Here is an example. Imagine three sales reps (X, Y and Z) from three different manufacturers’ all vying to be the replacement vendor for a hospital that is going to purchase ten (10) mechanical ventilators at $25,000 each.

Rep X currently has the business and a lot of long-term relationships within the hospital and Respiratory Therapy department. He is a former clinician that entered sales years ago and has learned selling over the years through the school of hard knocks. Everyone knows and likes him in the hospital. After all he has been servicing the account for 15 years. Rep X knows through his clinical contacts that money is tight so he immediately offers the Respiratory Therapy department director a “deal” on the order.  He lets it be known that he can offer a 10% discount and he reminds the clinical personnel that only his company offers a certain mode of ventilation with their unit.

Rep Y is a bit new school. He is not a clinician. He came to the company with significant experience selling capital equipment but his sales experience is not in medical sales. He has some business acumen and is learning the hospital business quickly. He employs a specific selling methodology and develops a detailed strategy to win the business. He interviews all the stakeholders and learns that materials management is more concerned with total cost of ownership (TCO) than purchase price. He is ecstatic because marketing has just provided him with an Excel based spreadsheet that allows a hospital to compare and contrast one ventilator with another. He knows his product will be the winner. Rep Y also knows how to successfully sell against Rep X’s unique mode of ventilation. He can’t wait to share his findings with the Respiratory Therapy department director and Materials Management.

Rep Z is also not a clinician. She has experience in selling capital equipment in another industry, but she has also been trained in hospital business acumen. She asks to meet with a variety of different stakeholders. In doing so she learns the following:

While each of these examples is fictitious you get the point. When a good sales representative increases their competency with great business acumen they can become great salespeople and significantly improve their win rate.

In our next blog we are going to provide a short test. It will give you an opportunity to test your Hospital Business Acumen. We hope that you find it interesting and thought provoking.