IBM has enjoyed a remarkable reputation, especially in mid-range computing, but were surprised to hit rough territory when they introduced a new office solution for physician practices.
Expectations were high because this new offering was much more than an upgrade. In fact, it addressed both clinical and financial requirements in ways that outpaced the competition.
They should have been blowing the doors off. But instead, the sales force was finding the doors shut in their faces. Appointments were scarce and they were finding it hard to get meetings.. which made it hard to hit quotas.
Our exploratory 360” interviews with practice decision makers uncovered a major shift in the decision making process. Traditionally, the managing partner was the decision maker, and an IBM ally. But the managing partner decided she’d rather practice medicine.
While there had always been an office manager, there was now a professional practice manager, with higher-level management skills and responsibilities. The practice manager had become a strong and empowered gatekeeper and automation was in their bailiwick. They gathered the information and made the purchase recommendation.
When we spoke to these practice managers, we learned about another hurdle. Each one had read about this new solution and they were eager to take it for a test drive. But they were not so sure about IBM, expecting it to be expensive and proprietary.
Within the framework of our Prospect Persona research we were able to understand the practice managers’ requirements for two-way communication and how IBM could earn back its computing stripes. New and smarter messaging had to be developed specifically for these decision makers, and had to be embraced by both marketing and sales.
The Prospect Persona research equipped IBM to retool their go-to-market messaging and process to engage practice managers, align sales and marketing to respond to the prospect’s journey, and best of all — generate a 400% improvement in leads.