Prospecting has dramatically evolved in the 21st century, and a big part of that has to do with social media. LinkedIn prospecting has become a way of life for many savvy sales professionals, embracing social selling. If that’s you, then you know how important it is to be active on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has a user base of over 500 million professionals, including over 60 million senior-level influencers and 40 million decision-makers. With this large number of users, your ideal healthcare buyers are there, too. It’s a perfect opportunity to connect, educate, and build relationships.
While you’ve probably been prospecting on LinkedIn through traditional methods, how are you leveraging LinkedIn healthcare groups?
Medical conferences often bring together a variety of stakeholders with the unique opportunity to share insights and discuss what’s happening in the industry. As a sales or marketing professional, you’ve probably attended events over the years, but maybe you’ve felt you didn’t get out of them what you thought you would.
Networking is likely one of the best ways for you to develop relationships, and as you know these relationships are critical to gaining new customers. Of course, your product or service and how it fits their needs is important, but you’re in a competitive market. Networking is key to standing out from the rest. You may still feel a little stumped, or even awkward, when it comes to networking at medical conferences. We’ve got some easy and proven networking tips that you’ll want to put into action at your next event.
Millions of meaningful physician-patient interactions occur each day — and some don’t even require doctors and patients to be in the same city. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), 76 percent of hospitals in the United States use telehealth services to connect with their patients via a variety of technologies including remote monitoring, video conferencing, and mobile communications. Moreover, telehealth services have grown 41 percent since 2010, and nearly all state Medicaid programs and many private insurers support telehealth services with some form of coverage.
Patient retention is critical to any healthcare organization, yet it’s often overlooked. Many practices and facilities have no idea how many patients they are losing and rarely have robust strategies to measure it, let alone prevent it. Much of their efforts is placed on attracting new patients. However, like any industry, acquiring a new customer is much more costly than retaining current ones.
How important are face-to-face sales interactions in healthcare? Extremely important. In fact, there are probably very few highly successful healthcare sales reps that ever do business other than face-to-face. Why? Healthcare sales are all about relationships and typically relationships are developed, nurtured, and protected at a greater rate when they are done in person.
Top healthcare sales reps understand the difference between selling and relationship selling. Relationship building adds value to the sales process. Simply having a conversation with a new physician or purchasing department can reveal areas that need solutions and improvement. (Providers tend to seek solutions for patient care while healthcare organizations often seek means to ease the bottom line and maintain a standard of excellence in patient care.) Relationship sales also focus on eliminating concerns before a big purchase.
Shiela Kloefkorn from the Phoenix Business Journal sums it up like this:
Relationship selling is imperative if your product or service has a higher average selling price. Your prospects want to know that you’ll still be there for them after the sale if something goes wrong. To create that level of trust and faith, you need to build a solid relationship with prospects before you ever try to close a deal. These days, without a relationship, prospects are unwilling to risk buying an expensive product.
Now that we understand the value of face-to-face interactions in healthcare sales, let’s discuss what else you gain from these personal interactions.
After a slow start, cloud computing in the medical field is seeing a higher rate of adoption. MarketsandMarkets projects the global healthcare cloud computing market, with North America leading the way, will grow from $19.46 billion in 2018 to $44.932 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 18.2 percent. Big data, innovation in clinical documentation, healthcare Internet of Things (IoT) technology, wearable devices, as well as growing demand for data storage and backup are driving growth.
Whether it’s good or bad, industry news does impact how you approach sales meetings with prospects. Because so much is happening in healthcare, each day can look different, however; it’s still important to be up-to-date on how the industry is changing and evolving so that you can be relevant to your audience that is likely needing to react to the next big story.
Connecting medical devices to healthcare provider networks can result in better patient experiences, increased data accuracy, better management of prescription administration, lower costs, and improved outcomes. There’s a significant challenge that comes along with all those benefits, however. An expanded network of MedTech, including Internet of Things (IoT) technology and patient monitoring devices both inside and outside the hospital, can create a risk to healthcare cybersecurity.
You have a great product and your customers are happy. Doctors, nurses, the hospital staff, and even your competitors are telling you that your product or service is making a difference. You already know that testimonials are integral to the healthcare sales process. You’ve asked your physicians and other stakeholders who have interacted with the product to write a review, but all you hear is crickets.
How do you actually get someone to sit down and write a solid review? You never get something for nothing as the saying goes. Follow these steps to get the review you want in the timeframe you need.
Amazon has long been diversifying its interests, so it’s not a big surprise they’ve stepped into the world of healthcare. In addition to their other initiatives, Amazon has made some new announcements about their partnership with Berkshire-Hathaway and JP Morgan -- we still don’t know much, except for a name, Haven, and that it will be focusing on their own employees first, and working with data, primary care, and insurance to reduce costs and innovate within the space.
