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How to build a great healthcare prospect list

Spoiler: There’s no silver bullet—but regular outbound calling helps

Chris Temperante
Chris Temperante
CEO / Partner

When you sell to hospitals, clinics, labs and other medical facilities, there’s one pivotal asset that supports all your marketing and sales efforts: Your healthcare prospect list. The more you know about the medical facilities and healthcare decision-makers in your target market, the more efficient and effective you’ll be in reaching your goals.

But building a great healthcare prospect list isn’t without its challenges.

  • It’s nearly impossible to purchase an off-the-shelf list of prospects that meet your medtech company’s specific criteria.
  • Building a list from scratch requires dedicated resources and ongoing effort.
  • And, even if you begin with a solid list in place, contact information quickly grows outdated without regular updating.

Complete, accurate prospect lists provide a competitive advantage

Finding a solution is imperative for keeping your marketing and sales on track. We’re the first to admit: there’s no silver bullet that will magically create the perfect prospect list! It does take ongoing work. However, a professional healthcare call center like Volkart May can optimize your prospect lists.

A single call can generate:

  • Accurate contact information for healthcare decision-makers
  • Market intelligence to supercharge your medtech marketing campaigns
  • Qualified leads to keep your sales pipeline filled

Whether you handle list maintenance internally, or outsource to healthcare lead generation experts like Volkart May, it’s important to take regular action to keep your prospect lists in good health. Having the right information easily accessible will improve productivity for business development reps, increase the reach of your marketing campaigns and arm you with a distinct competitive advantage.

Common challenges with purchased lists

Purchased prospect lists are a logical starting point for building or growing your healthcare database. You can buy a list from a reputable list broker, or subscribe to a service like Hoover’s or ZoomInfo for ongoing access to information. Many other options exist.

What most organizations quickly realize, however, is that your budget doesn’t stretch very far with a purchased prospect list. Less expensive options provide only high-level data; more complete sources can cost tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Typical issues with purchased lists include:

  • Limited contact information, such as main desk phone numbers only, or data for headquarters but not individual business units or locations
  • Broad industry categories that make it difficult to hone in on the exact audiences who need your product or service
  • Few opt-in email addresses to reach prospects through digital marketing

It’s also smart to recognize that purchased lists are available to multiple organizations. That means your competition could be using the same resource you are.

These limitations can dramatically reduce your ROI on a purchased list. It takes extra time for business development reps to filter records and obtain the right phone numbers. This can lead to frustration and missed goals.

Homegrown healthcare prospect lists require ongoing effort

Developing a homegrown healthcare prospect list or medical sales database gives you more control, but also requires more work.

Common challenges with in-house lists:

  • Outdated and inaccurate data because decision-makers change jobs, mergers/acquisitions occur or contact information changes
  • Duplicate records clog up the system, resulting in an uncoordinated outreach to potential healthcare buyers
  • Gaps in coverage occur when sales reps keep their best prospects “offline” in Outlook or personal files, rather than updating the central CRM system

Data decay is by far the biggest issue most medtech organizations face with their healthcare prospect lists. The general consensus is that data on roughly 20 percent of B2B contacts—the equivalent of 1 in every 5 prospects—changes in a given year. That makes ongoing list maintenance a top priority for medtech and healthcare companies.

How to build the best possible healthcare prospect list

To transform your healthcare contact list into a sleek sales engine, follow these best practices:

1. Create an ideal customer profile

Just who is the ideal buyer for your product or service? Documenting these basics helps you add the right records to your healthcare prospect list.

Consider:

  • Facility size, location and revenue
  • Roles and titles of your target decision-maker
  • Demographics like age, gender and education

If you sell multiple products or within different sectors, create a separate profile for each.

2. Know which data points matter

Whether you store your healthcare prospect list in a CRM, ERP, marketing automation system or other platform, make sure you’re tracking the information that drives your sales process forward. For a medical equipment supplier, this critical data could be knowing the budget cycle and current systems in use. For a diagnostic testing vendor, it could be number of hospital beds in the facility and how many lab technicians in a specific department. Custom data will vary according to your specific product offering.

These key fields should be easy to find and update in your system, so you’re incenting the internal team to keep data up-to-date—and to use it during healthcare sales calls.

3. Enhance purchased lists before use

Growing your universe of healthcare and medtech prospects is important, so purchased lists will likely be part of your marketing and sales strategy. To maximize your budget, don’t just “load and go.”

Instead, take the intermediate step of filtering and enhancing new lists before adding them to the master healthcare database.

  • Use technology to weed out or merge duplicates
  • Make contact with new records to gather (or validate) contact information
  • Test a selection of records to verify you’re working with complete information

4. Establish accountability for your database

Without basic rules, it’s easy for your valuable healthcare database to turn into the wild west, where anyone (and everyone) follows their own path. Instead, treat your healthcare prospect list like the valuable asset that it is to your business. Assign ownership for its quality, accuracy and completeness. Often, this is a data governance committee or a database administrator role. Work with users to provide guidelines and training on where, when and how to enter and update information.

5. Dedicate resources for updates

Lastly, and most importantly, set aside budget for ongoing list maintenance to keep your healthcare sales contacts in peak condition. Outsourcing can tackle this project quickly and cost-effectively while simultaneously gathering market intelligence (such as competitive systems in use, buying cycles, contract expiration dates and key pain points) that can improve your healthcare sales prospecting efforts. Using external resources keeps data enhancement on track without distracting internal teams from closing deals.

Trust your brand to healthcare lead generation experts

Keep in mind, working with healthcare organizations takes a special skillset. It requires patience and tenacity to find the right decision-makers, as well as an authentic style and industry knowledge to quickly engage busy healthcare professionals.

Volkart May callers bring more than 30 years’ experience working with medical, insurance, healthcare, pharma and medtech clients. We know how to reach clinicians, administrators, specialists (and nearly everyone in between) at hospitals, clinics, labs and other medical facilities to achieve our clients’ goals.

Contact us to discuss your list improvement and lead generation needs.

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