If you run a sales team then you are all too familiar with the pressures of ensuring each sales executive is well-trained and equipped with the tools needed to their job.
Selling medical technology, healthcare service, or clinical equipment to doctors and hospitals requires a unique set of skills given the complex subject matter and the life-and-death situations many products and services can impact. As the healthcare industry faces pressures on cost and quality, clinical salespeople are in the line of fire. No longer can you hire based solely on a sales rep’s Rolodex and personal relationships with a network of physicians who have bought from him or her before. Today, healthcare sales processes involve a complex path involving clinical and business stakeholders carrying equal influence.
Given this reality, you may be looking for ways to build new skills within your sales team or up-level existing pockets of potential within the team. Medical sales training programs may be one avenue you are exploring. A quick Google search for “medical sales training” will bring up hundreds of programs, all promising to give you the secrets to identifying top prospects in your target market, executing a successful outreach, conducting persuasive follow-ups, and closing sales. In addition to sales basics, an effective medical sales training program should also be product or practice specific, equipping the sales rep with knowledge about the MedTech systems that they’re selling, how physicians use them, and the value they provide to the patient and clinician.
It’s vital that you do research and plan out the specific goals and outcomes you seek before investing your time and your team’s time into one of these programs, not to mention the direct financial expense to your budget. Carefully consider these options before you decide on a course of action.
The world of healthcare is always evolving and changing. Like any industry, healthcare sees its fair share of mergers and acquisitions every year. Consolidation of smaller hospitals and the growth of mega healthcare organizations has been a sustained trend in the last few years. Mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity is also the prime ingredient for growth in healthcare. Is the mega-hospital the future of healthcare? Or, will M&A cool off a bit in 2019? Let’s explore the opportunities for 2019 M&A.
Patient-centered care is more than a buzzword; it’s evolved from a theoretical strategy to an operational reality across medical practices, surgery centers and hospitals alike. For organizations to deliver on the promises of patient-centered care, there must be meaningful engagement. One tool to ensure this occurs is the Patient Engagement Framework, a model created as a guide for healthcare organizations. It allows them to develop and bolster patient engagement strategies by using e-health tools and resources.
The increasing focus on patient engagement is a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related programs to ensure the US healthcare system is focused on quality, not just quantity, of care. The ACA aligns Medicare payments to improved productivity, efficiency, and quality metrics, including patient engagement and care experience.
As a MedTech professional, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with all five stages and how you can contribute to your prospects success at every step.
Integrated delivery networks (IDNs) have carved out a place for themselves in the healthcare industry. An IDN (in the recent past also called integrated health network [IHN] or multihospital system [MHS]) is a network of healthcare providers and facilities within a specific geographic region that offers a full range of healthcare services. An IDN is often designed to offer a full spectrum of care inclusive of primary care physicians, specialists, general acute care (i.e. inpatient services), and home health services.
Like accountable care organizations (ACOs), IDNs exist to coordinate patient care, improve the quality of care, and control costs. Unlike ACOs, which may not work with group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and may not contract directly with local employer group plans, IDNs have negotiating power. Their negotiating power comes in two forms.
The world of healthcare technology evolves rapidly, with new trends on the horizon. As technology becomes more innovative, healthcare professionals can expect these trends to enhance the patient experience, improve care, and deliver better workflows. Earlier this year, we looked at the Top Medical Technology Advances From the Last 100 Years. Now, as 2018 draws to a close, let’s examine the healthcare technology trends that will be most impactful in 2019.
You may be baffled at why sales emails to physicians don’t get better click-through rates. Consider this possibility: You aren’t making it clear what the physician should click.
The centerpiece of sales emails to physicians needs to be clear calls to action (CTA). Devising email CTAs that get results for your MedTech company, however, is a skill you need to develop — and novice email marketers are prone to making some common mistakes.
Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) work hard to differentiate themselves through the level of quality care they provide. Not sure what differentiates a LTCH from the more common general acute care hospital? While LTCHs are certified as general hospitals, these facilities focus on treating patients with more complicated conditions, requiring longer times to recovery.
Patients treated in LTCH typically no longer require the extensive diagnostic and intensive care delivered at general acute hospitals but require more care than can be delivered in a skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility or the home. Given the complexity and cost of treating these types of patients, administrators who run LTCHs are motivated to understand, measure and continuously improve the quality of care delivered to their patients.
Your MedTech system may deliver promising solutions that significantly impact a LTCH’s ability to maintain and improve the quality of patient care at their facility. Aligning that value proposition to each prospect’s unique situation should be part of your message during the sales process.
