Selling to Hospitals: Decision-Makers in Healthcare
November 15, 2017
Target Your Hospital Sales Pitch to the Right People
Who Makes the Purchasing Decisions in a Hospital?
If you work in healthcare related sales, it’s important that you know who’s who in hospitals. Setting appointments and generating leads is about selecting the right targets. Knowing who can help direct your outreach and communication efforts to the right people responsible for purchasing the solutions you offer is key to your success selling to hospitals.
The following hierarchy summarizes the chain of authority in most hospitals. While the people at the top of the chart are the most powerful and influential voices inside an institution, you might not always get the opportunity to talk with board members and hospital administrators. Also, some offerings don’t rise to the C-suite or Board of Trustees—it may be a Materials Manager or Facilities Director, for example, who makes the call. For that reason, you might think about targeting influencers farther along the decision-making hierarchy.
Board members participate in the governance of a hospital in accordance with its mission, vision, and goals. Members of the board ensure the quality of patient care and the organization’s financial health. They also approve any strategic plans developed by hospital management and monitor implementation.
Hospital executives balance day-to-day operations with developing strategic initiatives for long-term success. Healthcare related sales representatives may need to earn the respect and trust of executive assistants before selling directly to members of a hospital’s executive team. C-suite hospital titles include:
- The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) oversees a facility’s care delivery and explores ways to promote and coordinate patient-centered care. The majority of the CMO’s work involves developing and implementing cost effective strategies for improving clinical performance.
- The Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) is an emerging executive role responsible for the management and oversight of all patient care services. The CCO assures the quality of care across all clinical services offered by a hospital.
- The Chief Experience Officer (CXO) is tasked with improving interactions between patients and healthcare workers. CXOs provide tools, resources, services, and support that help employees and medical staff deliver positive patient experiences.
Administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of a hospital. They are either generalists responsible for managing the entire facility or specialists responsible for managing a specific department (accounting, human resources, marketing, etc.). Administrators oversee budgeting and finance and establish hospital policies and procedures, and thus wield significant influence on a hospital’s purchasing decisions. In that regard, “selling to hospitals” often means “selling to administrators.” According to Google’s 2013 Hospital Decision Makers Study, there are two main triggers that compel administrators to purchase hospital equipment:
- 71 percent initiate purchasing decisions when replacing used or outdated technology
- 42 percent initiate purchase decisions as a result of user requests (physicians, nurses, support staff, etc.)
Directors and department heads coordinate with administrators, executive leaders, and board members to oversee the operation of specific departments. The main services departments in a hospital include:
- Information Services – Billing, collection, and medical records
- Therapeutic Services – Physical therapy, medical psychology, and social services
- Diagnostic Services – Medical laboratory, imaging, and emergency medicine
- Support Services – Housekeeping, maintenance, and transportation
Google’s 2013 Hospital Decision Makers Study found that physicians are the key influencers on hospital purchasing decisions. Ernst & Young’s 2014 Pulse of the Industry survey also found physicians to have the most influence over a hospital’s purchasing decision. Considering the number of physicians who work inside a hospital, there are many opportunities for sales representatives to present their products, solutions or services. .
Nurses, therapists, and other service providers can also be valuable marketing targets since they are likely the first ones to request or recommend new tools or solutions to deliver better patient care.
Need Help Selling to Hospitals?
If you have a product or service that belongs in hospitals, Intelemark can help. We have a deep understanding of the healthcare industry and the decision-making process in hospitals. After almost two decades of providing healthcare lead generation and appointment setting services, we know exactly how to get to the right targets, what they’re looking for, and how to speak fluently about your solution.