by Neng Bing Doh, Board Member and Digital Health Entrepreneur
April 2023 – Yup. I learned how to sell on-the-job. Pretty scary, but it was the only choice. In fact, prior to founding my company, I had never sold anything and knew very little about healthcare in the US. Bless the souls who funded us! We reciprocated with a solid cash-on-cash return upon exit, leaving everyone on the cap table sufficiently pleased.
My co-founder & CTO always said, “I’m not interested in the million and one mistakes someone made. I want to learn what helped them succeed.” It is in this spirit that this short post was penned. No doubt I had to get decent at many things quickly to make up for my lack of experience but as I look back through an unbiased lens and a dose of self-awareness, three things seemed to have made a positive difference.
Always Value, Nothing Less
Before I reach out to a prospect, I have thought critically about how our company might create massive & measurable value for them. If the value element isn’t there, perhaps you’re at the wrong company or you have the wrong prospect. Even if they do buy, in my opinion, you have done a disservice to your profession and it may catch up with you.
Don’t wing it. Deliberate effort and preparation will always pay off. Hundreds of salespeople are knocking on the doors of every enterprise buyer. Many are hoping to make a buck without working for it. Your preparation will help prospects separate the wheat from the chaff. My most treasured compliment was the first time a senior executive at a health plan told me, “Wow, you know our business better than some of our employees!” Everyday, I strove to hear it again.
I have found that pure intentions and a passion to effect positive change can create a reality distortion field that attracts others. While enterprise-selling is always a grind, many of our customer contacts genuinely wanted to help us and see us win. We tried our best to never compromise this trust, even when it was inconvenient or uncomfortable. Times are changing and I find that today, more than ever, operating with a strong moral compass is paramount.
Needless to say, in addition to these success factors above, the discipline I had to pick up quickly included constant prospecting, constant pipeline qualification, CRM hygiene, smart targeting, strategic account penetration, acing discovery calls, presenting to provoke, dealing with procurement, moving opportunities forward, ensuring constant value creation for onboarded customers, and the list goes on and on…cheers!
About the Author
Bing is an enterprise healthcare go-to-market and sales specialist. She was most recently CEO & co-founder of HealthCrowd, an enterprise SaaS healthtech company. HealthCrowd was a pioneer in large-scale digital health engagement and orchestration serving a primarily payer (government-sponsored programs) clientele. The company was widely regarded for its outcomes-based interventions, evidenced by market-leading customer retention rates. HealthCrowd was successfully acquired in 2021.
Currently, Bing is working on her next start-up idea, while balancing board member and advisor/investor activities with motherhood. Prior to healthcare, Bing led teams that built engaging consumer experiences in the online advertising space. She started her career as a software engineer. She enjoys pickleball, music and most outdoor activities. An alumna of UW-Madison and Cornell University, she calls the San Francisco Bay Area home.