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.
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.
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.
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.
Where will you find your next MedTech sales opportunity? Healthcare datasets can be great tools for identifying prime prospects in your market. Leveraging healthcare datasets to market your MedTech systems, however, isn’t the same as using a list of marketing leads and email addresses that you collect on your website or at an industry event. Healthcare datasets aren’t usually compiled for the purpose of marketing. Rather, they include medical data, healthcare statistics, population demographics, or insurance data that professionals, organizations, and regulatory agencies use for other purposes.
For a MedTech company, these datasets can provide information that helps you improve target marketing and focus sales efforts on physicians whose patients would benefit from your systems. For example, healthcare datasets may include ICD-10 codes or CPT codes, which can identify physicians or healthcare facilities most likely to treat patients with certain diagnoses or to perform certain procedures.
When it comes to using healthcare datasets for sales and marketing, though, there is a definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. Follow this list of dos and don’ts for the best outcomes.
The MedTech solutions that your company delivers, no doubt, add significant value to the doctors and hospitals that adopt your innovations. Most medical technology or healthcare IT companies focus on enabling their clients to provide better patient care and clinical outcomes or allowing them to work with greater efficiency. Other healthcare technology companies may assist doctors, medical groups or facilities with compliance around clinical standards, security or other regulations. But has your team considered the value you could be adding by focusing on developing a broader market for your client?
If a hospital has invested millions in the latest technology or equipment, but isn’t effective in educating their community doctors and patient panels about the benefits, then will the technology reach its full potential? By raising awareness and educating patients and doctors about the benefits of your medical technology or system, you can help build and sustain your clients’ practices and, as a result, also strengthen your business and reputation as adding more value.
Consider how these three approaches to growing your physician referral network can help promote your MedTech solution.
If it seems strange to think about marketing and sales organizations in the same company as “frenemies,” you probably haven’t been a part of marketing or sales teams.
There are many understandable reasons why dysfunction exists between these teams that are so dependent on each other for shared success, most notably:
For scalable success at any company, including those within healthcare and MedTech, it’s important to keep harmony between marketing and sales teams. Here are six tips for fostering win-win relationships.
Imagine you are interviewing for a sales executive role at a medical technology company.
You already have 20+ years selling healthcare technology to hospitals and doctors and you are looking for new opportunities.
Whether you currently have a job and looking to switch or you are between gigs, you can expect the process to take at least a few months ... and be incredibly competitive!
Assuming you have already gotten through the initial screening process with the recruiter and / or HR manager, you'll likely find yourself faced with a range of interviews with the hiring manager, other sales reps and members of the management team.
No doubt, you'll be looking for ways to stand-out from competition and really shine.
But exactly how much effort should you put into preparing for a job interview?
We are excited to share with you how a top sales executive used Carevoyance to expertly navigate the interview process and win more job offers!
What does accelerating sales mean?
Here at Carevoyance we think of sales acceleration as successfully engaging more prospects, progressing more deals to the next meeting, and, of course, making every meeting count. All these steps accelerate you to the end goal which is closing more deals.
Every sales person obsesses over closing more deals. You've got a couple of options here when it comes to accelerating sales and closing more deals --> you can work harder or you can work smarter.
Since there are only so many hours in the day, we are big fans of working smarter!
Let's explore how you can work smarter using data and technology as a strategy to accelerate sales.
Looking to better understand and size up a market opportunity for your healthcare technology?
Whether you are a healthcare entrepreneur formulating a business for a new product or a research scientist justifying a funding request or a marketer at an established medical device company recommending which market to target, the process for researching and sizing the opportunity is typically multi-dimensional. In this blog post we'll review a data-driven process for better understanding the dynamics within a market for a healthcare technology or product.
When sizing up a market, you'll want to look at the opportunity through multiple different perspectives to understand the following:
Let's start with a short quiz.
In which of the following scenarios should you incorporate email as part of your marketing strategy?
Planning great content for each sales meeting with hospital execs and physician leaders is equally, if not more, important than the actual meeting. Without a focused agenda, the right content, and a maniacal focus on progressing the relationship to the next step, you'll be wasting everyone's time.
We have all been there ... you finally landed a meeting with a hospital executive after months of trying. Success!!!
But then reality sets in and you are literally pulling our hair out trying to come up with engaging content, while staying on point with focused messaging relevant to your product and service.
Like many MedTech Commercial leaders, you are probably pulling your hair out to get your field based team to fully adopt your CRM. You spent months implementing and training on it, not to mention the big check of your budget that gets allocated to it. Get your sales reps excited to use your CRM with this one super simple technique: consider their needs by putting yourself in their shoes.
To understand why this simple change in orientation works, let's dive into the root cause of the problem of lackluster support for your CRM workflows.
It's hard to hear and painful to digest... but most issues teams face can be traced back to the top levels of management.
The more a marketer knows about a specific healthcare provider, the greater that marketer’s ability to deliver relevant and meaningful content
Like many well-seasoned healthcare marketers, planning and executing outreach campaigns to target physicians may conjures up memories of poring over countless spreadsheets, with a feeling of dread that you'll be faced with a sparsely-filled hotel conference room on the day of the event. The lesson learned is that the success of any given physician marketing campaign relies on your ability to identify, understand and meaningfully engage the right physicians.
Medical device companies face significant headwinds with increased competition resulting in heightened scrutiny over price, preference and availability.
One way medical device commercial teams stand out from the competition is to prove to your healthcare providers that you are a valued business partner who understands and cares about their business… you aren't just there to drop off more inventory and provide a free lunch!
While healthcare data is becoming more available by the day, the challenges inherent in working with these data are increasing in number and complexity.
Since most available healthcare data is derived from financial reporting and accounting systems (EHRs, by design, are billing systems, and most third-party healthcare data comes from the 'switches' that connect providers with payers to facilitate payment), the data structure, field availability and ease of analysis are all skewed toward financial reporting purposes not so much toward extracting other business value.
Healthcare data structure, field availability, and ease of analysis are skewed towards financial reporting purposes.