If you’ve been paying attention to political news at all, you know that healthcare is under the microscope, big time. Or “big-league” according to President Twitter.
To help you navigate the 2017 healthcare trends and the “you-ja” changes coming our way when Obamacare/ACA is repealed, this is my second post about how to add value as a healthcare sales professional.
In part one, I covered the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care and how we as healthcare sales professionals must help our customers prepare. This time around, we’ll take a closer look at innovating for value. But first, a quick recap:
- Yes, Congress is going to dismantle Obamacare.
- No, we don’t know when, how or what it will be replaced with.
- No matter what happens to Obamacare, value-based care is here to stay.
- In order to help your customers move toward value-based care you need to help them adapt, innovate, and build new programs.
Innovating for value with new technology
Pricewaterhousecoopers Health Research Institute (HRI) has provided plenty of good information about how healthcare providers can shift toward value. When it comes to innovating for value with emerging technologies, there are a few things to keep in mind.
For starters, the healthcare industry is behind. Way behind!
We lag behind other industries when it comes to innovative solutions. And in the past 10 years, there has been a lot of talk about how new technologies are going to save healthcare.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t amounted to much.
Most providers haven’t found the magic tech solution despite the $35B in HITECH payments we (taxpayers) have invested.
However, according to HRI, this is the year that tech advancements finally start to impact the market. New technologies are beginning to revolutionize care delivery, such as on-demand 3-D printing of medical devices, wearable devices that can diagnose health conditions and capture vital signs, and software applications that engage patients between in-person visits.
Problem is, there are hundreds of thousands of healthcare technology companies out there offering their version of the silver bullet to your customers.
Unfortunately, not all of them will live up to the hype. Regardless of your industry, keeping your finger on the pulse of healthcare tech will give you insight to pass on to your clients and prospects.
Here are some things to keep in mind for your customers:
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Consider how many customers have made the costly decision to switch EMR’s. There’s no clear-cut winner.
- Healthcare providers should plan to hire new talent and skilled employees who can make good use out of new technology. Expensive products won’t amount to much if used incorrectly or suboptimally.
- Healthcare organizations MUST invest in cyber-security to avoid a breach of valuable patient data. As more healthcare data moves to devices and cloud-based software, hackers will find more opportunities to exploit your customers.
Uhhhh, I’m just a sales rep. How do I help customers innovate for value-based care?
The difference between the sales reps and healthcare sales professionals is the ability to add value.
The easiest way to foster value is by asking thought provoking questions and leveraging your network.
Consider asking these value-stimulating questions:
- What new technologies will you implement to help shift toward value-based care?
- What problems do you need the technology to solve?
- Does your staff have the skills to use new devices or applications?
- How are you preparing for your first cyber attack?
Asking the right questions helps you transition from being a knuckle-dragging sales rep to the healthcare sales professional helping customers prepare for the future.
Now, leverage your network.
The single greatest untapped resource of sales reps is the ability to gather and share best-practices.
If your customer hasn’t thought about value-based technologies – share how their peers are preparing. Which vendors are your other customers choosing as partners? What technologies are they buying? What problems are they trying to solve?
If your customer is looking to hire staff to implement or utilize the new technologies – who can you refer? How can you leverage your LinkedIn network? Who can you connect them with?
If the customer isn’t prepared for cyber attacks – what content can you find online and share that will open their eyes to the risks? Can you connect them with the cyber-security expert in your own company? Can you facilitate a cyber awareness summit in your territory?
If you think you’re job is just to talk about features and benefits of your product – I hope you enjoy collecting unemployment… it’s coming – sooner or later.
If you want to become an indispensable – become a lynchpin by asking provocative questions and solving problems outside your domain.
Tune in next week for the third and final part of this series where I’ll cover 2017 healthcare trends – building new solutions for value.