Episode 13: Leveraging Data to Make Informed Decisions
Sales leadership coach and author Nigel Green shares the seven timeless principles that can direct healthcare sales strategies
Nigel Green believes timeless sales lessons can benefit the healthcare industry more than quick-fix technology, and he’s developed a system of seven guiding principles for sales leaders.
Green is a coach who helps leaders build great sales teams, and he’s also the author of Revenue Harvest, a book that outlines the lessons sales teams can learn from the farming community.
In this episode of How I Transformed This, Virsys12 founder and CEO Tammy Hawes and her co-host Clark Buckner sat down with Green to hear more about the importance of good sales practices and why simplification is the future of healthcare innovation.
Embracing a Sales Mentality
Though a lot of healthcare industry professionals shy away from talking about patients as customers and providers as salespeople, Green believes this is a label they should embrace.
After all, the whole purpose of any business is to create a customer, and in healthcare, that means attracting patients and convincing them to listen to your expertise.
“Everybody sells,” he explained. “Your clinicians are selling, whether it’s to try to convince their patients to adopt a treatment protocol, to eat better, to take this medication. Everybody has something that they’re trying to sell.”
If the industry embraces a sales mentality, Green believes healthcare professionals can tap into the formulaic nature of selling and learn to do business in an easier and more effective way.
At the core of any good sales program is the ability to hire a top-notch team. For Green, that means focusing on the “three Cs:” Character, chemistry and competency.
“Where most companies get it wrong is they start with competency,” he said. “They go out and hire people that are certainly very capable of doing the work that’s described in the job description, but they may not have the character. They may not have the values that the company was built on, or they may not buy into the vision that the founder has cast. Or they don’t have chemistry. They’re not somebody you want to be around.”
By prioritizing all three of these objectives, business leaders can simultaneously improve their sales and cultivate a better workplace for all of their employees, Green said.
Practicing Timeless Principles
Though building a strong team is important, it’s not the only requirement for business success. Sales leaders must also equip their teams to hit numerical goals, regardless of competition, markets and resources.
When teaching people how to do this more effectively, Green draws from the principles used in agriculture, an industry that faces similar pressures.
“Every year, a grower has to produce a crop. It doesn’t matter if it’s too cold, it’s too hot, if there’s too much rain, if there’s not enough rain. It doesn’t matter what the market’s doing, who else is growing that, they have to produce a crop,” he explained.
Just like farmers, sales teams need to plan well, position well, understand the importance of preparing the team, plant, tend, harvest and restore and rest. With these seven principles — which Green explains further in his book Revenue Harvest — sales leaders can hit their numbers and help their teams to thrive.
Though many people are looking to technology to create quick solutions for their business problems, Green has found these methods to be more effective in his own leadership and sales experiences.
“Timeless principles actually work in any industry, any sales team, no matter what you’re selling. And it’s a better answer than the quick fix gimmicks and technology, the hacks that everyone seems to be subscribing to today,” he argued.
Though Green recognizes the importance of technology, data and analytics in healthcare, he believes the industry is moving toward a more simplified approach, where business leaders learn how to interpret the important metrics without getting overloaded with unnecessary data.
“The analogy that I use to try to paint this picture, is imagine if you’re walking down the terminal and about to step on the plane. You look to your left into the cockpit and you overhear the pilot say ‘wow, look at all these gauges.’”
To help interpret all the data, Green recommends that businesses find a partner like Virsys12, which can help to pick out the important data and understand what it means for the business.
“It’s so sexy to create a new dashboard, run this new report, and you waste all this time and energy building out customization, and nobody looks at it. Or if they do they don’t know how to make sense of it,” he said. “It really takes a special company, partner, individual that understands how to use technology to do it.”
And while there are plenty of software companies who will build a dashboard for data analysis, Green emphasized the importance of finding the right company to work with.
“Make sure you find a partner that’s going to push back and ask you, ‘what are you doing with this data? What’s the end result?’”
Subscribe to How I Transformed This wherever you get your podcasts, and be sure to sign up for our quarterly email newsletter to stay up to date on Virsys12’s latest transformational work.