Building a GTM Engine for Healthcare Technology Firms

Insights from the Healthtech Marketing Summit, April 29th

On April 29th, the Healthtech Marketing Summit brought together industry leaders to discuss strategies and best practices for go-to-market success in the healthcare technology space. One of the standout sessions, “Building a GTM Engine,” delved into the key components of a well-oiled go-to-market machine. The panelists, led by Bob Blount, Health Launchpad principal, were Bob Abrahamson, Chief Marketing Officer, pCare, a Uniguest company; Cathy Finley, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management, Dr. Evidence; and Ben Person, CEO of Tenon . They shared their insights on foundational elements, execution tactics, collaboration, and the role of technology in driving effective GTM strategies.

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Laying the Foundation

The session started with a discussion on the essential groundwork for a solid go-to-market strategy. Panelists emphasized the importance of thorough market segmentation and customer profiling. Understanding the target market, identifying key personas, and mapping their pain points, challenges, and goals form the bedrock of a successful GTM approach. Defining a compelling value proposition and crafting messaging that resonates with the target audience is equally important. Pricing and packaging strategies also play a vital role in the GTM foundation, requiring careful consideration of factors such as competition and target customer preferences.

“The first step in building a go-to-market strategy is really understanding what is that market and what’s the segmentation that we’re going to target.” – Ben, CEO and founder at Tenon.

Execution and Operational Tactics

With the foundation in place, the focus shifted to execution and operational tactics. Panelists stressed the need for efficiency and consistency in go-to-market efforts. One key recommendation was to maximize content reuse – repurposing webinars into playbooks, leveraging email campaigns with targeted subject lines, and cross-promoting with partners with the same target audience. By surrounding the target persona with consistent messaging across multiple touchpoints, healthtech companies can effectively engage and nurture prospects.

“Executionally, one of my number one rules is reuse, reuse, reuse content.” – Cathy Finley

Collaboration: The Three-Legged Stool

A recurring theme throughout the session was the importance of collaboration and alignment between sales, marketing, and product teams – often referred to as the “three-legged stool.” Panelists emphasized that a unified approach, with all three functions working in lockstep, is essential for GTM success. Regular communication, shared goals, and a deep understanding of each other’s roles and priorities help foster a cohesive and effective go-to-market engine. Product marketing, in particular, serves as a vital bridge between product and marketing, ensuring that messaging and value propositions are grounded in the realities of the product and the target audience’s needs.

“It’s a three-legged stool to a large degree when you’re putting this together: your product, marketing, and sales. And I know we’re going to talk about alignment, but all three must be aligned.” – Bob Abramson

The SDR Strategy Puzzle

The session also delved into the often-debated issue of Sales Development Representative (SDR) strategy. Panelists discussed the pros and cons of having SDRs report to marketing versus sales, with a consensus that SDRs may be better aligned under marketing for longer sales cycles (6+ months). This allows them to drive the initial pipeline and nurture relationships with multiple personas within target accounts. Regardless of the reporting structure, setting clear goals and KPIs for SDRs and ensuring tight alignment with account executives were highlighted as critical success factors.

“For me, SDRs, should report into marketing so that we not only can they drive the initial pipeline, but they can stay with those clients and continue to find other personas, go wide in the business.” – Ben Person

Harnessing Technology for GTM Success

Technology is the key enabler of effective go-to-market efforts. Panelists shared their insights on essential components of the marketing tech stack, including CRM, sales engagement platforms, prospecting tools, data enrichment solutions, analytics, and account-based marketing platforms. Integrating these tools, particularly connecting CRM and marketing automation systems, allows for seamless tracking and optimization of GTM metrics and dashboards. The role of AI, such as ChatGPT, in personalizing content for target personas was also discussed as an emerging trend with significant potential.

“Some of these AI tools can summarize, and consolidate the information to help you better present it and make it more meaningful, both for the salespeople and the product marketers that are creating content.” – Bob Blount

Navigating Compliance in Healthcare Marketing

Compliance considerations were a hot topic during the session. Panelists shared their experiences navigating the complex landscape of healthcare marketing and sales enablement. Strategies included staying abreast of evolving regulations, understanding the nuances of rules like HIPAA, and proactively collaborating with clients to align with their specific compliance policies. By integrating compliance into the fabric of the GTM engine, healthtech companies can mitigate risk and build trust with their target audience.

