The sales cycle can be slow when dealing with a function of a healthcare institution that is not on the clinical side, so being a trusted source of information for prospects is crucial. “The organization is built on the idea of delivering best-in-class care. It’s harder to sell them on ideas involving saving money and cutting costs,” says Chuck Eberl, CMO of the Waltham, MA-based company. “But it is getting easier because hospitals are under pressure to save money.”
Connance interacts with prospects at multiple touchpoints online, monitoring what ebooks or webinars they are downloading or viewing, as well as what blog postings they read. “Our salesreps probably shouldn’t even talk to someone unless they’ve had at least six electronic interactions with us,” he says.
The company uses HiveFire’s Curata content curation system to help select online content that would be relevant to their audience. “People care about your story [as a company] very little,” notes Eberl. “What they do care about is what other people say on the topics and trends in their niche—that’s how you connect with B2B buyers.”
Connance develops tools for hospital business offices to manage payments from patients without insurance, who may be carrying big balances. Hospitals are often more adept at working with big insurers rather than individuals, so the company’s analytics help hospitals identify how much people can pay, who should (or shouldn’t) be eligible for charity, and help create a work flow platform to manage the various agencies and offices a hospital may be working with.
“The payment experiences influences the patient’s view of their care at a hospital,” says Eberl. “It’s the last part of the interaction so it can define the whole thing."
To generate leads, Connance needs to connect with CFOs, vice presidents of revenue and directors of billing/patient services/admission at the approximately 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. This can be a hard group to reach, he says. “We need to get on their radar screen and be a trusted source of information.”
The average sales cycle is 3- to 9-months, and the cost of an installation can vary from $150,000 to $1 million, depending on the services needed and the size of the institution.
While Connance’s story may be small on the surface, they’ve expanded it to cover the majority of the revenue cycle, and speak to anyone in a hospital business office. The company has identified10 key themes it has loaded up by search words. HiveFire’s Curata can pull hundreds of articles that match those criteria. Then, Connance whittles those down to the 20 or 30 that match the current needs best.
“It doesn’t just work automatically,” says Eberl. “You’re only as good as the editing. The technology gets you 90% of the way there, but the last 10% you need to do.”
A separate site—Revenuecyclepriorities.com—serves as a content resource for prospects. All of the curated outside content is posted there, as well as information about Connance.
“We think of that site as its own entity, a place for finance executives to get information and a place for us to create a thought archive for the industry as well,” says Eberl.
“The site is our center point for branding and general awareness of our company, and to build up our list,” he said.
A separate Twitter account is also maintained for the site, and a weekly enewsletter promotes the information there as well. Interestingly, emails from Revenue Cycle Priorities get an average open rate of 40%, while those from the company itself get an average of 5%.
A benefit of the separate site and database is that it allows Connance to communicate with customers and prospects by email and not fatigue its core list. “Sometimes they get messages from Connance, and sometimes from RevenueCyclePriorities. It gives us another way to reach people.”
“Content curation has helped us hone our messaging,” says Eberl. “When we want to test what our buyers care about, we look at what articles generate the most interest.”
For example, Eberl notes that he was certain people would be interested in content on the psychology behind why people do or don’t pay their bills. That didn’t pull a lot of clicks; rather, straightforward articles that offered tips on how to collect more money performed well.