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.
General Acute Care Hospitals
General acute care hospitals provide care to patients with a wide range of diseases, injuries, and conditions. Predicting the number of patients a general hospital will see in a day or which treatments will be required is challenging given the diversity of cases. In short, general hospitals have to be ready for anything — except lengthy sales pitches.
Your marketing material has to be concise and to the point, putting benefits to the patient and benefits to the healthcare provider front and center. Sales reps need to be knowledgeable, not only about every detail of your MedTech system, but also about your prospect’s specific challenges and the impact your technology can make both on clinical outcomes and their finances. Make sure prospects have easy access to information on certifications, FDA approval, or other information so they can quickly check boxes and move on to other details about your system and your company.
Your team also needs to do its research to identify hospital decision-makers. General hospitals can be organized as for-profit or not-for-profit, run by a larger corporate entity, or managed by a board. Getting the ears of the right members of hospital leadership, including perhaps CFOs, CMOs, and CIOs, understanding what they value, and tailoring your communications to meet their needs can help you convert at a higher rate. You may also need to work with a group purchasing organization to be able to sell your products and technologies to specific facilities.
It’s important to make it clear from the outset what makes your system stand out from the competition and why it’s worth a second look. General hospitals face competition from other types of facilities, and cost-effective systems that give them the ability to compete by providing exceptional clinical care will capture their attention.
Long-Term Care Hospitals
Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) are also certified as acute-care hospitals but these facilities focus on patients with more complicated medical needs and longer recovery requirements but who no longer require intensive care or extensive diagnostic procedures. For this reason, stays at LTCH average more than 25 days according to Medicare’s reimbursement and payment policies.
In contrast to long-term care or assisted living facilities, which focus on help with feeding and dressing, LTCH are delivering inpatient services like respiratory therapy, pain management and rehabilitations post-trauma.
Administrators who run these types of facilities spend considerable time and effort understanding, measuring and improving the quality of the patient’s care.
They are tracking how often patients get infections, sustain falls or develop pressure ulcers. As with general acute care hospitals, LTCHs are also subject to financial incentives and penalties by various insurance companies for readmission rates post-discharge or successful return to the home or community. If your service or technology impact any of these important quality metrics, then be sure to highlight these benefits during the sales process.
Specialty hospitals deal with one area of medicine, such as women’s health, pediatric, cardiac, orthopedic, or surgical. Specialty hospitals’ focus often allows them to see more patients presenting with similar cases which allows them to provide quality care while operating more productively and profitably. Your MedTech system needs to align with this level of clinical focus as well as these operational and financial goals. Of course, your product needs to support the specialty, but it also has to work within the specialty hospital’s efficient system of processes.
Physicians may play a bigger role in the management of specialty hospitals, so make sure you understand how your prospect’s organization works and identify the hospital's key decision-makers. Also, specialty hospitals likely will look to compete on their ability to provide a higher standard of care because they are skilled and focused on one area. They’ll want more information on a MedTech system that helps them deliver on that promise.
Specialty hospitals may come under fire for only offering limited services, so if your system can help them bridge the gap and connect them to providers with complementary services, stress those benefits.
There are also hospitals owned by government entities and that receive government funding. These healthcare organizations are often challenged to see a greater number of patients while still providing a high level of care — and working within a finite budget. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), for example, is one of the largest health care organizations in the U.S., with more than 1,000 outpatient facilities throughout the country, and it is constantly working to ensure that its patients receive timely and quality care.
Selling to a government hospital most often requires working with the agency’s purchasing and procurement organization. Purchasing for the VHA, for example, is managed by the VHS Procurement & Logistics Office (P&LO), which uses Federal Supply Schedules, notices in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps), mailing lists, and other means to find a sufficient number of bidders.
Academic or Teaching Hospitals
Academic hospitals, sometimes called university or teaching hospitals, have the dual purpose of providing healthcare as well as developing skilled physicians. Professionals working in academic hospitals often face the challenges of balancing teaching, administrative, and non-teaching responsibilities. They’re also tasked with oversight of students, finding better, more efficient ways to train new physicians, as well as providing a high standard of care.
Academic hospitals are often known for their research and for giving patients access to cutting-edge treatments not available at other facilities. A ground-breaking MedTech system, complete with data analytics, may align well with their work.
Also keep in mind it is at these facilities where physicians in training learn the latest techniques or gain exposure to the newest technologies. As residents and fellows graduate from their academic training, they will disperse into the community, bringing with them these experiences and relationships.
Depending on your system, the right contact may be a physician, an administrator, or a researcher, and budget may come from different accounts. Learn as much as you can about the organization and invest your time with the right contacts.
Your Unique Prospect
When you’re looking at healthcare facilities within a certain category, it’s also important to recognize that each individual prospect is unique. Marketing and sales pitches may need to be tailored beyond messaging designed for a particular type of organization, depending on the challenges a hospital is facing, its local healthcare and competitive landscape, or the population it serves. You always need to do your homework on the type of hospital or healthcare facility your prospect is, its unique needs, and how much value your MedTech system can offer.
Carevoyance can arm your sales and marketing teams with all the data and insights necessary to craft effective messaging, no matter what type of hospital your prospects fall under. Click the button below to request a free report, customized for your product and personalized for your audience.
About the Author
Carevoyance contributor Bernadette Wilson of B Wilson Marketing Communications is an experienced journalist, writer, editor, and B2B marketer, specializing in content for technology companies.