How to Sell Your Digital Health Solution

How to Sell Your Digital Health Solution

Digital health refers to the application of information and communications technologies to exchange medical information with the goal of improving outcomes, lowering costs, increasing access and improving the doctor and patient experience. More recently, digital technologies are being used to improve business processes.

For digital health entrepreneurs, those who pursue opportunities under conditions of uncertainty and uncontrolled resources with the goal of creating stakeholder defined value through the deployment of digital health innovation using a VAST business model, the digital health innovation road map has several critical stops and the pathway to success is hard and brutish.

Stage 6 involves sales, marketing and post-market surveillance that is required to achieve dissemination and implementation as scale such that it becomes the standard of care. What is your digital marketing strategy and how will you execute and measure it?

The 7-Step Sales Process

  1. Prospecting
  2. Preparation
  3. Approach
  4. Presentation
  5. Handling objections
  6. Closing
  7. Follow-up 

The result of this process means you will have to hit some major benchmarks:

  1. Product design and development
  2. Technical validation and verification
  3. Commercial business model validation
  4. Clinical validation by end users
  5. Product launch
  6. Inplementation and dissemination
  7. Post dissemination surveillance i.e.digitovigilence
  8. Continuous quality improvement

Much has been written about how to get, keep and grow customers using digical strategies i.e. a combination of face to face, physical and online techniques.

However, most startup and scale up entrepreneurs lack sales skills, knowledge, attitudes and competencies. For example, if patients are becoming customers more and more, how do you sell to them? Here are some reasons why doctors don't do sales and marketing.

Here are some tips on how to sell your digital health product or service:

  1. Know your customer and the quality and quantity of their market pain, jobs to be done, persona and customer journey map
  2. Prepare for a long sales cycle
  3. Sales depends on your not just demonstrating technical verification and validation, but solving a business problem as well as a clinical one
  4. Be open to feedback about changing your strategy and stay customer focused
  5. Know the difference between education, engagement, experience and enablement. Here is how to treat doctors like customers.

6. There many reasons why your innovation initiative, whether it is internal (intrapreneurship) or external (entrepreneurship) will fail.

Here are some ideas that might help.

If patients are customers, how do you sell to them?

The three levels of branding

The 7Rs of content marketing

Things doctors don't get about sales and marketing

What is your digital marketing strategy?

Why digital health startups fail

Why your innovation initiative will fail

The sickcare intrapreneur innovation roadmap

What to know about value propositions

What you need to know about innovation

The difference between and improvement and an innovation

How to create user defined value

How to creat a strategic marketing and communications plan

Crossing the chasm and lean startups: meet digital health

How to screw up online medical practice marketing

7. Focus on the why, the what and how of sales

8. Find the right people to do marketing, sales, business development, sales operations, sales enablement and servicing clients after the sale. The roles and skills required are not the same

9. Figure out the right sales compensation scheme and sales management strategy

10. Integrate your sales operations into your entrepreneurial operating system and your scaleup business model canvas.

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Sales is a critical part of the path from failing to nailing to scaling to saling. Be sure you find the right people, create the right structure and processes and measure success with the appropriate key performance indicators. Everyone should have a number and be held accountable. Otherwise, your app will be deleted, no one will use your disease management tool and no one will buy your product regardless of how valuable you think it is.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship

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  • Ashley Stirton

    The sales process in healthcare is more diverse

  • Lily Ritchie

    We need to help customers understand how they can benefit from digital health solutions.

  • Ben Howman

    Thanks for sharing these key takeaways !

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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