Medical device sales management and executive leadership are all too aware that the way in which devices are purchased has been evolving to involve both clinical and non-clinical decision makers. No longer is it sufficient to make the case for one’s product with the physician alone and rely solely on the influence of the clinician to assure the sales gets pushed through.
With such intense scrutiny given to the high cost of healthcare, the demands to contain costs are continuously made on hospital administrators and leaders of health care delivery organizations. So sales organizations within device companies need to refocus their efforts and adopt a more value-based approach.
Recently published information makes the case that those medical device sales organizations that implement value-based best practices are showing positive growth and taking a leadership position in terms of growth and customer loyalty.
Best Practices for Implementing Value-Based Selling
The value-based selling report identifies four best practices that guide leading medical device, equipment and diagnostics companies and their teams of sales executives, field managers and account representatives to superior economic results.
1. Translate Features and Advantages into Economic Value
Top performers are more than twice as likely as other respondents (85 percent versus 34 percent) to communicate their product or service’s broad, long-term economic value and visible, customized benefits clearly to their customers.
“If you sell a wound care product, you must consider not only whether your product heals a wound quickly, but also demonstrate the extent to which it reduces the chance of hospital-acquired infection or readmission or the average length of stay for the patient,” says Solem. “In other cases, leading companies are able to articulate how their products and services may help a provider increase patient volume by differentiating themselves with new service lines. Members of top selling organizations understand this and communicate the upstream and downstream effects of the products and services they sell in order to demonstrate value to their customers.”
2. Communicate with a Broader Group of Stakeholders
As purchasing decisions continue to shift from medical practitioners to administrators, front-line sales teams must become adept at communicating value that will resonate with non-clinicians. To accomplish this, companies must equip their reps with relevant tools and an economic value story that articulates how the organization and each particular stakeholder ultimately “wins” with the product or service. The survey’s top performers are nearly twice as likely as other respondents (58 percent versus 30 percent) to practice this.
3. Provide Services Unique to Customer Needs
Leading companies outpace the others (52 percent versus 24 percent) in customizing their solutions, economic value story and communication materials for individual accounts.
“The industry’s top performers go beyond the traditional product to look for ways to help their customers’ organizations achieve their goals,” says Solem. “This may include offering service line specialists like cardiac experts or women’s health specialists. It’s all a matter of aligning available resources and skill sets with the goals and needs of your customers.”
4. Practice a Holistic Approach to Integrating Value-Based Selling
Using technology to empower a rep is a popular endeavor, but leading companies understand that there is no substitute for the intellectual assets required to truly understand and address the needs of every prospect or customer. Top businesses select reps based on a desired set of skills and train them to turn selling insights into the right messages and activities for each customer stakeholder. They also build processes that foster collaboration and enable better information capture. Forty-five percent of the top performers surveyed take this strategic approach, compared to 25 percent of other companies….