Including information about your technology in your email marketing to physicians can help build awareness and get the message across that they are market leaders in progressive, innovative, and quality patient care. However, before they can use your MedTech system to enhance care and convince physicians that they are the right choice for their long-term care facility, you have to convince both your administrative and clinical buyers that your MedTech system will deliver value to their organization. Here are four ways to communicate your value-add through your marketing and sales processes.
Your MedTech company’s success is directly tied to your clients’ success. The healthcare organizations benefiting most from your systems or services need to maintain an adequate patient volume — and adequate revenues — to operate and continue to use your products. Patient leakage (i.e., patients seeking care or receiving referrals outside of a healthcare organization or outside of an expected catchment area) can threaten your clients’ ability to maintain volumes which impacts their viability, and in turn, could create a negative impact on your bottom line.
According to a study by referral management platform Fibroblast, 87 percent of healthcare executives consider patient leakage extremely or very important, although about one in five healthcare organizations do not understand where and why leakage occurs. In addition, 43 percent of healthcare executives say they’re losing more than 10 percent of annual revenues due to patient leakage.
Understanding where patients come from — and where they go — will provide valuable insights that you and your clients can use to make business decisions that lead to greater patient volume and greater profitability.
Across the US, 39.8 percent of total healthcare spending is spent in hospitals (ranging as high as 49.4 percent of dollars in South Dakota to as low as 32.9 percent in New Jersey). Collectively, hospitals employ 42 percent of the physicians in the country.
Clearly, hospitals play a central and significant role in our $3 trillion healthcare system. Given those stakes, it should come as no surprise that hospitals are complex businesses.
There are multiple layers of leadership and decision makers; it can often be challenging to identify the right stakeholders to target. One of our recent posts focused on the C-Suite level of hospital leadership — who they are and what they care about — but there are more roles within a hospital that a MedTech business needs to understand. Clinical leadership encompasses some of those roles. In this piece, we’ll examine what clinical leadership is and who makes up a clinical leadership team.
Your MedTech system may add value to healthcare providers in a wide variety of settings, but successfully selling to different types of organizations takes different approaches. To illustrate this point, consider these five types of hospitals, what makes each unique, and how marketing and sales need to adapt their messaging and processes for each to move prospects through the sales funnel.
An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) plays an important role in reducing costs and re-aligning incentives across the healthcare system to encourage less focus on the volume of services delivered and emphasize the quality and outcomes of the services delivered. ACOs have the potential to revolutionize healthcare, but what exactly are ACOs, and why should they matter to you?
Selling to hospitals is complex. With multiple decision makers and stakeholders, it can be difficult to know which titles to target, as well as how to target effectively. Once you define who you want to go after, you have to understand that buyer intimately, including what they are responsible for and what matters to them.
When looking at the highest level of hospital leadership, some argue that “selling higher” is the best approach. However, according to a study published by Forester, executives consider less than 20 percent of their meetings with salespeople to be valuable.
So, how do you get to be part of that 20 percent? You have to know that persona completely with a 360-degree viewpoint. In breaking down the who’s who of leadership, you need to know what they do and what matters to them, so you remain relevant.
Whether you attend as an exhibitor, for education, or to advance your business, medical technology conferences offer great opportunities to network, stay current on industry trends, and inspire your team. Among the many MedTech conferences you could put on your 2019 calendar, these 10 stand out as the best investments of your time and resources. Make sure to register early – and don’t forget to book your hotel!
If a physician’s phone system and receptionist are good at their jobs, you probably aren’t getting through to that prospect with a cold call. And although you may be able to find physicians on social media, you may not be able to communicate effectively with them on those platforms. Email is the best option for reaching out to MedTech prospects and getting your message across.
A personalized email allows you to get straight to the point in your subject line and boil down information into an easy read, complete with clear ROI. When used correctly, email gives you the opportunity to capture a physician’s attention with the advantages of your MedTech product and sets the stage for continued engagement.
First, however, you need to actually find the doctor’s email address.
If you’re willing to spend the time doing some detective work, there are five ways MedTech sales reps and marketing departments can track down doctors’ email addresses.
Imagine your team has been iterating on an innovative idea for a new MedTech device. So how do you decide if commercializing that product will result in ROI for your business? Costs to develop MedTech products can be significantly higher than in other industries, which makes commercializing a new product a high-risk proposition. To ensure your team makes a smart, informed decision for your business, start by estimating the potential market opportunity.