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Agility in the Face of Market Shifts

The ability to adapt to market shifts emerged as another key theme. Panelists emphasized the importance of staying attuned to changing dynamics, such as the nursing shortage and retention challenges in the wake of the pandemic or the impact of rising interest rates on hospital budgets for capital investments. By monitoring these shifts and swiftly integrating insights into messaging and value propositions, healthtech companies can demonstrate their understanding of customer challenges and position themselves as relevant solutions.

“You have the changes in health care; you have rising interest rates. So cash and the ability to pay for capital products are a challenge for hospitals right now. Part of our product is hardware and capital investments. So we need to understand and recognize that this is a market shift we must address because cash flow is an issue for these folks.” Bob Abrahamson

The Customer-Centric Approach

While the session covered many topics, a common thread was the paramount importance of a customer-centric approach. Whether in choosing between sales-led, product-led, or market-led GTM strategies or in crafting messaging and value propositions, panelists consistently emphasized the need to put the customer first. By deeply understanding the target audience’s needs, challenges, and preferences, and aligning all aspects of the go-to-market engine around those insights, healthtech companies can differentiate themselves and drive meaningful impact for their customers.

Brand Awareness and Expansion Challenges

The session also touched on some of the key challenges faced by healthtech companies in their go-to-market efforts. For newer entrants, generating brand awareness in a crowded and mature market can be a significant hurdle. Panelists discussed strategies such as investing in brand-building initiatives and leveraging thought leadership to establish credibility and gain visibility. For companies targeting life sciences customers, the impact of widespread downsizing and budget constraints was identified as another challenge. In response, panelists suggested doubling down on customer retention and expansion efforts, focusing on landing and expanding within existing accounts and cultivating a strong network of brand advocates.

“Biggest challenge for us and our current company is brand awareness, and we’re a brand new company. And so how do you get your brand known, especially in a market that’s fairly mature?” – Ben Person

Ten Actions You Can Take

  1. Conduct thorough market segmentation and customer profiling to identify target personas, their pain points, and goals.
  2. Develop a compelling value proposition and messaging that resonates with your target audience.
  3. Optimize content by repurposing and reusing it across multiple channels and touchpoints to maximize efficiency and consistency.
  4. To ensure a unified go-to-market approach, foster close collaboration and alignment between marketing, sales, and product teams.
  5. Align your SDR strategy with your business model, considering factors such as sales cycle length and the need for multi-persona engagement within target accounts.
  6. Leverage a robust marketing tech stack, including CRM, marketing automation, sales engagement, and account-based marketing platforms, to enable data-driven decision-making and optimization.
  7. Stay abreast of compliance requirements and proactively collaborate with clients to navigate the complex regulatory landscape in the healthcare industry.
  8. Monitor market shifts and swiftly adapt your messaging and value propositions to demonstrate relevance and understanding of evolving customer challenges.
  9. Prioritize a customer-centric approach in all aspects of your go-to-market strategy, from messaging to product development and sales enablement.
  10. Continuously track and optimize go-to-market performance using key metrics and dashboards, leveraging the power of integrated CRM and marketing automation systems for data-driven insights.

If you are looking for ways to get AI sales outreach started, we offer an AI Coaching program that is tailored to your needs. You can learn more here.

Posted by Adam Turinas
Posted in Growth Enablement, Healthtech Marketing Summit on May 28, 2024

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About the Author Adam Turinas

Hi, I am Adam Turinas, Health Launchpad's founder. I am passionate about helping healthtech firms succeed through better sales and marketing. I have hard-earned experience in healthcare technolgy as I started two healthcare businesses in the US, the first with zero healthcare experience. We sold the second business to a strategic buyer seven years later. Over 9 years building a healhtech businesses, I have learned how to sell and market effectively to healthcare organizations. Prior to this, I spent two decades in digital marketing across healthcare and other consumer industries where I sold over $100 million in products and services to corporations and healthcare orgs. I would love to talk with you. You can book a call with me on the right hand side. Best Adam (This is page 0 of many)Enter your text here...