As hospitals consolidate and form ACOs and transition from a fee-for-service reimbursement model to one that pays for value (better clinical outcomes, improved patient satisfaction and the prevention of complications, preventable infections and unnecessary re-admissions) the MedTech Sales Model will change.
At the forefront of developing a new Go-To-Market strategy will be MedTech Marketing. Their role is going to be helping their organization understand and learn how to cope with the constant changes in healthcare reimbursement while continuing to develop segment specific strategies for accelerated growth. Marketing will make their presence known by developing new strategies based on data, analytics and insights in each of the following areas.
This is Part 2 of our blog. If you missed Part 1 you can access it here.
5. Buyer Personas
For content marketing to be effective it must be properly targeted using buyer personas. These are descriptive overviews of the people who buy, or might buy, products or services like the ones you sell. They go beyond demographics and define psychographic criteria such as behaviors, motivations, priorities, business concerns, traits, success factors etc. They are comprised from information gleaned from interviews, direct observation and the use of social media. They are then crafted with skill and insight with the end result being that you understand the world through the buyer’s eyes. This allows the sales professional to understand and reach the buyer on a personal level.
Understanding buyer personas is important because buying decisions are driven by emotional factors then justified by rational factors such as product attributes and pricing. Any number of subjective factors can distort the process: business politics, conflicting priorities, past experience with your firm, etc. MedTech marketing will develop and provide this information to the sales organization.
6. Define or Re-Define Account Management
Increasingly MedTech field personnel will be selling primarily to large accounts, IDNs and the C-Suite. They will represent their entire company’s portfolio. These account managers will be highly skilled sales professionals that are clinically competent and adept at business-to-business discussions. A core competency will be an understanding of the role and function of a hospital. They will be able to discuss clinical outcomes, productivity, finance and other business challenges with healthcare providers. They will be supported by company clinical personnel and in some cases field sales personnel with a limited focus. MedTech marketing will help all customer facing personnel hone their business acumen, provide them with competitive insight and new product information.
7. Provide Value & Evidence
The new rules of engagement are reduced product utilization and product standardization with clinically acceptable products, evidence based value and a fixed payment structure. Manufacturers must help hospitals and other healthcare providers reduce end-to-end supply chain costs. In some cases the hospital will be given a choice of products in a range of good, better and best each with differing price points. They will be able to choose their price/value. MedTech field personnel should expect that they will be required to provide clinical and economic evidence and an increased transparency for clinical and business results to justify new product purchases. At the forefront will be MedTech marketing defining the strategy and then initiating the studies and providing the results in a segment specific manner.
8. Develop Innovative Financial Models
As hospitals continue to reduce costs they will continue to need new technology to assist them. New creative financing models with gain-sharing, fees per test etc. will grow in popularity. Pricing and contracting will have to align with the healthcare providers’ reimbursement. MedTech marketing will work in tandem with sales leadership and finance to provide alternative ways to procure new technology.
9. Creation of E-Commerce
Can’t happen you say! Think again! The move toward price transparency of some medical devices is already occurring. E-commerce removes the sales representative from certain portions of the business and it reduces cost dramatically to the hospital. Will this practice remove all sales professionals? Probably not but it can and probably will remove a slice of the existing sales representative population. MedTech marketing will help their organization look at ways to reduce supply chain costs and every option will be explored.
Marketing has always been an important function within an organization. These are just a few of the reasons why they will be an invaluable resource as they help their organization understand the complexities of healthcare reform and how they can maintain a competitive market presence by systematically collecting data and market feedback from hospitals. Marketing will continue to be at the forefront of helping their organization develop strategic products and services that meet the hospitals clinical and financial goals.