Tips for Selling to Hospital Executives
Get In the Door by Knowing the Biggest Healthcare Pain Points and How to Solve Them
The healthcare industry is growing, rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s among the fastest growing industries in the United States. But, with new and ever-changing government regulations, doctor and nurse shortages and other challenges, the growth may not be welcome news to hospital administrators. And the pandemic presented a whole new set of challenges to healthcare facilities and organizations globally.
Fortunately, this can be a classic case of turning chaos into opportunity if you are a proactive salesperson. Preparation before a sales call or meeting and research into the challenges of the healthcare system can help sales reps discover the primary pain points and how to position your product or service as a welcome solution. Understanding the challenges of clinicians, healthcare providers, and other influencers in the purchasing decisions will help you build valuable, long-term relationships with the key decision makers in healthcare organizations across the industry. As always, lead with the benefit, perhaps in the form of an open-ended question, to grab attention.
This article explores the top four challenges that hospital administrators face and how to leverage them in your favor. Our list comes from the Top Issues Confronting Hospitals in 2016 and 2019 surveys by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). In the surveys, ACHE asked hospital leaders to rank the top issues affecting their hospitals.
Financial Concerns Related to Medicaid Reimbursements
The Problem: At the top of this list is Medicaid payments. The more Medicaid and Medicare patients a hospital treats, the less money they make due to the financial caps that are placed on reimbursements. This especially impacts public hospitals because they cannot turn away patients.
Knowing that this is the number one concern, how do you position your product or service to address this challenge?
The Opportunity: If bringing in more patients results in less revenue per patient, that is not a good solution. Instead, find ways to lower expenses without negatively impacting patient care. If you sell supplies that are used in a clinical setting, explain that you can work with the administrator to help reduce costs and you may get yourself an appointment.
If your services or software help operations run more efficiently, you can position it as a way to reduce the need for additional staff and overtime costs.
Government Mandates: Medicaid Audits and Compliance
The problem: These federal programs require very specific requirements and regularly scheduled audits from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). If you’ve ever been involved in preparing for a CMS audit, you know that it’s stressful and puts a burden on administrators and staff.
Some hospitals have a staff position that specifically deals with complying with complex government program regulations and preparing for audits. No matter what, government regulations are a huge spike in the side of healthcare administrators.
The Opportunity: Help the administrator and the hospital prepare for an audit, or shore up their compliance program to ensure that they meet the regulations. This might involve offering services that audit the hospital’s program before an audit, such as:
- Providing blueprints to ensure hospital procedures are in compliance
- Offering to walk staff through a mock audit
- Educate team members to understand the CMS regulations
If you can tell a hospital administrator that you can make the Medicare and Medicaid regulations easier to understand and comply with, your chance of getting them to stay on the line and agree to an appointment increases.
Patient Safety and Quality
The Problem: Ongoing changes in how hospital administrators hire doctors have made it difficult to engage doctors in working collectively to improve patient safety and quality, and ensure that a high-quality patient experience remains a priority. According to the whitepaper, Engaging Physicians in a Shared Quality Agenda by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, hospitals are hiring independent physicians which can cause in-house physicians to worry about patient poaching by the independents.
Gaining staff cooperation and implementing new programs and procedures are nearly impossible in a fear-based working environment.
The Opportunity: Is your product medical equipment or a medical device? Is it supply chain software? Is it a technology that helps your prospect be compliant with HIPAA regulations? Identifying your product or service as a solution to improving safety and quality in clinical practice can get a hospital administrator’s attention. Demonstrate how your offering will reduce unnecessary procedures or redesign the care process to be more efficient and you have an excellent opportunity to set an appointment.
Or, if you have a coaching service that can help hospital administrators communicate or lead more effectively and bring a team together, you may also land an appointment.
Shortage of Healthcare Professionals
The Problem: This is an on-going problem, and one that’s projected to get much worse. According to the report, The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2015 to 2030 by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the shortage will range from 34,600 and 88,000 physicians in 2025. This will make the job of recruiting qualified physicians increasingly difficult for hospital administrators.
The Opportunity: You do not need to have a personnel or recruiting business to help administrators in this area. If you have a product or service that can help hospitals develop loyalty among the hospital’s current physicians, then you will surely book an appointment.
This is another challenge that will benefit from cost reduction. So, if you tell a hospital administrator that you can save money in one area so the money can be spent on increasing physicians’ pay or hiring additional staff, then they may be able to attract doctors in a tight market.
Attracting new clients is a must for every business. If you rely on selling to hospitals, Intelemark can help you break through the barriers and get in touch with the decision-makers and influencers you should be talking to. Thanks to our extensive experience in healthcare appointment setting and lead generation, Intelemark knows how to communicate with hospital administrators and healthcare executives.
Schedule a test campaign to learn how a customized healthcare lead generation and appointment setting campaign can help you deliver the right message to the right audience for outstanding results.