Right, exactly. And these are all parts of when we started out, you know, last episode talking about what’s your marketing mix? These are all factors in that. It’s not just, “Let me just choose these from a menu.” There’s a lot that goes into that choice. The more we realize that, I think that’s just kind of an awakening that’s happening within marketing teams, and with teams that aren’t just focused on marketing that are trying to do the marketing on behalf of their organization. And those that are, Michael, the ones that you spoke of in the last episode, about those that are starting from scratch. This is going to help just thinking through these other points. You know, do you have the talent to drive the Ferrari?
Do you have the right folks there? Are we looking at the right direction? Are we…Scott, where you were just focusing on. Are we targeting the right person right now with all of these efforts? These are all considerations that are part of this question. And that together with some of the tactical parts of, like, “Hey, how do we decide, you know, whether that’s a Google Ad play?” Or, “Hey, should we be on TikTok focusing the…” like, those questions are, like, they become moot once you do the other parts. And I think that’s why it’s worth focusing on the parts of the discussion that you’ve both been bringing up here, because it really is more than just picking stuff off a menu.
Scott: Yeah, it’s going to take some time. It’s going to take a team of people who are willing, you know, it’s not just one person having that humility, because for sure, Michael, it’s part of the blessing and curse of digital is you actually get feedback very quickly about what’s working and not working. And being open enough to say, “Yeah, you know, I thought that was going to be the play this month, but it’s not. So here’s what we’re going to do instead.” You know, you also have to have a boss who’s willing to say, “That’s okay. That was a good thought process you had.” Because we’ve all had bosses where they go, “Well, how did you make a bad decision?”
Can we get past that for a second, because I gotta come up with a way to really make this work. And you’ve gotta get buy-in from your boss and your boss’s bosses. And you gotta get buy-in from the rest of the people on your team. And you gotta get buy-in from those other silos, the sales team, etc. That’s what makes it more difficult for the larger companies. It’s not just about one person. It’s about selling that idea upstream, across the stream, and downstream.
Michael: The whole marketing experience should be about experimentation. And of course, there’s going to be things that perform less well than others. And that’s how we’re going to grow. And especially, you know, you think through this past year, how much that formula has changed. You know, you could have had a perfectly optimized advertising campaign that just went out the window last year, with everything going the way that it did. So there’s a lot of topics that were thrown out here about things just to think through just on this kind of conversion point. But with the mindset of these being different experiments that you’re running, then you’ve got room to start thinking through how to improve, how to actually get better at this process.
And always experimenting, because people keep on changing. Guys, I think that because we referred to Ferrari so many times throughout this episode, that we should be looking for a new corporate sponsorship for the show. So I look forward to bringing you this next episode from Ferrari. Guys, there’s so much more we could talk about around this. Thank you so much, folks in the audience. Thank you so much for going on this journey with us. We definitely love to hear back from you. Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or LinkedIn. Always happy to talk there. Thanks, guys.
Announcer: Thanks again for tuning in to the Paradigm Shift of Healthcare. This program is brought to you by Health Connective, custom marketing solutions for med tech and pharma. Subscribe on Apple podcasts, Google Play or anywhere you listen to podcasts.