Case Study - Shared Imaging
Bringing Strategic Accounts into Focus at Shared Imaging
The Challenge: Navigating a Changing, Complex Industry
As a result, it’s more difficult for healthcare organizations to invest in new equipment needed to treat patients. There’s more red tape to cut through and more buyers involved with each decision than ever before, making it increasingly challenging for companies like Shared Imaging to close a deal for their diagnostic equipment. “Healthcare providers have to navigate a lot of complexities that have been introduced into their decision making process, and as a vendor that sells into that space, it’s incumbent upon us to effectively navigate our way through that complexity,” said Dave Stewart, Vice President of Sales for Shared Imaging. “As a small- to medium-sized company with a unique, customized solution, we had to figure out a better way to manage that complexity, align our solutions and better understand our customer needs.” Stewart joined Shared Imaging in 2014 and soon realized the organization needed to make some changes to the way it operated. Specifically, Shared Imaging did not have a formalized, structured sales process in place, and Stewart recognized the need to implement a strategy to manage the entire sales process more effectively. And since Shared Imaging was implementing a CRM system, it was a perfect time to adopt a formal sales process.
The sales team at Shared Imaging includes just eight representatives, but it’s an experienced group—each rep has at least 10 years of experience selling capital equipment or healthcare solutions. With such an experienced team, Stewart figured implementing a sales methodology was the right move to make in order to begin a strategic account initiative, so his team would be more efficient in targeting accounts.
The Solution: Adding Rigor to the Sales Process
Stewart had used the methodology of Strategic Selling® from Miller Heiman Group® in his previous position, so he was familiar with how it worked and how it could provide the structure for a successful sales team. For Stewart, it was natural to adopt it at Shared Imaging. “Behind the scenes, we were implementing a CRM system, and we knew that we needed to add some structure into how we build that out,” Stewart said. “We needed to add some process rigor into what we were doing, and to me, that’s what the Strategic Selling process is all about.” Shared Imaging began the implementation of Strategic Selling in late 2016 and then introduced it during the company’s annual kickoff meeting in January 2017, rolling it out later that month. Before it was rolled out, an Independent Sales Consultant associated with Miller Heiman Group took Stewart and his leadership team through an extensive evaluation in which he mapped out the entire customer journey and developed a new, detailed five-step sales process. This new process was delivered to the entire sales team during Shared Imaging’s national kickoff meeting in January 2017. There, the entire sales and marketing team spent two full days learning the Strategic Selling methodology and sales process. “What Strategic Selling does is takes the emotion out of the sales process,” Stewart said. “With Strategic Selling, we can look at our opportunities and evaluate our position a bit more objectively. It provides us with a rigorous process to help us look at challenges from our customer’s perspective more logically and objectively.” Prior to the meeting, the team was given material to review and study, and was asked to come to the session with a specific real-life customer scenario to work through during the class. Stewart built in regularly scheduled reinforcement sessions with each sales representative. He holds remote team sessions in which he brings in the consultant to provide coaching on the use of Blue Sheets and provide guidance as representatives work though specific opportunities. In addition, Stewart consults with the operations manager, who runs training for Shared Imaging, and they decide which modules of Strategic Selling the team will review during its regular calls. The team also takes advantage of online tutorials that are easily available and easy-to-use. “We have a plan in place to formally touch it at least once a month through some kind of training material that’s available,” Stewart said.
The Results: Identifying Strategic Accounts
It took just a short time for Shared Imaging to see the benefits of formalizing its sales process through implementing the methodology introduced by Strategic Selling. Implementing Strategic Selling allowed Shared Imaging to define, develop and target strategic accounts that fit the company’s ‘ideal’ customers. This allowed the sales team to specifically identify targets that would most likely do business with Shared Imaging. “We’re not going to have the right solution or offering for everybody,” Stewart said. “We understand our target market better and, in terms of tangible results, we have developed a strategic account initiative and identified a list of 76 ideal customers. The progress that we’ve made with a number of those strategic accounts, penetrating the customer organization and starting to more effectively understand their needs is really starting to pay dividends to our business. I attribute a lot of that to the structure and objectivity that came with Strategic Selling.” The Strategic Selling process has also expedited the sales process, allowing sales representatives to identify more quickly the accounts they have the potential to win and the accounts that are not worth the time it would take to close. As a result, Shared Imaging has a healthier, more reliable sales funnel and a sales staff better equipped to take advantage of it.