After years of disrupting and transforming other industries, it’s now healthcare’s turn to be ambitiously re-envisioned. Thus far, Amazon has touched many aspects and elements of the trillion-dollar industry. So, what does this mean for medical technology and the ultimate future of healthcare and its data?
Let’s explore how Amazon is changing the way technology and medicine intersect.
How many times do you research a product and look to the reviews for feedback? How many times have customer testimonials affected your decision to seek a provider or purchase a healthcare product or service? Customer testimonials impact purchasing decisions and are important resources when evaluating the overall consumer experience.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that can be mastered. A decade ago, many of the wealthier companies paid to ensure their sites came out on top. Today, search engines favor more organic approaches. Brands that do not understand the importance of SEO lose out on valuable business and relationships.
As a medical marketing professional, how does SEO help us in the healthcare realm? Implementing the right SEO tactics, or following guidelines to ensure a site is found, can help healthcare professionals acquire skill sets, attract leads, guide consumer research, and come out on top.
Increased usage of smartphones and health apps in the United States has allowed healthcare facilities and providers easier access to communications and up-to-the-minute access to treatment plans. At the same time, American consumers are experiencing greater healthcare data breaches than ever before. In fact, according to the HIPPA Journal, more than twice the number of healthcare records were exposed during 2018 than in the previous year. That’s over thirteen million healthcare records!
There has been a growing concern from consumers in the United States about the current standing of healthcare privacy and security. Last year, Aetna evaluated the responses of 1,000 consumers and 400 physicians to several questions regarding preferences toward healthcare. The company presented the data in its Inaugural Health Ambitions Study, which concluded that patient privacy and security were more concerning to consumers than the cost of healthcare.
Technology continues to embed itself further into our everyday lives. If anything the healthcare industry has been slower to adopt and fully integrate all the technology touchpoints we have in the rest of our lives. However, the healthcare industry continues to invest in technology to place orders, document encounters, write prescriptions, submit claims, and communicate among care team.
The bases are loaded. The batter steps up to the plate. Does he just wildly swing at every pitch? Of course not! He has been in the dugout, discussing the pitching stats with his coach — running the numbers to determine the type of pitch that will send all his teammates home. He eyes the ball approaching him. It abruptly curves toward the center of the plate. He swings and …
We evaluated the organic approach to territory alignment in Representing Your Sales Territory: Part One, Alignment. In this article, we will discuss the fundamentals of healthcare data analytics, why it matters, and how it applies to a sales and marketing process.
Healthcare sales is similar to baseball. With the right team in place, and the right skill sets, your business can come out on top. Whether you are setting up a distributorship, working on your own, or managing a group of sales representatives within a large organization, it is important to establish representation that covers the desired physician population, in the most efficient and cost-effective ways.
There are two methods that effectively address the sales territory map. In this first blog, we are going to pitch the organic approach. In the second blog, we will discuss running Carevoyance data analytics and territory alignment software. Combined, these two methods are a grand slam when deciding how to best represent your given territory.
When using the organic approach to develop a sales territory map there are many factors to consider. These can include the size of the territory, the number of sales representatives within the organization, the number of physicians within a territory, current established rep relationships, the value of products in a bag, and the dynamic of change. The list is as specific or as vast as needed to achieve optimal territory alignment — and it is not exclusive to these factors alone. Use these as a starting point (or reorganizational point) of consideration. Incorporate territory alignment software. Then continue to re-evaluate as change occurs within your sales representation, physician population, product portfolio, and sales territory map.
The role of the medical device sales professional is shifting and changing, mostly due to innovative technology. Instead of simply being reactive, you have the ability to be more proactive in a controlled manner that doesn’t eat up your time. The key to increasing touchpoints and segmenting leads? Sales automation software.
If you aren’t sure what you should automate, start here. This article will take you on a tour of what’s possible and help you decide what’s best for your business need. Ultimately, you want to automate medical device sales in an approach that ensures your prospects get relevant information, and the breadth and depth of your sales conversions increase.
A trend has been emerging in the healthcare marketplace where C-level executives are resigning or simply leaving without notice. There are a number of reasons why mid-level managers and below leave jobs without notice, including hostile work environments, unsafe work conditions, illegal corporate activity, and finding other employment during company layoffs. However, most of these don’t make logical sense for upper-level executives.
Becker’s Hospital Review published a list of 57 hospital or health systems’ CEOs that resigned by the first half of 2018. This list does not include planned CEO resignations or retirements.
By the end of the first quarter of 2018, 56 healthcare executives had either left or had announced pending resignation. Becker’s indicates that one of the reasons why could be a simple mentality shift of executive tenure. Whereas baby-boomers generally stayed with organizations for decades, later generations of executives offer four to five year tenures before moving on.
