It might seem daunting, since transaction and data integration may not be in your wheelhouse, but potential prospects and customers are looking to you for integration leadership.
If you are selling software solutions into the healthcare market, you are selling into a crowded and growing space. Decision cycles get extended, pricing pressures are greater, and the need to interoperate with external systems and data sources is more complex than ever. In addition, integration's rapidly growing importance is moving the market to a much more prominent role in selections and negotiations.
Being in a position to see a number of in-flight software deals, I can assure you that now is the time to turn integration into a competitive advantage for you and your solution.
Here are some recommendations for making this happen:
- Start by making integration a part of your early-stage qualification process
- Be prepared for one or more of your competitors to make integration an issue
- Prepare yourself to be the competitor that uses integration to create competitive advantage
These are fearful propositions because integration may not be a strength for you or your organization, it may slow down the sales process, and your prospective client may not be giving signs that it's a big deal.
Tips on getting started down the path of integration leadership:
- Understand that nobody has all the answers or solutions - so nobody expects you to know or have all the answers
- Discover who the thought leaders and forces are that are bringing integration to the forefront (see Will Tesch's latest blog entries for ideas)
- Determine who in your organization has the most integration knowledge and spend time with them to gain additional insight
Our experience shows that knowledge and understanding are key elements to becoming an integration leader. Remember, your clients are looking to you for solutions and integration leadership plays a big role in gaining that competitive advantage.