Congratulations for landing the meeting with the hospital c-suite, physician leadership or perhaps an influential purchasing agent. The bad news? The hard work of selling your medical product or service has just begun!
Not to worry, we've put together a guide of how to up your game during the sales pitch using data to help you tell your story.
We've previously highlighted ideas for how to approach your meeting agendas at a high level to ensure you have meaningful and enduring conversations with your prospects. Crafting a presentation while keeping in mind what your audience cares most about will go a long way to creating engaging content.
We also previously summarized our top 12 ideas for what data to bring to your first meeting with hospital or medical practice leadership to position yourself as a value-add partner and differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other medical sales reps that pass through their doors.
Good data + a compelling story = a successful presentation
Now let's dive into the nuts and bolts of actually creating your presentation, figuring out how / where to leverage data and where you may source relevant these insights to create a compelling sales presentation to hospital executives.
Tips for Structuring your Presentation in 3 Parts
1. The Why (15%): Don't take for granted that your audience understands why you want to convey what you do. Invest 18 minutes to watch Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” TEDTalk. It's a great talk AND you will leave fully appreciating how important the “Why” is to the presentation.
It's so much more impactful when your communication can convey the motivators behind what you are saying rather than only focusing on the features, competitive comparisons, pricing and other nitty gritty detail. Even it your audience is familiar with your motivations, it's worth reiterating as it sets the tone and intention for the meeting. You could bring the why to life with stories about how your product extends patients' lives or anecdotes from other physician users on their experiences with your service.
2. The How (70%): Spend the bulk of pitch perfecting this section. You are likely trying to convince your prospects to invest in your product or service (or upgrade from their current purchase). Data is a motivator for your audience to more carefully consider the recommended / desired action. The data you'll use should be designed to support and illustrate your message.
If you are at a larger company, your marketing team will likely have a ton of guidance on the message as well the types of data available for your sales meeting. But you'll need to take the time to tailor it to your specific audience. Smaller companies may rely solely on their sales team to craft the story and bolster the pitch with data. Either way, if you are going to be the one delivering message, you need to get comfortable with the content and supporting data in order to confidently make and defend your pitch.
2. The What to Expect (15%): The third section of your presentation should be focused on impact. Perhaps you have enough experience with customers in your market that you can quantify outcomes and impacts over similar hospitals or physician groups. We've worked with several companies with newer products that are still working on market validation or that have products whose impact varies greatly client by client, making it harder to draw broad conclusions based on past experience. In these situations, look to leverage publicly available data about your specific prospect - sourced from CMS data, IRS filing or state agencies (more on that below) - or work with a data vendor like Carevoyance to create a rough draft of an ROI based on the information you can gather ahead of time.
4 Best Practices for Incorporating Data Throughout your Presentation
1. No more than one chart per concept
Your instinct may be that more is better but with data it's best to find one way to communicate the data rather than presenting it in various formats. This approach avoids confusion and allows the audience to focus on the meaning of the data. After all, you don't make them work to understand the chart in front of them and completely miss the takeaway message. Download this great reference guide for choosing the right chart to fit your data and story.
3. Make sure your data can stand on their own
There is a lot of value in leaving people with a print-out of your presentation, so that they can look at the numbers more closely after your meeting. Since data-driven decks and reports tend to get circulated, make sure that any charts have descriptive titles and labels, explanations of sources, and explicit call out of the most important takeaways.
There should be a takeaway that really captures the key concepts you are trying communicate.
Make sure the chart summarizes this takeaway in call out text that is is clearly visible on that slide. Also make sure to cite your sources and explain what's included and excluded in the data highlighted.
4. Be confident in your data source, know the strengths and weaknesses
Do have a strong understanding of where the data came from, how others have interpreted and used the data, and especially what limitations may exist.
For example, if you want to tell a story about how often your product or device is currently used, it's often times too cost prohibitive to get a full and complete claims or medical record review. This is especially true if you want to personalize the story for that individual hospital or doctor. But publicly available sources or those curated by professional data partners, provide a strong foundation to improve the impact of your message.
If anyone in the audience questions your data sources, you can confidently be prepared to explain the source, it's benefits and limitations and even invite further discussion on what other data may further inform the topic under debate.
Ideas on Where to Get Data
If you don’t already have data you want to work with, where should you start?
We'd recommend a few free sources, relevant for healthcare products and services, that provide a wealth of information ready to be analyzed and incorporated into your presentation.
HCUPnet - This site is a free, on-line query system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The system provides health care statistics and information for hospital inpatient, emergency department, and ambulatory settings, as well as population-based health care data on counties.
HealthData.gov – This site is set-up to make health data accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all.
Datasets Subreddit – This popular subreddit offers datasets for data mining, analytics, and knowledge discovery. You can search for healthcare specific topics to find relevant data for hospital executives.
Google Trends – Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world in various languages.
Of course, here at Carevoyance we take away the headache of aggregating, cleaning up and maintaining healthcare data. We also have all the tools a Sales Exec could wish for when it comes to producing customized content, personalized for every hospital account or physician contact.
We'd love to hear from you what challenges you face in bringing data to your sales meetings. Let us know what's working and what opportunities exist to have more data-driven conversations with your prospects and customers.