There are several other reasons why top healthcare executives may be resigning in record numbers, including an increase in mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare market space, a growing number of alternative opportunities that offer career growth, reported tensions between organizational boards and their healthcare affiliated staff, and exposures of financial and quality-control issues.
Blockchain is best known by its association with bitcoin and other digital currencies. There are actually many more uses for blockchain, as it has unique attributes that make it different than a standard database. Simply put, blockchain is a ledger of transactions that cannot be altered or changed. A blockchain ledger is shared by all the entities who use it rather than one central owner.
Healthcare organizations are beginning to formulate use cases for blockchain, leveraging its distinct, valuable attributes. Blockchain has the potential to address some of the healthcare industry’s biggest challenges, like interoperability, fraud, and verification of data. Let’s look at how this technology is evolving.
If you’re brainstorming for content ideas before writing your next sales email to a prospective doctor or hospital executive, consider focusing on a current healthcare issue. Using current healthcare issues as the focus of an email is a great way to capture attention — after all, your potential clinical customers and administrative prospects are hungry for information. They need to stay on top of the latest regulatory announcements, research breakthroughs, population health trends, insurance and managed care news, and other healthcare issues that help them stay compliant and on the cutting-edge.
The challenge for healthcare professionals in the digital age is that it’s hard to keep up. Medical technologies are advancing quickly with regulations in the healthcare industry constantly evolving. Keeping current with all the news healthcare professionals need takes time — something most of them can’t afford to spare. Moreover, with all of the information that bombards them on a daily basis, it’s difficult to sort through it all to find what’s worth spending time to read.
Serving up relevant healthcare news in an email can have real value to your customers. If successful, writing a sales email focused on a current hot topic from the healthcare industry may further benefit your marketing and sales department — with a better email open rate.
According to the AMA’s Physician Practice Benchmark Surveys, over 47 percent of physicians were recorded as practicing medicine in a private medical group in 2016. While physicians have been increasingly abandoning private practice in favor of employment by hospitals and health systems, doctors in private practice still make up a significant portion of the medical population and can provide sales reps with a sizable amount of business.
Typically, hospital deals require long sales cycles involving multiple stakeholders and many touchpoints over months (or even years). The rewards can be huge — long-term purchasing agreements, commitments to purchase expensive capital equipment, strategic buying contracts — but these sales take a lot of time and resource. Selling into medical groups or private practices can often be more straightforward and less complex, leading to quicker buying cycles.
Charge capture is critical for success for every healthcare organization that seeks reimbursement for their services from insurance companies. If the services are captured on the reimbursement form, then the clinician or facility simply won’t get paid for those services, which results in lost revenue. If the services are captured in a way that doesn’t fully codify the variety or complexity then the reimbursement may result in an underpayment for services delivered. Finally, if the medical coder overstates the types of services delivered, the organization could be at a risk for overpayment which can cause significant issues downstream if and when the insurance company requests an audit.
Charge capture often feels like a never-ending exercise of whack-a-mole given how hard it is to do it consistently. However, its importance seems to be downgraded when it comes to improving or evolving it. A new study from Ingenious Med found that 78 percent of healthcare leaders identify charge capture as essential to success but that 40 percent of organizations were found to talk about the process once a month or less. This suggests that communication within healthcare organizations is lacking in regards to charge capture, with the result that hospital charge capture best practices may not be regularly employed.
Medical technology companies should pay attention to the challenges and opportunities that their hospital clients face related to charge capture. After all, if the hospital’s medical billers and coders can’t appropriately capture charges related to the service or procedure you are selling, then the realization of your technologies Return on Investment (ROI) is at risk.
MedTech sales is usually a long, involved process. To add even more complexity, one of your prospect’s key employees could resign mid-negotiation. Becker’s Hospital Review reports that healthcare organizations experience a higher-than-average executive turnover rate — 18 percent in 2017 — and tracks about 100 healthcare executive moves per month. Additionally, although healthcare executives usually give more than the two week notice that’s standard in many other industries, a significant increase in “effective immediately” healthcare executive resignations occurred in 2018.
If not prepared for this situation, your MedTech sales team could be left wondering what to do when a point of contact resigns and how to salvage the time and effort invested in their client relationships.
The days of the community hospital seem to be numbered, as more and more healthcare organizations continue to merge into mega health systems. The decline of the local independent hospital has been driven by a number of factors including evolving reimbursement models, requiring greater operational efficiency, and changing demographics leading to volume pressures on community hospitals.
With greater competition from larger facilities, financial problems have plagued community hospitals, further fueling the trend toward consolidation. But is bigger better? And, what does the new mega health system mean for medical sales representatives that sell their products and services into these larger, more complex entities?
It can be a real challenge to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare and MedTech industries. To help you stay current on new technologies, emerging trends, research, and other news that will impact your MedTech business in 2019, here’s a list of the best healthcare news sites.