“Market opportunity” is defined as a need or demand in a market that a company can capitalize on by introducing a new product or service. You should be able to express market opportunity in terms of numbers, not just by describing trends. For example, it’s not enough to say that a current product on the market doesn’t work well enough so surgeons will want to upgrade to the new device. Instead, you should be able to determine the size of the market in units and dollars and how much market growth (or decline) that market will experience in the next few years — which allows you to calculate the revenue you could expect to capture with your innovation.
To develop a clear picture of a new product’s potential market and calculate market opportunity, follow these four steps.
The world of healthcare was a very different place 100 years ago. Thanks to innovators who focused their talents on helping people live healthier lives and live with disabilities, the last century has seen revolutionary medical technology advances that have contributed to the quality of care and better outcomes of today.
Here’s a look back at the medical technology advances that have taken place since the early 1900s.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) has been around since the 1970s in one form or another. In fact, RPM is one of the earliest applications of telehealth, used before that term had even been coined.
In today’s rapid shift to value-based care and reimbursement, remote patient monitoring and care management are expanding and evolving as integral elements of the fast-growing telehealth ecosystem; so rapidly, in fact, that it can be difficult to keep up with all of the new developments and innovations!
Importantly, this category of healthcare is a highly relevant illustration of how the healthcare industry in the U.S. is evolving overall.
Do I Need to Read This Article?
The question of who needs to understand and prepare for what the future of remote healthcare management will look like and how it will affect them might better be phrased as, who doesn’t? Those who definitely need to stay updated and informed on these possibilities include:
Have we left anybody out? Well, include them, too. That’s how important and pervasively these technological advances will impact our society — and sooner than you may realize.
Many hospitals, healthcare systems, and other healthcare providers use group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to control costs and improve efficiency in medical supply purchases. For MedTech companies and vendors on the other side of the deal, working with a GPO can provide advantages as well. To make an informed decision about whether or not to sell through a GPO, start by learning more about these organizations, how they work, and the benefits they can offer your business.
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.
MedTech isn’t a typical B2B industry. The systems you develop and the partnerships you form literally transform — and even save — lives. MedTech success has always required higher doses of trust, relationship building, and customer focus. Today, you have a somewhat-overlooked tool that can make achieving those objectives easier than ever before: social media.
If you need some convincing before you can believe that social media can be effective for raising awareness about your MedTech innovations, and for growing your business, here are eight compelling reasons to consider social media for your next marketing activity.
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.
MedTech salespeople are understandably so focused on their day-to-day sales activities and quotas that they often miss opportunities to improve their knowledge, skills, and networking opportunities. The most proactive MedTech sales professionals tend not to wait until they are seeking a new job opportunity to connect with thought leaders and read up on trends in their profession, but it’s challenging to find the time to participate in, much less seek out associations and networking groups.
Not to worry. We’ve compiled a list of sales associations and networking groups that medical technology salespeople should know.
There’s no escaping the reality that MedTech sales are getting harder in the new era of value-based healthcare. Hospitals and their health system parents are getting squeezed financially. The same reality applies to larger medical groups, ACOs, and just about any other healthcare provider business model.
As the pressure is increasing for the healthcare industry to make more careful purchases, mergers and rollups that are increasing the size of IDNs are giving these larger organizations more negotiating leverage, and not just with payers.
This means that MedTech companies also feel the financial pressure. Price sensitivity (always an issue) is more acute than ever, and value-for-price considerations are a major focus for the customers of MedTech companies in their evaluation of medical technology purchases. Further, product life cycles in the MedTech market are longer, and differentiation between competitive products is more difficult and less driven by features of the technology. Decisions to purchase refurbished equipment are increasingly driven by price considerations and what is “good enough” rather than best in class.
In this challenging business environment, how can a medical technology company scale its sales model to help increase sales system efficiency and hit company sales targets?
Marketing teams at medical technology companies are under constant pressure and scrutiny from corporate executives and sales forces to create more demand for their company’s products. Though demand generation is hardly a new requirement for marketing departments, lead generation tactics must continually evolve to keep pace with rapidly changing market conditions and pressures felt by customers and targets of MedTech companies.
What worked even six months ago to increase demand and produce qualified leads may not be effective next quarter, much less next year. “Change is the only constant in life” is not a recent quote (check your Greek history from 2,500 years ago). At the same time, the pace of change has never been faster in human history, and that certainly applies to healthcare — and to marketing for demand generation.
Read on for an update on the most popular demand generation tactics for medical technology companies as they stand today. Each of these topics is worthy of an entire article or series unto itself, so consider this more a brief overview and impetus for further research and reading than anything complete unto itself.