May 2021 | John Strong, ASPI Co-founder
As the nation emerges from the global pandemic and life returns to a “new” normal, many companies need to ask themselves if their current sales model can survive COVID-19. American healthcare trends are shaping up to look like new sales models will be the key to success in 2022 and beyond.
Here are some trends that suggest that reaching the healthcare customer of the future is going to be tougher—no matter how many “feet on the street” a company has. Throwing more bodies into the fray likely is not the answer.
Remote working plays well into the hands of new technology such as REPCARDz2 a searchable directory of verified medical and pharmaceutical sales representatives that comes with HIPAA-compliant secure text and video chat features. It allows provider staff to keep track of who their sales representative(s) are, and to easily communicate with them in a rapidly changing world.
This trend makes finding the “right” buyer for new products and especially technology very difficult. Add this to the number of new “Apps” that have been launched in the healthcare space creating more clutter, and it is getting harder for great new meaningful technology to be recognized.
These factors mean that the successful launch and scaling of new products and services require a carefully targeted sales approach that does not require significant amounts of costly Sales, General and Administrative (SG&A) expense.
Careful market segmentation is a key element for anyone either launching or building a brand in healthcare today. The old “hunter,” “gatherer” and “nurturer” sales models are mostly dead or on life support at this point. The rate of change is outpacing this model.
Having detailed knowledge and understanding about a customer is more important than ever. While the old model of having a national accounts contract with a national GPO may still work, product and service recognition is still critical in the market. The question becomes how to drive that in a fashion that works best for both the buyer and the seller.
Using Salesforce® and other Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems is one approach—but it is only as good as the amount of information sales staff puts into the system. Companies—especially smaller ones— have often found that this can be a challenge even if it is a job expectation. Hence, it is not the only solution.
Finally, getting to the “C-Suite” is not the answer either. What are you going to say when you get there? Most C-Suite executives in healthcare today have little time or patience for product detailing, and will usually tell those who inquire that they have “people” who do that for them. The biggest question today and moving into 2022 is “how do I locate the people the C-Suite suggests I see?”
1 Butcher, Lola, “Modern Healthcare”, May 4, 2021 at www.modernhealthcare.com.