Sales Messaging Success Story

Effective Discovery Process Leads to Million-Dollar-Plus Deal

The Client

Sales Representatives at athenahealth know that Command of the Message® drives results. Success stories are now the norm among their sales teams. Just ask Seattle-based Sales Executive Bryan O’Neil. O’Neil is one of athenahealth’s top Group Sales Executives in the country. He credits Command of the Message® for one of his most-recent wins, a million- dollar-plus deal.

athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of cloud-based services for physician practices. Its solutions help providers around the country improve billing and clinical operations. O’Neil targeted a mid- level medical group in Washington that was looking for an electronic health record solution to manage growth, optimize profit and gain business visibility.

"Our discovery process included a multitude of open-ended questions that led us into new directions and enabled us to fully understand their pain."

Bryan O'Neil Sales Executive, Athenahealth

The Business Situation

O’Neil began by meeting with the practice’s Director of Revenue for a day- long discovery session, but his knowledge gathering started in the waiting room. That’s when O’Neil knew he had a solution to the customer’s current situation. “We noticed the receptionist folding medical claim forms and stuffing them into envelopes. We used this ‘before scenario’ as an opportunity to increase effectiveness in our dialogue,” he said.

This observation combined with trap- setting questions led the customer to describe the consequences of the organization’s existing system and the positive business outcomes they needed to achieve.

Driving Value in the athenahealth Environment

“We used this time to better understand what happened in the past, what was happening today, and what their organization was facing in the future,” said O’Neil. “Our discovery process included a multitude of open-ended questions that led us into new directions and enabled us to fully understand their pain.”

This approach also showed how athenahealth could be a partner in the practice, not just another software system.

“This single day supplied us with the majority of tools that we would need to align athenahealth like no one else had and win this business,” said O’Neil.

Measurable Results

The deal wasn’t done, however. The practice wavered and even considered pushing the project back, possibly until the next year. However, that didn’t happen, and when they made a decision, O’Neil was ready to deliver a solution. “Because we had differentiated our company from the software-based competition, when the time was right, the answer was athenahealth.”

Thanks to the techniques O’Neil learned with Command of the Message®, the deal closed at $1,052,000. O’Neil is positioned to sell another service line with the medical group in Q4 of this year.

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