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.
What to Do When a Key Employee Resigns: A Survival Guide
Faced with the reality of long sales cycles and high healthcare executive turnover, your MedTech sales team needs a plan for what to do when a key employee resigns from your prospect’s organization. Here are some tips that may be helpful when building your strategy:
1. Don’t Be Caught Off Guard
MedTech sales processes rarely involve just one decision maker. Although you probably have a primary point of contact within clinical leadership or hospital leadership during negotiations, you have the opportunity to build relationships with multiple people. Always assume that any of your prospect’s decision makers could leave, and never count on working with just one person.
2. Leverage Relationships, If Possible
Unless it’s a situation where a person simply leaves the healthcare organization with no notice, you may be able to leverage your outgoing contact for introductions, help scheduling meetings with new executives, and advocating the value your system provides. This can help maintain the relationship with the prospect and good momentum in the sales process, despite staff changes.
3. Document Everything
Did your contact share information about their healthcare organization that would be beneficial during the sales process? If your contact leaves, does that information leave as well? Don’t count on all decision makers in an organization, especially those assuming new roles during the sales process, to have the same anecdotal information or draw the same conclusions. Keep detailed records that will help you and your prospect remember important conversations.
4. Be Helpful During the Transition
When a key employee resigns from your prospect’s organization, there will, inevitably, be a learning curve for your new contact. If your former contact left suddenly, you may be working with an interim replacement until the position is permanently filled.
Patiently providing details of your MedTech solution, the challenges it solves, its approvals and certifications, as well as the terms of the contract you had negotiated to date can help the new people on your prospect’s negotiating team come up to speed more quickly — and perhaps, strengthen the client relationship by establishing your MedTech company as a valuable source of information.
5. Don’t Tell Your New Contact What to Do
As much as you’d like it to work that way, a new player in a sales negotiation probably isn’t going to do things just like the old one did. Resist the temptation to try to force the process to go in exactly the same direction. Share the history of the relationship and sales process to date. But invest plenty of time listening to the new contact’s views, goals, and plans, and ensure you adapt to their particular needs and expectations.
Is the Deal Still Worth Pursuing?
While your sales rep rebuilds a relationship with a new contact, it’s probably worth doing some research into why a key employee left the healthcare organization. Are there rumors of a merger or acquisition? Is there conflict in the organization that could delay closing your deal? Get the facts and make an informed decision on how to best invest your time.
Another question to ask is where your former contact now works. If you had a good relationship with that healthcare exec, and he or she is now working for a different organization, it may be an opportunity to expand your business.
Different Day, Different Contact
With the evolving healthcare executive landscape, MedTech sales teams need to find ways to stay agile and effective during times of change. The best approach is to expect the unexpected. Have a plan in place that helps mitigate damage to the medical sales process and lost time when a key employee leaves a healthcare organization, and have your team ready to run the drill, when needed, to save client relationships and close deals.
Carevoyance can give your sales and marketing teams the upper hand when it comes to withstanding transitions like this. In addition to a wealth of meaningful insights, our robust platform contains healthcare data on where to find your best prospects. Find your targeted hospitals and doctors with extreme precision and accuracy, using the latest healthcare data available. Target based on procedures, diagnoses, prescriptions, quality, industry relationships and more.
About the Author
Carevoyance contributor Beth Osborne is a professional writer and content marketer with multiple years of experience in healthcare IT marketing. Learn more about her by visiting her website.